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!


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