Friday, December 30, 2011

Completed Warhammer Chapel

I've been away a long time... (Curse you Skyrim and Battlefield 3!)
...but now I'm back, and hope to continue to update the site with Skaven-related painting projects. I have also decided to add other bits and pieces. Naturally, these will all be relevant to my Skaven hobby and Warhammer Fantasy Battle.

Case in point, WFB scenery and terrain - the first of which is this Games Workshop Chapel that I bought before Christmas and have just finished. I will add new terrain and scenery pictures to the new "Scenery" page of the blog, but in the meantime I thought I would share some pics and (below them) some lessons learned.

Hope you like it - all constructive criticism welcome!

Completed model, with washes and drybrushing
With Clanrat for scale
1. Basecoat.

2. Washes:
3. Drybrushing:
Finished item.
Washed and Drybrushed
Washed and Drybrushed
The kit comes with lots of options, including weather vanes, chimneys, decorations for the roof, door options and more, (which you can see on the GW Chapel product page) but I decided to keep this one very simple and dispense with most of the bits and pieces. The simple fact is that I tend to take my scenery with me when travelling to a game and the more bits there are, the more likely they are to break off!

Lessons learned:
1. Allow more time than you think for painting structures. They look simple, but actually they contain as much, or more detail, than most troops. Skulls, decorations, window panes, statues, rivets, cracks etc can all take a long time!
2. Add statues later. Paint the main structure first, and paint any statues or other objects to be added separately. In this case, it was an real pain to get behind the statues to paint the building structure and it still looks untidy. If I had painted the structure first and then glued on already-painted statues it would all look better (and have save time in terms of touch ups.)
3. Don't rush your drybrushing. I did, and the roof ended up looking "streaky". Make sure that your drybrush really is nearly devoid of paint, and then drybrush lightly at first, building up from there. Mine came out OK but only when viewed from a distance.
4. Pay extra attention when gluing walls together. Despite having filed everything down, when I glued the main structure together I ended up with a lot of walls and corners that didn't quite match. This is really visible when painted.

Overall though, I think it looks fine when viewed from a distance.

Thanks for visiting and see you again soon, when I will post pics of my completed Citadel Realm of Battle Gameboard...


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Whirling death!

"Ahh, what is that noise? A scraping, squeeking, high-pitched whine, interspersed with occasional screams?

It can only be the sound of unwilling slaves being forced into the path of an oncoming Doom-Flayer (one naturally has to test every item on loan from Clan Skryre - for could not my many rivals bribe my suppliers into giving me dodgy equipment?) 
Fortunately, my unwilling subjects being sliced and diced into fleshy cubes makes the remains of this experiment even more edible, ensuring my clan's tunnels are quickly gnawed clean by my servants
 (bar the odd piece of cloth and offal...which surely adds atmosphere to my burrow)."

Copyright Games Workshop.
Please visit 
The Doom-Flayer has a couple of things going for it:
1. A very characterful addition to a Skaven army.
2. Quite a nice model (now available as Finecast)
3. A decent number of attacks - if you are lucky. (Artillery dice at strength 4)
4. Decent front armour? (3+)
5. Cheap (55 points)

On the other hand...
1. Shockingly poor survivability. (1 wound? ONE WOUND!)
2. Only as tough as a man-thing. (T3?)
3. Terribly vulnerable to the side and rear. (5+ to the rear)

Depending on what you read, the "Skaven Segway" can be useful when used as a hammer unit against a low-toughness opponent who is already engaged with your Clanrats or Stormvermin - or a complete failure! Having never used one, I can't make any recommendations except to say that the advice of keeping it close to it's parent unit makes sense. (As a weapons team, it benefits from a 4+ ward save against shooting.)

I've got hold of a couple of these (metal, not Finecast), so will post photos when done!




Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Just a small update today of my ABOUT ME section. I struggle to remember the games systems that I enjoyed reading or playing in my youth, but made an attempt to update the list today...

...It may turn into quite an essay.

Some good memories there. Any of you all played any of the systems I list when you were young? (or still do?)


Monday, October 10, 2011

Rat-men alternatives?


After finishing-up my Plagueclaw Catapult/ Warplightning Cannon and adding it to my Warlord Army list, I'm thinking about what path to take next and have settled on one of the following:

  • Another 10 Plague Monks to boost my unit up to a more respectable (more deadly) x40.
  • A unit of 20 Stormvermin.
  • A couple of Master Moulders.
  • A Warp Grinder (to go with my Gutter Runners.)
  • Scar-Scath (to use as an alternative Vermin Lord)
Any ideas or recommendations? (A few people have asked me to do the Stormvermin before, so I might go with that.)

In the "Other random thoughts and machinations dept." (the darkest tunnel to the left of my burrow) I have been thinking about alternative models that have recently taken my fancy. This isn't because I don't like the GW Skaven (I do) If you are like me you may want to consider alternative models for a couple of several reasons:
a.) Spice up your ranks with something unusual as a talking point to your army.
b.) Take a break from painting the same models.
c.) Introduce sculpts that have an alternative back-story.
A word to the wise: Before investing your warptokens (dollars, pounds or otherwise) always checkout the sizes of non-GW models carefully before purchasing. Think about whether they will be suitable complements to your army in terms of size. Also, if the model will be adding any rules to your force that are outside a Warhammer Army Book, then definitely check first with your opponent for permission to field that unit or model. 
(Yes, I know Warhammer Forge is part of GW, but even so...)

Here are some rat-men themed models that recently caught my attention:

Please visit: Warhammer Forge for more information
Please visit: Warhammer Forge for more information
To anyone who has been looking for a decent alternative mount for a warlord this beauty (?) has to take the cake! If you are like me and you haven't scratch-built or converted anything to use as a Bonebreaker Rat-Ogre or Warlitter and your Warlord still has to unceremoniously trudge into battle, this could be just the thing (if you have many warp-tokens that is...)

While many Skaven players overall seem to prefer a Warlitter  to a monstrous creature, this would undeniably have impact on a gaming table, as well as the ranks of your enemies!

I haven't checked out the rules, but something to remember may be that if this is a monstrous creature (and surely it is) it can't join units, so would be a pretty good target to be cannon-sniped by an opponent. Also, as a Forgeworld item you would usually ask your opponent's permission to field this.

Please visit BaneLords for more information
Please visit BaneLords for more information
This awesome looking standard bearer definitely brings something different to the table in terms of rat-men aesthetics. (If there is such a thing). As Pete Dunn over at the excellent Fields of Blood points out, Quick-Blade brings a more brutish, hulking look to your army (btw nice paint job Pete!)
I am a big fan of the BaneBeasts and BaneLords sculpts having purchased Scar-Scath from them. 
(Lizard-man/ Slann Player? Check out Keirioc-Cro...)

Avatars of War Vermin Clan Lord
Please visit Avatars of War for more information

The Vermin Lord has a small range of weapon/ arm variations. He reminds me of Queek with those banner poles, although (thankfully) not quite as extreme in terms of "attachments"! 
I hadn't heard of Avatars of War until recently, but you can see that they have a great looking selection of lords and heroes for a variety of fantasy races, as well as units for some of them. Based in Spain, they have developed a system for miniatures battles using cards and only 5 or so minis per side (Find out more about Arena Deathmatch here)

Choices, choices! When I do get to play it is usually with a small, casual group of friends, so I don't think there would be any problems in fielding these models. The only problems (as usual) are warptokens and time!

Comments of course welcome.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Dual Use Plagueclaw Catapult/ Warplightning Cannon Conversion Guide


The current GW Skaven Plagueclaw Catapult/ Warplightning Cannon box allows you to make one or other of these fine warmachines (I think that was the intention anyway).

However, if you are low on Warptokens, you may want to consider this simple conversion for being able to keep this kit "Dual-use" so you can have either model in your army depending on your need.

Step 1:
Clip away the wires on the front of the Warplightning cannon. Then, attach the Plague Claw Catapult basket to the back of the WLC arm.

Your catapult/ cannon assembly will then look like this.

Step 2:
Put the whole assembly in the frame first (there is a "tall" frame configuration and a "low" frame configuration - use the "low" one.) Make sure you don't glue the axle in place. You should be able to rotate the whole catapult/ cannon assembly around the axle freely.

Step 3:
File away a small curve in the floorboards of the frame, so that the whole cannon/ plague claw catapult unit can rotate freely.

Note how the cannon parts can now rotate past the floorboards.

Step 4:
Finally, attach the floorboards. If you do this and you DON'T GLUE THE CREW IN PLACE (I put them separately on bases) you should be able to rotate the whole arm so it is either pointing:
a.) "Forward" (towards the spikey front of the unit) in "Warplightning cannon mode" (with the PGC basket facing downwards)
b.) "Backwards" in "Plagueclaw Cannon Mode" (with the PGC basket facing upwards.)

a.) Warplightning cannon mode...
b.) Plagueclaw catapult mode...
Once it is all painted up you should have something like this:

I hope that this is useful. As with my Screaming Bell/ Plague Furnace conversion I didn't have any magnets with me, so this conversion relies on a bit of clipping and filing only. I am sure there are easier ways to do this, so please add your comments below!

As I have said before...
...Clan Skryre is CUNNING yes-YES?

p.s. Don't forget that I have put up a step-by-step painting guide for this model here.

How to paint a Plagueclaw Catapult/ Warplightning Cannon. Step-by-Step Guide.

Below you will find a (long!) step-by-step guide to painting a Skaven Plagueclaw Catapult to what I reckon would be "Tabletop quality". This is the Games Workshop plastic kit that can usually be assembled as either a Plagueclaw catapult or a Warplightning cannon. (For a step-by-step guide to painting the metal Warplightning Cannon kit click here.)

Note: this guide focuses on painting, rather than assembly. The kit comes with instructions for several variations to suit different tastes. For my model (as you can see if you look closely) this is actually a simple conversion of the kit that allows me to use it as either a PCC or a WLC.

Before you start:
1. Don't glue the body of the unit to the base until after you have finished painting the whole thing main structure.
2. If you want to make the item "Dual-use" at time of assembly DON'T glue the barrel or axle in place. The barrel/ central structure should be free to rotate. (Friction should be enough to hold the whole thing together.)
3. For ease of painting, you may want to keep the 3 main pieces of the unit separate until after painting (left frame, right frame, and catapult/ cannon.) This will make it much easier to paint the frame. (Trust me, it is MUCH harder to do if you glue it all together first. I you don't have to!) I didn't glue the model to the base until everything was painted up.

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: Assembly and Undercoat.
1. Prepare the model by filing away any mould lines. On this model, you may find quite a few on the beams of the catapult frame and the barrel of the cannon. They may not look big, but they will show up even more when you paint the model, so take the time to remove them now!
2. Paint PVA glue onto the base, and dip in modelling sand. Allow to dry, and then tap the base to remove any loose sand.
3. Undercoat all parts using Citadel Chaos Black undercoat spray (or equivalent.)
4. At this point, I drybrush Calthan Brown onto the bases of the crew and the catapult followed by a second drybrush of Calthan Brown/ Skull white 80/20. I then paint the base edges with Snakebite Leather. (I just prefer to do this at the beginning of a project, rather than at the end.)
Chaos Black Undercoat.

Step 2: Basecoat(s).
Apply thin layers of colour (better to reapply a colour than have a layer that is too thick and obscures detail.)
a.) Catapult:
Calthan Brown: Wooden frame.
Boltgun Metal: PCC Claw, metal parts, wheel rims, nails, blades, spikes on frame.
Dwarf Bronze: WLC barrel runes, cannon assembly.
Mechrite Red: Wires/ tubes on frame and on the warpstone boulder.
Bleached Bone/ Sunburst Yellow: 80/20 mix on the PGC "Payload" (the "gunk"!)
Dark Angels Green: Warpstone, WLC "barrel".

b.) Crew:
Tallarn Flesh: Skin, Tail, Face, feet.
Boltgun Metal: Armour, tools, weapons.
Snakebite Leather: belt, gloves.
Bleached Bone: Teeth.
Blood Red: Eyes
Ice Blue: Cloth.
Regal Blue: Lenses on engineer's rangefinder (if using that part.)

After basecoats, before washes etc. (Note how "Shiny" the metal is.)

Step 3: Washes.
a.) Catapult:
Devlan Mud. (simple eh!)

b.) Catapult payload:
Bleached Bone/ Sunburst Yellow: 80/20 mix, with Thrakka Green (not TOO much. Just enough so you get a runny green/ yellow.)
Thrakka Green. (between the bubbles. )

c.) Crew:
Devlan Mud: Armour, weapons, cloth.
Ogryn Flesh: Skin.

Step 4: Drybrushing
Now that you have added some depth and shadow to the model by using washes, drybrushing will help to give contrast by adding highlights so the whole thing doesn't look too dark . In this case, to keep things simple and fast, drybrushing will be as simple as using the exact same colours that we did before and done only once. To get more contrast, or for a better effect, add a little bit of white to the colour. If you want an even better effect, do 2-3 gentle layers of drybrushing, each time adding a little more white. (You can find a great guide here: Guide to Drybrushing on How to Paint Miniatures)

Detail of drybrushing - Calthan Brown

You don't have to drybrush all colours for a model that is just for tabletop play...
a.) Catapult.
Calthan Brown. (Wood frame.)
Boltgun Metal.
Mechrite Red.
Bleached Bone/ Sunburst Yellow.
Dark Angels Green/ Snot Green. (70/30 mix) (On the warpstone. Then a further drybrushing with 60/40 mix.

b.) Catapult payload:
Bleached Bone/ Sunburst Yellow: 80/20 mix.

c.) Crew:

Boltgun Metal: Armour, tools, weapons.
Ice Blue: Cloth.
(If you havn't already drybrushed the bases on the crew, do it now. Calthan Brown, then Calthan Brown/ Skull White 80/20 mix)

Step 5: Highlights
Highlights add more realism and visual interest to the model, and make the detail of the model stand out more, especially when viewed from a distance. This is as easy as adding a tiny dot of a brighter colour to a point, or "edge highlighting" where you use a brighter colour on edges.

a.) Catapult:
Chainmail: Spikes, nails, edge highlights on the barrel.
Shining Gold: edges of any Dwarfbronze area on the WLC.

b.) Catapult payload:
Bleached Bone/ Sunburst Yellow: 70/30 mix.

c.) Crew:
Chainmail: edges of armour etc.
Shining Gold: edges of engineer's rangefinder.
Snakebite Leather/ skull white: 80/20 mix. Leather gloves, belts etc.
Dwarf Flesh/ Elf Flesh: 70/30 mix (on skin, arms etc.)
Dwarf Flesh/ Elf Flesh highlights

Step 6: Details
a.) Rust.
Rust wash on nails, bolts, blades etc. (VERY watered down Solar Macharius Orange, dabbed on, and then quickly dabbed off with a tissue so it stays in cracks etc.) You can also paint thin streaks of rust onto the model where rusty streaks might occur, such as metal that would be immobile - nuts, nails etc.
Rust on blades at the front of the frame.

Rust on nails and metal fittings, with streaks painted on.

b.) Warpstone Glow.
Using the same shade as used when drybrushing the warpstone, gently drybrush areas of metal near the warpstone chunks, where the glow of the warpstone might be reflected.
Warpstone glow added to Bronze assembly.
c.) Lenses on the Engineer's Rangefinder.
On the lower edge of the lens, apply 2-3 progressively lighter shades of Regal Blue towards the lower rim of the lens, and the same shade at the top of the lens, topped off with a dot of Skull White. (A great tutorial for painting a lens can be found over at Advanced Tau Tactica.)
Blue lens on rangefinder.

Step 7: Final Basing.
At the beginning of the project, I prepped the bases by drybrushing them. Now I want to add some grass/ flock.
1. Paint on areas of PVA glue to the base.
2. Dip in modelling flock and allow to dry.
3. Once dry, glue the model to the base.


NOTE: You never really finish a model, as there is stuff you can always add. In this case, next steps might be:
- Add some bronze patina to "age" the bronze.
- Add some detail to the base to make it more interesting (grass, rocks, arrows embedded in the mud etc.)

Thanks for looking!


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Finished Plagueclaw Catapult/ Warplightning cannon!


"Elf-things (and other low toughness enemies..) BEWARE!!
Today a new era of long-distance fetid death-dealing mechanical dominance begins! Yes,yes. Behold, a simple process has given us the dual-use Plagueclaw catapult/ Warplightning cannon conversion!

As yet untested in battle (although tested on slaves) this wonder saves many-much warptokens for any warlord AND requires no warlock-like engineering skillz or dark artz to assemble..."

Now all I need is a suitably Skaven-like name!
-Plaguelightning dispenser?
-Plaguelighting cannon?
-Warpclaw scatterpult?
-Clawlightning hurler?
Fellow children of the Horned God can you help me choose a name??

Ideas and comments below please after some more pictures...

Some of the things that I tried here and found challenging:
-Blue lenses on the crew's range-finder/ binoculars.
-A glow of warpstone on the metal around the warpstone core.
-The gunk of the plagueclaw's horrible payload!


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