Rat Race – September

Sometimes it’s hard to be a Skaven, giving all your love to just one clan. This month on the other hand it hasn’t been so bad. Indeed things have actually been quite productive for the rats.  I’ve set myself the challenge of having the army done (in terms of currently owned models at least) by the end of the year and with quite a lot of ground to cover I decided it was time to get a wiggle on.

First up were the remaining Stormvermin for my second squad. The background fiction for Warhammer described how albino Stormvermin were used as bodyguards for the Grey Seers so I decided to paint this squad in that style. Truth be told I regretted it almost immediately and almost bottled out more  than once (only to be talked back into it by some of the readers of this blog). I still find pale fur to be a real nightmare to paint but now that they’re done I’m glad I stuck it out, it certainly looks striking (to my eye at least) and incorporates part of the lore that I was keen to include.

Objectively, these are nice enough models (certainly a huge improvement on the plague monks, which regular readers will be aware I hate with a truly Khorne-worthy passion) but truth be told I’m not a huge fan of either painting, or assembling them. They’re tricky models to put together, nothing quite seems to line up and (although this may make me unpopular in certain quarters it bears repeating) anyone who’s ever found themselves wondering why GW decided to move from old square-based Warhammer to new, round-based AoS has never tried to rank up a unit of Stormvermin (or ghouls, or beastmen, or pretty much anything else that wasn’t in a strictly two-dimensional pose).

Stormvermin Wudugast ConvertOrDie Skaven (1)Stormvermin Wudugast ConvertOrDie Skaven (2)Stormvermin Wudugast ConvertOrDie Skaven (3)

As well as these rank-and-file rats the squad also needed a musician…

Stormvermin Wudugast Skaven ConvertOrDie (2)Stormvermin Wudugast Skaven ConvertOrDie (3)

…and a standard bearer. Last night, when I was tired and trying to batter through getting this guy painted so I could get this post uploaded in the morning, I realised that I still hadn’t painted the design on his banner and I’d better come up with something toot sweet. Luckily the rune of the Grey Seers seemed like the obvious choice, given that these guys are the bodyguards of my Grey Seer and thankfully it’s fairly straightforward to paint as well (although not as gloriously simple as the rune of the Great Horned Rat which by this stage I could probably paint in my sleep). In a perfect world I would have made it a bit bigger but the folds in the cloth made it tricky enough as it was.

Stormvermin Wudugast Skaven ConvertOrDie (5)Stormvermin Wudugast Skaven ConvertOrDie (6)

Put them all together and here they are, this month’s recruits to the Skaven elite.

Stormvermin Wudugast Skaven ConvertOrDie (4)

With these done the squad is now complete (and naturally I’ll be counting at them as yet another submission to Azazel’s Squaddie September challenge!)

Stormvermin Wudugast Skaven ConvertOrDie (1)

I’ve certainly moaned a fair bit about painting Stormvermin over the last few years so readers may be as relieved as I am to hear that I’ve probably painted my last! Despite my claim back in June that I had a further 10 Stormvermin to paint, sorting out all the bits and getting everything assembled revealed only these 5 – plus some odds and ends which don’t quite add up to a single complete rat between them. I was quite sure that there were more when I inventoried them but it’s equally possible that I just miscounted. I’ll keep an eye out for the missing ones but given how challenging these have been to paint at times you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t look too hard. In the meantime I’m happy to call these two units of vermin elite complete. Here’s the whole swarm in all their glory; painful to work with, spiky to handle, tricky to paint, nightmarish to assemble and damn near impossible to rank up!

Stormvermin Wudugast Skaven ConvertOrDie (7)

That’s not all however. You may recall that last month a warlord appeared, presumably feeling it was now safe to do so. Of course the idea that he might be lording it over all the other rodents unopposed is quite intolerable so, as is the way with Skaven, another warlord has now showed up to make sure he doesn’t get everything his own way. This one first appeared in the Island of Blood starter set that accompanied the release of Warhammer 8th Edition (so quite a while ago then) and he’s been assembled and unpainted ever since. It’s been a long wait for him but today he can twitch his tail in pride at being finished at long last.

Skaven Warlord Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Skaven Warlord Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)Skaven Warlord Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)Skaven Warlord Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)

And that’s still not all! By sitting up until the small hours last night I also managed to paint up a second hulking Stormfiend. I’m really enjoying painting these – I must admit I didn’t really appreciate them when they were first released but they’ve really grown on me. Bit tired now mind but I really wanted to include him in this post rather than ending up leaving him for another month.

Stormfeinds ConvertOrDie Wudugast Skaven (4)Stormfeinds ConvertOrDie Wudugast Skaven (1)Stormfeinds ConvertOrDie Wudugast Skaven (3)Stormfeinds ConvertOrDie Wudugast Skaven (2)Stormfeinds ConvertOrDie Wudugast Skaven (5)

And here he is next to his equally ugly and fearsome squad-brother. Just one more to go to complete the squad.

Stormfeinds ConvertOrDie Wudugast Skaven (6)

And even that wasn’t quite enough. I also turned my attention back to a couple of models I painted a while ago, the Plague Furnace and the Screaming Bell. I bought both models second-hand and, being more familiar with 40k, in which vehicles rarely come with bases, I didn’t spot that their bases were missing – or even that they should be mounted on a base of some kind. It wasn’t the biggest job but I’ve been putting it off – but riding a wave of verminous productivity I finally got the finger out and finished them at last.

Plague Furnace Wudugast ConvertOrDie Skaven (1)Plague Furnace Wudugast ConvertOrDie Skaven (2)Screaming Bell Wudugast Skaven (1)Screaming Bell Wudugast Skaven (2)

Whew! Not a bad month’s progress if I may say so myself, and I’m pleased to say I’m back on target for getting the army wrapped up. On the other hand there’s not much left that isn’t either a)big, b)complicated or c)both so I’ll not be able to hide behind painting a few rank and file and putting off the tricky jobs until next month (and what could be more in character for a Skaven than hiding behind the rank and file?). The end is in sight though so hopefully all I need to do is ride that wave to the finish line. Here goes!

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22 responses to “Rat Race – September

  • davekay

    It’s always good to finish off those “almost there” models that are laying around. Nice work!

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! Yeah, it’s a good feeling – combining relatively little effort with the pleasure of finishing a model, and getting something off the painting desk that’s otherwise been sitting there annoying you for months 😀

  • savageddt

    I love all these skaven pics, easily one of my favorite factions in old world warhammer. I still wonder why they did not make it into 40k…

    • Wudugast

      Thank you – yeah, I really liked the devious villains in old Warhammer and the Skaven were amongst the best of the bunch. I’m glad they still get a lot of attention in the novels for Age of Sigmar but I really wish they’d renew the miniature’s range. As for making the transition to 40k you’re right, they’re one of the few races from WHFB that didn’t cross over and I don’t really know why that was. The Hrud are worth looking up though, they’ve never had models that I’m aware of but they appear in the background from time to time, even up to the present day. They’re weird looking beasties now, very alien in appearance (long arms, chitinous exoskeleton, big eyes), but in their earlier appearances they were more like space skaven. There was also a thing that looked like a hooded skaven with a sniper rifle appeared in the art work in one of the more recent 40k rule books (7th edition I think?) – although I think that was mostly just GW teasing the fans. I’ve also seen quite a few conversions (most famously by John Blanche – GW art director – who made a squad of skaven armed with 41st Millennium weapons, looked very cool). Personally I’m glad the two universes are a bit more separate these days, cool though space skaven would be I’d rather see something different and leave them sneaking around in the background teasing us.

  • heresyofus

    I said it before but I’ll say it again. I love that yellow! It works so well on your Skaven

  • Alex

    Ah, well played mate, I’m so pleased you stuck with the albino lore – they look flippin’ brilliant mate! My hat is duly doffed to you sir 🙂

    • Wudugast

      Cheers mate, and thanks again for encouraging me to stick with the albino stormvermin, I think you were the key player in talking me out of quitting. I may have cursed it from start to finish but now they’re done I’m damn glad I stayed the course 🙂

  • Azazel

    You’ve been cranking out the Rattus’ over the last month – love it! Should we ask for another army-progress shot, or wait until the grand finale once they’re all-all done?
    Glad to hear you’re finally over the last(?) of the Stormvermin over the pain you’ve described in painting them. They do look worthwhile, though! And also great looking command models to boot!
    Looking at that Stormfiend makes me think – you know, on a round base, I reckon these would make very suitable Dark Eldar slave-beasts as well! (As to my previous comment – yeah, I know they predate AoS, but they’re a good example of the Pre-AoS “Sigmarisation” of existing WHFB concepts – like the Varanguard – all go very easily side by side with, say, Fyreslayers.)

    • Wudugast

      Yeah, I felt I really had to knuckle down or I’d end up rushing in December. Another group shot? Let’s say maybe. They’re too big for my lighting set up so I need to catch the right ambient light, but if that’s right and I have the time and energy I’ll make it happen. 🙂

      Good shout on the Dark Eldar slave beasts, or how about removing the rat parts, keeping all the mechanical bits and turning them into Iron Warriors spawn (yeah, you’ve got me thinking about Iron Warriors again…)?

      I know exactly what you mean about ‘Sigmarisation’ of latter day WHFB as they paved the way for the new system. It’s a slightly different thing but I’d also say that all the races which were imported from the Old World (as opposed to those made for AoS like the Fyreslayers or the Idoneth Deepkin) can be rated on how well they’ve been Sigmarised. Gloomspite Gits, Sylvaneth, Daughters of Khaine, have all Sigmarised well I think, whereas the Skaven (and the Lizardmen) still feel like they belong in the Old World. Which way the Cities of Sigmar fall remains to be seen.

      • Azazel

        Well, the Skaven army is surely going to deserve a “completed” group shot? And while ou;ve got the space sorted, just wheel out the additional forces. That’s my own plan, and it’ll have to be in that time period given how much work is about to get crazy in the final quarter.
        You could do some great conversion stuff with them for IW or any form of chaos really (Word Bearers come to mind as well). I’m always looking for dual-purpose, though – so the ratty elements still work well enough for the DE slaves for me. 😉
        I think the Skaven still work as AoS models, though the reason they probably feel that they’re lacking compared to the Night Goblins would probably be the lack of new releases/resculpts/etc since the Stormfiend, which is the main thing that “changed” in the Night Gobboes.
        I mean, look at the new Wolf Riders for Beastgrave – they’re 100% updated and good quality sculpts that still have the WHFB feel, IMO. Same with all of the new Khornate (and Generic) Chaos Marauders from the Bloodthingies and now WarCry.
        In many ways they harken back to the old, pre-RoC and RoC days more than the more homogenised stuff from 4th and onwards…

  • theimperfectmodeller

    Well you have been a busy lad haven’t you? Glad you stuck with the white, tough to paint but so, so worth it. A unique bunch that’s for sure and very impressive. I’m sure you will receive much deserved admiration when these come out to play! 🤗

    • Wudugast

      Thanks mate, I don’t like quitting so it was never going to be something I was comfortable doing but there were definitely moments I regretted starting! Glad all the feedback has been so positive, helps to make the struggle feel worthwhile 🙂 Only a few more models to go and then I might have to actually learn how to play the game – only five years after GW stopped supporting it! 😛

  • Pete S/ SP

    Those are really great- an impressive amount of work too.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

  • Alexis West

    Well done for sticking with the albino Stormvermin! They came out looking great.

    The limitations of having to rank things up really hurt some of the Models, too. I built some Crypt Flayers for my WarCry Ghouls, and the wings are in such stupid poses because they had to be able to fit right next to each other. The basic Ghoul kit is pretty crap, too.

    Even more so than on the other, the yellow cabling on that Stormfiend really makes it work. Provides sort of a context for all the neutral colours to work against. I also like the brain rat better with the gloss there.

    Finally, re: your joke at the start: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTSu8jGcTXg

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! I’m really glad I stuck it out with the albino stormvermin (now the damn things are done that is!), and all the positive feedback has been very gratifying 😀

      Partly I blame nostalgia but I still love that old ghoul kit. Ranking them up was such a miserable experience though, I’m looking forward to rebasing them for my own Warcry warband. I think I might treat myself to the new Beastgrave ghouls as well and use them as part of the warband too – some of them are really nice models (others are a bit wonky looking but may be better once I get a decent look at them). Going to build a few crypt horrors/flayers as well but I’m only needing one horror, one flayer and one champion out of the kit so I should be able to pick the best poses of each and avoid the duff ones.

      Glad you think the yellow cables work, I was on the fence about whether to do it or use a different colour (and they needed about 700 coats and highlights) but again I’m glad I did it in the end.

      Hadn’t heard that version of the song before, that’s brilliant!

  • backtothehammer

    That is outstanding work. The stormvermin are excellent. I’m so glad you persevered with the albino look. Well worth it. I love the warpstone drum stick too.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! It was part of the lore that I wanted to include in the army pretty much since the beginning so I’m really glad (now) that I didn’t give up, even though it caused a fair bit of cursing along the way 🙂 Glad you like the warpstone drumstick, it was a fun little detail to add, and a chance to bring a splash of colour (apart from yellow!) to the model.

  • Slips

    The yellow works really well. Good choice and great execution!

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