New Skaven Army Started

It occurs to me that although I haven’t been posting recently, I have been doing a lot of gaming related activities, so now’s the time to catch up. The most noteworthy of these activities is the start to my new Skaven army.


Skaven Plague Monks. This unit took about 12hrs to assemble and paint.

And why would I start yet another WHFB army?

I have a full HE and TK army – I have remnants of OK, Chaos and Demon armies (thanks GW for splitting them up) and I still have Lizardmen models, believe it or not. So why Skaven? When Skaven were released, I got nostalgic for my old O&G horde army – an army I sold off more than 3 years ago now, and it was the right thing to do at the time, because the new O&G book was out, and it totally undermined my almost all Goblin units. The new Skaven models were cool plastic kits, and the most important of them were plastic – I just wanted to paint some! A modest investment got me the army book and a box of ClanRats and I was off.


Skaven clanrats unit. This took about 12hrs to assemble and paint.

The New ClanRat Models – The new ClanRat models are a huge step forward for GW. I remember with the old Night Goblin models that piecing a regiment of 20 guys together was brutally time consuming for what they were – 2pts apiece! ClanRats on the other hand are 2-part models, superbly done. Their bodies (head to toe) are 1 piece – you only have to attach the right wepon arm. DONE! If you want, you can add a shield for 3 parts, but I only do shields on my first rank anyway – they’re so small, they’re not easy to see in successive ranks of rats. There’s also very little flash on the models – probably the least of any kit I’ve bought from GW – which is great for me, as I want to get units painted quickly, and really resent the time wasted de-flashing models.

The second best thing about the new ClanRats are how easy they are to paint. The high detail lends itself really well to tidy paint jobs and a covering wash. DONE! Maybe a bit of highlighting with the original washed colour afterwards, but only if the rat doesn’t look good enough as it is, which is most often the case. Awesome models all around. Quick to assemble and easy to paint – that makes us horde army guys really happy.

Plague Monks – These guys have been plastic for a long time now, but they were my second choice of unit to paint, because with a unit of these guys, you can get a Hero level Plague Priest to accompany them, and therefore put a Plague Furnace on the table. With a horde army, I’m all about getting big points on the table whenever possible – high cost units are very welcome indeed.

Like the ClanRats, the Plague Monks were easy to paint, although they’re made from 4 parts each. Their robes are smooth, and their weapons plain, so you can blast through these guys on the painting table, in about a day – that’s 8hrs kids – that’s a “billable” day for me. Yes they’re that fast.

The Skaven Promise – I promised myself I wouldn’t buy additional Skaven units until I painted what I had, and so far it’s been quite fun to stick to that promise. I’m excited to finish a unit, as not only will it look good, but I eagerly search the book for my next, most logical purchase. (Which I can then buy guilt free!) I’ll let you know how that comes along…


8 thoughts on “New Skaven Army Started

  1. Hi Dave, another army in the works, awesome!
    Glen and I had some good games of WHFB when we were still gaming, maybe 2 years ago now… sigh.

    I came here for inspiration to do some modeling / painting, and the first post (this post) I have read has started me thinking about all those Wood Elves Glade Guard I have collecting dust…

  2. Hey, I just stumbled upon your blog today… Great stuff! I was just wondering, could you tell me how you painted your clanrats? They look AMAZING and are some of the best looking rats I’ve seen. The skin/fur in particular looks very detailed. You can email me if you want (, or just reply here. thanks

    • Sure Jules – here’s the scoop to my fast and gritty Skaven:
      1 – prime black
      2 – paint all the “fur”/skin a skin colour (I used Tallarn Flesh from GW)
      3 – Using 2 or 3 other colors, paint the rest of your regiment’s clothes – alternate tops to bottoms, etc. doesn’t really matter.
      4 – Wash with Devlan Mud (or whatever wash you prefer)
      5 – Go back and highlight your other colours, (really really quickly) with their original colour
      6 – Done!

      The definition on the new Skaven is fantastic – it’s really really easy to keep colours separated while painting, enhancing the “black-line” effect of the primer.

      I use flesh paint for the “fur” for a couple or reasons:
      1 – They’re rat-men, so that’s ok. There’s actually very little hair
      2 – Flesh is a bright colour, that when washed, will go a nice light brown, and give you rat-men feel, and show off details.

      Remember, when painting these minis, any army in fact, dark colours usually KILL detail on the tabletop – so keeping to the lighter side of a colour palette is good! Also remember that my wash of all these bright happy colours is accomplishing multiple things:
      1 – subduing my otherwise “happy” colours into a a nice Skaven grittiness
      2 – showing all the detail, with no effort on my part

      After washing the models, go back and highlight them with their original colour. No need to mix the colour with Bleached Bone or any of that crap – the wash has subdued the colour for you, so the original red is now its defacto “highlight”. Easy hunh?

      Ok, so I haven’t mentioned the weapons yet. Mine are all spears, and I want them to look rusty and nasty. Here’s how:
      1 – Paint the shafts your favourite brown colour or whatever.
      2 – Paint the metal your favourite rust colour. I use Vermin Brown – a very “orange” brown – rust is essentially dull “orange” after all
      3 – Stripe the metal with Silver. Done!

      Notice I didn’t wash anything. No point, and faster. If you click on the photo for an enlargement, you’ll see the “striping” I’m talking about. Basically, using a small brush (or sometimes a really frayed dry brush) I paint little streaks across the front half of the blades. This shows off the rust, AND makes the blades look nasty. Why have a single colour spear tip when you can have one that looks it’s been to WAR! Do this striping really fast though – we’re not building a piano.

      Last thing I do are the eyes. I hate painting eyes and pupils and all that crap – you can’t see them on the tabletop anyway. But the new Skaven eyes are bulging, so I pick them out with a BRIGHT red. Just dot them. And because they’re so small, the crazy red colour shows up, but it’s not OTT.

      Phew – that was longer than I intended – but you can see my method here. Very little effort for maximum effect – that’s how I paint. Try to get the regiment painted in 10-12hrs. Any longer and you’ll be all year painting your Skaven.

      (P.S. – Only do shields for the front rank if you intend for your unit to have shields. They’ll rank up easier, and nobody cares!)

      Love to see some of your paint work too – send me a pic!
      – Battlemind

  3. Thanks a lot man. Really helpful, but I have several questions.

    1) Do you think I could apply the “Ogre Kingdoms” style of weapons painting to my Skaven? would it look good?

    2) When painting the clothes and skin over my undercoat of black, should I leave black recesses, or just cover the whole surface?

    3) Do I apply the wash to the ENTIRE model (clothes included), or just the skin/fur?

    • Happy to help. Here are some answers:

      1 – You could do OK style weapons but honestly, the surface area is really small and might not be worth the time. Maybe save that technique for the larger weapons on your Storm Vermin.

      2 – If a recess is really easy to paint around, then I say yes – leave it black. If it looks too harsh given the colour (ie. your colour is at the brighter end of the tonal scale), then paint it in and let the wash do its thing. Wash that pools in a deep recess goes really dark, so you may end up with an effect that’s really close anyway.

      3 – Wash everything – no fussing around certain body parts trying to keep them clean – it’ll just take longer! We’re talking Skaven here – they live underground and get gritty.

      Last note – don’t skimp on the wash when you do the model. It should flow freely from your brush – don’t go over and over an area while wet – the wash will naturally flow from the high points and settle in the recesses on its own. You don’t want brush strokes. It will look too dark at first, but get more matte and less intense when dry. I use a tank sized brush when washing.

  4. Oh yea, and I noticed that Tallarn Flesh is a foundation paint. I know this sounds super nooby, but what is the purpose of foundation paints, and how do they differ from the regular paints?

    • Foundation Paints are really opaque. They’re much thicker than your average acrylic paint from any modelling company. (I’ve tried them all!) Use them if you like the colour, and need to cover black, or some other dark primer in 1 coat.

      Cool thing about GW Foundation Paints is, they’re not the same colour as any of their others, so you’re actually getting a new colour while covering all at once. They’re thick though – don’t be afraid to still mix a little water in them, or they’ll clog up your detail.

  5. Ok, thanks a lot man. I just assembled my battalion and some extra models I bought… I have a unit of 25 monks, 24 clanrats w/ engineer, 2 rat ogres and 6 giant rats (both with the packmasters of course). I just need to buy primer and paint, and get started. Oh btw, what happened to your ‘skaven promise’? It would be great to see more skaven from you, as you’re a great painter

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