Tag Archives: WHFB

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.

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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!


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…

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…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.

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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!)

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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!

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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 – January

One of my big plans for 2019 is to deal with my remaining unpainted Skaven this year (GW’s hints regarding forthcoming models notwithstanding). Starting as I mean to go on therefore I decided to tackle something ambitious this month and paint up what is probably my favourite model in the entire range – the Hellpit Abomination.

You can read the full story in plenty of other places so I won’t risk boring regular readers by raking over it all again but in brief, for those who’re new to the project, I’ve been a long-standing fan of the Skaven and collected a large number of them but until recently never got around to painting them. Realising that the enormity of the task was what was holding me back I decided to set myself a goal that was both consistent and manageable, to add a minimum of one model to the army every month. That could be anything from a Clanrat to a Screaming Bell, and of course I could always do more than that if I chose to. Models didn’t have to be painted start-to-finish in the month or anything fancy like that, so long as I had at least one new completed model by the end of the month I considered my goal met. So far I’m proud to say I haven’t missed a month, although there have been a few close calls. I only planned to do it for one year (2017) but it was such a success that I kept it up for a second and now a third. By the latter part of last year it was looking likely that the project would be complete by the end of 2018 but then I spotted a few bargains, fell behind on a few projects and the unpainted pile began to grow once again. My ambition therefore is not only to continue my “model-a-month-minimum” challenge throughout 2019 but to have every last rat that I currently own completed by the time the bells toll to welcome us into 2020. I still need to dig through a few boxes and tally up exactly how many Stormvermin I own but by my approximate estimate has the number of models remaining in the low thirties – certainly well within the bounds of what I know I can achieve.

Turning to this month’s output and although I’ve only finished one model I’m proud to say it’s an impressively ugly centrepiece monster. The whole thing is wonderfully disgusting, a mish-mash of body horror which manages to look chaotically stitched together yet still (roughly) coherent. Here we have the Skaven at their most cruel and crazed, cobbling together living flesh without the slightest concern for the unfortunate experimental subjects.

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Despite being such a big model he proved to be relatively straightforward to paint – all that distressed flesh being a great opportunity to mess around with washes whilst all the textures and details were a great opportunity to let loose and have fun. The main difficulty I discovered was that he doesn’t lend himself to subassemblies but the fully assembled model has lots of challenging corners that are particularly tricky to get a brush into. Despite the irritation that caused I’d still happily paint another, were the opportunity to arise.

I’m not entirely sure what I’ll tackle in February but there are a few contenders so I’ll take a rummage through the pile and see what I can come up with.


Rodents Of Unusual Size – October

With so many goblins and other greenskins on the painting desk this month the Skaven have been shoved onto the back burner somewhat. Despite that I still had to fulfil my goal of adding at least one rat to the army every month. Of course if I could only fit in one rodent I wanted it to at least be a big one, so here’s the second rat ogre from the Island of Blood boxset.

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That should stop any pesky Night Gobbos from getting ideas above their station!


Rodents Of Unusual Size – August

Another month has been and gone so it’s time to take a look at the latest progress on my Skaven army. First up a hulking brute sewn together in the labs of Clan Moulder; it’s another rat ogre. Having already got two ugly old rat ogres painted previously this time I tackled one of the far better looking beasts from the Island of Blood boxset.

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The two ugly old rats are joined by their rather more handsome new brother.

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Alongside the big bruiser I also started work on the third squad of clanrats, adding a second squad of spearmen to the army. Here’s the first of the newcomers.

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I might even have got a few more painted but I took a little more time instead to work on the unit’s banner. Having painted it as a sub-assembly I realised at the last moment that I didn’t have a rat to go with it and galloped through painting this scabrous rodent in time to include the finished article in this post.

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Inspired by the banners in Andy Chamber’s famous Skaven army (you know the one, White Dwarf 137 if you don’t) I thought about writing “Gaze Into The Eye Of The Warp And Despair” on the banner but bottled out in the end and stuck with just the rune of the Grey Seers, plus various Skaven squiggles.

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Finally, in spite of all my grousing about plague monks and swearing that I would never paint another I’ve done exactly that. That said these are a little nicer than their brothers in the rank and file. I know I’m becoming something of a stuck record on the subject but we can only dream that someday GW get around to releasing a kit for the normal monks of similar quality.

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Naturally these monks are not intended to stand alone but will be part of something much bigger. That, however, will have to wait but I’ll see what I can manage by this time next month.