Tag Archives: Skaven

What’s wrong with the Ratwyrm?

So, like I said the other day, I’m pretty unhappy with it.  There’s just a lot of missteps.

In a way, I’m okay with that.  I did 95% of the conversion work on it two years ago.  I’ve gotten a lot better since then (though I’d definitely got a long way to go).

I’m also relatively pleased with the painting.  Painting large things is definitely a weakness for me; painting large fleshy things even more so.  The wings came out pretty well, all things considered.

Anyway, let the parade of failures begin!

Using the old bell was a terrible idea.  It weighs nearly as much as the rest of the model; It requires a freaking paperclip to support it.  I give myself a pass on this, as I did the conversion quite some time before the new kit had come out… but I still should have considered removing the metal bell and replacing it with the more impressive and easily workable plastic bell.

More importantly: what the hell was I thinking when I rotated the bell that way?  I absolutely should have had the symbol facing forward.  Having it face the sides was a boneheaded move.

The tail is a more recent addition: I slapped it on there a few weeks ago, just before painting.  It’s rough.  I clearly need to work on my greenstuff skills a lot more.  I started at the base of the tail and worked my way towards the end in batches… as I went, it got progressively better, which is heartening, but the overall result is one I’m dissatisfied with.

I ended up using Rat Ogre hands ’cause I’d misplaced the Dragon’s claws.  I like the result a lot, but getting it to work was pretty difficult and, in the process, resulted in a pretty severely mutilated right front paw.  I covered for it by painting the incredibly bad greenstuff as boils.  I think it worked out okay, but it’s going to keep bothering me.

I dug the notion of having rats hanging on the wings… but I don’t think the result worked out very well.  I dunno.

I mean, I can always find stuff wrong with minis I’ve done, but there are just so many goofs with this thing.

Ratwyrm! Finished! Tremble, man-things!

I’ve been working on this guy forever.  Like, for over two years. (No exaggeration!)

I started in on the conversion several moths before the new Skaven book came out.  Originally, it was supposed to be a Screaming Bell.  Then, it sat around six months, waiting for me to crack open a Plague Furnace so I could stick the Grey Seer on it.  And, after that, it sat around another year and a half before I did anything else with it.

From Day One, I’d meant to take the Bell Ringer from the last Screaming Bell and have him, hanging by a chain, swinging from the side of the Dragon.  Then, at the last minute, I decided it’d be too dang much trouble.

(From Stuff of Legends, used w/o permission.)

As I said, he started out as a Screaming Bell.  With the new book, I considered rebasing it onto a wider, Bell / Abomination base (since I can always run him as an Abomination), but it was sure too be too much trouble; that bell’s metal and needs the pin for support (and that thing was an enormous pain.  Besides: I’ve never really run the Bell: I ran him as a dragon in last years’ Dragon Wars; this years’ tournament was the motivator for painting him up.  He’s spent most of his life as a dragon, so on a dragon base he’ll stay.

On with the photodump!  (It’s kind of a hassle that it’s as large as it is: it’s tough to photograph the whole thing.)

What’s awesome is that, as I’m writing this up, I’ve spotted a few things I missed and need to clean up (painting the pin black, washing the wires on the bell).  

Anyway, here’s the finished product.  As it turns out, I’m very unhappy about a number of things about it.  I’m going to throw this up here, fishing for praise, and then on Thursday point out what’s lousy about it and any of that praise is misplaced. :)

Ratwyrm WIP

I keep taking pictures of this thing but being too busy to post them.  Grr.

Anyway, Dragon Wars is next weekend, so I’ve got a week to wrap him up… which is totally doable.  At this point, it’s a few details, metallics and the base.

Painting Progress – 20111009

It looks like I’m finally near the end of whatever the hell it was I caught at Blob’s.  Not only is that objectively fantastic, it means I can actually get back into the swing of things.

I’ve spent the past couple of days prepping Dreadfleet; I’m looking forward to painting that stuff up!

Unfortunately, I’ve still got one (not so) little thing to paint up for Dragon Wars at the end of the month before I can start on it.

The wings are taking forever, but I keep telling myself that that’s okay: it’s 2/3rds wing.

Battle of Blob’s Park Blow-by-Blow

My List

As I’d mentioned, the 2,800 point size was problematic enough for me to not bother trying to bring a Good 2,800 point list; just as good of a “2,500 point list that I have, plus 300 points” as I could manage.

Ratputin Rampages – Blob’s Park
2,800 points

Warlord – General, War-Litter, Sword of Might, Enchanted Shield
Grey Seer – Lvl 4 (Plague 2, Ruin 2), Talisman of Protection

Chieftain – BSB, Shield, Armor of Destiny
Plague Priest – Lvl 1 (Plague), Plague Furnace, Flail, Dispel Scroll, Ironcurse Icon
Warlock Engineer – Doomrocket
Warlock Engineer – Ruby Ring of Ruin

Clanrats x30 – Full Command, Shields
– Poisoned Wind Mortar
Skavenslaves x50 – Champion, Musician, Shields
Stormvermin x30 – Full Command, Storm Banner
– Poisoned Wind Mortar

Gutter Runners x6 – Poison, Slings
Gutter Runners x6 – Poison, Slings
Plague Monks x31 – Full Command, Plague Banner

Hellpit Abomination – Warpstone Spikes
Plagueclaw Catapult
Warp-Lightning Cannon
Warp-Lightning Cannon

Changes between this and my NoVA list boil down to:

  • Sword of s/Anti-Heroes/Might/
  • + Ironcurse Icon
  • + 10 Stormvermin
  • + Warlock w/ Ruby Ring of Ruin
  • + Warp-Lightning Cannon
  • + Plagueclaw Catapult

Dropping the Sword of Anti-Heroes was something I’d meant to do for NoVA.  No problem there.  Ironcurse Icon… did nothing, but cost next to nothing, and could have been useful.  The Warlock was useless.  Clever idea, a waste of points.  The Catapult, similarly, was useless.  It never delivered anything, but cost 10 points more than the Cannon… which was actually a good pick.  If I could have taken three more of them, I would have.

Really, I don’t think it’s possible to overstate my disappointment with the Plagueclaw Catapult.  Blech.

Game 1 vs. Warriors of Chaos
Josh A.

This was probably my best game of the day.  We were both in great moods and there was a lot of back-and-forth through the game.

Really, I think I was only able to pull out any sort of win due to two seriously bullshit rolls:

– I popped his Manticore on the first turn with the WLC.  It was a weak (S 2) bounce that just barely clipped him due to the blast template.  That S 2 hit wounded the Manticore on a 6 and then did 4 wounds.  Yowza.

– We had a big old scrum between my Monks, a horde of his Marauders and a unit of his Chaos Warriors.  He chomped through the Furnace and killed a bajillion Monks.  They were sure to break… but instead rolled double ones: holding everyone in place for a flank charges from the Doomwheel and the Clanrats.

It was a really good game that I feel I easily could have (and probably should have) lost.

Game 2 vs. Daemons of Chaos
Quentin B.

This game was rough.  He seemed convinced that I was going to steamroll over him and take his lunch money… things very much didn’t work out that way.

I probably deployed badly: I probably should have just kept all of my warmachines in the middle of my deployment zone, protected by everything I had, rather than leaving them on the corners where their protectors could be Siren Song’d into oblivion.

He killed the crap out of me, but it wasn’t a bad game.  Things got a little frustrating because of noise (we had trouble hearing each other over the din) and, near the end, his margaritas started catching up with him.. but otherwise, it really was a fun game.  Definitely makes me consider trying to conflate a visit to Manly with an appearance at the Quake City Rumble.

Game 3 vs. Chaos Dwarves
Eric. McK.

Between losing a game and playing a fellow club member, I was able to relax and just focus on enjoying the game.  This was a brutal, ugly fight.  We probably killed something like 50%-75% of each other’s models… but neither of us were really able to seal the deal on that many units.  In the end, we had something like 500VP (him) and 300VP (me); a lot of noise but not much payoff for either of us.

Anyway, yeah, it was a good game that took forever.  I don’t think we made it to Turn 4.

Game 4 vs. Empire
Thomas J.

This was probably the worst game I’ve played in a very, very long time.  It was kind of a dick list (~30x Knights, ~30x Outriders, 3x Cannons, 2x Steam Tanks), but that really wasn’t the problem.  His attitude at the table was terrible.  I could enumerate all of the shitty little things but: he apologized after the game for being a jerk (probably because I lost my temper over something).  So, I won’t.  (I’ll probably revisit some of them outside of the context of my opponent in a Miss Manners-style post at some point, though.)

It was a rough game that I think I played about as well as I could have, given what I was going up against.  I ended up losing by 50VP.

One great game, two good games, and one lousy game isn’t that bad for a tournament.

Warlock Engineer – Ruby Ring of Ruin

The last mini I had to get ready for this past weekend was a Warlock Engineer with the Ruby Ring of Ruin.

He’s a bit more armored than I’d have liked him, but he’s not too armored.  With Clanrats being so less modular (not complaining), the only base I had to use for a conversion was a Stormvermin.  Fortunately, that kit had the perfect arm: a pointing finger with a big ring.
The head’s a spare from the Doomwheel.  The backpack, obviously, is from the Island of Blood Warlock Engineer.  The arm’s an Ork power klaw; the finished product looks better than I thought it would.  For the heck of it, I stuck a plague censer bearer on there, just to add a bit to the model.

I figure that, if I feel like it, I can run him as a Warlord with a Warlock-Augmented Weapon or something.

Here are the WIPs:

And the final product:

Flinging Poo

Managed to wrap up a Plagueclaw Catapult last night.

This kit is simultaneously GW’s most ingenious kit and most frustrating.  That you can make both a cannon or a catapult out of it (or, if you’re Squeek Vermintide, both at the same time) is really impressive.  That you can make either in so many different combinations is brilliant.

But, holy crap, do I hate putting together this kit.  Last time, I really learned that you do not mess around with the sprues: don’t start clipping until you’re ready to start assembling and don’t start assembling it until it’s painted!  (The need to paint then assemble is something that really frustrates me.)  Also, painting all of those little metal bits can get pretty tedious.

Anyway, it’s together, painted, done.  Took me the bulk of the weekend to do, but I really needed to stay focused to have it ready in time for Blob’s.

I can’t stand seeing this kit with a giant piece of warpstone as the counterbalance.  It just doesn’t make any sense!  So, instead the rock’s painted like… rock.

I’m pretty pleased with how the ammunition came out: like a ball of really unhealthy poo, people parts and dead rats.

Also, in other news: USPS wildly overestimated how long it would take for those bitz to make it out… they showed up today!  The conversion’s done, so I’ll have all afternoon tomorrow and Friday to paint it up!

Wizarding Hat!

Blob’s Park is giving me a bit of heartburn.  I’ve got a 2,500 point list that I’m happy with, that I’m comfortable with, that I’ve done pretty well with.  Most importantly, it’s painted.

Blob’s Park, woefully, is 2,800 points.  I’m not entirely sure why the bump, except that there must be some nonsense you can drop with 700 points of Lords or Rare or something that they want to see.  For me, though, it’s another 300 points that I’ve got to get painted.

This is unfortunate, because just throwing more points at something always ends badly.  C’est la vie.

Anyway, my goal was to get up to 2,800 with adding as few models as possible.  I had a plan that involved 6 Globadiers and a Doom Flayer, but then inspiration hit and I decided to bridge the gap by throwing down a Warlord with a Wizarding Hat.

One model?  Room for a clever conversion?  Ability to use one of those sweet, sweet book lores?  Yes, please!

After some noodling and doodling and digging around for parts, I considered and then had to dismiss, modeling it as a brain jar.  That’d have killed… but it wasn’t to be.

So, I went with my initial plan: a big ol’ hat made out of paper hardened by superglue.

I had Warlord Spinetail sitting in the bits box: I used his sword and arm in my War-Litter, so I might as well do something fun and goofy with the remainder.

I used a Stormvermin arm and an Ungor hand.  I was shooting for a cool, “Behold, I am a master of the arcane arts!” pose… instead, I ended up with a pose that’s a bit more of a rude gesture.  I guess I’m okay with that.

Also: I kind of hate the Spinetail model.  The sword is awesome, but what in heck is up with his right eye?  I don’t even know what’s up with that.  I just. don’t. know.  Ugh.

Here it is, finished.

I gave it the Lore of Shadow symbol, since I was considering using that on the Warlord.  It’s way more purple than is appropriate for Shadow (I guess that makes it Death), but at least it stands out in a way a grey hat couldn’t.  That’s probably more important.

Uuuunfortunately, while pinging the CGL for advice on what Lore I should give this sucker (Shadow?  Beasts?  Metal?), I found out the item’d been FAQ’d… and FAQ’d hard and in an uncomfortable place.

Reference Section – Enchanted Items, Wizarding Hat
Change “[…]randomly chosen spell[…]” to “[…]randomly chosen Battle Magic[…]

Sooo… I don’t get to choose the Lore.  I’ve got a 13% chance of getting the Lore I want.  Maybe a 50% chance of getting a Lore I can really use?  Blech. That’s not nearly as useful.  In fact, it’s pretty dang terrible.  At that point, it could be a fun item, but it sure as all get-out isn’t worth 100 points.  Booo.

Possibly the worst common magic item?

Well, it’s done.  The mini’s built and painted.  

I’ll get around to how I’m padding out the list later.  (Probably after the tournament, since it looks like it’s closed-list.)  Do you guys think I could call him a Warlock Engineer? I’m not as crazy about this guy any more.


The board’s done!  The banners are done!  The sign is done.  BEHOLD!

Here’s everything arranged!  (I might have a few more slaves and monks on there than I actually intend to field today, and I need to repair the furnace, but whatevs).

Signal is terrible at the tournament, so I won’t be able to do much posting throughout the day.

Display Board WIP

I’m waiting on the glue to dry on the board; I’ll go back over everything thoroughly with some watered-down wood glue to fix everything in place.  I’ve found that this does miracles for adding durability to ballast (and pretty much everything else).

I’ve finished “sculpting” the stalamites.  Each is a 6″ nail run through a 50mm base with successive layers of joint compound slathered on.  Not really sure when I decided to use joint compound, but the results look (to me, at least) considerably more natural and believable than the styrofoam stalagmites I’ve made before.

The joint compound’s considerably flakier, however, so I’m reinforcing everything with several coats of, again, watered-down wood glue.  After enough of these, the outside will be extremely durable.

Once all of that’s done (hopefully tonight) and dried (hopefully tomorrow AM), I’ll start painting it.  That should go pretty quickly: airbrush on the basecoat then a couple of layers of drybrush.  Varnish that, then water effects and done.

I’ve stretched my non-existent photoshop skills to the limit to pull together a clever, attention-getting sign to place by my display board.  I’m going to keep that close to my chest until the tournament, though: more because I keep dicking around with it than from any coyness.

Finally, I’ve loaded up most of the display case: my Daemons on one shelf and my Dark Angels spilling off of another.  The top shelf’s being saved for my Skaven (who are, understandably, a bit too busy psyching themselves up for the NoVA to spend time in the display case) and assorted one-off models that I’ve done.