Sunday, May 30, 2010

Skaven Clanrat Painting

Following my post yesterday of my first 15 Clanrats, I thought I would post a few more pictures and some specifics on the process I used.

First, the finished product. 

This is a fairly typical example of  an assembled 4th generation Clanrat model. (See here for my feelings about these older models...). I would say that this is what people would call "Tabletop" quality - so it looks fine on the gaming table but deliberately hasn't had lots of detail or attention that would make it good enough to enter a painting competition. (Of course, I don't know how to do that well enough anyway! haha!)

EDIT: Following the launch of the latest Citadel Paint range in 2012, please note that the colours listed below are from the previous range. I hope to have time to rewrite in the future, but for the time being, you can use the conversion chart/ list I made here or use the official Citadel Conversion chart here.

The  process followed was:
A.) Undercoat and layering:
  1. After assembly, liberally apply PVA glue to base and dip in modelling sand.
  2. Wait until dry, then undercoat. (I use Chaos Black spraypaint.)
  3. Fur: Drybrush Calthan Brown.
  4. Skin/ Tail/ Feet: Tallarn Flesh.
  5. Cloth: Ice Blue.
  6. Metal: Boltgun metal. (Weapons, belt buckle)
  7. Leathers: Snakebite leather. (Belt, wristband, armour crosspiece on the back of the Clanrat.)
B.) Apply Washes: Liberally apply Devlan Mud Wash all over.

C.) Reapply base colours: Layered up lighter shades/ colours: 

  1. Skin/ Tail/ Feet: Dwarf Flesh on raised areas. (Being careful to leave some Tallarn flesh areas and the shadows created by the Devlan Mud wash and the black undercoat - especially on the tail.)
  2. Cloth: Ice Blue on raised areas of cloth.
  3. Leathers: Snakebite leather/ Skull white (50/50 mix). 
D.) Final Drybrushing:
  1. Fur: Drybrush Calthan Brown/ Skull White (50/50).
  2. Metal: Drybrush Mithril silver (Weapon edges) buttons etc. (e.g. Rivets if the model has a shield etc.) or just apply as an "Extreme Highlight" on the edge of the weapon.
  3. Base: Drybrush Calthan brown, then drybrush Tallarn Flesh.
E.) Final Basing:
  1. Apply dabs of PVA glue onto the base and dip into green flock.
  2. Paint base sides Knarloc Green.
Looking at this model now, some final observations and self-criticism would be:
  • I need to pay more attention to the feet. I should really do something with the nails/ toes so that they are visible...but I just hate the feet on these models so much I can't motivate myself to do it. (I'll get around to it sometime.)
  • I'm still undecided on the Ice Blue colour. As some people have noted, it is just too bright to really be very "Skavenish". On the other hand, if I like it, who cares? I could try toning it down a bit OR go to another colour.
  • Skaven weapons that have rust on them look absolutely great. I haven't tried that yet so the weapons on these Clanrats look too well-cared for, and definitely not from the scavenge pile.
  • Could I make the flesh areas stand out even more by using a further highlight or drybrushing of Elf flesh? Would it be worth it?
  • Applying the modelling sand BEFORE undercoating is fine, but unfortunately it gets on the feet of the model and makes it harder to paint later. I might go back to applying the modelling sand after finishing the paint job.
Only a hundred more models to go and then I'm done!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

First Clanrats!

Well here they are! The beginning of my mighty army of scurrying greatness...

...or 15 of them anyway.

From Skaven

From Skaven

From Skaven

From Skaven

...and it took me a week of evenings after work to get them done, so yes, I am a slow painter, but this was a really good experience for me.

Some thoughts and lessons learned at this early stage:

1. These old clanrat models are awful - and I mean AWFUL!
I am not a sculptor and so I probably shouldn't comment, but as a consumer...

  • ...the poses work out almost all the same. You'd have to do a lot of cutting, filing and "greenstuff-ing" to get some variation.
  • By the Holy Horned One the actual sculpting in places just looks weird. The feet are basically gigantic slabs of flesh, and as others have said, they don't actually look like Skaven, more like monkeys/ rat mutations. (Ronkeys? Clanmats? etc.?) I mean, a Skaven army made of these guys couldn't sneak up on anyone - you'd hear their feet flapping from miles away! (Compare these to the latest Skaven plastics - which have fantastic details!)
  • BTW - For a really good look at Skaven models over the years, take a look at the excellent article over at My Wargame - I agree with everything the author says about these 4th generation models. ("Urgh")
  • Related to that...

2. ..."Caveat Emptor" (Buyer beware.)

  • Always carefully check the images and descriptions on ebay if you are buying Skaven. If you don't like these older clanrat models be careful, because they can make up the bulk of many of the Skaven armies that are on ebay.

3. I'm gonna have to learn to speed paint!

  • It takes about 3 - 4 hours to do 5 clanrats for me at the moment, including basing. I would think that these are "Tabletop quality" so they are good enough to use on a battlefield but nothing more than that.
  • At this rate, it will take me 5 years 4 months and 13 days of painting every evening after work to finish my current army. (JOKE! I couldn't be bothered to work it out, but you get the point...)
  • I could probably speed up the whole process by having some of my clanrats with black fur (i.e. just leave the fur as the black undercoat...).

On that note...

4. Drybrushing works just fine...

  • I experimented by using simple drybrushing of the base fur colour over the chaos black basecoat and that seems to look fine for tabletop quality. (i.e. when the models are viewed from a distance.) Add another, slightly lighter colour via drybrushing later and it will look even better.

5. Washes are your friend...

  • Devlan Brown. 'nuff said.

Step-by-step guide on these models to come. What do you think of the Ice Blue scheme?


Beasts of War!

ahem...well I haven't updated the site for at least a week due to work and other things - like painting! I am halfway through my first Clanrats/ slave unit and it is sloooooowww going. I hope to have my first full unit finished this weekend though and will post some pics.

In the meantime, I thought I would shout out about the Beasts of War YouTube channel and website - these guys are doing an awesome job for the love of their gaming hobby.

Why should you check it out?

  1. The hosts, John, Darrell, Lloyd and Warren - love gaming, and it shows.
  2. Unboxing videos.
  3. Modeling videos.
  4. Painting videos
  5. Rules discussions and gaming tips ("BOW Tips").
  6. "First Looks" at new and existing gaming systems.
  7. All videos are high-quality and well shot.
  8. Beautiful design on the YouTube channel.
  9. Lots of wargaming systems covered and introduced.

One of the thing I really like is their "Unboxing Videos" as you don't see many of these around on the web. I thought a talk-through of opening a box would be pretty dull, but actually if it for an army that you like it is pretty interesting - and very useful if you are thinking of buying a new model. Here are a couple of Skaven-themed vids that you might like:

So if you don't know these guys yet, scurry over and check out the Beasts of War YouTube channel.

John, Darrell, Warren and Beasts of War - the chattering horde salutes you!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Great Skaven Leader Thought of the Day (2)

"Given the same amount of intelligence, timidity will do a thousand times more damage than audacity."

Snarl Von Mousewitz,
General and Military Strategist.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Painting a Skaven Rat Swarm...

*Say hello to my little friends!*

From Skaven

Ah, Skaven Rat Swarms.
Could there be a more Skaven-like unit to have in your army? Just the idea of using swarms of these guys is cool...
...The good: 
- Small (so you can shoot over them.)
- Unbreakable (as a swarm, so they have a chance of holding up your opponent.)
- Fast (Move 6 inches.)
- x5 Attacks per base.
-They don't count towards the number of core units you can have.
Reading around the internest, it seems other warlords use our furry friends to guard key vulnerable units (such as Jezzails) or the flanks of advancing blocks of infantry as they advance.

 ...The Bad:
- Not "Expendable" (as in previous editions) so they can cause panic in other units when they flee?

...The Ugly:
- Expensive models to buy!  

...and yeah, they ARE REALLY expensive...would it be a good idea to make some just using the extra rats that turn up on many of the Plague Monk sprues?

Got to tell you, this is one unit that I am really, really looking forward to using on the battlefield (IF I ever get my army finished...) so it was one of the first units that I thought I would try to paint up. After giving the Warp Lightning Cannon a try I got these guys (and gals?) out of their blister pack and lined them up on their bases - a lot of lead in there!

So, after a bit of messing around, how did the unit turn out?

From Skaven

From Skaven
 Here are the steps and colours I used:

EDIT: Following the launch of the latest Citadel Paint range in 2012, please note that the colours listed below are from the previous range. I hope to have time to rewrite in the future, but for the time being, you can use the conversion chart/ list I made here or use the official Citadel Conversion chart here.

Step 1: Add sand to the base by putting PVA glue on the base and then dipping in modelling sand.
Step 2: Basecoat (Chaos Black.)
Step 3: Drybrush (Fur, mud).
- Calthan Brown on most rats
- Bestial Brown on a few rats
- Codex Gray on one or two rats
- Calthan Brown on ground.
Step 4: Paint (Skin/ Tails/ Skulls)
- Tallarn Flesh for skin, tails.
- Skull White for skulls.
Step 5: Wash
- Devlan Mud all over (including skulls)
Step 6: Final drybrushing.
- Snakebite leather (some rats)
- Fortress Gray (on the Codex gray rats...)
- Slightly lightened Tallarn flesh on noses and tails etc.
- Lightened Calthan Brown on the base.
Step 7: Final basing.
- Add dabs of PVA glue to the base.
- Dip in green flock/ add electrostatic grass.


Errr...I guess this actually took a lot more steps and time than I thought, but nevermind! I won't be doing too many of these. (At least at first!) The unit size can be 2-10 bases, and I only have 4 in total at the moment...

...I'm wondering how many of these little guys more experienced Skaven Warlords take?

*Forward, little brothers - forward for the greatness of the Horned One!*

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Painting a Skaven Warp Lightning Cannon!

*Neek, Neek*
Yes, yes, the Warp Lightning Cannon is much feared by our enemies!

I haven't been able to work on any painting this weekend, so instead thought I would put up another item that I did while I was waiting for the bulk of my army to arrive a couple of weeks ago. This time, a Warp Lighting Cannon.
As I haven't yet used the army I am working on, I haven't used this weird and wonderful weapon of war, but from what I hear (and the army book) it is a classic Skaven item: potentially devastating - often to the Skaven crew themselves!
Here is the finished item (Click image to enlarge and view on Picasa).
(Below the pics I will add some info on what Games Workshop paints I used.)

From Skaven

From Skaven
Warp Lightning Cannon Painting Guide:  

EDIT: Following the launch of the latest Citadel Paint range in 2012, please note that the colours listed below are from the previous range. I hope to have time to rewrite in the future, but for the time being, you can use the conversion chart/ list I made here or use the official Citadel Conversion chart here.

Step 1:
- Chaos Black undercoat. (Spray painted.)
Step 2: Basic Colours
- Calthan Brown (All wood)
- Snakebite Leather (Some wood sections on the carriage to provide variety.)
- Boltgun Metal (Bolts, metallic pieces on gun carriage, bands on cannon barrel.)
- Dwarf Bronze (Cannon barrel)
- Dark Angels Green (Warpstone)
- Skull White (Cannon Dials)
- Blood Red (Cannon Dials)
Step 3: Washes
- Thrakka Green (Warpstone)
- Devlan Mud (All gun carriage, metallic parts, gun barrel etc.)
- Thrakka Green (Around gun barrel bolts and metallic pieces to add a mouldy, old look)
Step 4: Drybrushing
- Chainmail (all metallics, bolts etc.)
- Snot Green (Warpstone)...leading up to a Skull White drybrushing on the warpstone edges when done.)

Same basic scheme as the Skaven in the Jezzail team, here! 

And you are done! (OK, not quite done, as I still have to base the cannon and make a final attachment of the crew.) 

Comments of course welcome! 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Painting a Skaven Jezzail - test...

*Neek, Neek*
While waiting for reinforcements ordered via eBay, I decided to have a go painting some of the models that I bought at my local Games Workshop. One of the units that I really liked the look of was the Skaven Jezzail, a long-rifle unit with good range, excellent ammunition, and an ability to take down tough targets (such as armoured knights etc.)

So, after a few hours, here is what I ended up with:

EDIT: Following the launch of the latest Citadel Paint range in 2012, please note that the colours listed below are from the previous range. I hope to have time to rewrite in the future, but for the time being, you can use the conversion chart/ list I made here or use the official Citadel Conversion chart here.

The picture is a bit dark as it was taken at night rather than in decent natural light, but the process was:
a.) Basecoat Chaos Black.
b.) Fur: Calthan Brown
c.) Skin/ Tail: Tallarn Flesh
d.) Hood: Red Gore
e.) Metal: Boltgun metal
(Jezzail barrel, swords, chain etc.)
f.) Leathers: Snakebite leather.
g.) Jezzail bands: Dwarf bronze.
h.) Wood: Calthan Brown/ Bestial Brown.

After these basic colours were done, I:
1.) Liberally applied Devlan Mud Wash (Fantastic stuff and highly recommended!)
2.) Drybrushed the fur and pavise with a lighter coat of Calthan Brown,
3.) Layered up lighter shades of most of the colours above (but used Blood Red, rather than a lighter shade of Red Gore.)
4.) Drybrushed the sand and flocked the base.

Alternative angles:

I followed a fairly standard red colour scheme based on the one at the Games Workshop website. I'm not sure if I really like this though (I bet everyone uses red, perhaps something in blue?)

Comments and suggestions for improvement welcome!

eBay...the ups and downs.

*Vreep* Greeting fellow commanders... Yes, yes, eBay truly is a wonder of the modern world! No doubt created by the great Horned Rat (Hallowed by Thy Name) to assist warlords-in-waiting to put together a verminous horde! However, to truly benefit from this most wondrous of resources, Skaven cunning and sneaky speed are essential! Being new to eBay myself, the things that I found most exciting about this powerful site are: + Lots of wargame and WFB related content. + Good deals abound (if you are careful). + Some sellers will ship internationally if you ask them. + Lots of "Bitz" for sale. + Fun to browse. + Really fun when you win something that you have bid on at a price that you wanted. + A well developed system with a relatively long history (in internet terms) and good infrastructure. ...and some of the most annoying things are: - Many of the photos posted by sellers are terrible so it is difficult to see what is on sale. - If you like "Fresh" (unassembled) models choice can be limited. (A lot of the secondhand items are already assembled or painted.) - If you get a couple of good deals it can be addictive - resist brothers and sisters - RESIST! - PayPal can be confusing and frustrating to use at first. - It can be pretty depressing to lose out to another bidder at the last second, especially on an item that you feel you really need for your army! So, is there anything useful that I learned from my first forays into the eBay battlefield of bidding? 1. Be true unto your Skaven heart and ye shall WIN! - Bide your the bidding carefully and strike at the last moment! - Watch and wait from the regularly, and then search regularly again. You never know when something might turn up on the scavenge pile. - Wait until your (financial) strength is gathered. Don't bid at a level you can't afford. - Forget about it when you lose - it must have been a deliberate fault in the system engineered by your (Skaven?) opponent? The road to world domination is looooonnnnggg...but we have time... - Research carefully before getting involved. Is this EXACTLY the model you want? This is particularly important with so many different generations of Skaven models around. 2. Use the tools that Clan Skryre engineers provide you... - If so inclined, approach eBay with all the electromechanical assistance that your devious Clan Skryre engineers can muster...a variety of tools exist to help you sell and bid. (Note, I have never used these nor can I recommend them as fit for purpose. Some - but not a true Skaven - might call them cheating.) - Your mobile phone isn't just for signaling your lieutenants or arranging skirmishes...install a decent eBay app on your phone to keep yourself in touch with what is going on... 3. Research the merchant you buy from... Those eBay seller ratings are there for a reason. A healthy dose of skepticism is important but hey, they are better than nothing. 4. Respect the merchant you brought from... Who knows when they will have something for you in the future! And isn't the world a better place when people are polite? (Not a very Skaven-like attitude I know...) 5. Winning is only half the battle... Think through the process mentally from start to finish, what do you need to do to ensure that the goods you have won appear safely at your underground lair? -Does the seller ship to your part of the world?(Ask unless they specifically say they DON'T ship to where you live.) - Have you provided full contact details? - Does the shipping method include tracking? (It can be worth it for the peace of mind...) - Will the final price actually be better than buying locally? As I said, I'm only a novice - any tips from others out there on how to get the best out of eBay? Comment below! *Squeeeeeeeek*

Thought of the Day by a Great Skaven Leader (1)

"An army marches on its stomach"
(Neepoleon Baneapart)

Friday, May 7, 2010

The adventure begins...buying a furry horde of death-dealing rat men!

*Neek!* After searching the deepest (online) caverns and plundering the nearest (man-thing) towns for allies and troops to bring to my warbanner, my initial force is as follows... x1 Skaven Battalion Box. (new, via eBay) x2 boxes of Plague Monks. (new, via eBay) x1 box of Stormvermin. (new, via eBay) x1 Screaming Bell/ Plague Furnace box. (new, via eBay) x 50 (Approx) Skaven slaves/ Clanrats. (used, via eBay) x1 Warp Lightning cannon. (Games Workshop store) x1 Warlord/ Chieftain. (Games Workshop store) x2 Ratswarm blister packs. (Games Workshop store) x3 Jezzail units. (Games Workshop store) x1 Warpfire Thrower. (Games Workshop store) x1 Skaven Army Book (new, via eBay) x1 Warhammer Fantasy Battles Rulebook (new, at Games Workshop) Not bad, but no force for world domination! ...nevermind, every scheming evildoer with world domination in mind needs to start somewhere, and this initial force should allow me to play games of between 1,500 - 2,000 points. (I'm guessing anyway - I haven't led this force in anger yet, so making a full list isn't something that I have done!) Now, I should say that even as a grown man with an income of my own, I found purchasing this amount of models and packs expensive, and that was even after using eBay ended up with me paying approximately a third of RRP in the country that I live in. In future posts, I'll come back to my experiences on eBay and what I learned as an eBay noob, but suffice to say that for any would-be commander or convert to Warhammer, checking out eBay can be well worth the effort. Why did I choose the items above? (trust me, the Skaven have a ton more that it was difficult to resist in their ratty evilness...) The key thing to purchasing any Skaven army (or indeed any Warhammer Fantasy Battles force) is reading your Army Book carefully and getting a good sense of what units are essential to an army (your "Core" units) and how many you might need of them. For Skaven, it would be the following: -Clanrats -Skaven Slaves -Stormvermin -Nightrunners -Giant Rats -Rat swarms ...the key point being LOTS OF THEM! Skaven units are cheap (in terms of points) so outnumbering your opponent is (apparently) essential. So, getting hold of these guys seemed key. The Battalion set gives you x40 Clanrats/ Skaven slaves (the models can be used as either), while eBay usually has ALOT of older Skaven models from prior incarnations of the game that are dirt cheap and can be used as slaves or clanrats in friendly games. Got to slink off to bed now... *Mreep*

The Horde Takes Shape...

Welcome to The Chattering Horde, an occasional blog charting one would-be Skaven Warlord's journey through the dark and dangerous world of Warhammer Fantasy Battles. (WFB) What will information will you find here? Well, if all goes according to plan, over time you will see the following: - Information on purchasing a Skaven army for WFB... - Updates on building the units... - Painting info... - Things that I come to learn from using a Skaven army on the battlefield... - Lots of links to Skaven resources around the web that I find interesting - and I hope you will too! All of that is to come. *Neek!*
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