Tag Archives: Skaven

Doom Rocket!

It’s been a long time since I last painted a Skaven – or at least that’s how it feels to me. I’m sure there are plenty of other ranges within my overall collection of miniatures that have gone untouched for much longer but after painting ratmen at least once per month for the last three years going seven months without so much as pointing a brush at one certainly seems like an absolute age. Consider also how the world has been ravaged by plague and  strife in the interim, something I’m sure the Skaven would approve of greatly.

On the grounds that a man cannot live by painting giant stompy Chaos war-engines alone I decided to grab something else out of the queue and what better than this demented rodent hell-bent on destruction. As I have complained on a regular basis Games Workshop haven’t added much to the Skaven range in a number of years, with the result that a lot of the models are now looking distinctly past their best. One of the very few new models to be added to the range has been the Warlock Bombardier or – as it would have been known back in eighth edition Warhammer – a Warlock Engineer armed with a Doom Rocket. As I recall this was a particularly deadly contraption back then, sometimes blowing the enemy ranks to smithereens and sometimes – as was the way with Skaven weapons – causing devastation to the ratmen instead as the rocket exploded prematurely or zoomed off in the wrong direction. It’s an excellent miniature and, having bemoaned the lack of new Skaven models for so long, it seemed churlish of me not to add him to the ranks.

Warlock Engineer Skaven ConvertOrDie Wudugast (1)Warlock Engineer Skaven ConvertOrDie Wudugast (2)Warlock Engineer Skaven ConvertOrDie Wudugast (3)Warlock Engineer Skaven ConvertOrDie Wudugast (4)

I’ll be counting him as my contribution to Bjorn Stormborn’s Skaven and High Elf Painting Challenge being run to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Island of Blood (the last ever WHFB starter set). It’s hard to believe that it launched a full decade ago now or that WHFB, which at that time seemed a permanent and immutable part of the hobby, would be replaced by a whole new system in the form of Age of Sigmar. Then again AoS itself is five years old now – where does the time go? Of course this means it’s been five years since the Skaven got any new models at all (beyond the chap above of course) and ten years since they had a major wave of releases. Just sayin’ GW, just sayin’..!

Anyone with an affiliation for Skaven or High Elves who wants to join in with Bjorn’s challenge has until my birthday (that’s the 1st of September for anyone who hasn’t marked their calendars) to paint up either a stylish rodent, some pointy-eared filth, or both.


Rat Race – December

I’ve been promising this post for a while and at last here we have it; the final round up of my Skaven army for WHFB. Really this post was meant to go up weeks ago, back at the end of December, but one thing or another always seemed to get in the way – terrible light for taking pictures, real life business, computer troubles and a serious dose of one of Nurgle’s finest creations all hell-bent on coming between your eyes and these rats. I’ve persevered however and at long last here we are.

I’ve been working on this army for at least a decade, if by working you count buying models in dribs and drabs until you end up with a pile deep enough that you need to stand on a chair to see over it, and only painting the very occasional model. By 2014 I’d gathered a small-ish mob of completed rats but I was increasingly unhappy both with the scale of the task ahead of me and the colour scheme I’d chosen. Time for a rethink.

Fast forward to 2016 and I’d settled on the idea of repainting my, at the time quite tiny, collection of painted models in a natty yellow, rather than the red I’d chosen originally. At last the rats were on their way. However it wasn’t until 2017 that things finally got started in a big way. Realising that the project might never attain much traction without a bit of a push I declared my intent to add something to the collection, even if it was only a single model, even month of the year. So successful was this approach in clearing the backlog that I did the same thing in 2018 and, with the pile much diminished and the end in sight, 2019 as well. This, I announced to anyone who would listen, would be the final year that I worked on the rats and I would complete everything in the unpainted heap once and for all. Compared to the previous two years 2019 was a bit more rocky, a family emergency meant that February’s attempt went by the wayside, but in the end I managed it, even if it has taken until half-way through January 2020 to get the final post uploaded.

By end the end of November I had only three models left to complete the army, which on the face of it doesn’t sound too arduous. On the other hand they were all big, centrepiece models so I didn’t have an entirely easy ride of it either. The first one under the brush was the fourth of my Stormfeinds, this time equipped with poisoned-wind launchers.

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The sharp-eyed reader will have noticed that he’s actually an alternative version of this chap, which I’d painted back in September.

Stormfeinds ConvertOrDie Wudugast Skaven (4)Stormfeinds ConvertOrDie Wudugast Skaven (1)

I bought a second one off ebay as part of an elaborate scheme to make a Slaaneshi obliterator which never really came together, and then he lingered in the bits box until a few months ago when I dug him out and built him as nature originally intended.

Here’s the two brothers side by side.

Stormfeind Skaven WHFB Wudugast ConvertOrDie (6)

And here’s the whole squad.

Stormfeind Skaven WHFB Wudugast ConvertOrDie

Of course, being WHFB, they’re supposed to rank up – although old timers will recall that this was the bane of WHFB that often turned the game into an exercise in hair-tearing. You conga-lining AoS whippersnappers don’t know you’re born I tell you! Anyway, this was the best I could manage – and it just about works.

Stormfeind Skaven WHFB Wudugast ConvertOrDie 2

Another staple of the WHFB era was the battle-standard bearer, a hero level character with a big banner that was, by my foggy recollection of the rules, damn near vital to holding together the moral of the rank and file – especially if said rank and file was made up of cowardly clanrats. I’ve had this one built but unpainted for what seems like an age so it was great to finally get him finished and off the desk at last. Sadly the lighting, always a struggle at this time of year, has made the banner look a lot more blotchy and shiny than it does in real life – when conditions are a bit better I’ll try to remember to re-photograph him but for now I decided to just go with it, otherwise this post might never see the light of day at all.

Skaven BSB Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Skaven BSB Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)

I’ve been undecided whether or not I should explain the text on the banner, or just leave it as an in-joke that combines two fairly obscure references (especially for international readers) into one utterly incomprehensible joke. However, taking pity on you all, here’s a quick translation. The text, for anyone finding the Skaven-eque runes hard to read – especially in what I’ve already admitted are rather duff photos – reads “Rats! Gaze into the Eye of the Warp?! Just gonnae gnaw!” Readers of a certain vintage may remember Andy Chambers’ famous Skaven army as showcased in White Dwarf issue 137 (the one with the front cover that shows a Blood Angel fighting a bunch of Necromundan gangers – in which things appear to be turning out exactly as one-sided as you’d imagine!). Chambers’ army has had a huge and lasting influence of those of us who’ve collected Skaven, especially if we’ve been brave or foolish enough to paint them yellow, and I wanted to acknowledge that somewhere. The army included a big banner featuring the words “Gaze into the Eye of the Warp and despair” and my first thought was to just copy that and be done with it. However all this talk of the “Eye of the Warp” sounds like Chaos-worshipping shenanigans to me and although Skaven are creatures of Chaos they’re not followers of the Gods like other Chaos factions but servants of the Horned Rat, concerned only with their own schemes for advancement and with bringing ruin to all the surface dwellers. When I was a teenager there was a comedy sketch show on the TV called Chewing The Fat (Scottish readers of a certain age are now cheering, everyone else is scratching their heads – trust me, you’re the ones who missed out). The show featured a regular sketch of two lighthouse keepers and the catch-phrase “Gonnae no dae that!” or “Just gonnae no!” (type Chewing The Fat lighthouse keepers into YouTube and you’ll discover what I’m on about). For the last year or so that I was at school you could hear the words “Just gonnae naw!!” getting bellowed across the playground at about 300 decibels roughly every 12 seconds or so.

Ah, school days eh! Actually, as I write this and realise that we’re now in 2020 it occurs to me that I’ve passed (by several years actually but I never was good at maths) the event horizon, beyond which I’ve been away from school and surviving in the adult world for far longer than I was ever at the place. It’s a heart-warming thought and a reminder to any readers still labouring at the hive of scum and villainy that is the educational coal-face that this too shall pass and you’ll eventually be able to escape. Unless you’re a teacher of course, you poor bastards seem to have a life sentence – my advice is to get your hands on a rock hammer and a poster of Rita Hayworth and start burrowing out!

Anyway, I seem to have digressed – back to the rats! Oh and, the “gnaw” of course, is because they’re rats (I’m really not sure this needed all that explaining but I’ve written it now!).

Skaven BSB Wudugast ConvertOrDie

For the model of the chieftain with the battle standard I used the Island of Blood warlord, and I’m pleased by how different he’s ended up looking to the standard version (no pun intended!)

Skaven Heroes Wudugast WHFB

With him done I’ve ended up with a solid line up of Skaven heroes (if such a word can be used in conjunction with the ratmen). Going from left to right we have an Assassin, Warlord, Battle-Standard Bearer, two Cheiftains and two Warlock Engineers.

The third new model for December, and the final addition to the Skaven collection, is the big guy himself; a legend in his own mind – Grey Seer Thanquol and – more impressively as miniatures go – his bodyguard, the regularly rebuilt rat ogre, Boneripper. I’ve been a fan of this model since it appeared during the End Times and once it became clear that I should be able to get the army finished in 2019 I decided to pick it up as a bit of treat. As expected he turned out to be a real joy to paint and looks like a right beast towering over the scurrying unfortunates as they race haplessly to do his diabolical bidding.

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As noted, this really is a huge model, towering even over the enormous Stormfeinds and serving as a real centre-piece to the collection. The rat ogres look positively titchy!

Rat Ogre Line Up

They even manage to look hefty next to my beloved Hellpit Abomination.

Thanquol vs HPA Wudugast

This means I now have almost all of the special characters available to the Skaven at the time of 8th edition Warhammer so I seized the opportunity to dig them all out and take a group shot.

Skaven Characters Wudugast ConvertOrDie

From left to right we have Queek Headtaker, Deathmaster Snitch, Ikit Claw, Thanquol and Boneripper, Lord Skrolk and Skweel Gnawtooth, leaving me with only two absentees. The miniature for Throt the Unclean, the three-armed Skaven that serves to remind us that genestealer cultists get everywhere, was one of the worst in the range and I still haven’t managed a conversion I’m happy with. Tretch Craventail on the other hand was one of the best but he also passed me by, a lack of disposable funds when he was available meant I never picked him up, and now he goes for a small fortune when he appears on ebay. Hopefully someday GW will hear my plaintive pleas and include him in one of their Made To Order weeks.

Whilst I was writing this I also realised that I’ve never shown off the Skaven vehicle fleet in its entirety so here we have it, all the rickety contraptions a rat could ever wish for.

Skaven Vehicle Fleet

Anyway, what we all really want to see is the final group shot of the entire army, so let’s get to it. Much as happened when I finished off my one hundred ork boys back in December the area I use for photographing miniatures is just a little bit too small for the whole collection so everything is a bit more crammed together than I’d like. At some point, although it won’t be for a while, I’ll set things up in a larger space and do another post showcasing the whole army (by which time who knows, maybe GW will have gifted us with more rats and the ranks will have swelled yet further).

In total, by 8th edition points, the army comes to 5494 points, which gives me plenty of options should I ever get around to playing with it even in larger games (who knows what the future holds eh?) and, more importantly for me, looks wonderfully imposing on the tabletop.

I’ll not try to build the tension too much but before we see the “finished” army I would like to take a look back at what I started with at the start of 2017.

And here we are now, three productive years further on.

Skaven Army Shot 3

Of course I hope this isn’t going to be the end for the army. My intention is to return to it and add more rats, just as soon as GW get around to releasing more models and refreshing the range. I know I’ve complained about this before (on innumerable occasions) but even our newest models were released almost a decade ago, and most of the range is much older and uglier. Of course it would be a fine thing to see them re-imagined as part of the Age of Sigmar but it would be even better to just see new kits for existing concepts. After all the Skaven were one of the most unique races in the old WHFB setting, far more distinctive of GW’s IP than elves, dwarves or orcs. Just as the Night Goblins range was refreshed with new kits to form the Gloomspite Gits – without giving them very much in the way of models which would be out of place in a WHFB army – so too could fresh life be pumped into the Skaven. Perhaps the Old World project, scheduled for release in three or four years, might see the rats of yore given their place at last. For instance it would be great to see, in no particular order, new versions of;

  • Plague Monks – those old models are one of the ugliest things GW has ever produced and need to be done away with desperately.
  • Rat Ogres – again, these were looking awful when Island of Blood was released in 2009. The two rat ogres that came in the kit were very nice, and can still be found without too much trouble, but imagine what we could do with a whole new kit for them, akin to the Gloomspite Gits’ trolls. And no, Stormfeinds are awesome but they’re not the same.
  • Weapon Teams – again we had them in Island of Blood but let’s release something proper for them. Rats with gattling cannons, what more could anyone ask for?
  • Warlock Engineer – one of these was released just last year, as a limited edition, boxset-only pain-in-the-arse-to-get-hold-of. Just stop dicking around and release the blasted thing normally eh GW?
  • Skaven Slaves – I know we kinda have these but why kinda have something when we could really have it eh?
  • Rat Swarms – really I ought to have a few of these already to burst forth from the Hellpit Abomination thanks to the Too Horrible To Die rule. The currently available models are alright but not sufficiently inspiring that I found myself wanting to part with my hard earned cash. At some point I might pick up some of Anvil Industry’s rat swarms for this purpose instead, and I do already have plenty of spare rats harvested from various Skaven sprues (Thanquol and Boneripper for instance come with a veritable army of them). These latter however I’ve been hanging on to, they’ll be getting used to decorate the bases of my House Cawdor gangers.

…and then we have assassins, night runners, gutter runners, giant rats, jezzails, poisoned wind globadiers, plague censor bearers – even some of which would be enough to satisfy rat fans like myself. Ah well, we shall continue to wait patiently behind the Sisters of Battle and perhaps someday GW will remember about us. After all, at least we have plenty of great looking models to keep us going in the meantime – even if I have now painted them all. Plus, if our new Skaven are anywhere near as nice as the new Sisters have turned out to be it’ll be well worth the wait!

However I don’t want to end on a moan and I have every confidence that GW will get around to these someday – and in the meantime I’ll be patient and carry on enjoying all the other models I already have to paint (and there’s certainly a heap of them to work on too!). After all I’ve no intention of going anywhere and by the looks of things neither do GW so even if it takes another decade I’ll be waiting when the rats emerge at last. An army is often said to never be finished, but for now – these rats are done!


Rat Race – November

What’s this? Only one Skaven this month?! Alas, it is so – despite my plans to get all bar the final centrepiece model completed for the verminous ratmen time simply ran out on me. Rather than concentrating on painting up the last of my Skaven I went out socialising instead when an unexpected opportunity to catch up with some old mates coincided with the window I’d planned to spend finishing up more rats. Time well spent in my opinion, there will always be plenty more time for painting miniatures.

Anyway, despite this I still managed to complete this hulking brute, the third of my four Stormfiends, even if – once again – some hasty late night painting was required to complete him by the end of the month. I adjusted the model slightly, replacing the gun on his chest (which I’ve always thought looked a bit silly) with a Skaven icon.

Skaven Stormfiend Wudugast Warhammer (1)Skaven Stormfiend Wudugast Warhammer (2)Skaven Stormfiend Wudugast Warhammer (3)Skaven Stormfiend Wudugast Warhammer (4)Skaven Stormfiend Wudugast Warhammer (5)

With him finished there’s just three dirty rats still to go – two of which are at least partly painted. Of course, they’re all big and/or complex models so it won’t be as straightforward as all that, and I’ve only got a month to go before my self-imposed deadline which I’m still determined to meet. Time to crack on!


Rat Race – October

Hear that rumbling, rushing, screaming sound – the sound of something hurtling towards you with terrible inevitability? That’s the sound of the end of month deadline to add something to my Skaven, racing out of nowhere and bearing down on me inescapably. With not a lot of year left ahead of my self-imposed deadline of seeing my Skaven army to completion by the end of 2019 I turned  my attention to the Doomwheel – perhaps the craziest of all the crazy contraptions employed by the ratmen – and finished it in time, although only by the skin of my teeth (with a few frantic late-night painting sessions to boost him over the finish line).

Before we look at the pictures allow me a moment to bitch about the kit which, although the finished model is great, is a real nightmare to assemble. It dates from an era when kits were becoming increasingly complex, and components need to go together in a very specific combination for it to work. On the other hand the parts aren’t numbered and the diagrams leave a lot open to interpretation. Add the fact that I decided to build and paint the entire thing this month and there were a few moments of teeth-gnashing, a bit of muttering and a whole lexicon of swearing before it was finished. That said it’s probably a good thing that I set myself a target and just knuckled down and cracked on with it, otherwise I’d probably never have finished it.

Anyway, enough moaning – it’s done and I’m rather pleased with the end results. As it’s a big kit I’ve used larger images than usual, give them a click and you’ll be able to see them full size (I’m always thinking about the health of your eyes you see!).

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Sadly the Warlock Engineer who sits at the controls is damn near impossible to photograph. I did put a fair amount of effort into him, and I think he’s looking good, but he’s really only visible in the hand so if you only see my miniatures via this blog you’ll have to use your imaginations! You can just about see him – and his rat “engine” – in here though.

Skaven Doomwheel ConvertOrDie Wudugast (4)

Suddenly realising that the banner needed to be painted, with mere hours left in the month, was a suitably hair-raising moment for Halloween! Luckily you can’t go wrong with a few Skaven sigils, and my freehand is just about up to coping with them (which is a relief as there’s the Battle Standard Bearer still to paint for next month).

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And with that one done we have just four models to go, and two months to paint them in. Onwards and upwards!


Squaddie September 2019

I’m not going to lie – this one is sheer self indulgence! September turned out to be a very productive month for me and I couldn’t resist acknowledging that with a post summarising everything I managed to paint. However, just in case this seemed too gratuitous, I decided to use Azazel’s latest monthly challenge as a thinly veiled excuse for a bit of back-patting. For those not in the know (assuming there actually are any hobbyists left who haven’t heard of this phenomenon) blogger Azazel runs a painting challenge each month and encourages anyone who’s interested to join in – the aim being to clear our collective backlogs of unpainted models. After all the purpose of these miniatures is to be painted, enjoyed, perhaps even played with if you’re so inclined. It’s not to sit around in boxes getting dusty, be that base-coated, under-coated, or even still on the sprue. Usually I try to use the challenge to push myself to get something done that I otherwise wouldn’t. This month however I seem to have gone completely mad on it! Let’s take a look a look shall we? This month’s subject was Squaddie September and – to quote the man himself – set out this definition for what counted;

“Obviously a “Squad” (a term I’ve chosen this month for alliteration’s sake) is often a military term, and often means a unit of about 10 or so individuals….Though in the interests of flexibility, inclusion and achievability, the “squad” size we’ll be using is a minimum of three models. This lets many of those boardgame units also qualify…Of course, not everyone is a gamer of any kind, so Hell, the models don’t even have to be a strict “unit” or squad. Figures from different forces, ranges, manufacturers. All good, as long as they fit together thematically…”

Obviously that gave me a lot to get my teeth into, and with heaps of models half-finished and waiting for attention I set about painting with abandon. Let’s take a look.

To start with I tried to focus my attention on my Necromunda gangs, of which I have several on the go – including two that I’d been failing to complete for quite some time. First off the block were the Ladykillers of House Escher. Like all my Necromunda projects I have plenty more ideas I’d like to explore but with these three warrior women joining the ranks my initial plan for the gang is finished at least 

Wudugast Escher Necromunda ConvertOrDie (11)

My Necromunda Chaos Cult was originally planned as a quick and easy project but once started it grew in unexpected directions (much like a Chaos spawn then). Once again I decided that this month would be a fine time to tie it down into something I was happy to call complete – for now at least.

Necromunda Chaos ConvertOrDie Wudugast (2)

Not wanting to rest on my laurels I turned my attention to another of the Great Houses of Necromunda, the tech-geniuses of Van Saar. At the moment the project is still in it’s infancy but I plan to learn my lesson from the previous two and get the rest of the current crop of models finished up in the next few weeks.

Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)

Turning my attention to the bigger picture of the 41st Millennium I added three new recruits to my Chaos Space Marine squad. My interest in this army has been reinvigorated since the release of the range of new models earlier in the year and I plan to get my teeth into them properly as soon as I’ve completed a few other outstanding projects.

Chaos Marines 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (14)

Continuing the chaos theme I also added a few newcomers to my horde of poxwalkers, bringing the total population of foul plague-zombies up to 28. My plan is to complete a swarm of 40 so I’m aiming to tackle a few more of these very, very soon…

Poxwalker ConvertOrDie Wudugast Group

Nor did my chaos focus end there. Turning my attention to the Mortal Realms I also rounded out my Blades of Khorne warband for AoS Skirmish, first adding a flesh hound and then completing the group with three bloodreavers. Its particularly auspicious, and completely co-incidental, that it took my eight posts to complete the warband – eight being the unholy number of Khorne – but I suspect that there will be plenty more attention focused on the Blood God’s hordes in time.

Bloodreavers ConvertOrDie Wudugast

Continuing my exploration of the Age of Sigmar I painted three squigs. I’ve been a fan of the Night Goblins for a long time and it took me a while to get used to seeing them in the Mortal Realms as opposed to the Old World of WHFB but, after too many nights peering out of my dank cave at the baleful light of the bad moon, I’m finding myself increasingly drawn to the reinvented Gloomspite Gits.

Squigs Convert or Die Wudugast Gobbos (3)

However in case anyone fears I’ve lost touch with the Old World I’m still chipping away at my Skaven army and finally, after a lot of mumping and moaning, got the last of my Stormvermin painted. Anyone who’s been avoiding the blog for fear of my constant carping can come out of hiding now!

Stormvermin Wudugast Skaven ConvertOrDie (1)

And there we have it – not a bad month’s output by any means. Indeed by my count I managed to paint 35 models, more than 1 per day – something I once thought was quite beyond me. A big thanks once again to Azazel for running his challenge, I already have plenty of plans for this month (it’s all about Orks, Orcs, Orruks and anything that’s been neglected – if you’re thinking of giving it a shot yourself I strongly recommend it). Expect to see plenty of greenskins here in the coming weeks, not to mention the rest of the Van Saar and whatever else takes my fancy. Watch this space!


Rat Race – September

Sometimes it’s hard to be a Skaven, giving all your love to just one clan. This month on the other hand it hasn’t been so bad. Indeed things have actually been quite productive for the rats.  I’ve set myself the challenge of having the army done (in terms of currently owned models at least) by the end of the year and with quite a lot of ground to cover I decided it was time to get a wiggle on.

First up were the remaining Stormvermin for my second squad. The background fiction for Warhammer described how albino Stormvermin were used as bodyguards for the Grey Seers so I decided to paint this squad in that style. Truth be told I regretted it almost immediately and almost bottled out more  than once (only to be talked back into it by some of the readers of this blog). I still find pale fur to be a real nightmare to paint but now that they’re done I’m glad I stuck it out, it certainly looks striking (to my eye at least) and incorporates part of the lore that I was keen to include.

Objectively, these are nice enough models (certainly a huge improvement on the plague monks, which regular readers will be aware I hate with a truly Khorne-worthy passion) but truth be told I’m not a huge fan of either painting, or assembling them. They’re tricky models to put together, nothing quite seems to line up and (although this may make me unpopular in certain quarters it bears repeating) anyone who’s ever found themselves wondering why GW decided to move from old square-based Warhammer to new, round-based AoS has never tried to rank up a unit of Stormvermin (or ghouls, or beastmen, or pretty much anything else that wasn’t in a strictly two-dimensional pose).

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As well as these rank-and-file rats the squad also needed a musician…

Stormvermin Wudugast Skaven ConvertOrDie (2)Stormvermin Wudugast Skaven ConvertOrDie (3)

…and a standard bearer. Last night, when I was tired and trying to batter through getting this guy painted so I could get this post uploaded in the morning, I realised that I still hadn’t painted the design on his banner and I’d better come up with something toot sweet. Luckily the rune of the Grey Seers seemed like the obvious choice, given that these guys are the bodyguards of my Grey Seer and thankfully it’s fairly straightforward to paint as well (although not as gloriously simple as the rune of the Great Horned Rat which by this stage I could probably paint in my sleep). In a perfect world I would have made it a bit bigger but the folds in the cloth made it tricky enough as it was.

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Put them all together and here they are, this month’s recruits to the Skaven elite.

Stormvermin Wudugast Skaven ConvertOrDie (4)

With these done the squad is now complete (and naturally I’ll be counting at them as yet another submission to Azazel’s Squaddie September challenge!)

Stormvermin Wudugast Skaven ConvertOrDie (1)

I’ve certainly moaned a fair bit about painting Stormvermin over the last few years so readers may be as relieved as I am to hear that I’ve probably painted my last! Despite my claim back in June that I had a further 10 Stormvermin to paint, sorting out all the bits and getting everything assembled revealed only these 5 – plus some odds and ends which don’t quite add up to a single complete rat between them. I was quite sure that there were more when I inventoried them but it’s equally possible that I just miscounted. I’ll keep an eye out for the missing ones but given how challenging these have been to paint at times you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t look too hard. In the meantime I’m happy to call these two units of vermin elite complete. Here’s the whole swarm in all their glory; painful to work with, spiky to handle, tricky to paint, nightmarish to assemble and damn near impossible to rank up!

Stormvermin Wudugast Skaven ConvertOrDie (7)

That’s not all however. You may recall that last month a warlord appeared, presumably feeling it was now safe to do so. Of course the idea that he might be lording it over all the other rodents unopposed is quite intolerable so, as is the way with Skaven, another warlord has now showed up to make sure he doesn’t get everything his own way. This one first appeared in the Island of Blood starter set that accompanied the release of Warhammer 8th Edition (so quite a while ago then) and he’s been assembled and unpainted ever since. It’s been a long wait for him but today he can twitch his tail in pride at being finished at long last.

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And that’s still not all! By sitting up until the small hours last night I also managed to paint up a second hulking Stormfiend. I’m really enjoying painting these – I must admit I didn’t really appreciate them when they were first released but they’ve really grown on me. Bit tired now mind but I really wanted to include him in this post rather than ending up leaving him for another month.

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And here he is next to his equally ugly and fearsome squad-brother. Just one more to go to complete the squad.

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And even that wasn’t quite enough. I also turned my attention back to a couple of models I painted a while ago, the Plague Furnace and the Screaming Bell. I bought both models second-hand and, being more familiar with 40k, in which vehicles rarely come with bases, I didn’t spot that their bases were missing – or even that they should be mounted on a base of some kind. It wasn’t the biggest job but I’ve been putting it off – but riding a wave of verminous productivity I finally got the finger out and finished them at last.

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Whew! Not a bad month’s progress if I may say so myself, and I’m pleased to say I’m back on target for getting the army wrapped up. On the other hand there’s not much left that isn’t either a)big, b)complicated or c)both so I’ll not be able to hide behind painting a few rank and file and putting off the tricky jobs until next month (and what could be more in character for a Skaven than hiding behind the rank and file?). The end is in sight though so hopefully all I need to do is ride that wave to the finish line. Here goes!


Rat Race – August

As another month draws to a close it’s time for an update on the progress of my Skaven army. Two new models came scampering in this month (although in the case of this first miniature perhaps it would be more accurate to say lumbering). Each is important to the overall collection and called for a little extra time and attention.

First of all we have the first of my stormfiends, the giant rat-ogre variants which joined the range during the End Times. As well as being big enough to look like a centre piece in its own right this also served as a test model for the rest of its squad. At the moment I have two more still to build, plus bits of a forth which I originally acquired somewhere along the line to convert into a bonebreaker (the rat ogre steeds used by particularly pompous and powerful warlords). It’s likely that this plan will be scrapped however (sometimes a conversion just doesn’t come together, no matter what you do) so if I can find enough bits I’ll turn it back into another stormfiend instead. Watch this space I suppose.

In the meantime however this big lad is ready for action.

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Until I got him assembled I hadn’t realised quite how big these guys are either, they really tower over the rat ogres as this size comparison demonstrates.

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Indeed I reckon he’s even big enough to count as a last minute entrant to the Awesome August community challenge being run by Azazel (something which certainly helped to focus my attentions on getting him done).

Anyway, as mentioned above he’s not the only new recruit for this month. I also put in the time to get this warlord finished up (which actually makes him the first warlord to join the army – better late than never eh!).

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As well as working on these two I also started on the remaining stormvermin so with luck they’ll be ready by this time next month (perhaps Azazel’s next challenge “Squaddie September” will help me out there). Indeed, with only four months left to go before my self-imposed deadline to complete the army and quite a few models still to paint I’d better get a wiggle on!


Rat Race – July

It’s time once again for an update on the progress of my Skaven army. This month inspired by Azazel’s Jewel of July challenge I decided to tackle something big and surprised myself by getting the plagueclaw catapult built and painted in just over a week.

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For once I actually remembered not to glue down every potential moving part so the catapult retained a degree of possibility. Then I added the crew and discovered that once they were in place the degree of available movement was only about a millimetre. Oh well…

The crew themselves, along with the cables, warpstone and hideous ammunition, added a much needed splash of colour, and a chance to bring in some yellow robes to tie the vehicle into the rest of the army.

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Just the one model this month then but, with another of the bigger models done I’m feeling confident that I can get everything done as we rumble into the second half of the year.


Rat Race – June

Well here we are again, stumbling blearily into another month, which means of course it’s time for another update on the progress of my Skaven horde. Once again it’s been a relatively quiet month for the rats, with just two models completed (although, as ever, progress is progress).

Back in May I added another rat ogre to the squad, converted from a combination of the Island of Blood models and parts from the Hellpit Abomination. This month I decided to finish painting his brother, rounding out the squad into the bargain.

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With so many hulking monsters around I decided this was also a good moment to call in some professional assistance to keep them all under control. Enter Packmaster Skweel Gnawtooth and his pet wolf-rat Gutsnagger.

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Put them all together and here’s the whole bestial squad – beardthings beware!

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With this being the end of June (I know right, where does the time go exactly?) this is also a fine moment to take a look at how the army has progressed over the past six months. Back at New Year I declared my intent to have the army completed (at least in terms of models I currently own – future releases notwithstanding) by the end of 2019. Here’s a reminder of how the army was looking back when I made that audacious claim;

And here it is now, six months further on;

Skaven Army June 2019

Solid progress I feel, although not the mighty leap I was hoping for, the unpainted pile being still something of a mountain. I did think about heaping it all up and taking a photograph of it but frankly it doesn’t look all that inspiring or photogenic like that and is unlikely to fill me with enthusiasm. Instead here’s a list of everything I’m aiming to paint;

  • 1 Warlord (from the Island of Blood set)
  • 1 Warlord (metal)
  • 1 Battle Standard Bearer
  • 10 Stormvermin
  • Thanquol and Boneripper
  • 1 Doomwheel
  • 1 Plagueclaw Catapult
  • 3 Stormfiends
  • Something which may end up being converted into a Warlord on a Bonebreaker or become a 4th Stormfiend.

Still quite a lot to chew my way through, especially as many of these are either centrepiece models or large kits or, in some cases, both. I still stand by my plan to get it all done by the end of the year however so there’s everything to play for over the next six months.


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!