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!



  1. Awesome update on the Rat Ogres Squeek! Also really like how you´ve took pictures of them through the stages. Various things happened in my life, so havent been that much on the internet. Must say your painting speed at painting all those clan rats is amazing. Keep up the good work, and deffinitely gonna use some tips from your painting scheme :)


  2. Hello Squeek,

    Nice conversions! But where is that little fellow
    coming from? Is it a conversion of a giant rat, or
    did GW really made midget-Skaven...



  3. Hi Shendar, good to hear from you and thanks for dropping by!
    Honestly speaking, I have to force myself to spend the couple of hours it takes to do a base colour on all 40! I do one base colour a day after coming home from work...
    ...and I'm still not quite done!
    Cheers and good luck with your painting,


  4. @Tis,
    "Nice conversions!" Thanks! :-) The little Skaven isn't a conversion - I certainly don't have the skills necessary to do anything like that.

    I THINK he comes from the Plague Monk box sprue, but I can't remember! Maybe someone else can confirm that.


  5. Hello Squeek,

    your thoughts were right:)

    Yesterday I bought a set of Plague Monks,
    and on the sprue I discovered these little
    mini-Skaven fellows, and also a lot of giant



  6. Glad to be of help Tis! They are pretty funny and make a great addition to a base (or a warmachine, or the shoulder of your Warlord!)

  7. Just returned to share this post with someone 10 years in the future... Pretty amazing your blog stayed in my mind (and browser favorites) for 10 years! Hope your keeping up the good work and still enjoy the hobby!

    1. Thanks or stopping by the Chattering Horde. I haven't updated the blog apart from very occasionally over the last couple of years, so some image links are broken - but I hope that the images that remain and text are still of some interest. I've also noticed that of course GW has introduced new paint lines (Contrast) and retired others, so the paint information needs to be "translated" in places too! Still enjoying hobbying, but haven't been able to get in a game of WH in a long time. Stay safe and well and thanks for coming by!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...