Saturday, November 25, 2017

Making it Rain, Part 2: Painting

In part one, I discussed the construction of my Plagueclaw catapult, converted from a Screaming Bell kit. In part two I'll share my process for speed painting Skaven war machines.

When I work on my Skaven, I prefer to focus on the construction of the models and unique conversions. When painting them, especially the machinery, I try to finish as quickly as possible so I can get the models on the battlefield. Skaven war machines are rough constructions of wood, iron, and brass, and I keep the color palette pretty simple:

Speed Painting Skaven Machinery

Start by priming the parts with black spray primer. Then, give them a dusting with a brown spray. using Testors Model Masters Dark Tan. 



The brown spray gives the parts a medium brown base so you don't need to brush up the wood from straight black.



Next, drybrush all the parts. Start with a mix of Formula P3 Battlefield Brown and Gun Corps Brown. Keep it dark on the most recessed areas and to even out any areas where the black primer still shows. Next, Drybrush with Straight Gun Corps Brown, and then add a little P3 Menoth White Base or GW Screaming Skull into the mix to drybrush the raised edges. You can take the drybrsh brighter than you normally would, because the entire piece will receive an ink wash which will darken the color.


With the wood drybrushed, it's time to pick out all the metal bits. Use P3 Rhulic Gold as the base for the brass pieces, and then add a little P3 Solid Gold to brighten the color. For the metallic areas, use straight GW Leadbelcher or Formula P3 Pig Iron.


Do this on all of the metal parts, taking care not to mess up any of the drybrushed wood.


Pick out any details like ropes or wrappings. Basecoat them with Formula P3 Rucksack Tan, then highlight them with P3 Moldy Ocher, and P3 Menoth White Base.


Next, wash the parts with Brown Ink. My preferred ink wash is Liquitex Professional Ink!® Burnt Umber. Wash this over everything– the wood, metal, and ropes.



Once the ink has dried, use a controlled drybrush to highlight the metal components with Formula P3 Cold Steel. Using a small flat brush that's not too worn out will help you keep the color on the metal. You just need to bring back the shine, which will have darkened and dulled a little from the wash, but don't overdo it and cover the shading.


For a final touch, go back over the metal areas with some spot washes. At this stage you can add some rust touches using either a GW technical paint, or some spots of P3 Bloodstone and orange. On my own Skaven machinery, I simply add some speckles on the metal by spattering more brown ink or stippling with a brush when more control is required.


The last step is to pick out any remaining details like the pipes and tubes. Base coat them with a 50/50 mix of black and GW Fang Grey. Then, highlight with straight Fang Grey, and finish it off by mixing in a little white for the final highlight.

For the warpstone, start by basecoating the stone with Formula P3 Gnarls Green.


Then, drybrush the stone with P3 Iosian Green.


Mix some Vallejo Scorpion Green with the Iosian green, and apply a lighter drybrush.


Then, use straight Scorpion Green to highlight the sharp edges of the warpstone.


Mix a little white with the Scorpion Green and highlight the highest points.


Finally, highlight the tips with straight white.


Using these techniques, you can speed through the majority of the Skaven machinery.


Finishing the Plagueclaws

For the Plagueclaw catapults, there is also the payload of plague slop. I painted it with P3 Moldy Ochre, and drybrushed a little P3 Thrall Flesh over the bubbles. It was then washed with GW Agrax Earthshade, and then with thinned P3 Wurm Green.


Once the slop was painted, I touched up the metal baskets with a mix of GW Leadbelcher and Brown Ink.


The crew were the final step, painted to match my Plague Monks.





Once they were glued in place, the catapult was finished!






My Foulrain Congregation warscroll battalion is led by Plague Priest Vomitous, converted from the Plague Furnace's priest.





And with that, the Foulrain congregation is ready to roll into battle and rain disease upon the foes of Clan Pestilens!



If you've been following me on Twitter, you'll have seen the progress of this project coming along. I've been participating in the #HobbyStreak challenge. It's a way to maintain progress with your hobby work and the rules are simple:

Spend at least 30 minutes a day working on something– building, painting, scenery, or whatever.

Take a picture of your progress and tweet it with the hashtag #HobbyStreak and see how many days in a row you can go. Update each day with #HobbyStreakDay3, Day4, etc. and see how long you can maintain your streak.

If you miss a day, the clock resets to day 1 and you need to start over. Then try to beat your previous record. I've made it to day 11 so far, how long can you go?

'Til next time!


  1. Nice painting but it's a shame GW forgot history,culture, basic engineering and produced a catapult that'd break at first launch with the only silly excuse :It's fantasy!

    1. That's Skaven engineering, for you- It fails half as often as it works, which is most of the time. Are you questioning the logic of the same warlock-engineers who thought it was a good idea to crash-crash the Warpmoon into our planet? :)

  2. Are you still playing Whfb or t9A?

  3. It's very interesting, thank you! :)


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