Rat Race – January

One of my big plans for 2019 is to deal with my remaining unpainted Skaven this year (GW’s hints regarding forthcoming models notwithstanding). Starting as I mean to go on therefore I decided to tackle something ambitious this month and paint up what is probably my favourite model in the entire range – the Hellpit Abomination.

You can read the full story in plenty of other places so I won’t risk boring regular readers by raking over it all again but in brief, for those who’re new to the project, I’ve been a long-standing fan of the Skaven and collected a large number of them but until recently never got around to painting them. Realising that the enormity of the task was what was holding me back I decided to set myself a goal that was both consistent and manageable, to add a minimum of one model to the army every month. That could be anything from a Clanrat to a Screaming Bell, and of course I could always do more than that if I chose to. Models didn’t have to be painted start-to-finish in the month or anything fancy like that, so long as I had at least one new completed model by the end of the month I considered my goal met. So far I’m proud to say I haven’t missed a month, although there have been a few close calls. I only planned to do it for one year (2017) but it was such a success that I kept it up for a second and now a third. By the latter part of last year it was looking likely that the project would be complete by the end of 2018 but then I spotted a few bargains, fell behind on a few projects and the unpainted pile began to grow once again. My ambition therefore is not only to continue my “model-a-month-minimum” challenge throughout 2019 but to have every last rat that I currently own completed by the time the bells toll to welcome us into 2020. I still need to dig through a few boxes and tally up exactly how many Stormvermin I own but by my approximate estimate has the number of models remaining in the low thirties – certainly well within the bounds of what I know I can achieve.

Turning to this month’s output and although I’ve only finished one model I’m proud to say it’s an impressively ugly centrepiece monster. The whole thing is wonderfully disgusting, a mish-mash of body horror which manages to look chaotically stitched together yet still (roughly) coherent. Here we have the Skaven at their most cruel and crazed, cobbling together living flesh without the slightest concern for the unfortunate experimental subjects.

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Despite being such a big model he proved to be relatively straightforward to paint – all that distressed flesh being a great opportunity to mess around with washes whilst all the textures and details were a great opportunity to let loose and have fun. The main difficulty I discovered was that he doesn’t lend himself to subassemblies but the fully assembled model has lots of challenging corners that are particularly tricky to get a brush into. Despite the irritation that caused I’d still happily paint another, were the opportunity to arise.

I’m not entirely sure what I’ll tackle in February but there are a few contenders so I’ll take a rummage through the pile and see what I can come up with.

26 responses to “Rat Race – January

  • theimperfectmodeller

    Very nice mate, a very impressive piece.

  • Argentbadger

    Good work, and a nice centrepiece for the force (er, alongside the other nice centrepieces like your lovely Screaming Bell and Plague Furnace). The variation of tones on the flesh helps to break up some of the larger areas too.

  • Alex

    Awesome work dude, that is one hellish abomination! I love what you’ve achieved with the ink washing – it certainly looks like a lovely thing to paint, and one that rewards a painterly washy approach 🙂

    With Fembruary in mind, are there any female minis in the Skaven range, or any chance of you converting one up? (nudge nudge 😉

    • Wudugast

      You know, I was always tempted to get one of the Skaven ladies (the Brood Horrors as they were quite accurately known) but I never did (always too expensive) and now FW doesn’t sell them anymore which thankfully removes temptation from my path. Instead I’ll be tackling some of the other ladies who’ve been kicking around my painting desk waiting for attention, starting with the Escher gang plus whoever else I find that I think deserves some paint 🙂

  • Thomas

    Oh man, that thing looks amazing. Disgusting and gross but yeah amazing.

  • savageddt

    Wonderfully disgusting👍🏻 The Horned Rat would be proud.

  • Alexis West

    That thing looks awesomely hideous!

    I’ve long been kind of tempted to pick up one of those and another pair of Maulerfiend kits to do a Nurgle counterpart to my trio of Khornate Maulerfiends that I bashed together with a Slaughterbrute kit. But now that Death Guard can’t take Forgefiends or Maulerfiends, I probably won’t get around to it.

    • Wudugast

      Much as I love that the Death Guard are now their own entity with so many unique and character-packed units of their own, I do miss seeing all the cool conversions of chaos marine units twisted to Nurgle (Forgefiends, Heldrakes, etc). I suspect the same will be true when we see the arrival of Emperor’s Children and World Eaters, which is both a blessing (more new stuff is always better) and a curse (more stuff is, once again, better). Of course you can still make god-specific versions of those things, and people do, but it seems to be much less nowadays (understandably) which is a pity. I hadn’t thought of mixing a HPA with a Forgefiend but that sounds like an amazing idea. Part of me wants to run with the idea myself but then I remember all the other things I have to paint already, and the fact that it’s taken me several years to get around to painting one abomination, let alone a second…

      • Alexis West

        I think some of it is trying to keep some stuff unique for the basic CSM Dex, but there are a ton of omissions that just flat out don’t make sense. Like when Khorne Daemonkin didn’t get Mutilators.

        On a slightly related topic, I also think that the Possessed in the Legion-specific Dexes should gain the Daemon ability for whatever the relevant Chaos god is. So World Eaters Possessed would get +1 Attack in the first round of combat, Slaaneshi Possessed would always strike first, etc.

      • Wudugast

        No mutilators in the Khorne Daemonkin book does sound like a weird move (if I even realised they weren’t in there I’d long forgotten about it), I would have thought they were made for it really. To be honest I always thought the entire Khorne Daemonkin book was a weird move but then there seemed to be quite a lot of directionless messing around with the Chaos line at around that time (the distinctly sub-par background for the Crimson Slaughter springs to mind). I presume they were testing the waters with Khorne and exploring the idea of doing more comprehensive, god-specific books, as we’d see later with the Thousand Sons and Death Guard, but it never really clicked for me, and always seemed like they were trying to cash in on the new Bloodthirster. I’ve heard it was a big deal amongst hardcore gamers (good or bad though I can’t recall now) but it failed to grab my attention.

        Completely agree on the Possessed rules you suggest. Again, I’m the worst person to talk 40k rules with but from a thematic point of view it seems obvious, a Possessed Marine is a hybrid of Marine and Daemon and the rules should reflect that. A daemon of a specific pantheon should definitely convey to it’s host the same powers it had when it wasn’t possessing someone. Indeed, it would be nice to get some god-specific Possessed miniatures as well – maybe when they do the Word Bearers codex? 😉

      • Alexis West

        I loved the Khorne Daemonkin Codex. Which is kind of odd, because Khorne is far and away my least favourite of the Chaos Gods. But the way it let me play was so much fun.

        I had actually kind of started a KDK Army the year before, at an event that allowed Unbound lists (there was a review committee), where I slammed together a bunch of MaulerFiends, Flesh Hounds, Berzerkers in a Land Raider, and Teleporting Helbrutes (another option I miss), with Kharne leading the whole thing. Then they came out with KDK, which let me do basically the same thing, but stay Battle-Forged, and get to Summon more dudes or give out buffs based on stuff getting killed.

        It was a super fast Assault Army, extreme MSU, and being able to teleport single Mutilators into my opponent’s backfield would have been an amazing angle to have in there. In a lot of ways, it played pretty much like I always wanted my Nids to, and I was thinking of working out a Counts-As scheme to run them under those Rules.

        And yeah, it was very strong. I went 4-2 with them at TSHFT 2017, with a fluffy, sub-optimal list, and my only losses were to people who were in the ITC top 25 that year. I actually accidentally won the first Tournament I took them to. But no more 😦

      • Wudugast

        See, that’s how Khorne should be. I know that in theory there should be an aspiration towards balance in the game but honestly I think if you go up against a Khorne army you should be a bit frightened of it, because it’s Khorne!

        Now you’ve brought it to mind it’s odd that it’s gone so completely, but hopefully* there will be World Eaters codex that recaptures something of that style combined with some new and unique units (and really that’s what I wanted the Khorne Daemonkin to be in the first place, part of me was always disappointed it wasn’t Codex; World Eaters and I never quite forgave it for that!).

        *I say hopefully because we all tend to assume it’s going to happen but we also assumed there’d be Daemonkin books for the other three gods back in the old days.

      • Alexis West

        Even if they brought it back, the Rule of Three kills the way I liked to run it. Sometimes as many as five or six packs of Flesh Hounds. Usually one big one with a JuggerLord or something, and then a bunch of minimum-size packs to grab Objectives, screen, take out small opposing Units, and generally be a nuisance.

  • Pete S/ SP

    That is great- brings to mind James Herbert mashed together with Lovecraft and Frankenstein.



    • Wudugast

      Misread that at first glance as “James Herriot” – that would put a whole different spin on things wouldn’t it? I really must read The Rats – I’ve had it recommended a couple of times now and it’s in my to-read pile (which, much like my to-paint pile of miniatures, seems to accrete faster than I can erode it). Anyway, glad you like him! 🙂

      • Pete S/ SP

        Rats is a classic. Loved reading it at school- even though it got me in trouble as it wasn’t seen as suitable….



      • Wudugast

        Yeah, I got that when I read Day of the Triffids at school. Mind you, we did The Wasp Factory as a set part of the curriculum. As an adult I look back on that and can’t quite believe they got away with it, but as a teenager it seemed quite normal.

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