Category Archives: Warhammer

The Year Of The Rat – December

And so, as the lights go down on 2017, it’s time for a final update on the progress of my Skaven army. Roughly a year ago I made a promise, to add something to my Skaven army every single month in 2017 – even if it was only a lone clanrat. For too long my dreamed-of verminous horde was nothing more than unpainted, unlovely grey plastic. At times I would pick up a model or two and get painting but the scale of the task was too great and time and again they were set aside in favour of more immediate projects, or the next idea to captive my feverish imagination. By setting a modest target however I kept the ball rolling, I forced myself to keep picking up those rats and stopped the motivation from guttering out. Of course some months I managed more than others (turning out just a single model in November, compared with a rather more inspiring 14 In July) but all in all it’s been enough to transform my Skaven collection from this…

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…to this…

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In old Warhammer money that’s a tidy little army of 1151 points. I’m afraid I’m still behind the times with Age of Sigmar so I’m not sure what it tallies up to nowadays but it looks good to my eye anyway.

Indeed so pleased am I by the success of this little project that I’ve decided to do it all again next year (albeit under a new title – “The Second Year of the Rat” would sound a bit silly and, as keeps being pointed out to me, this wasn’t the year of the rat anyway). However before we get onto that let’s take a look at what I’ve managed to add this month.

I decided to make December all about finishing squads (or at least bringing them up to fighting strength – despite the fact that I’m highly unlikely to play any games with them any time soon). Most in need of bolstering were the stormvermin who gained a banner last month but still needed a Fangleader…

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…and a musician.

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With the squad’s commanders suitably bolstered the whole pack is ready for action.

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That done I turned my attention to the hulking rat ogres that act as the muscle for the army. In my opinion these are some of the ugliest models still in the GW range (against stiff competition from the likes of the zombies and the Khorne berserkers). The best I could hope to do was turn their ugliness to my advantage and try to create something in keeping with the hideous lab-experiments that the Skaven use as shock troops. After all if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, and if you can’t make something less ugly try making it more ugly.Skaven Convert Or Die (23)

Two heads are better than one and all that.

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Back in May I added a warpfire thrower to support one of my clanrat squads so, in the interests of preventing any inter-squad jealousy boiling over in vicious backstabbing, I decided it was about time I added a poison-wind mortar to accompany the other.

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That may be all the finished models for this year but there’s still plenty to come for my verminous horde. Lurching its way onto my painting desk comes a rather bigger model than I usually tackle, the wonderfully ramshackle screaming bell. This one’s been waiting for a coat of paint for a while and, thanks to Azazel of Azazel’s Bitz Box its time has come at last.

In order to encourage his fellow hobbyists to tackle those bigger, centre-piece kits that tend to get pushed to the back of the shelf (something I’m extremely guilty of) in favour of smaller and easier to completely infantry models, Azazel has inaugurated Decemb-uary. The aim of the exercise – simply to get a big model painted up between the start of December and the end of January. As it stands the bell still has a fair way to go but the early layers and down, the first washes are applied and the whole crumbling edifice is slowly rolling in the right direction.

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Whilst the bell itself still needs a lot more work before it can be called complete the grey seer that rides on it is pretty close to being finished (unless of course someone points out a glaring flaw that I’ve overlooked).

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Beyond that I’m planning to paint up a warlord to replace Queek at the head of the army, the battle standard bearer I showed back in July, a few ramshackle warmachines and, of course, lots and lots of clanrats. Roll on 2018!


The Year of the Rat – September

With real life continuing to be busy, time for painting in short supply and my available energies focussed on the 41st Millennium, my Skaven army has suffered another month of less than inspirational growth. Still, every rat is another body to expend in the pursuit of victory for Skavendom so here’s two more ready to connive their way into the rearmost ranks of the ratty advance.

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Speaking of ranks, those who still think in old fashioned warhammer terms will be pleased to discover that the addition of these two scabrous vermin adds another rank to my block of spear-rat infantry. I myself sit in a rules no-man’s land, not being particularly familiar with either ruleset, but my rats still sit on square bases and I still think of them as living in the Warhammer world rather than the Mortal Realms.

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What’s more my hulking, ugly rat ogre may still be awaiting the arrival of a brother to fight alongside him but at least now I’ve recruited a handler to keep him lumbering in roughly the right direction and stop him from eating anyone who the packmaster hasn’t earmarked as a direct threat or rival (which, now I think on it, will be a slim list indeed in the cruel and complex world of Skaven society).

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Welcome To The Jungle

I’ve spoken before about my love for Warhammer: Total War, a computer game which combines my addiction to the Total War series (which peaked in my early 20’s but to which I’ve recently relapsed) and that weird old-fashioned hobby where you paint your own models and push them around on the tabletop. Today sees the release of the second instalment in the trilogy, this time focussing on the lands across the sea to the west of the Old World. Whilst the previous game covered the lands surrounding the Empire, stretching north as far as Norsca and the fringes of the Chaos Wastes and south into the Orc infested Badlands, this game brings us the High Elf homeland of Ulthuan, the desolate horror of Naggarond, a suspicious stretch of desert in the Southlands that would be just perfect for some undead kings to build a few pyramids on and of course the teeming jungles of Lustria. Naturally this calls for some kind of celebration or recognition on this blog, if for no other reason than that my (already stretched) hobby time is now going to be eaten up by conquering the new world in the name of a verminous empire. Last time round I marked the occasion by waxing philosophical about the fall of the Old World, the dawning of the Age of Sigmar and the passing of the world of Warhammer from the tabletop to the computer screen. This time, in the interests of showing you a painted model rather than just fobbing you off with my words, here’s the famous Tilean explorer, and discoverer of Lustria, Marco Colombo.

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Marco was given to me by my friend Les, long before I’d really discovered the world of Warhammer, and sat unpainted for years – first because I knew I lacked the skills to tackle him, later because a million other projects were demanding my attention (if you’re in this hobby then you know how these things go). A few years ago when Les was planning an Empire army I rescued Marco from his box and started to paint him, intending to give him back as an addition to the nascent force. Alas I failed to get him painted as completely as Les failed to paint the rest of the army and then GW went and blew up the entire Warhammer planet, which rather put the tin lid on things. This, however, is Marco’s hour at last. Now I just need to paint up that Liche Priest that his brother Sam gave me before the release of the inevitable Tomb Kings expansion…

Out For The Count

On Friday night I finally finished off the long awaited final models for my Vampire Counts army (not the most rock and roll start to the weekend but even I stop once in a while). On Saturday I uploaded them to this blog with, I’ll admit, very little fanfare. However, all things considered, that’s rather unfair. With one notable exception these are models I bought back in 2010(-ish, my memory isn’t so good) when I harboured plans for a massive undead army of the sort that might pour forth from Sylvania, spread eternal night across the land and so on. Instead they lurked in boxes (not even crypts – the shame of it!) as the years passed. Some of them were painted, to varying standards, many suffered through in nothing but bare plastic. Then, around New Year 2016 I resolved to resurrect them. Cue maniacal laughter and the distant howls of corpse-wolves!

Fast forward a few months and here we have them, a shambling band of wights, ghasts and revenants, ready to trouble the living once more. And all without needing to move into a castle, hire an assistant named Igor or even buy a shovel. How, then, could I let the moment pass without a few glamour shots and a group shot or two?

Let’s start with the finished squad of dire wolves, a kit which is (perhaps rightly) much maligned and yet for which I have a deep affection, in spite of its flaws.

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And how about some suitably creepy mood shots as my corpse army advances through the dark-magic saturated gravelands of their Sylvanian homeland.

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And of course no project of this sort can come to a close without a group shot.

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Of course, no army is ever finished and so it should come as no surprise that I’m already planning to return to these. Hopefully it won’t be another seven years before they’re reinforced. Hang some garlic by your window, bury me at a crossroads and watch this space!

What Is Best In Life?

With so many projects on the go I’m trying to keep my focus and avoid veering off into any more new territory, at least until I’ve cleared my desk a little. However I couldn’t resist painting up at least one of the models from the Greenskin Wars kickstarter, the barbarian hero. Something about him reminds me of Hirad Coldheart from the Chronicles of the Raven (well worth a read if you’re in need of some old-school cheese) more than Conan.Then again, when it comes to recognisable blog titles Hirad just isn’t as wonderfully quotable.

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I went for a dark, tanned skin tone – I figured a man who lives almost exclusively outdoors and fears nothing except wearing a shirt wouldn’t be particularly pasty or pale.

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Fan’s of old-school greenskins take note; Greenskin Wars is currently having another kickstarter. There’s still a few days to go before it runs out and in the meantime there’s the chance to pick up several of the models from the last round alongside new stuff like the hobgoblins and bugbears. Speaking from my own experience the service I’ve received has been excellent and the quality of the models is outstanding so if you were on the fence about this one I really do recommend it.

Hounds At Your Back – Part 2

To my slight shame and chagrin my efforts to get my undead collection painted seems to have stalled a little, with not a single shambling corpse seeing paint in March. Still, even the great Von Carsteins went through phases of inactivity (the aftermath of Hel Fenn being a particularly bad one) and, as there’s no time like the present, I’ve picked up my brushes again and returned my attention to my pack of dire wolves. Cue dolorous howls from the gloomy forests and desolate moors…

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With the addition of two new packmates the wolves rise from their loamy beds and go in search of prey once more.

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The Bane of the Bearded

Well look what I just discovered scurrying around the bottom of a box! It’s my oft-mentioned but never revealed Queek Headtaker. Of course he’ll no longer fit in as neatly with the rest of my Skaven, who’ve switched from the red colour-scheme of Clan Mors to a filthy yellow, and the paintjob shows its age, but don’t let that bring you down Queek – I still love you!

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