Thursday, November 25, 2010

Skaven Warpfire Thrower Step-by-Step Painting Guide


I'm probably not the only Skaven Warlord that decided to start a Skaven army based on the access the minions of the Great Horned Rat have to weird and wacky war machines! See below for a guide and more pics...

One of the (many) excellent things about our hordes are the supporting vehicles and almost "Steampunk" home-brew weapons that can be found in almost any force...

...massive engines of destruction?
Deafen and madden your enemies with the Screaming Bell or stink them out or putrify them with the Plague Furnace or Plague Claw catapult. moving vehicles that slice, dice and "electri-fry?"
Courtesy of randomized greenish bolts of warplightning from your fast-moving, rodent-powered Doomwheel.

Now, as cool as those things are, let's not forget one more really cool thing the Skaven have...
...core-unit support?  
One Doomflayer sized serving of whirling chopping death comin' up (OR burn and gas'em with your Warpfire Throwers or Poison Wind Mortars.)
Now of course, all these items also have one glaring caveat...
...frequent failure due to poor build quality? (or sabotage?) 

But that is something that many people think adds to the dark humor of playing Skaven in the first place!

Onto the guide, which has taken some time to get done due to other things. Below you will find a simple Skaven Warpfire Thrower stage-by-stage guide with some big photos at the bottom (I'll post a guide to the Poison Wind Mortar in the next few days or so.) It is a while so I painted this, so this may not be exact, but you'll get the idea!

1. Assembly.
  • File down or carefully cut away any flash from the model.
  • Glue to base.
2. 1st Basing.
  • Paint watered-down PVA glue to the base.
  • Dip base into modelling sand
  • Shake away excess and leave to dry
3. Undercoat.
  • Undercoat whole model Chaos Black (I use GW Spray paint.)
4. Drybrush base.
  • Calthan Brown.
  • Snakebite Leather
5. Basecoat.
Apply base colours to all parts of the model:

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.
  • Boltgun Metal: Condenser pipes on Warpfire backpack. Nozzle and handle on warpfire thrower.
  • Red Gore: Robes, flames on small rat that is on fire on the base.
  • Tallarn Flesh: Skin, tail etc.
  • Dwarf Bronze: Warpfire backpack top, chimney, skaven symbol. Bands on warpfire thrower.
  • Dark Angels Green: Warpstone smoke.
  • Codex Grey: Weapon team hoods.
  • Bestial Brown or Calthan Brown: Wooden parts of Warpfire backpack.
  • Vermin Brown or Bestial Brown: Fur.
  • Snakebite Leather: Leather shoulder straps on backpack, weapon team gloves, belts.
  • Bleached Bone: Nails on feet.
6. Layers.
  • Robes: Red Gore/ Blood Red (50/50 Mix), then Red Gore/ Blood Red (25/75 mix) and finally Blood Red.
  • Warpstone Smoke: Snot Green/ Dark Angels Green 50/50 mix, then progressively lighter mixes, working through Snot Green/ Skull White (50/50 then 50/25) and finally almost pure Skull White.
  • Flames on Rat: Red Gore/ Blazing Orange Mix (75/25 then 50/50) Then add some yellow to that mix to get the tip of the flames.
7. Washes.
  • Skin, Tail/ Ears, feet: Ogryn Flesh.
  • Robes: Devlan Mud.
  • Warpfire backpack: Devlan Mud
  • Warpstone smoke: Thrakka Green
8. Drybrushing.
  • Warpfire backpack (Wood parts): Drybrush slighter lighter shade of the basecoat brown (above)
  • Warpfire backpack (Bronzed parts): Light drybrushing of Dwarf Bronze
  • Warpfire thrower hose: Light drybrushing of Chainmail (just to bring out raised areas on hose.)
  • Fur: Light drybrushing of lighter shade of the brown you used as a basecoat. 

9. Highlights.
  • Edges of any parts done in Boltgun Metal: Boltgun Metal OR Chainmail
  • Edge of warpfire weapon barrel: Chainmail OR Dwarf Bronze as appropriate
  • Warpfire backpack edges of Bronzed parts: Dwarf Bronze
  • Nails: Bleached Bone
  • Skin/ Tail/ Ears: Tallarn Flesh/ Dwarf Flesh (50/50 mix)
10. Verdigris (Optional)
This is the light blue patina that you see on old statues or layers of bronze in museums or exposed to the elements. Having this will add an additional sense of age to any bronze parts. Please note, if you haven't done this before, experiment first, as if you get it wrong this is the last stage of the model, so it may be difficult to correct...
  • Heavily water down GW Ice Blue. You'll have to experiment to find the right consistency, but I would say 1 part paint to between 7 and 10 parts water. It should be watery enough that you can wipe away WITHOUT leaving a stain. (Very important so you can correct mistakes if necessary!)
  • Carefully paint onto any bronze parts where Verdigris would naturally appear so that it gathers. See "bluish" areas on photos below on the warpfire backpack and thrower nozzle. (recessed areas, around nails, buttons and joins between bronze parts.)
  • Quickly take a tissue, fold to a point, and dab away any excess, so it is left gathered around the parts mentioned above.
  • Leave remainder to dry. (Be patient!)
  • HINT: Only add Verdigris to one area at a time so you have time to wick or dab away excess before it dries. Don't add to ALL bronze parts on the whole model at the same time! E.g. Do the Bronze top of the backpack, then wipe away. Then do the pipes, then wipe away. Then do the - you get the picture!

11. Final Basing
  • Dab on a couple of spots of PVA glue.
  • Dip in flock.
  • Shake away excess and leave to dry.

Here's the finished Warpfire Thrower...

The observant among you will notice that the guide above closely follows those of the other Clan Skryre units I have done to date as the basic clan colours remain the same. (Warlock Engineer, Warplightning Cannon, Jezzails and Doomwheel.)

Hope you like it. Let me know what you think!


  1. Great Squeek!

    Been waiting for this one! Now I can finally attempt my own 2 weapon teams. (I still look back with a lot of glee, remembering how my poisoned wind mortar in one turn instantly killed my mate's 5 cold one riders :)

    Did you made up your mind yet with which unit to start with now?

    がんばって ください!

  2. Glad you like it and hope that it is useful! I'm happy to hear that your PWM was so effective...I haven't used it yet. Does it work well for you regularly?

    As to the next unit...

    More slaves? Or Rat Ogres?

  3. Very nice painting,
    PArticularly like the puff of green coming out the rear top. A nice effect.

  4. It looks awesome!!! Shouldn't the flame be hottest (whitest) at the bottom and get more green towards the top? Although it is warpstone infused so natural rules are easily discounted


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