Twenty-three years later, the Skaven fleet resurfaces! Time to dust off the decks, load up the crews, and take a look at the ships I made for the 2003 General's Compendium:
The General's Compendium was a supplement for 6th Edition Warhammer Fantasy. It had a ton of content for campaign battles, sieges, and ship battles on the high seas. My Skaven pirate ship was featured in the book, but I made two other barges that were never photographed.
If you want to see more about the large pirate ship, check out my post from 2013– Skaven Pirate Ship. This post is going to focus on the rowing barges and other features of the fleet. I wasn't kidding when I said I needed to dust off the decks– For the last 10 years, the pirate ship has been collecting dust on top of my bookshelf while the barges have been safely packed away. Yikes, look at that!
With a soft brush, a vacuum, and a little elbow grease, however, I was able to get everything shipshape.
Well, almost everything. The rubber bands I used for the belts on the paddle wheel were already dried and deteriorating when I wrote about this 10 years ago. Now, they have completely crumbled apart. I'll have to pick off the remaining bits and replace them with some styrene strips that will stand the test of time.
The barges are designed to be troop carriers, with plenty of deck space for a regiment of Clanrats or Plague Monks. Using the Compendium rules, the pirate ship is a steam-powered ship, and the barges are rowed vessels.
The main body of the barge was built from a 1-inch layer if insulation foam, with a more foam stacked up at the stern and the bow. That basic frame was covered with cardboard and basswood, and details were added from all manner of model kits and accessories.
The oars were made from thin wooden dowels, with a wooden paddle fit over the end.
The oars peg into holes on the side of the boat. Having them removable is handy for storage, and allows them to come off if some of the rowing crew are killed.
For the crew, I used the models pushing the classic metal Warp Lightning Cannon. Their handles match up with the oar positions to appear as though they are holding the oars extending through the hull. I used Warmaster bases cut in half, and trimmed to look like planks of wood so they will match up nicely with the deck of the ship.
I had 32 rowers in total, but over the years, their number has dwindled. I used two to make my scratch-built Doomflayers (You can check these out in the post: Scratch-Built Skaven Doomflayers), and two others are missing and I have no idea where they ended up.
I also built a "taskmaster" for each boat, to motivate the crew. These originally had matching wood plank bases, but have since been re-based and drafted into my main army as Packmasters.
"Row-row, you mangy sea-rats!"