Friday, April 29, 2011

Clanrats update - bases.


Due to the royal wedding (or actually, the drinking that accompanied the royal wedding) I didn't get too much done tonight in modeling terms.

But I did manage to spend 30-45 minutes or so magnetizing all 40 of the Clanrats in my latest unit. Due to the fact that I have done this several times now I was able to get it done pretty quickly and the results seem satisfactory. The magnetic sheet I use isn't too strong, but it still allows me to hold the unit just about perpendicular to the table without the whole lot falling off.

There are a ton of ways of doing this, but I have stuck with the way that I find pretty simple, which is cutting to size very cheap magnetic sheet and gluing it to the bottom of each model. I then put down some sheet on the movement tray using double-sided sticky tape.

You can find a full guide to painting and magnetizing movement trays here.

Pretty easy, but not entirely without problems - it is sometimes difficult to get the units to rank up perfectly due to the magnetism of the sheets - but it is very cheap!

In the next couple of days I hope to finish off some of the detailing on my Screaming Bell and then get to work on my Hell Pit Abomination (will I get it finished before my next game on Wednesday?)

Until then...


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How to paint Skaven Clanrats (Island of Blood)


"Ifs ya gonna be Skaven, ya gots to has lots of Clannies!"

"Ere, quit pushin' at the back!"

The new models by Games Workshop are (in my opinion) a huge improvement over previous generations - for one thing, they are much easier to assemble and paint. For another, much more durable! (I've lost count of the number of times the tails of the older models have dropped off when knocked...)
Below you will find a step-by-step guide to a basic process for painting "5th Generation" Clanrats to what many people would call "Tabletop" standard. (To compare Clanrats through the ages, take a look at this excellent post over at My Wargame.) I'm not a great painter, so can't do much better than this anyway!
(By the way, if you are looking for older Clanrat models, take a look here. While I don't like these sculpts, they are cheap if you can get them on ebay and they make good Skavenslaves.)

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.) First basing and undercoat:
After assembly, liberally apply PVA glue to base and dip in modelling sand. Wait until dry, then undercoat. (I use Chaos Black spraypaint.) 

Earth: Drybrush Calthan Brown across the sand.
Base edges: Calthan Brown.
(I like to do my bases like this at the beginning so that I get it out of the way. Nothing depresses me more than finishing 40 models and then going back to do basic work on the bases!) 

B.) Basecoat:
I do these in the following order (so I can cover splatters or mistakes easily.) 
- Skin/ Tail/ Feet: Tallarn Flesh.
- Fur: Calthan Brown.
- Cloth: Ice Blue.
- Metal: Boltgun metal. (Weapons, belt buckle)
- Leathers: Snakebite leather. (Belt, wristband, armour crosspiece on the back of the Clanrat.)

- Wood: Calthan Brown. (Spear haft, wooden shields.) 

C.) Apply Washes: 
- Skin: Ogryn Flesh.
- Armour, robes, weapons: Liberally apply Devlan Mud.
- Rust on weapons or armour: Very watered down Solar Macharius Orange. 

Basecoat colours only.

After Ogryn Flesh Wash.

After "Rust" wash (watery Macharius Solar Orange)

D.) Layers:
(Reapply base colours and add layers of lighter shades/ colours) 
- Skin/ Tail/ Feet: Calthan Brown/Dwarf Flesh 50/50 mix on raised areas, then 25/50 mix.
(Be careful to leave some Tallarn flesh areas and the shadows created by the Devlan Mud wash and the black undercoat - especially on the tail.)
- Cloth: Ice Blue/ Skull White 75/25 mix on raised edges, then 50/50 mix. 

- Leathers: Snakebite leather/ Skull white (50/50 mix). 

After layering on flesh.


E.) Drybrushing: (Optional)
- Fur: Drybrush Calthan Brown/ Skull White (50/50).
- 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/ armour.

F.) Final Basing:  
- Base: Drybrush Tallarn Flesh
- Apply dabs of PVA glue onto the base and dip into green flock.
Just a couple of final notes... preferred method is to sit down for 2 hours every night for a few days and complete one step on all 40 models in each session (E.g. Adding a different base colour, doing one wash, painting the bases etc.) slowly making my way up to the same standard for all models.  Using this approach I am able to fully complete a unit in about a week.  

However, this time around I decided to only add detail on the command unit (Champion, Standard Bearer, Musician) to save time. I saw this in an edition of White Dwarf - basically, you spend the most time and effort on the front rank, with progressively less detail on the back ranks. (Back ranks would get only as far as washes, ranks in front of that would get highlights on hand and face only, front few ranks would get full highlights and drybrushes as well....)

...definitely consider a "Rust" wash on all weapons using very watered down Solar Macharius Orange. It is the easiest way to add a really "Skaven" feeling of dirt and disuse to the whole unit. When applying, dab away excess with a dry tissue to leave a "mottled" rust effect.

Hope this is useful!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Screaming Bell Project Update...


So nearly, nearly there...

Pics below, but still got to do:
  • Final drybrushing (wood, metals etc.)
  • Detail washes (rust, patina etc.)
  • Base details (plants etc.)
Here is where we are now...

I managed to get enough painted to use this bell in battle for the first time last weekend. I didn't have the Grey Seer painted at that time, so I mounted my regular Grey Seer on the front and actually it looked fine.

Any constructive feedback or criticism is welcome of course!



Thursday, April 21, 2011

New Project - Screeeeeaming Bell!

Something (my little voices tell me) no self respecting warlord should be without. Having stolen a load of fungus from a nearby Goblin Clan and then re-sold it back to them at a higher price, I used my profits to order this moving monument to the Great Horned One many moons ago...

...and since then it has sat on the shelf, undercoated and waiting to see the light of day.

One thing I should say is that at the time I put it together, I decided to spare some thinking power to the challenge of how to ensure that I could use it as both a Screaming Bell and a Plague Furnace. I came up with a (relatively) simple bodge that means it is easy to swap between the two configurations. 

When I write up the step-by-step guide I'll post instructions.  

In the meantime, here are some pics of the model, basecoated and ready to receive washes.

Main carriage.


Bell. (Dwarf Bronze and Mithril Silver)

Plague Furnace

Top of Plague Furnace

Modification to allow dual-use.

Wheels. Calthan Brown and Vermin Brown

Bell supports

Main carriage detail.
 I don't actually think I will have this finished in time for Sunday's game, but I should be almost there. Of course I will still have to do the crew even when I finish the main piece. (Rat Ogre, Grey Seer and Plague Monks.)


Sunday, April 17, 2011

New Clanrats Unit - FINISHED!


OK, so I thought at stage 7 I had got these good enough to go on the battlefield, but of course that is never the case. So, having a little bit of time I thought I would add a few details to see if I couldn't bring the overall level of the unit up and try a few new things.

  • Added Tallarn Flesh/ Dwarf Flesh 50/50 mix highlights to all the ears and most of the faces (and some of the arms and hands.)
  • Added Solar Macharius Orange rust throughout the unit's weapons.
  • Spent some time on the unit banner and painted it Codex Grey with layered grey highlights to add some depth.
  • Focused a little bit on the command group and added a few details such as Shining Gold highlights onto Dwarf Bronze bits and Snakebite leather highlights to belts etc.
  • Added grass/ flock to 75% of the bases of the unit.
  • Added Skaven symbols in the main army colour (Ice Blue) to some shields.
So here we are - another unit of 40 Clanrats to add to Squeek's Warlord Clan. That brings me up to 120 Clanrats now. You will find a few pics below. 

I will post a step-by-step guide for these Island of Blood Clanrats (as opposed to "4th Generation" Clanrats) over the next week or so. In the meantime all constructive criticism welcome - let me know what you think.

Added army colour (Ice Blue) symbols on some shields.

Clanrat detail. Added rust to armour and sword.

Clanrat detail. Added rust to armour and sword.

The "business end".


Friday, April 15, 2011

How to Paint Skaven Rat Ogres (Island of Blood).


In advance of my first ever WFB battle (you can see more on that here) I realized that I really didn't have any "Hammer" units to supplement my units of Clanrats. Looking at my line up, I had 2 Rat Ogres painted but that was it.

Taking a look on my shelf, I realized that I had 4 Island of Blood ROgres undercoated. Thinking that they would be the fastest way to add some more power I set about getting them done in one day. I managed to get them good enough to go on the table (yup, I'm one of those guys who hates to field unpainted models - although I don't mind if my opponent does) so that was cool, but after the battle I realized that my initial dislike of these sculpts had faded and I wanted to spend more time on them...

So I did a few things extra:

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.
  • Finally got some Solar Macharius Orange to add a decent rust effect on the weapons.
  • Added some detail to the base of one to add a bit of humour (added one of the "Mini Skaven" you find on the sprues).
  • Added a club/ banner to one of the ROgres.
  • Spend more time than usual on the highlighting.
  • Tried to add some Warpstone "Glow" effect for the first time around the chunks of warpstone embedded in the ROgre skin.
I hope you like them (step-by-step guide below these pics...)
x4 Island of Blood Rat Ogres. The two at right with small conversions.
Rust on armour (at left)

Purple wash in the incisions, between the stitches.
Added a banner for a club (left) and a little friend (right)

Rat Ogre with banner/ club.

Club/ banner detail
Rat Ogre with "Leetle Friend"
Detail of tiny Skaven!
Warpstone "Glow" effect - a first try for me!
The little friend - again!
The new, improved squad!
1. Undercoat. 
(Note: I usually brush PVA glue onto the base and dip in modelling sand before undercoating.)
  • GW Chaos Black.
2. Basecoat.

A bit 'o basecoatin'

  • Tallarn Flesh: skin, tail
  • Dwarf Bronze: bronze parts on weapons/ machinery.
  • Boltgun Metal: weapon parts, armour, blades etc.
  • Snakebite Leather: leather straps, leather buckles, rope etc.
  • Bleached Bone: bandages, stitches, nails, teeth.
  • Scorpion Green: warpstone, pipes from equipment.
  • Red Gore: Eyes.
  • Blood Red: Eyes (a point on top of the Red Gore.)
  • Ice Blue: loincloth.
  • Calthan Brown: banner pole.
  • Codex Grey: robes on "Little Skaven".
  • Vermin Brown (or another brown): fur on "Little Skaven".
3. Washes.
  • Ogryn Flesh: On skin painted with Tallarn Flesh.
  • Devlan Mud: On armour.
  • Gryphonne Sepia: bandages.
  • Liche Purple: (heavily watered down) in scars, where skin is stitched together.
  • Solar Macharius Orange: (heavily watered down) on weapon blades and armour.
4. Highlights.
  • Tallarn Flesh/ Dwarf Flesh 50/50 mix on raised areas of skin. (Edges of ears, raised muscle etc.) Then Tallarn Flesh/ Dwarf Flesh/ Dwarf Flesh 50/ 25 / 25 if you want an even lighter effect
  • Chainmail on edges of armour.
  • Ice Blue/ Skull White 50/50 mix on raised ares of loincloth.
  • Codex Grey/ Skull White 50/50 mix on raised areas of robes (on Little Skaven)
  • Scorpion Green/ Skull White 50/ 50 mix on warpstone.
  • Snakebite Leather/ Skull White 75/ 25 mix on edges of leather straps, rope etc.
5. Drybrushing.
  • Codex Grey: A light brushing on the fur to lighten up the black fur.
  • Dwarf Bronze/ Shining Gold on edges of Dwarf Bronze mechanical parts.
  • Very light application of Scorpion Green/ Skull White 50/50 mix on skin around warpstone chunks that are embedded in the skin. (Better to do this very lightly, and if it isn't enough gently add another application.)
6. Bases.
  •  Overbrush or Drybrush Calthan Brown on the base.
  •  Overbrush or Drybrush Calthan Brown/ Skull White 75/ 25 mix.
  •   Drybrush Codex Grey.
  • Apply areas of PVA glue.
  • Dip in modelling grass/ flock (or sprinkle on.)
  • Leave to dry and then shake or blow off.
7. Conversions.
Not being any good with green-stuff and not having a particularly useful bits box means that I keep my aspirations simple. Usually I simply add a couple of visual points of interest. The goal? Have just a bit of variation in a unit. This is particularly important with the Island of Blood Rat Ogres. Although each sculpt is cool, they do look really "samey" when there are more than two of them together. Unlike the other GW rat ogres there are no options for different hands or heads of whatever, so a little bit of creativity is required.

Conversion 1: "Yes, Yes, take the banner..."
This is a banner taken from a Skaven chieftain model (and replaced on the chieftain with a Doomwheel banner so that the chieftain becomes the army Battle Standard Bearer - take a look under the "Heroes" section of my Clan photos page). I thought it would look cool in the ROgre's hands - perhaps he ripped it off of a (dead? dismembered?) Skaven. It is almost as if it is a toy - but a toy that he loves to use to beat the foe to death!

Conversion 2: "Say hello to my little friend"!
As any Skaven knows, our sprues seem to be blessed with the addition of plenty of Giant Rats and other bits that come in useful, ESPECIALLY for adding some visual interest to our bases. A particularly cool/ amusing extra are the "mini-Skaven". In this case I thought my dim-witted ROgres might need a little bit of extra help finding the enemy...and this little chap pointing the way seemed to be just the ticket! Now, he is standing on a "Rock", which brings me to...

Conversion 3: "Your rocks/ logs are made of...?" corks.
- Pull the wine cork apart and rough up the edges so there are no natural curves or lines.
- Paint with Codex Grey OR Calthan Brown.
- Drybrush with Fortress Grey OR Calthan Brown/ Skull White 50/50 mix.
- Dab on some PVA Glue.
- Dip in flock/ modelling grass.
- Voila!

Hope you like them. Don't hesitate to give me feedback or comments. I'm sure there are plenty of things that I could do better.
Thanks for looking!

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