Modelling the masses – New plastic Skaven
Neil has done a great job in the last couple of weeks, really holding the torch alone for Warhammer Fantasy on this new venture. Lets face it, is a mainly warhammer 30,000 affair at the moment.
WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve seen the evolution of the humble Clanrat, from Warhammer Fantasy Regiments, through the monkey years, to present day. Neil has covered the tactical and theme options of the new Skaven book in great detail.
I plan to skew aÃ‚Â little from this. My primary interest is modelling and painting and I hope to give a little insight as my new Skaven horde grows. Hopefully you can see my triumphs, and failures, as I go, and maybe pick up some good ideas! (Or show me where I’m going wrong..)
For my virgin article, I’ll be concentrating on the new plastics and the possibilities therein…
Unlike some of the previous skaven sprues (see Monkey rats in Neils last entry,) GW have crammed a shed load of kit onto these frames. In the Clanrats sprue, models are largely one piece with additional hand weapons on the right arm. These fit with a ball and socket like joint.
The variance is pretty cool. Extra hand weapons (arguably for me the best choice for Clanrats,) consist of meat cleavers, long knives, curved daggers, scimitars, nun chucks, sticks with nails. The other option is the selection of pretty wicked spears. (Really, they stab you pretty well in the finest pointy tradition) You get some nice, sharp shield designs too, gone are the chunky pizza base shields of the Monkey era.
ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no defined Ã¢â‚¬Å“championÃ¢â‚¬Â model, to coin the old term, but one can easily be put together with the featured parts like a helmet crest, showier shields and more armoured rats. In my case. I used an Ork glyph from the Space Wolf Wolfguard modelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s base to add height and weight to the clawleader. I also gave him a spear, and the crest. He stands out a bit now.
The models themselves can be used as slaves but I find that the whole box is a bit too regimented and warlike for that. Some are in full armour, which I find hard to believe a slave would don before being thrown into the grinder. Others, wearing manacles and loincloths, are more appropriate.
For my painting method, I started by spraying the lot calthan brown foundation. I then detailed loincloths, some armour,tunics etc in scab red. Metal areas in brazen brass, or boltun metal, all washed with watered down Devlan Mud.
I washed the boltun areas, like sword blades, with Vermin Brown, for a rust effect – these areas were then highlighted back up on the edges with mithril silver. This represents untarnished metal, nicked and chipped, sharpened and used. Strikes through the rust help this effect.
Picked out the details in fur with tallarn flesh/vermin brown 50-50 mix. Keep it varied, not all those rats are going to look the same! Obviously you want the theme carrying through; I used the red for this. I also try to build and paint a scenic movement tray for all of my units before I start, I find this helps give me direction. The skull and wood details are from the Wood Elf Dryad box set.
The Stormvermin are a totally different prospect. Pricey even for a GW regiment box, at Ã‚Â£30 for 20 models they do however offer a huge amount of customization, weapon options and are much, much more detailed. And BIGGER!
As you can see, contrary to the Clanrats, these bodies come in two halves. A heavy armoured front, which fits snugly into an armoured skirt back with a tail. Separate heads (of which you get many spare,) plug in between the shoulder blades, and the same ball and socket system for arms is also applied here.
Annoyingly, although the frames were relatively free of mould lines, the two sides of the models donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t fit together without some gaps. This is irritating but forgivable, but at Ã‚Â£30 I would expect better. The arms are holding halberds mostly, those aggravating “two arms to glue down holding one weapon” builds, which you can guarantee are a sod to glue together without quick dry superglue and sometimes need altering. Thankfully, some come on their own, allowing you to rank the unit easier, and add in the hand weapons as represented in their profiles. As you can also see, the command frame is pretty well stocked. I got two standards, why? DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mind!
Plague Furnace / Screaming Bell
Quite simply one of the biggest plastic kits I’ve seen for fantasy, and the most detailed. This thing is huge. Yet, with the same theme as the Stormvermin, they manage to fit this into minimal frames. The technology involved in plastic design and moulding has definitely come along leaps and bounds in the last couple of years.
You can see for yourself. Anyway, I couldn’t decide between the furnace and the bell, and in what allot of other Skaven players have probably followed, I decided to magnetise it. I used 3mm strong magnets, drilling a hole just deep enough in the places required. I chose to magnetise the plague priest / censor on the front of the frame, shown here.
I also fixed the bell/censor arm to be swappable. This was a little trickier, the bell arm itself needed magnets adding to the centre with drilling. I added corresponding magnets on the inside (being careful to keep them the right way around!) of the bell/censors connecting arms.Ã‚Â I did notice though, that both then hung limp, having been connected solidly before, now did not hang at the right angle. So I added a holder in the form of a small piece of balsa, which stops the bell/censor moving with its weight when attached.
As you can see, I’m really enjoying messing around with these highly detailed new kits. Now to get them all painted in time for our clubs fantasy tournament!
Hope you enjoyed this article, and next time I’ll be looking at my attempt at a Hellpit Abomination, Warlord Queek Headtaker, Assassins and a different take on slaves!
BACK TO OUR HOLES!