Monday, June 18, 2012

Fast as Lightning!

Saturday, I played a game with my Skaven for the first time in years. I had forgotten how much fun they are! It's quite a change from my non-shooting, unbreakable Vampire Counts, to use an army that is full of shooting, and will panic and run at the first opportunity. It was a very close game, but in the end, Steve's Empire pulled out the victory. 

Towards the end of the game, one Warp Lightning Cannon misfred and exploded, which caused the other cannon next to it to run off the table. This got me thinking about alternatives to the cannons and the plastic Doom Wheel that's been sitting in my Island of Blood box for the past year.

My Skaven have always been a "fast and dirty" army– painted with lots of washes and drybrushing. I decided to challenge myself to complete the new Doom Wheel kit in an afternoon. Could I do it? Here's a photo-journal of how everything went down on Sunday:

1:00 PM– I set up my workstation:

1. The Doom Wheel sprues

2. Warp Lightning Cannon, for painting reference

3. Instructions

4. Chariot base

5. Styrene card

6. Super glue

7. Hobby tools

8. Paper towels

9. P3 bag, with paints 

10. Watch, to keep track of the time

11. Fruit salad

12. Coffee


1:35 PM– Main chassis and the two halves of the driver are cleaned. It took about a half an hour to clean the mold lines on just that one part! Already beginning to think I might not get this finished...

2:00 PM– Driver complete! There are two head options; went with the gas masked head to cut down on the amount of fur and flesh I'd have to paint later. Can hear the ice cream man outside. Have no time for ice cream (or personal pronouns).

2:35 PM– Assembling the lightning generator on the front. Not a fan of the flat, symmetrical cables on the warp stone mounts, so I'm trying to come up with a better solution. Right now, I'm considering using the spikes from the Ork Battle Wagon Track sprue.

3:20 PM– Settled on clipping the lightning icons off of the sides of the Doom Wheel, and using them to create some lightning-blades. Much better!

3:45 PM– Rear wheel assembly is finished. Noticing a lack of "battle damage" on the metal parts. For a piece of Skaven equipment, the parts are very cleanly machined and assembled. Adding cuts and nicks wherever I can. Time for more coffee.

4:15 PM– Assembling the wheels. Decided to clip off the spikes ringing the interior of each wheel. This will make the rats inside the wheels much easier to paint, and I won't have to pick out 100 individual spikes with metal after painting the wood. What keeps the rats from jumping out of the wheel? Their loyalty to Clan Skryre, of course! Also, time to put more food in my face!

4:40 PM–  Wheels are assembled. The directions aren't very explicit about the fact that the inner ring and outer ring need to be aligned in a specific way so that they will attach to the body properly. Good thing I dry fit the parts first! Tried work out a conversion using some of the larger rats from the old metal Doom Wheel. Regrettably, they just won't fit inside the wheel.

5:05 PM– Wheel blades are attached. Clipping out the small lightning generators for the sides. At this point I have a pretty good idea of how I'll separate the parts for painting.

5:40 PM– Blades are attached to the front of the chassis. I've got a popsicle stick with some of the smaller parts glued to it for painting. Clipping the spikes off of the bellows operator. Not a fan of spikey rats, and he will paint up more quickly without them.

6:10 PM– Assembly is just about finished. Just cleaning the flag, and the wheels and other parts are already primed.

6:35 PM– Working on the base. Glued a thick strip of styrene card under the chariot base to keep it from curling when I glue the ballast on. There will be a couple rats running along side, as well.

7:00 PM– Assembly is finished, and the Doom Wheel is ready to paint! At least 75% of the assembly time was spent cleaning mold lines. Seemed like every part had its line running right along the center, rather than on the corners of the squared-off edges where they could have been largely ignored.

7:30 PM– Drybrushing on the wood is nearly complete. P3 Battlefield Brown, GW Snakeite Leather, and then GW Bleached Bone.

8:00 PM– The wood is finished. Working on the rats. Their fur is Battlefield Brown, overbrushed with GW Vermin Brown. For the fleshy areas (faces, hands and tails) I use a mix of GW Bestial Brown and Bleached Bone, with successively lighter highlights.

8:40 PM– Rats are finished. Adding more Snakebite to the sand so it matches the army's basing scheme.

9:00 PM– Basecoating the metal on the wheels with straight P3 Pig Iron. Brass parts are painted with P3 Molten Bronze.

9:40 PM– Metal parts all get a wash of GW Brown Ink, as does the wood. I mask some of the metal areas and spatter brown ink onto them to create a speckled, dirty effect.  (Apologies; my hand is obscuring the action, but that's what's happening, I promise!)

10:15 PM– Bascoating the metal on the chassis.

10:35 PM– Basecoating the brass. Cheese and Cracker Combos, my favorite!

11:15 PM– Metal is finished, and spattered. Here's a close-up of the detail.

12:00 AM– Alright, technically, it's not Sunday anymore. But for me it's not "tomorrow" until you go to bed and wake up, or the sun actually comes up. Working on the characters. Robes are layered with P3 Thamar Black and GW Shadow Grey. For the final highlights, I mix in a little P3 Frostbite.

12:20 AM– Drybrushing the warpstone. P3 Iosian Green, P3 Necrotite Green, P3 Cygnus Yellow. Blades have also been highlighted with GW Mithril Silver.

1:30 AM– Painting complete. Banner has been highlighted the same as the robes, and the pipes have been basecoated with Shadow Grey, and shaded with P3 Armor Wash. The rim of the base was painted with GW Catachan Green.

I finished the assembly at 2:00 AM, and then spent about an hour painting the runes on the flag. They are a simple layer of Bleached Bone, highlighted with white. This is easily the most complex Skaven kit I've assembled so far (I haven't tried the Screaming Bell, yet). The total time clocks in at 14 hours!

I used to pride myself on my ability to churn through models. It's nice to know that I've still got it. Maybe next week I'll tackle that Garden of Morr...

'Til next time!


  1. Wow, sounds like that kit is a beast. Having just done some assembly and painting on the Garden of Morr, I predict you'll be able to assemble and paint two complete Gardens in the same time. Have fun


  2. Wow, simple brown ink over brass. Such a delicious combo. I'm definitely stealing that method. It turned out great!

  3. The banner came out really nicely as well, like the style of the whole piece a lot.

  4. Turned out really well. Color scheme looks great. Now that's what I call a marathon session. Great job.


All comments are moderated. Any comments containing links will not be approved and will be marked as spam.