Tag Archives: Skaven

Rodents Of Unusual Size And The Junit Round-Up

Rejoice, rejoice! If you own any bells now is the time to ring them! The ugly plague monks are done at last!

I’ll admit that by the end I was sick to the eye-teeth of them and more than happy just to call them done. The result of this is, sadly, that they’re not the best painted models in my collection, but then again they’re not the best sculpted models in GW’s catalogue either. I will however happily meet them half-way, if they make me some better plague monks I’ll put more effort into painting them.

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I used a bit of greenstuff to make this one look even more diseased and to break up the otherwise rather flat and bare surfaces, with mixed results in my opinion.

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Here’s the whole unit, complete with banner, musician and Bearer of the Word (although if that’s what a Bearer of the Word looks like these days Lorgar has really let his standards slip…).

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The way units rank up in Warhammer means you can’t actually see all of them that well but to my mind that’s actually something of a blessing.

Anyway, in spite of my moaning, that’s another unit done and a definite cause for celebration. Furthermore it occurred to me that as we’re now roughly half-way through 2018, that this would be a fine time to take a look at the progress my Skaven army has made so far this year. Here’s how it was looking back at New Year;

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…and here it is now.

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Solid progress, I hope you’ll agree! Now arguably the rats didn’t quite make it under the wire for Azazel’s Junit challenge, sneaking in last night which is technically July, but I don’t think Azazel’s that strict and anyway I’m just glad to get them finished. Certainly I wouldn’t have had the push to finish them, at least not for a while, without the challenge so, as I’ve been saying here regularly over the last little while, Azazel deserves another resounding “thank you” from me for conjuring and shepherding these little excursions of collaborative encouragement.

Two units that definitely did meet the Junit criteria however were my Space Marines and Imperial Guard squads. When I posted the marines last week I realised I was pretty unhappy with the highlighting on the acting sergeant’s legs and, although you were all too polite to comment on it, it pained me sufficiently that I went back and gave him a quick repaint. Again hopefully you agree that this is an improvement.

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And, whilst we’re turning our attention away from fantasy rat-men and onto the defenders of humanity in the far future, I realised after I posted the most recent two guardsmen that I hadn’t added a group shot of the whole squad so here they are, the completed (J)unit of rag-tag serfs, plus a Catachan who’s still on the phone.

Imperial Guard Squad Convert Or Die

Indeed, by way of a pallet cleanser after struggling with the monks, I went ahead and kitbashed another addition to the Guard regiment. I tend to try and keep updates to a theme but as this one is proving to be very much a grab-bag of general updates, here’s a couple of WIP images of the newest recruit.

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I know there are a lot of Chaos and Ork models garrisoning the shelves of my house but humanity need not loose hope whilst this little lot stands in their defence.

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Having seen the progress that the Skaven army has made in 2018 it occurred to me that it would also be worth taking a look at all the other things I’ve painted this year so here they are, every model I’ve finished in 2018 (minus the Skaven as that made everything too confusing, and also not including the little gang of genestealer infested civilians that I sent off into the northern wilds in search of Big Boss Redskullz). It’s not an unimpressive pile either if I may say so myself, with everything from plague zombies to unicorn-men, and goblin warbosses to skull-faced birds putting in an appearance.

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Sadly there’s still only one painted Necromunda ganger in there but expect to see that situation rectified over the next few months. Of course that’s not all I’ve got planned so here’s to plenty more projects over the next six months!

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Rodents Of Unusual Size – June Part 1

Because I’m aiming to finish something for my Skaven every month I usually end up sitting on whatever I paint (figuratively not literally) until the end of the month and then showcasing it all in one go. However as I’ve pledged to paint six plague monks for Azazel’s Junit challenge, and as part of the point of these challenges is for everyone involved to encourage and inspire each other, I reckon a mid-month progress report wouldn’t go amiss. Plus it’s the 13th which is a very auspicious date for a Skaven, so here goes;

As it stands four of the monks are still very much at a WIP stage as this somewhat ugly picture shows.

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However two of them are now finished and can go scuttling off the painting desk to join their brothers.

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I’m still hopeful I can finish off the rest of the squad by the end of the month (hence the suitably optimistic use of the words “Part 1” in the title!) but at least I’ve managed to complete my requisite minimum number of Skaven models for June in good time. In the meantime here’s a look at the squad as it stands so far.

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Rodents Of Unusual Size – May

The plague monks really are terrible models aren’t they? Surely by now the Skaven – one of GW’s most iconic races – are deserving of some new miniatures, replacing some of the ghastly sculpts of yesteryear with sharp-looking modern models. Perhaps if I get my existing plague monks painted the seerlords in Nottingham will take pity on me and send some reinforcements that aren’t quite so ghastly. Alas after all my progress last month it’s been hard to maintain momentum now I’ve moved onto the ugly monks.

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In spite of my complaints about the models I did at least have fun with this banner.

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My hope was that by painting them in a suitably filthy and disease ridden style I’d be able to cover up, at least in part, the fact that the models themselves are so ugly. To some extent I think it worked but I can’t pretend they’ve been a joy to paint. Indeed I’ve been starting to fear that I would soon abandon them all together, shoving them to the back of the shelf in favour of better looking rats. However before it comes to that Azazel’s latest challenge, “Junit“, drew my attention. Now I must admit that I wasn’t planning on taking part, preferring to take it easy and pursue whatever took my fancy after the (ultimately very successful) challenge of Neglected Model May. However it strikes me that there really aren’t a lot of plague monks left to paint. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to try to get them all done in June and I can sail into July free in the knowledge that these hideous miniatures need never trouble me again.

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Rodents Of Unusual Size – April

It’s been more than a year now since I started my campaign to add at least one painted miniature to my Skaven collection every month. Sometimes progress has been good, sometimes rather less so, but never before have the rats marched in numbers like these!

First up we have these clanrats armed with hand weapons.

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Following close behind however we have more armed with spears.

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With the addition of these 20 rodents both squads now stand at forty models apiece, making them hordes in old Warhammer and raising the total number of clanrats in the army to eighty.

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I’ve got another 20 unpainted clanrats so I’m currently debating whether to add another squad to the army or simply expand these two squads by another ten rats each. Either way with the rank and file now starting to attain the proportions I’ve always dreamed of it’s time to look at adding a few more specialists, elite units and warmachines over the next few months.


Rodents Of Unusual Size – March

What happened to March? One moment it was just arriving, full of promise and opportunities to paint lots and lots of rats, the next it was gone and without a massive increase in the verminous ranks to show for my efforts. Still every little helps, as some filthy corporate supermarket or other assures us, so here’s a Warlock Engineer ready to maintain the infernal contraptions I’m planning to add over the coming months.

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I also painted up the first of my plague monks, mostly by way of an experiment. Although not quite as awful as the rat ogres the monks are desperately in need a revamp. Still, he holds up well enough in filthy yellow that I’ll be happy enough incorporating him and his pestilent brothers into the army.

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Incidentally many people are now asking what’s going to happen now that plastic Sisters of Battle models have finally been confirmed, leaving Warhammer fans with nothing to complain about. Let me reassure you all that there is no cause for alarm, the complaints will continue, at least until we have new Plague Monks, Rat Ogres, Night Runners, Warplock Jezzails, Plague Censers, Noise Marines, Khorne Berserkers, Chaos Marines, Armageddon Steel Legion, Vostroyan Firstborn, Zombies, Squigs, Warbuggies…


Rodents Of Unusual Size – February

It’s the end of February and time once again to take a look at what I’ve added to my Skaven horde this month. This time I’ve only managed to finish one miniature, but on the other paw it’s not just anyone – it’s Clan Eshin’s finest, the greatest assassin of the Old World (yeah, you heard me Shadowblade); Deathmaster Snikch.

Not many Skaven get to be imposing yet Snikch manages it. Sadly before he reached me the elegant swirl of his cape had become caked in a foul mix of uncured greenstuff, glue and fluff so I snipped it back, which also helps to make him a bit more gritty and realistic.

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I actually found the little rats on his base were a lot of fun to paint. Often these smaller vermin are quite lumpen and lacking in detail (unsurprising as they’re downright minute) but these are actually quite sharply detailed and about as full of character as a base-detail a few millimetres long can manage.

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…Sorry Shadowblade. I didn’t mean to slight you. Please don’t come for me in my sleep…


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”.

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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.