Category Archives: Skaven

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!

Advertisements

Rat Race – August

As another month draws to a close it’s time for an update on the progress of my Skaven army. Two new models came scampering in this month (although in the case of this first miniature perhaps it would be more accurate to say lumbering). Each is important to the overall collection and called for a little extra time and attention.

First of all we have the first of my stormfiends, the giant rat-ogre variants which joined the range during the End Times. As well as being big enough to look like a centre piece in its own right this also served as a test model for the rest of its squad. At the moment I have two more still to build, plus bits of a forth which I originally acquired somewhere along the line to convert into a bonebreaker (the rat ogre steeds used by particularly pompous and powerful warlords). It’s likely that this plan will be scrapped however (sometimes a conversion just doesn’t come together, no matter what you do) so if I can find enough bits I’ll turn it back into another stormfiend instead. Watch this space I suppose.

In the meantime however this big lad is ready for action.

Stormfiend Skaven Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Stormfiend Skaven Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)Stormfiend Skaven Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)Stormfiend Skaven Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)Stormfiend Skaven Wudugast ConvertOrDie (5)Stormfiend Skaven Wudugast ConvertOrDie (6)Stormfiend Skaven Wudugast ConvertOrDie (7)Stormfiend Skaven Wudugast ConvertOrDie (8)

Until I got him assembled I hadn’t realised quite how big these guys are either, they really tower over the rat ogres as this size comparison demonstrates.

Stormfiend Skaven Wudugast ConvertOrDie (9)

Indeed I reckon he’s even big enough to count as a last minute entrant to the Awesome August community challenge being run by Azazel (something which certainly helped to focus my attentions on getting him done).

Anyway, as mentioned above he’s not the only new recruit for this month. I also put in the time to get this warlord finished up (which actually makes him the first warlord to join the army – better late than never eh!).

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

As well as working on these two I also started on the remaining stormvermin so with luck they’ll be ready by this time next month (perhaps Azazel’s next challenge “Squaddie September” will help me out there). Indeed, with only four months left to go before my self-imposed deadline to complete the army and quite a few models still to paint I’d better get a wiggle on!


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.


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!