Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Modeling and Painting: Blood Bowl Skaven

With my Skaven team assembled, and the weekend-o'-gaming just around the corner, I needed to paint them fast as lightning. Good thing that's always been the mantra for my Skaven miniatures!

Painting the Skaven Team

To paint these models as fast as possible, I planned to use sprays, basecoats and shades. (I'll have a short review of the Citadel Shades at the end of the post.)

After priming the team black, I sprayed them with a dusting of Tamiya Dull Red, then sprayed a light dusting of Model Masters Light Earth from above. This gave them a reddish-brown basecoat similar to the old GW Vermin Brown.

Next I spent about ten minutes drybrushing them with a mix of GW Snakebire Leather and Bleached Bone.

I basecoated all of the leather straps with P3 Gun Corps Brown and the bandaged areas with GW Desert Yellow. While the Desert Yellow was out I also gave the wristbands a bit of an overbrushed highlight. This all took about 1/2 hour.

The fleshy bits (hands, feet, tails, and faces) were painted with P3 Midlund Flesh. Because the Rat Ogre had larger patches of exposed skin, I mixed in a little GW Bestial Brown to shade some of the recesses. The ball in the thrower's hands was painted with straight Bestial Brown. The teeth, claws and football laces were then basecoated with Bleached Bone.

With the main basecoats finished, I washed all the miniatures with Agrax Earthshade. All together, I'd spent just under 3 hours to get this far on the team.

When the shade had dried, I used GW Shadow Grey/ The Fang to coat the loincloths and armor, being careful to avoid the straps and ties.

Then GW Nuln Oil shade was painted over the armored areas.

The metal spikes and buckles were picked out with P3 Cold Steel, and the noses were painted with P3 Thamar Black.

The final step was to paint the bases with GW Catachan Green, and add the flock. The numbers and stripes on the bases were added with straight Bleached Bone.

The total time spent painting the team was about six hours.

Blood Bowl League

I got in three games this weekend, two with my Skaven, and one with my Khemri. I drew with the Khemri (1-1) and lost both of the games with the Skaven (3-1 and 4-1).

I think I hamstrung myself during team building by taking three Gutter Runners for my 11-man lineup. Early games tend to be slugfests, and strength 2 players can't hold their own. Having three of them meant my linemen were outnumbered, overpowered, and the Gutter Runners were quickly caught and dispatched. One was even killed in the second game!

We played with the current ruleset (Version 5.0), and I have to say that I'm a little disappointed compared to the last version I played (3.0). Somehow, an elegantly streamlined game has become overcomplicated with the addition of rules like FAME.

FAME, in particular, seems to vastly skew a lot of game elements in favor of whoever rolled higher for the Gate (attending fans). Kickoff results of Cheering Fans, Pitch Invasion, Brilliant Coaching, and Throw a Rock, will always benefit whoever has more attending fans. This can be mitigated by having cheerleaders and extra coaches, but those are rare on starting teams.

The attending fans and winnings have also been reduced, meaning more games are required before you can start adding players to your roster. After my second game I realized that I'd have been better off firing my Gutter Runners and replacing them with the free Journeymen linemen (another new rule).

All the changes aside, I still had a great weekend. (Thanks again for hosting, Brian!) Blood Bowl is always a blast and I'm looking forward to the next league and maybe building my own "home team" pitches.

Citadel Shades: A Short Review

I first used the new shades on the miniatures for the Wrath of Kings diorama, and again here on the Skaven team. I might be a little late to the party with this review, but in using them I noticed a few things that I hadn't seen anyone else discuss.

The shades need to be used straight out of the pot. Whereas inks and paint can be thinned with a touch of water to your brush, adding any water to the shades will cause them to pull out of the recesses, forming the dreaded "bathtub ring."

They also dry completely matte– as flat as Testors Dull Cote, which is a good thing, as inks tend to be shiny after they dry, requiring a matte spray to level everything out. This makes me wonder if the new GW Lahmian Medium dries with the same matte finish. If so, it would be perfect as a brush-on version of Dull Cote. I'll have to look into that.

On that note, Dull Cote can sometimes frost if the conditions are right (or rather, wrong). Too much humidity, bringing the sprayed model into an air-conditioned room, or putting it in the case right away can cause frosting in the recesses. 

I noticed that a few of the Skaven players had a bit of white in their deep creases after the Agrax Earthshade had dried (without spraying Dull Cote on the figures). Not a problem, because I covered it up when I added the Nuln Oil shade, but it makes me think that the Citadel Shades use a "dulling" medium similar to what's in Testors Dull Cote, and therefore may require similar working conditions. I don't foresee this being a serious issue, just something to be aware of.

In all, I think the shades work very well for what they are– a quick way to shade a basecoated model. Adding a couple highlights overtop will really benefit the paint job. I still prefer the old GW inks (Brown Ink in particular) because they had a little more pigment and could work as a glaze or shade, providing a wider range of tone and opacity. But it did require a little more finesse to work with the inks, while these shades are basically fool-proof. 

I can't see myself using the shades on really high-end units or character models where I'm willing to spend the time on a top-notch paint job, but I'd definitely recommend them for speed painting armies and cannon fodder troops. Like every tool, the shades have their roll, and have found their spot in my painting toolbox. 

'Til next time!


  1. Quite effective team, especially for the time!
    Plastic unit kits can make such nice teams.

  2. I totally feel you on the new shades. I am not a fan and they add a whole other layer of tint versus the older washes on broad open surfaces.

    The Army Painter Inks are almost identical to the older Badab Black/Devlan Mud washes. Give them a try.

  3. Dunno, I mean I practically drink Nuln Oil and Reikland Fleshshade these days and I've never had an issue. And I go for the matte finish except for metals, of course. No problems here, so maybe a bad batch? Maybe they work funny when layered over non-GW paints?


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