Tag Archives: Warlock Engineer

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.

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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.


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…


Erratic Progress – Part 4

Before 2016 was out I knew I wanted to get all my old red clanrats repainted in their stylish new yellow robes. I have big plans for the rats in 2017 so putting all the old models to bed before the end of the year felt like a nice way to set things up.

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Alongside the clanrats the only other old model still to be reworked was this devious-looking Warlock Engineer.n early conversion, but still one I’m rather proud of – who knows what duplicitous schemes he’ll be able to realise with those arcane gubbins strapped to his back?

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Anyway, that’s it for new models in 2016 (accepting of course that none of these models are strictly speaking new anyway). Before this turbulent year is out however there’s just time for a recap of the past twelve months so watch out for that soon. Until then, as ever, your comments and feedback are much appreciated.


Leader of the Rats

Hard though it is for me to believe, today this blog is one year old. To celebrate I thought I’d upload a picture of this truly ancient ‘ratman’ which was given to me as a present by a friend of mine when I was aged about twelve (at a guess) and which started my love of miniatures. In spite of a few lengthy hiatuses down the years I’m still messing around with tiny warriors nearly two decades on so, although I may have long ago lost touch long ago with the original owner and painter of this model, it only seems fair to say “Cheers David, wherever you are now”.

 

Skaven 1

I didn’t know it at the time but this ‘ratman’ (with his rather natty shield design, classic nineties goblin-green base and ‘warhammer’) was, or would become, part of a race of skittish, conniving, self-interested cowards known as the Skaven. These treacherous vermin would come back to me years later when their most recent army book was released (ancient history for a lot of you as well I’m sure – let me get my pipe and slippers). Straight away I was grabbed by them, with their endless ranks of scruffy, bloodthirsty infantry with rusty weapons and weird, ramshackle war-machines (actually does this not sound rather similar to my Ork and Chaos armies…). I bought the army book the week it was released (pretty rare for me now and even more so back then) and launched myself into the start of a Skaven army. Seasoned readers may have guessed by the lack of any ratmen in previous posts that this never really took off as I abandoned the Horned Rat (and the Old World altogether) to instead launch a Black Crusade in the far future. However I’ve not been immune to all the End Times’ related excitement that’s drawing some much needed attention to Warhammer at the moment and thought this would be a good time to dust off my old Skaven and give them a moment in the limelight.

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Here’s the Clawleader, complete with a scavenged Dwarf shield as a trophy. It’s not easy to make out but there’s also some broken dwarf symbols decorating his base. I like the idea of Skaven and Dwarves as natural enemies (far more so than uppity High Elves) and using a few Dwarf bits to spice up some of the rats seemed an obvious way to show this and add a little narrative to the units.

And here’s the rest of the scabrous clan so far.


I made this Skaven Slave as an experiment before attempting to build a full squad. As a model I’m rather pleased with it but ultimately it was a lot of work to convert and as the rules called for at least another 19 I was understandably put off. Nice though a proper swarm of them would look it won’t be happening any time soon but I’m sure he can skulk along at the back of the clanrat pack.


As I mentioned one of my favourite elements of the Skaven army are the ramshackle war-machines and crazy inventions, especially the weapon’s teams that accompany the swarms of clanrats. Reading the description of the Doomflayer in the army book I knew I wanted one – as I said I think of the Skaven as being petty much constantly at war with the Dwarves (when not cooking up some other nefarious scheme that calls for them to make one of their periodic invasions of the surface world). A Doomflayer, I reckoned, would be the perfect thing for driving the beard-things out of their halls. Back then however there wasn’t an official model available so, like any twitchy warlock engineer being prodded towards the battlelines by a few angry stormvermin I had to come up with something inventive.
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This shot shows a little detail I’m still rather proud of, a little vat of warpstone which – presumably – does something to fire the murderous engines turning below.
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The failing of the Skaven, for me, is the difficulty in converting the models. Although the clanrats are great, and fit together very nicely to make of make large swarms of individually unique vermin, they don’t convert easily into other units – nor do they cross pollinate well with many of the other ranges and armies available. Thus as I became increasingly interested in converting miniatures as well as painting them my interest in the Skaven waned. One final project however, and probably the one I enjoyed the most, was this Warlock Engineer.


Tempting though it is (and for a ‘hobby butterfly’ like myself it is very tempting) I’m not planning to restart my Skaven at the moment, as there are far too many other projects on the go (more on those soon I hope). However I hope you’ve enjoyed what you’ve seen and maybe (don’t hold your breath) once I’ve cleared my feet a little I’ll find the time to paint up a few more treacherous little rats (there’s still the contents of Island of Blood gathering dust under my bed for one thing). In the meantime comments, criticisms, cunning schemes or a little recreational backstabbing are always welcome in the comments box below.