Sunday, June 13, 2010

Painting Skaven Plague Monks - Step by step.

After finishing my first 30 Skaven Plague Monks I thought I would post a step-by-step guide to the colours I used. I'm no painting expert, but these steps ended up giving me a unit painted to "tabletop" quality.

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.

First, here is how the unit ended looking up:
Colours used: (All Games Workshop)
Knarloc Green
Codex Grey
Tallarn Flesh
Dwarf Flesh
Dwarf Bronze
Mithril Silver
Skull White
Chaos Black
Devlan Mud (Wash)

The  process followed was:
A.) Undercoat and Base texturing:
  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.)
B.) Base colours:
  1. Fur: Calthan Brown.
  2. Skin/ Tail/ Feet: Tallarn Flesh.
  3. Cloth: Knarloc Green/ Codex Grey 1:1 mix.  Follow this with a lighter Knarloc Green/ Codex Grey (1:2) on raised areas of cloth/ edges. (Robes)
  4. Metal: Boltgun metal. (Weapons, belt buckles, staff tips, banner chains)
  5. Leathers/ Belts: Snakebite leather. (rope belt, wristband, armour crosspiece on the back of the Clanrat.)
  6. Banner: Knarloc Green.
  7. Parchment: Snakebite leather. (Lighter shades will be applied later - see H. below)
  8. Ornaments: Chaos White. (Skull pendants om troops, staves and banners etc.)
C.) Apply Washes: Liberally apply Devlan Mud Wash all over. (Parchment optional)

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

  1. Skin/ Tail/ Feet: Dwarf Flesh on raised areas of face.  NOTE: Unlike my Clan Rats, I didn't use Dwarf Flesh on the tails for these guys, preferring to leave them a darker, dirtier feel...
  2. Metal: Chainmail or Mithril Silver applied to blade edges, nails etc.
  3. Leather/ Belts: Snakebite leather/ Skull white (1:2 mix). 
  4. Flag: Knarloc Green/ Skull White (1:1 mix) on raised areas and into the center of the flag.
  5. Parchment: Several layers of increasingly lighter shades of Snakebite Leather/ Skull White.

    E.) Final Drybrushing:
    1. Base: Drybrush Calthan brown, then Tallarn Flesh.
    2. Fur: (Optional): Drybrush Calthan Brown/ Skull White (50/50).
    3. Metal: (Optional): 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.
    4. Robes: (Optional) Lightly drybrush Calthan Brown around the base of the robes.
    F.) Final Basing:
    1. Apply dabs of PVA glue onto the base and dip into green flock.
    2. Paint base sides Knarloc Green.
    G.) Final Details: Banner
    1. Outline the Horned Rat symbol on the Banner in Chaos Black. Once satisfied, fill in. HINT: Practice first on a piece of paper at the same size as you will actually paint onto the banner. This will give you an idea of how it will look and it is good practice...
    2. Horned Rat eyes: Snot Green. When dry, lighten with a Snot Green/ Skull White mix (1:1)
    H.) Final Details: Parchment
    1. Gradually build up to a lighter shade, using a Snakebite Leather/ Skull White mix in lighter and lighter shades.
    2. Carefully add symbols and script using a slightly watered down Chaos Black (and a fine detail brush.)
    Now I have some Clan Pestilens troops in my army....excellent!



    1. I just picked up a set of these guys, and this guide's been a really good help in painting them! Thanks for the post!

    2. Hi James C. Glad you found this useful, your comment made my day! ;-) Anyway, I hope you had as much fun painting your PMs as I did, and that they bring (smelly) destruction to your enemies on the gaming table...

    3. Just have to agree with James C. Very informative. I was curious about how to get the right shade on the robes. I will try your mix out as it seems very promising. Thanks for taking the time to write this up. Cheers, Johan

    4. I'm really enjoying your blog as just begun Vermin-kin myself for Kings of War.
      I do have a tip though, which may or may not be useful depending on local costs - I put a tiny dot of superglue each side of each model's feet I then spread out with the nozzle of the little dispenser before dipping into the sand. At AU$2 for a pack of 8 I find a tube does 20 bases no problems, usually 25. The advantage is there is zero waiting time in comparison to PVA - maybe I'm just time-stricken but I've found I can open a box, un-sprue, build, base and sand AND undercoat a unit in one sitting this way - say 30-45min
      I do this in the evening before work then when I get back the next day I have a perfectly workable unit I can start painting the base colors on immediately. With PVA I always found I wouldn't do the basecoating til the evening I got back, meaning they wouldn't be ready til the next day. A little superglue in other words has cut out a day's delay in my painting.
      Cheers and keep up the posts, I enjoy so many of them!

    5. @Comrade S.
      Glad that you are enjoying the Chattering Horde! Thanks for the advice and tip on using superglue to save time on the bases. Anything that helps when considering putting together 40-50 models is a real help. I hadn't thought of doing that and will give it a go next time around. I'm thinking of doing a "Skaven Slave" unit made entirely of Night Goblins, as I came by a very cheap lot recently...your tip could well save me a lot of time!

    6. Thank you so much for this guide. I've have eighty (80) of these buggers primed for the last year or two. They were so different to everything else I kept putting them off in case I messed up. This guide was a great help though.

    7. @anonymous. Glad that this has been useful to you. It makes blogging worthwhile! If you have any tips etc. please don't hesitate to add them here.
      All the best and thanks for coming by!

    8. Awesome tut ! Much better than the gamesworshop one. Thanks mate

      1. You are welcome! I am glad to be of some help! :-) I am actually working on a small new batch of these guys myself (x10) to reinforce the unit. I am using slightly different colours for the skin (dwarf flesh as the base coat for the flesh)and will post photos if they turn out looking significantly different from those above.
        Thanks for visiting!

    9. Thanks for all the tutorials, it's really helped as I have been developing my skaven army. One quick question, what have you been using for a flesh colored base since Tallarn Flesh is no longer available from GW? They have the flesh colored layers, but they don't work for base coats, and my Tallarn Flesh is on it's last legs as usable. Thanks!

      1. Hmmmm, great question Stephen! To be honest, I am not out of Tallarn Flesh yet so I haven't faced this problem. One thing you might want to do is mix one of the new flesh layers with a brown basecoat. This will give you quite a dark flesh colour that will have good coverage? Additionally, a lighter flesh layer will go on top nicely and should have good contrast between the lighter and darker areas.
        Does that help?

    10. I just wanted to thank you! I just finished my first monk and it looks pretty good (for my first monk) thanks to your guide! I am not sure if you are still active on the website but i just wanted to say it!


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