Category Archives: Skaven

Rat Race – July

It’s time once again for an update on the progress of my Skaven army. This month inspired by Azazel’s Jewel of July challenge I decided to tackle something big and surprised myself by getting the plagueclaw catapult built and painted in just over a week.

Plagueclaw ConvertOrDie Skaven (1)Plagueclaw ConvertOrDie Skaven (2)

For once I actually remembered not to glue down every potential moving part so the catapult retained a degree of possibility. Then I added the crew and discovered that once they were in place the degree of available movement was only about a millimetre. Oh well…

The crew themselves, along with the cables, warpstone and hideous ammunition, added a much needed splash of colour, and a chance to bring in some yellow robes to tie the vehicle into the rest of the army.

Plagueclaw ConvertOrDie Skaven (3)Plagueclaw ConvertOrDie Skaven (4)

Just the one model this month then but, with another of the bigger models done I’m feeling confident that I can get everything done as we rumble into the second half of the year.

Advertisements

Rat Race – June

Well here we are again, stumbling blearily into another month, which means of course it’s time for another update on the progress of my Skaven horde. Once again it’s been a relatively quiet month for the rats, with just two models completed (although, as ever, progress is progress).

Back in May I added another rat ogre to the squad, converted from a combination of the Island of Blood models and parts from the Hellpit Abomination. This month I decided to finish painting his brother, rounding out the squad into the bargain.

Rat Ogre Wudugast Convert Or Die (1)Rat Ogre Wudugast Convert Or Die (2)

With so many hulking monsters around I decided this was also a good moment to call in some professional assistance to keep them all under control. Enter Packmaster Skweel Gnawtooth and his pet wolf-rat Gutsnagger.

Packmaster Skaven Wudugast Convert Or Die (1)Packmaster Skaven Wudugast Convert Or Die (2)

Put them all together and here’s the whole bestial squad – beardthings beware!

Rat Ogres Wudugast Convert Or Die (1)Rat Ogres Wudugast Convert Or Die (2)

With this being the end of June (I know right, where does the time go exactly?) this is also a fine moment to take a look at how the army has progressed over the past six months. Back at New Year I declared my intent to have the army completed (at least in terms of models I currently own – future releases notwithstanding) by the end of 2019. Here’s a reminder of how the army was looking back when I made that audacious claim;

And here it is now, six months further on;

Skaven Army June 2019

Solid progress I feel, although not the mighty leap I was hoping for, the unpainted pile being still something of a mountain. I did think about heaping it all up and taking a photograph of it but frankly it doesn’t look all that inspiring or photogenic like that and is unlikely to fill me with enthusiasm. Instead here’s a list of everything I’m aiming to paint;

  • 1 Warlord (from the Island of Blood set)
  • 1 Warlord (metal)
  • 1 Battle Standard Bearer
  • 10 Stormvermin
  • Thanquol and Boneripper
  • 1 Doomwheel
  • 1 Plagueclaw Catapult
  • 3 Stormfiends
  • Something which may end up being converted into a Warlord on a Bonebreaker or become a 4th Stormfiend.

Still quite a lot to chew my way through, especially as many of these are either centrepiece models or large kits or, in some cases, both. I still stand by my plan to get it all done by the end of the year however so there’s everything to play for over the next six months.


Rat Race – May

It’s time once again to take a look at how I’ve been getting on with my Skaven army this month. As many readers will by now be aware I’ve set myself the goal of getting my long unpainted Skaven army completed and to keep the ball rolling I’ve challenged myself to add at least one model to the army every month until it’s done. Having gnawed my way through the unpainted pile to great effect already, I’ve added the target of getting everything I currently own finished off by the end of the year.

Just a couple of models this month as the sheer busyness of life and work has invaded here just as it has with every other hobby project. First up we have another rat ogre to join the hulking brutes already in the collection.  I’ve been hoping for some time that GW might get around to replacing the old rat ogre kit, truly one of the worst things to currently (dis)grace their catalogue, but as yet they’ve stubbornly stuck with them. The Island of Blood versions were far nicer, but sadly were limited to two sculpts, neither of them easy to convert. Difficult to convert perhaps, but not impossible. Armed with some spares from the Hellpit Abomination that I painted back in January I set about creating a unique rat ogre to add to the squad I’d previously built.

Rat Ogre ConvertOrDie Wudugast (1)Rat Ogre ConvertOrDie Wudugast (2)Rat Ogre ConvertOrDie Wudugast (3)

For comparison, here he is next to the model on which he’s based.

Rat Ogre ConvertOrDie Wudugast (4)

And here’s the whole squad so far. Next to their brothers from Island of Blood (themselves over a decade old now) the two to the left really do look awful – and when you remember that these are still current models it’s hard not to feel a little embarrassed on GW’s behalf. Never mind though, perhaps if I get everything painted GW will finally respond to my entreaties and get some new ones made. We can but hope…

Rat Ogre ConvertOrDie Wudugast (5)

Anyway, this is not all for this month because I was inspired once again by Azazel’s monthly challenges. This time it was Mechanismo May – time to paint anything of which at least a significant part is mechanical. I had various plans for this but life put paid to all of them, and those ambots and their ilk will need to wait a little longer to be painted. Somewhere along the way however Azazel mentioned that he would be working on a Skaven with a mechanical hand and immediately the little cogs began to turn in my brain – I too had a mechanical Skaven in need of being painted; the great inventor Ikit Claw.

Ikit Claw ConvertOrDie Wudugast (1)Ikit Claw ConvertOrDie Wudugast (2)Ikit Claw ConvertOrDie Wudugast (3)Ikit Claw ConvertOrDie Wudugast (4)Ikit Claw ConvertOrDie Wudugast (5)

I’m not entirely sure what I’ll paint next for this project but, with next month’s update bringing us to half way through the year (already?!) I’ll take the opportunity to look at what else needs to be painted and perhaps even come up with some kind of strategy – otherwise there’s always the risk I end up painting everything in December!


Rat Race – April

Ladies and gentlerats, it’s time once again to take a look at the progress of my Skaven collection this month. My plan is to get the army finished off (in as much as these things ever are) by the end of 2019 – barring GW releasing any new Skaven to replace some of the dodgy old sculpts marring the range (which at this stage looks doubtful to say the least). With that in mind it’s time I bashed on, progress has been rather slow over the first three months of the year and I’ve got a lot of ground to cover. Thus this month I turned my attention to the Stormvermin, the second squad of these elite rodents to join the army and frankly not my favourite miniatures to work on. Some people can make them look amazing once finished, and I feel I’ve done a fair job of them so far, but they really are exasperating models to work with – it takes a lot of work just to get them looking passable.

I showed the start of this squad last month and confessed that I was struggling somewhat with them. Originally I planned to painted the whole squad with white fur, distinguishing them from my other Stormvermin squad, which have brown fur, and marking them out as the elite guard of Grey Seer Murkskitter who accompanies the army and tries, often unsuccessfully, to make the clan obey the will of the distant Council of Thirteen, as opposed to their own verminous whims and schemes. I quickly found, however, that although painting the occasional rat with white fur is quite fun, doing a whole unit of them is an exercise in frustration, so I publicly called it off and declared that I would do the rest with brown fur, background be damned, don’t try and stop me! Several readers then made compelling arguments suggesting I shouldn’t be such a baby (albeit in rather friendlier terms), offering up advice and making the generally supportive noises that hobbyists make when one of their number is facing a challenge and not enjoying it. Amongst them Azazel – of Azazel’s Bitz Box – noted that this month he’s running “Armoured April” as a challenge, so whatever colour of fur I fancied painted it was a fine time to man up (rat up?) and get to work on them.

Cutting a long story short then I decided to take a swing at getting one of them done with white fur, then a second and slowly over the month they shuffled in, one pale furred rodent after another. After each I declared “I’ll just pack it in and do the next one with brown fur” and each time I sat down to paint it I talked myself into continuing. I’m not going to pretend it was entirely a joyful experience but there we have it, the halfway point has been passed and the finish line for the squad is now well within sight.

Stormvermin ConvertOrDie Wudugast (4)Stormvermin ConvertOrDie Wudugast (5)Stormvermin ConvertOrDie Wudugast (6)Stormvermin ConvertOrDie Wudugast (7)Stormvermin ConvertOrDie Wudugast (1)Stormvermin ConvertOrDie Wudugast (2)Stormvermin ConvertOrDie Wudugast (3)

Of course these duplicitous rats need a leader, someone to point them in the right direction – even if that direction is often straight back to Skavenblight with their tails between their legs.

Stormvermin ConvertOrDie Wudugast (8)Stormvermin ConvertOrDie Wudugast (9)Stormvermin ConvertOrDie Wudugast (10)

With these eight rats done we have enough for a full squad, and as I’ll probably take a bit of a break from them before adding any more, this makes for a good moment for a group shot or two.

Stormvermin ConvertOrDie Wudugast (1)Stormvermin ConvertOrDie Wudugast (2)

The keen eyed will notice that, ranked up this way, one of the rats in the back rank appears to be attempting a quick spot of Skaven-style career progression by stabbing his boss in the ear. That’s the ratmen for you eh! Fear not however, once I add a few more (including a banner bearer and musician) I’ll try to find a way of arranging them that makes such skulduggery a little less obvious…


Rat Race – March

In what’s becoming something of a repeating refrain my Skaven plans have once again amounted to less than I hoped this month. When I set out I had a grand vision of finishing off at least ten Stormvermin by now. Alas the actual result has fallen somewhat short of that. Naturally I shall do the honourable thing, as all good Skaven would, and pin the blame entirely on the incompetence of my underlings. Plus I’ve been drooling over the new chaos space marines, an activity which takes up quite a lot of time in itself!

However I will admit that these are not the only reasons for my lack of progress. Truthfully, although I really like the models when they are finished, I find the Stormvermin to be a chore to build and no better to paint, not to mention the fact that anyone who has ever wondered why GW made the move from square-based Warhammer to round-based AoS has never attempted to rank up the little bastards.

Despite these complaints I would have broken more ground had I not made something of a rod for my own back in the process. As I started to work on the squad some mad part of me suggested I should paint them as the infamous albino rats which serve as guards to the grey seers and other agents of the Council of Thirteen. The trouble is, I find painting white fur on Skaven to be a real challenge, and although pushing myself to do it now and then breaks up the ranks in the larger squads, attempting a whole unit feels like a serious bore and it’s been a battle to summon sufficient enthusiasm. As a result, despite my best intentions, I only managed to paint up two of these elite rodents.

Stormvermin Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (2)Stormvermin Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (1)

Of course I refuse to be beaten so, once again, I’ll turn to the wisdom of the Skaven race for an answer to my woes. Rather than struggle on with a course of action that seems doomed to failure I shall simply destroy all evidence that I tried, assassinate anyone who says differently and move on to Plan B. Or, in practical terms, give up on the idea of painting them with white fur and try to get some brown furred Stormvermin painted by the end of April. Watch this space!


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.

hellpit abomination convert or die skaven (1)hellpit abomination convert or die skaven (2)hellpit abomination convert or die skaven (3)hellpit abomination convert or die skaven (4)hellpit abomination convert or die skaven (5)hellpit abomination convert or die skaven (6)hellpit abomination convert or die skaven (7)

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.


Rodents Of Unusual Size – December

Can it really have been two years since I returned to my Skaven army and committed to adding at least one model to it every month? How my rat army has grown in that time! This past year has been nicely productive, with the collection reinforced by mighty war machines such as the screaming bell, the plague furnace and the warp lightning cannon, alongside dubious “heroes” such as Lord Skrolk.

For those who are just encountering this project now; I realised back at the tail end of 2016 that my long dreamed of Skaven army was gathering dust in unpainted shame and might well continue to do so forever. My solution was to challenge myself to add at least one completed model to the force every month in 2017. So successful was this that I repeated the trick this year and indeed I’m aiming to do the same thing in 2019. Had I not given in to temptation I would probably have finished that original army by now but alas the lure of new models grew too strong and, combined with finding a few unexpected bargains, the heap of models to paint has grown a little over the past few months.

Before we take a look at the whole force however it’s time for this month’s recruits. I’ve been chipping away at batch painting another unit of clanrats over the last couple of months and now at last they’re all finished. Batch painting really isn’t my strong suit, indeed it’s the polar opposite to the way I’m usually inclined to paint, but having had such success with my Night Goblins a couple of months ago I decided to apply the same technique to the clan rats. In tackling all these I was greatly assisted by the advice of The Actual Colin who wrote a very useful piece on how to tackle batch painting, and which I’d very much recommend to anyone who had a lot of troops they need to deal with.

Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (19)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (20)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (21)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (22)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (23)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (24)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (25)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (26)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (27)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (28)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (1)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (2)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (3)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (4)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (5)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (6)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (7)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (8)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (9)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (10)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (11)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (12)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (13)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (17)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (18)

It’s strange to think that with these models completed I may have painted my last clanrats (unless of course I buy some more, which is always possible). I’ve been painting them on and off since the kit was first released over a decade ago and can now boast a hoard of over one hundred of the little vermin. Of course whilst I’ve been keen to get them finished off so I can concentrate on some of the other additions to the army I’ll definitely miss working on them, there’s something comfortably familiar about painting them so who knows, they often turn up cheap on eBay so perhaps I’ll find myself led into temptation by nostalgia. For now however I’m calling this little lot done which of course means a group shot is in order.

Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (31)

…And here’s the full verminous horde, one hundred and five clanrats (plus weapon teams) pouring forth from their warrens!

Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (30)

However that is not all. Inspired by fellow blogger Azazel’s latest monthly challenge Dauntless-Diabolical-December, which called for participants to paint heroes or villains (alongside a wide range of other possibilities), I also decided to paint up this warlord. I’m not sure exactly where he originated from, he came to me with a large number of other models which I received from a friend, but I thought he would make a fine scheming and untrustworthy lieutenant for the army’s as yet unpainted commander.

Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (14)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (15)Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (16)

With these latest additions in place this is also a fine opportunity to look back at the way in which the army has grown over the past couple of years. Here’s how it all began when I committed to growing the army properly at the beginning of 2017.

Skaven Convert Or Die (1)

And here it is by the end of 2017.

Skaven Convert Or Die (2)

By June 2018 it had developed even further…

Skaven Mid 2018 Convert Or Die

And here it is now…

Skaven Convert Or Die Wudugast (29)

They say that no army is ever truly finished, a maxim I’ve always held to, but my ambition is to have the unpainted pile (as it stands currently) completely defeated before the end of 2019. Of course that may go out of the window if GW decides to bless us with more Skaven models in the next 12 months (and before you accuse me of wishful thinking – have I not been harping on about the need for new squigs lately?). There’s no rest for the wicked, or the verminous, quite yet.