Tag Archives: Age of Sigmar

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.

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

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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…

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…


War Eternal – Part 5

Since I started working on my Khornate warband for Age of Sigmar one of the units I’ve been most keen to include has been a Wrathmonger. Released back at the tail end of old-Warhammer as part of the chaos horde that finally put paid to the Old World the Wrathmongers set proved to be one of those kits which the various chaos ranges sometimes throw up, and which are in my opinion both a blessing and a curse for fans. A blessing because in the sheer range of parts lie the seeds of a thousand conversions, a curse because the models built out of the box tend to be lumpen and weird-looking, and not in the way that a chaos enthusiast might hope. For my money the Chaos Spawn and Forsaken are other classic examples of this and although the Wrathmongers are somewhat better than these they still fall a long way short of the Blightkings, who were released shortly before and proved to be life changing for Nurgle fans, and the Blood Warriors who came later as AoS burst upon our shores, and did everything and more which the Wrathmongers had promised, yet failed to deliver.

When they were first released I decided to snap-up a box, something of a guilty impulse purchase as I don’t believe I ever had the slightest intention of painting them, although plenty of bits have since found their way into various conversions – and undoubtedly will continue to do so. Thus this warband seemed like a perfect opportunity to go back to the Wrathmongers try to create something closer to my vision of them, something more akin to the bestial, savages I would have preferred, a creature which – although clearly once a man, has been reshaped by Khorne into a form more pleasing to the Blood God and better able to carry out his murderous will.

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I’ve been feeling really enthused about all things Khorne lately, and I wanted to bulk up the warband a little further, so whilst I was about it I also painted up this Blood Warrior. I also reckon that he qualifies for Azazel’s Armoured April challenge given that, unlike the Wrathmonger who’s happy to go to war in only his shorts, this gentleman has at least taken the time to get properly dressed before battle.

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And in honour of the other part of Azazel’s challenge, “Army April”, here are a few gratuitous group shots and atmospheric images of the Blood God’s followers ready to go on the rampage.

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Skulls for the Skull Throne and all that!


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.

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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!


War Eternal – Part 4

Time to cleave a few more skulls and run rampant in the Blood Gods name! This weekend sees the release of a new army book for the Blades of Khorne in Age of Sigmar and all the ensuing chatter from GW’s PR department has woken me from my fuge and reminded me that I’ve got a Khornate skirmish warband on the go, and as yet it contains only one model. Time to drum up a few bloodthirsty recruits.

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For those new to the project, it’s the brainchild of fellow blogger Alex from Leadballoony, who’s been working on a Daughters of Khaine warband which I highly recommend you take a look at. He set’s out the framework for the project here and, rather than reiterate it all, you can find my thoughts on the matter here.

With that out of the way let’s take a proper look at the latest additions to my band of savages, three bloodreavers. I’ve had these models kicking around since the first edition of Age of Sigmar was released. Short of cash, firmly rooted in the Old World and disinterested in Stormcast Eternals as I was then, I let the box pass me by, although I did end up grabbing the Khornate side on ebay on the grounds that you can always use a few more bloodthirsty maniacs around the house. Alas other projects distracted me and, with no real purpose or plan for them, the angry barbarians were left to gather dust until the January 2019 issue of White Dwarf brought us the rules for AoS Skirmish and a seed of inspiration began to take root in my brain. Digging around in the bottom of a box I extracted the bloodreavers and set to work cutting and clipping them into shape.

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Gathered around their leader, this crew of bloodthirsty maniacs take their first steps to becoming a proper warband.

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As ever I’m aiming to add something else to the group soon but I’m being fairly relaxed about it so we’ll see what takes my fancy.


War Eternal – Part 3

We are the sons and daughters of Khorne, the shieldbearers of the one true god of Chaos, the sword brothers to His daemonic legions. How weak the cults of the other powers are, how pathetic the foolish schemes in which they ensnare themselves, the plots and counter-plots they use as crutches in place of honest strength. We do not need to beseech our God, or cower behind mewling spell-casters. We are strong, chosen by our God because of it, and respected accordingly. We do not beg him for gifts, or grovel before him like invertebrate creatures, bent backed and frail, whining out an addict’s need for just a little more power.

Ours is a honest bargain. Khorne offers us a portion of his strength because it is our right and we in turn spread slaughter in His name. Let the slothful and needy slaves of lesser gods decry us as crude if they will, we care not. We are closer to the heart of Chaos than they will ever be, and the butcher does not concern himself with the screaming of the sheep. 

– from the philosophies of Skaros the Desolator, Slaughterpriest of the Bloodlords

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Well here he is, Skaros the Desolator himself, ready to lead my little warband of Khornate savages into the Mortal Realms.

All too often the followers of Khorne are portrayed as ignorant, thuggish and crude. They care only for bloodshed and become so enamoured with their own rage that they lose all sense and coherence and flail and froth in a killing fury of self-destructive mania.  Personally I prefer them a little more nuanced. Thus I envision my slaughterpriest as a ruthless and methodical killer, powerful and predatory, rather than a maniacal berserker, a thoughtful killer – if no less brutal for all that.

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With him painted I have the beginnings of my Khornate warband. I’ll be adding more models to it later in March, although as yet I haven’t decided exactly what. Right now I’m leaning towards getting the bloodreavers done in order to bulk up the warband a little, after all one model doesn’t make an army by itself (unless it’s Nagash of course!), but there’s always the chance I might end up distracted by one of the other possible contenders. As ever, watch this space!


War Eternal – Part 2

Just a quick post today, but I just assembled this angry young man and couldn’t resist taking the chance to show him off.

Inspired by my recent forays into the realm of Khorne I found myself idly perusing the range of followers available to the Blood God’s devotees and stumbled upon the Exalted Deathbringer. The followers of Khorne are blessed with a number of heroes and champions, all themed around the concept of chopping people up – whether that’s praying whilst chopping people up, masterfully chopping people up, being exulted for chopping people up or merely aspiring to chop people up. We even have the Skullgrinder, who isn’t the subject of today’s post, but still merits a mention for having one of the silliest weapon choices outside of a gobbo. Back in the early days of Age Of Sigmar GW’s designers must have realised that the restrictions placed upon them by the Old World were lifted and they could do whatever they liked. Unfortunately this went to their heads somewhat and the result was a man who hits people with an anvil.

Anyway, today we’ll be looking at an Exalted Deathbringer. For those who still struggle to navigate the soup-like naming conventions of the Khornate range, a gory morass of death, blood and skulls in various arrangements like a teenage Thrash Metal band, the Exalted Deathbringer is essentially an old-fashioned champion of Khorne who does pretty much exactly what it says on the tin; he brings death to people and the god of bloodshed has exalted him for it.

It’s worth noting as well that the Exalted Deathbringer has quite the assortment of models to represent them, from the slightly odd looking Impaling Spear version to the impressively imposing Ruinous Axe version. This time, however, we’re looking at the Bloodbite Axe version. Here’s the studio model that first inspired me.

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As I looked at him I found myself thinking, somewhat arrogantly, “I could make that” – or at the very least I could make a decent facsimile – out of plastic bits. Truth be told the end result turned out looking rather different to the official piece, but I think it still does a nice job of capturing the look of a hardened, and heavily armoured, barbarian on the lookout for, to quote the official blurb, “worthy foes to butcher”.

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Not sure when I’ll find the time to paint him but I’m feeling very inspired about all things Khornate at the moment so I’m sure he’ll find his moment sooner or later.