Saturday, September 3, 2011

How to Paint Skaven Night Runners/ Gutter Runners


My Clan Eshin troops have arrived and are now ready to join my Clan. Below you will find a guide to painting up the most common troops of that mysterious clan of assassins, the Night Runners.

At time of writing, these come in a boxed set of 20 plastic figures. One thing to note is that under the 8th edition rules, Night Runners are not very popular on the battlefield. Many warlords seem to view them as overpriced (in points terms) and not as flexible or as lethal as Gutter Runners. For this reason and because of the high price of Gutter Runner models (which come in a small blister pack with only 3 models in) many warlords will use NR models as "counts as" GRs. (After seeking the agreement of their opponent of course!)

Why this lengthy preamble in a "How to paint" guide? Well, intending to use these models as either NRs or GRs, I have gone for a darker colour scheme than I would have done if I was only going to use them as NRs. In fact in friendly games I may even use one or two of the models as Assassins, so the less colourful the better I reckon!

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: preparing the model.

- After assembling each model, file off any excess plastic ("flash").
- Carefully paint PVA glue onto the bases and around the feet of the character.
- Immediately dip into modelling sand, remove and let stand until dry.
- Remove excess sand by tapping the base of the model.

Step 2. Undercoat.

- Undercoat all models using Citadel Chaos Black spraypaint (or equivalent).

Step 3. Basecoat.

The following citadel colours were used.
- Base top: Calthan Brown (overbrush or drybrush over sand)
- Base edges: Vermin Brown.
- Fur; Vermin Brown or Calthan Brown.
- Weapons/ studs; Boltgun Metal.
- Pouches; Calthan Brown.
- Leather Caps; Calthan Brown/ Snakebite Leather mix (1:1)
- Bandages/ straps (where tiger-claws are on hands); Calthan Brown/ Bleached Bone mix (1:1)
- Skin (Face/ Hands); Tallarn Flesh/ Dwarf Flesh mix (1:1)
Note: Leave cape/ armour/ trousers and boots untouched and in the Chaos Black undercoat for the time being.

Tip 1: To save time, on a unit of Skaven I usually leave 25% of the unit with black fur (the Chaos Black undercoat), and do 25% with Calthan Brown fur, and the remaining 50% with Vermin Brown fur (or another brown). This also adds a bit of variety to the colouring of the unit.
Tip 2: To save even MORE time, consider using the tip above, but just roughly drybrushing the fur instead of actually painting it. If you do this as the very FIRST basecoat, it doesn't matter if you accidentally drybrush other bits of the model brown because you will be tidying up as you go along.

Step 4: Washes.
- Fur: Devlan Mud.
- Skin: Ogryn Flesh.
- Weapons: Devlan Mud.
- Weapons: (after Devlan Mud is dry) A very watered-down Solar Macharius Orange wash, stippled on, and dabbed off with a tissue while wet. (For better effect, once the first wash is dry, stipple on another layer)

Step 5. Drybrushing.
- Fur: Depending on the fur colour you originally used, very lightly drybrush a lighter shade of that colour.
E.g. Vermin Brown? Vermin Brown/ Skull White mix (80:20).
Calthan Brown? Calthan Brown/ Skull White mix (80:20).
- Black clothes, armour, trousers etc: Codex Grey/Chaos Black mix (80:20)
-Skin/ tail: Dwarf Flesh.
- Base: Calthan Brown/ Snakebite Leather: (50:50 mix)

Step 6: Highlights.
- Eyes: A dot of Blood Red
- Teeth: Bleached Bone (gently running your brush along the teeth is easier than trying to pick out each tooth one-by-one IMHO.)
- Edges of pouches/ Leather Straps: Snakebite Leather.
- Weapon edges: Boltgun Metal or Chainmail.

Step 7: Final Basing.
- Brush small areas of PVA glue onto the base.
- Dip into flock to simulate grass or apply electrostatic grass clumps if preferred.


Let me know if you have any suggestions for improvement of course!



  1. Some nice simple work there. I like them, and to me it's one of the units I really like about the skaven.

    Nice going.

  2. Very nice result. This is very helpful, too. We need to paint a Skaven Warband for Mordheim and this looks like the way to do it. Thanks :)

  3. Dear Squeek,

    I really like the look yóu've given the "nightrunners". (They make great gutterrunner substitutes). My own personal problem on these miniatures is that they feel dated. That they don't really mix well with the newer models. Whats your view on that?



  4. Thanks everyone for the comments. I'm glad that this post will be of use! They did come out looking pretty simple, but I think that is about right for Clan Eshin models for the most part.

    @Shendar - totally agree with you. They DO feel dated when compared to the 5th Generation/ Island of Blood models, but you could convert some of the newer models by removing their shields and giving them some "Eshin - looking" weapons etc.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. some really useful advice considering I have recently started my own project

  7. @uniteallaction - glad to be of some use! :-) Thanks for visiting the blog!


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