Monday, November 17, 2014

How to Paint a Skaven Warlitter

In my last post, I described the materials and process in scratch-building a Skaven War-litter. This time, let's look at how to paint it. As always, I'm not claiming to be a good painter! All my painting is just so I can get an army on the table that looks good from a distance.

On reflection, the Skaven Warlitter is actually made of 3 distinct parts:

  1. The Skaven Warlord
  2. The litter-bearers (crew)
  3. The Howdah
As I have posted "How to Paint" guides for both the Skaven Warlord and Skaven Stormvermin before, this post will just focus mainly on the howdah.


1. Assembly 

2. Undercoat
I use GW Chaos Black spray, but any modelling undercoat spray will be fine! I prefer Black to White as this is a more forgiving colour for beginners. Anything you miss during painting will just appear to be in shadow.

3. Basecoats
Apply basecoats to the model (See list below)

Note: I still have some of "old" GW/ Citadel paints lying around. If you aren't familiar with them, here is a conversion chart I made to match them up with "new" paints.
  • Calthan Brown: Wooden planks, giant rats (fur)
  • Vermin Brown: Wooden plans (do some planks with this colour, or other, lighter browns, to add some variety to the wood)
  • Tallarn Flesh: giant rats (flesh)
  • Knarloc Green: Standard/ Flag. Also any warpstone chunks (embedded in skull eyesockets)
  • Ice Blue: Skaven Shields.
  • Abaddon Black: Arrows (added later)
  • Leadbelcher: Metallics - halberd blades, spikes, chains etc.
  • Dwarf Bronze: Skaven icon, shield parts.
  • Auric Gold: On edges of the Skaven gold icon on the front of the howdah
  • Bleached Bone: Skulls, cords (attaching flag to flag-pole)
  • Sunburst Yellow: Goblin shield heraldry.
4. Washes
The litter after washes
  • Agrax Earthshade: All wooden parts, flag/ standard, bones,
  • Nuln Oil: metallics (spikes, shield parts, chains, blades etc.)
  • Ogryn Flesh: Giant rat flesh.
NOTE: After highlights and drybrushing (Step 5, below) I made and applied a rust wash using watered-down brown and orange.

5. Highlights/ Drybrushing

After highlights/ drybrushing/ edge highlights. e.g.
Goblin shield (top edge) chains, blades, skulls etc.
  • Calthan Brown/ Skull White (80/20 mix): Drybrush raised areas of wooden planks and edges of wooden planks.
  • Bleached Bone/ Skull White (80/ 20 mix): highlights on skulls, bones etc.
  • Leadbelcher/ Chainmail (50/50 mix): Highlights/ edge highlights on blades etc.
  • Calthan Green/ Scorpion Green (40/60 mix): Edges of warpstone chunks in the skulls.
  • Tallarn Flesh/ Elf Flesh (50/50 mix): Giant rat skin.
  • Calthan Green/ Skull White (50/50 mix): Flag. You can do successively lighter mixes on the raised area of the flag.
From a painting perspective, you are done with the Howdah at this point!

Litter-bearers/ Crew:

As mentioned above, paint these as you would any Stormvermin (guide to mine here).
After painting, they should rank up and look something like this (ready to balance the howdah on top.)
Not ranked up, they can be used as normal, and look like
they are just carrying spears and clubs.

Ranked-up, and ready to lift the war-litter.
The final touch to the litter-bearers (if, like me, you don't want to glue them together or glue them on to a base) is to magnetize them. This will make it easier to use and move them when they are carrying the war-litter. I use magnetic sheet for this, as you an see in this tutorial.

Stormvermin, showing magnetic sheet attached to tray and bases.
Hope this is useful!

In my next post, I will look at how I made the 28mm arrows that you can see on the finished war-litter.

(EDIT: here is a link to "How to Paint a Skaven Warlitter")


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