Tag Archives: Painting

Rodents Of Unusual Size – January

Back at the tail end of 2016 I found myself looking at my Skaven collection and wondering what to do with them. I’d loved the ratmen for a very long time, indeed the first miniature I ever owned was a skaven given to me by a friend when I was just a nipper, and my verminous host was long overdue for paint. Indeed, inspired by dreams of Skavenblight’s dominance I bought another friend’s army when she decided to get rid of it and added a whole new mountain of grey plastic to the one I’d already accrued myself. Now the thought of actually climbing that mountain appeared beyond my capabilities, it was just so vast a task that I found myself doubting I was up to the challenge. Enter “The Year of the Rat”.

ancient_ratman - Convert Or Die

My challenge to myself was simple – every month of 2017 I would finish something for my Skaven collection, no matter how small or insignificant. Some months it was indeed next to nothing, others I managed to churn out a reasonably sized host, but no matter the result the ball kept rolling, the army kept growing and I started to believe that I could do this, that someday I would be general to a rat army not a shameful, unpainted blob. By the time 2017 rolled to a close I didn’t want it to end, and I feared that without this goal to keep things rolling my Skaven would soon stall. Of course the answer had to be – why stop at all? In spite of the progress I’d made there are still plenty of unpainted rats waiting for attention. I may not have reached the summit of that unpainted mountain in 2017 but I’d crossed the foothills, now it’s time to shoulder my metaphorical pack once more and make for the summit.

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At the same time as I was making the decision to forge onwards with my rats Azazel of Azazel’s Bitz Box blogged about Painting Decemb-uary, a hobby challenge which takes some effort to say and is damn near impossible to spell. Essentially the idea is to make use of the Christmas/New Year holiday and, for those of us in the northern hemisphere, the darkness of midwinter that keeps us indoors anyway, to paint something big. Whilst some hobbyists are naturally drawn to the big, impressive kits and struggle to finish a single foot-soldier others – and I count myself amongst their number – can paint infantrymen until the cows come home but fly into a panic at the sight of anything larger than a dreadnaught. Azazel’s challenge to us was to tackle those centrepiece models that we otherwise cower from, and I knew just the one I wanted to take on; the Screaming Bell.

If I had my time again one thing I’d definitely do differently is the building of this kit. I bought it fully assembled and, somewhat foolishly, thought that meant the job was partway done already. Heed my advice if you’re planning a screaming bell of your own because this proved to be a real error and an unmitigated headache. By trying to paint the model fully assembled (bar the grey seer himself who’d broken off along the way) I found myself struggling with numerous sections which proved next to impossible to reach with a paintbrush. Worse the open appearance of the model means that rather than being hidden these awkward corners are displayed for all to see, making getting in to fix them was even more imperative, if no less difficult. Hopefully my perseverance paid off although I’m still dreading the (highly likely) possibility that one of you will spot a section I’ve missed. If you do feel free to hoist me by my own habit of encouraging conversation on this blog and draw my attention to my error in the comment’s box. I’ll even thank you (albeit through gritted teeth…)

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Of course the completion of such an imposing centre-piece model is a fine excuse for another group shot, even if it is only a month since the last one.

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Once again my thanks to Azazel for setting up this challenge and giving me the push to get this model finished. If you’re not already familiar with his blog I really do recommend you take a look, both for the quality of his own work and to see the creative output of everyone else who joined in with Painting Decemb-uary.

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The Year Of The Rat – August

With real life shenanigans ongoing I’ve not had a lot of time behind the painting desk this month, with the result that my Skaven output has been rather low this time round. Still – I promised at least one rat per month in 2017 and on this occasion that’s exactly what you’re getting. Fingers crossed normal service will resume in time for a more sustained output in September.

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Dreadnaughts I Have Known

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I painted my first dreadnaught at some indeterminate point in the past, although exactly when is hard to tie down now. Assault on Black Reach had been released and the Orks had drawn me into 40k’s grim darkness at last but I was still unfamiliar with the universe and its protagonists. Having picked up the Black Reach boxset purely for the greenskins within I found myself with a bundle of space marines as well – and almost no interest in painting them. Only a grudging sense of duty got me through the tactical squad, although I admit I tackled the terminators with rather more enthusiasm. The only thing that really grabbed me however was the dreadnaught.

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He’s been tweaked and improved once or twice over the years but even those improvements still look rather old and somewhat lacking in comparison to my modern standard. Still I was hooked, on dreadnaughts if not on space marines. Thus when a friend of mine was clearing out his cupboards and gave me his copy of Assault on Black Reach and the Chaos Space Marines codex I knew straight away that the next dreadnaught I painted would be something much darker, angrier and spikier than before. It was also at this point that I was discovering the joy of converting models and, although there remained much for me to learn, I was well on my way to becoming the kitbashing, greenstuffing heretic I am today.

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Next up was an Ork deff dread – completed mere days before Games Workshop announced the release of the current plastic model. Sadly he was never the best of creations, leaning rather too heavily on Orky qualities of ‘cobble it together and hope for the best’ and now resides in the bottom of the bits box waiting for redemption and reconstruction.

With Dark Vengeance the chaos dreadnaught was reborn as the helbrute; the angry, spikey box of before replaced instead by the fleshy, unnaturally-organic beast of today.

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Of course painting one of them wasn’t enough for me, especially after the release of the putrid blightkings made it possible to create a bloated, Nurgly hulk.

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Nor was that the end of my dreadnaught obsession. Last October feedyournerd ran the Dreadtober event which aimed to encourage as many people as possible to paint a dreadnaught (or similar sized model) in the month of October. Seeing the brilliant work that others were producing provided the spur I needed to crack on and bring this Khornate monster into being.

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At the time I asserted (rather boldly) that if this event happened again I’d be sure to join in. One year on and it’s time to live up to that claim as DreadTober returns. This time responsibility for the event lies with Broken Paintbrush so I’d recommend getting across there to take a look at what’s planned. I’ll be taking on this unfortunate-looking former Crimson Fists dreadnaught. His loyalist masters may have abandoned him to ebay but I feel sure that, with Nurgley and Khornate dreadnaughts already in the bag, he’ll do very well indeed in the subtle embrace of Slaanesh. dreadnaught-convertordie-2

Naturally these events work best when lots of people join in so I encourage (nay – implore!) you to dig your own battered and abandoned dreadnaught projects out of the bitsbox, or take them down from the shelf of shame, and get to work on them. This is their moment!


Pure Hatred – Part 2

As promised here we have the second new Khornate terminator. With this one I wanted a more restrained pose that emphasised the bulk and power that I associate with old-school terminators which could act as a blank canvas to play with. I’ve also wanted to make use of a pair of wrathmonger legs ever since I discovered they fit neatly onto a terminator body, and the rest of the pose flowed naturally from this stance. As ever I’m happy to hear some feedback so let me know what you think in the comment’s box.

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Berserker Terminator KhornevertOrDie (1).Of course, with two new units added to the squad it can only be group-shot o’clock. If you want to find out more about the others in the squad you can look here, here, here and here. ConvertOrDie Khorne Terminator Group Shot


All That’s Left Is Blood – Part 6

The Bloodcleave: a band of ferocious killers, dedicated to the service of the Blood God and drawn to Kell’s ranks as he began to sack the fortress worlds of the southern Kadatheron sector. To Kell himself they have little loyalty however, and their disgust at the presence of the servants of other gods amongst his ranks has earned them the enmity of many of their erstwhile allies. Nonetheless they know that Kell’s wars serve Khorne, though the Chaos Lord may not admit it himself, and in doing so draws His gaze upon those who stand at his side. Thus they feign loyalty until the day comes to spill the blood of Kell himself, offering up his skull in a final orgy of sacrifice.

The second eight Berserkers are unleashed! Khorne be praised! Like the Bloodbeasts I wanted an icon of wrath to round out the squad and the weird head of the Khorgorath gave me the inspiration I was looking for.

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Of course, I’m sure you all realise what this means. With eight models painted and the squad complete it can only be group-shot o’clock.

ConvertOrDie Khorne Group (1)ConvertOrDie Khorne Group (2)As usual comments and feedback are very welcome and scions of the Blood God should fear not – more Khornate killers are on their way soon!


All That’s Left Is Blood – Part 5

If the blood god’s warriors are to be brought to battle a champion must be found to lead them – one who can seek out the skulls of the worthy before his warriors turn on each other…Khorne Berserker Champion ConvertOrDie (4)

The champion of my second squad of Khorne berserkers stands ready to join his savage brethren.Khorne Berserker Champion ConvertOrDie (2)

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Erratic Progress – Part 2

Like a skaven itself my collection of man-sized rats progresses in fits and starts; bursts of frenetic activity followed by pauses of tail-twitching uncertainty. Indeed this was the reason behind the title for this series of blogs (actually who am I kidding? The whole thing was an excuse to make a pun on the word ‘rat’). Unlike, I suspect, the majority of people tackling a horde army like the Skaven, I prefer not to batch paint models. Few things strike me as more dreadful and tedious as spending an evening painting the boots on forty orks. To me every model is a character and should be painted as such, and although this doesn’t result in the overnight appearance of huge regiments I find the results when they eventually are completed to be more pleasing.

Anyway, let’s take a look at the latest additions.

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New 2With this one I tried adding a lump of warpstone to the base. I’m not entirely convinced that it works that well but I’ll probably try a few more and see if the effect is improved by spreading it around the unit a little.New 3

I’ve also been working on updating a few of the older (red) skaven to the new colour scheme. Let’s take a look at some ‘before and after’s. Some of the ‘before’ images are less than brilliant photographically but there’s not much I can do about that now!

So there we have it Man-Things! As usual feedback is welcome so if you want to provide some obsequious high-pitched praise followed by vicious backstabbing feel free to do so in the comments box below.