Tag Archives: Clanrat

The Year of the Rat – October

After a few quiet months things have been a lot more productive for my Skaven over the last few weeks. For those who’re new to this project, I’ve been collecting Skaven for a number of years (since the release of the most recent army book for Warhammer in fact, which was quite some time ago now). However the actual painting was proceeding at a snails pace – something only exacerbated when I purchased a friend’s collection and the pile of unpainted plastic grew overnight into a mountain. In order to remedy this situation I’ve challenged myself to paint something new for my Skaven army every month in 2017 – even if only a single clanrat. Truth be told some months I’ve come pretty close to achieving only that minor goal but, I’m pleased to announce, this month wasn’t one of them.

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This brings the current clanrat total up to sixty – which means it’s high time for a celebratory group shot.

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That’s not all however, this month I also managed to reinforce my stormvermin squad with four more of the rat elite.

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Now much as I like the models I’m not sure I find stormvermin that much fun to paint – they’re jagged, vicious little things that fought back almost constantly, jabbing me painfully in the fingers with their various spikes every time I tried to handle them. That said I’m already planning a second squad, this time made up of the albino guards of the Council of Thirteen. Before that however this squad will need a command group to finish them off.

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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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The Year Of The Rat – July

But, Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;

The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley

– Robert Burns, To A Mouse…

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Like all Skaven warlords I had a grand and cunning plan, and like all Skaven warlords it went spectacularly and horribly wrong. My scheme was to build up my Skaven army into a filthy horde of clanrats, rank upon rank of the little devils. I’m not usually a batch-painter or a speed painter but I was determined that, by the end of this month, I would have added sufficient rodents to my collection to create a swarm vast enough to terrify all sensible cats and farmer’s wives (regardless of how many carving knives they might be armed with).

I won’t go into the details, they’re far too unpleasant and personal to share here, but suffice to say that real life instead dealt me and my family a vigorous kicking of the kind that puts all other activities on hold. Expect output on this blog to be fairly erratic over the next little while and my apologies if a few projects disappear into the warp for a while.

Regardless the Great Horned Rat often moves in ways that are mysterious to his servants, and when I sat down to count the rats I had managed to paint I found the total to be  a suitably auspicious thirteen.

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But wait, that’s not all. I’ve also managed to cobble together a battle standard bearer for my rats (sorry Age-of-Sigmarites, I still think in old fashioned terminology, dunno what you call the guy who rallies the whole army in this modern era we live in but I do know that anything which discourages my ratties from running away is to be encouraged!). He’s still very much at the tacked-together stage right now with lots still to be done – that Khornate icon needs more work to removed it from the banner for example – but this should give you an idea of the overall concept and direction I’m heading in. As usual feedback and suggested improvements are welcome.

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But wait, that’s still not all! When I uploaded last month’s last minute addition, this Skaven assassin, Azazel noted the similarity between the rune  worked in the guard on the weapon clutched in the rat’s left paw and the rune of Khorne.

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Of course, careful examination reveals that it is intended as the Skaven rune but nonetheless, once seen the Khornate influence is just too obvious to overlook – and as no ratman would ever be brave or foolish enough to dedicate himself to the Blood God it had to go. As it turns out there wasn’t much needed to fix the problem, a couple of quick snips and a bit of touching up and it was done. I did wonder about cutting back the guard a little further to emphasise the look of the Skaven rune but in the end decided to leave it as it is, slightly more subtle and concealed – like the Skaven assassin himself.

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A before and after shot highlights the difference.

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So, perhaps not the glorious expansion that I had planned for my ratmen this month but when it comes to mustering the verminous hordes a few setbacks are to be expected and thirteen completed models are not to be sneezed at. As I always say, any feedback you have is welcome, and fear not – accepting setbacks is a talent all Skaven warlords have to master. I may be less active for a while but you won’t get rid of me that easily!


The Year of the Rat – May

With May drawing to a close it’s time for our by now familiar look back at the progress of my Skaven collection this month. For those who’re new to this the aim of the exercise is to add something, even if it’s only a single rat – although preferably more than that – to my Skaven every month of 2017.  For me the Skaven were the very beginning of my exploration of this hobby, the first miniature I ever owned was a ‘ratman’ given me by another boy at school, and for a long time I’ve planned the army of my dreams, a vast host of scabrous fur and rusty weapons. The enormity of the task tended to put me off however and for a long time my rats have been forced to wait, imprisoned on their plastic frames, plotting the moment that a coat of paint would be theirs. The thought of trying to paint all those models froze me with a force equal to the avarice that had driven me to collect them all in the first place. Then, over New Year 2016, it occurred to me that whilst painting the whole collection was a Herculean task painting a few rats each month was easy!

So far my instinct to tackle the project this way has been proven correct. Breaking it down into smaller chunks has made for a more achievable task, whilst the constant sense of progression has helped to maintain my enthusiasm. With that in mind let’s take a look at what I’ve managed to finish off this month.

First up we have a command unit for my second squad of clanrats (for those who’re keeping track these are the ones armed with close-combat weapons rather than spears).

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Adding all the sigils to the banner was an adrenalin fuelled bout of heart-in-mouth freehand but I got there in the end.

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Here’s the whole squad so far, bolstered by the arrival of their new leaders.

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A couple of months ago the legendary Duncan Rhodes demonstrated how to paint an albino clanrat and, whilst re-watching the video, it struck me mixing up the fur and skin colours of my own rats would add to the ragtag appearance of the units.

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I’ve also finally finished off a warpfire thrower, the first weapon team to join the collection.

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Last, but not least, we have this plague priest, ready to spread the Great Horned Rat’s foulest infections. At the moment he’s forced to scurry corpulently around unaided but, as soon as I get it finished, he’ll be able to ride in style atop a maddeningly toxic plague furnace.Plague Priest Convert Or Die (1)

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The Year of the Rat – March

Right, March is almost over (where does the time go right?) and it’s time to take a look at the progress my Skaven have made over the last month. For those of you who’re new to this and are wondering why I’m going on about the Year of the Rat when it is very clearly the Year of the Rooster, back at New Year I pledged to add something new to my Skaven collection every month of 2017 – even if it was only a single clan rat. Well, January and February didn’t see huge amounts of progress but with March I actually broke a fair bit of ground and added an impressive (for me) eight clan rats to the ranks.

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What’s more I also got started on my elite squad of Stormvermin. If I’m honest I found these two a right hassle to paint; either there was some grime on them when I basecoated them or the can of paint wasn’t properly mixed (either way entirely my fault of course). Whatever the cause the paint refused to behave properly and painting them turned into a slog which I endured with the heroic determination that normal people reserve for climbing Everest or trekking to the poles. On the plus side I got through it without losing any fingers to frostbite, although of course I’m not going to be impressing anyone in bars with my exploits either.

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The Year of the Rat – February

Back at the tail end of 2016 I promised so add at least one new model to my Skaven collection every month in 2017. Last month I managed just two clanrats (which means, if I keep painting at the current rate, I should get the army finished at roughly the same time as the Horus Heresy actually happens…). This month however I’ve managed to add a whole squad of rats to my army!*

*wadyamean it’s not as impressive as I made it sound? Why are you always so mean to me?!

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Fair enough it’s not the largest squad, nor is it made up of the largest models, but the undead have been keeping me busy (not to mention preparing for the Chapel, plus another little project to be revealed next week…).

And yes, I know it isn’t really the year of the rat. But it is for me!


The Year of the Rat – January

It’s almost the end of January – time to come good on my claim that I would add something to my Skaven army every month this year. Not a huge contribution this month (in fact it’s a meagre two clanrats) – blame the undead, Tzeentch and the Chapel for keeping me busy!

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