Monday 30 June 2014

Skaven 3rd Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle Army List.

A little later blog update than usual as I have had a very busy weekend and returned late on Sunday. This weeks update follows on from the one last week where I stated I was re-embarking upon my project to complete one 3,000 point army for each of the main army list entries in the Warhammer Armies book from 3rd Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle. The first of the final armies I am tackling is the Skaven.

I have always liked the Skaven from when I first read about them in the 1986 Citadel Spring Journal (which I never got hold of until 1987, and now my copy has been sadly lost over the years :(  ). I liked the slightly industrial look of the rounded style of armour and masks, the technological weapons, and that feeling of dark menace from vast almost unstoppable armies.

 It was however that vastness of army which stopped me from properly collecting a Skaven army at the time. With all the other armies I was working on, Warhammer, 40k, and other things, I never could commit to financing what I assumed would be an expensive project for my at the time. Apart from the plastic Skaven in the Warhammer Regiments box, it was only possible to get plastic Skaven from the Heroquest range via (the slow) mail order. So it meant collecting a metal army of about 200 odd models, which leaving aside the trouble carrying it, would have been pricey on my budget even in the 1980's. So I placed the idea on the 'to do list'.

With myself undertaking the Warhammer Armies project, and with the relative ease and cheapness of buying 1980's Skaven on e-bay, I decided now was the time. The bulk of the infantry, Clanrats and Slaves, are made up from plastic Skaven from the 1980's Warhammer Regiments boxset, or from the Heroquest Skaven. For the Strormvermin I have used a mixture of the 1980's metal Skaven. All of the regiments have metal commands from the 1980's (except the Slave who will have a converted plastic standard bearer). I made a conscious decsion to only use 1980's models to give a feel of a Skaven army from the time (approximately 1988 to 1991). In essence the army I never got around to collecting then! I don't know how much the army has cost to buy in bits from e-bay (I only had 20 or so Skaven which I bought in the 1980's), but I doubt if it was more than the price tag of 25 years ago :) .

The 3,000 point Skaven Army List.

Army General: Level 20 Skaven, Hellhoned Blade, Spell Tempered Heavy Armour = 158 points.

Level 25 Wizard = 327 points.

Level 15 Wizard = 147 points.

Magically bound Wyvern = 180 points.

19 Stormvermin, light armour, shield, double handed weapon, Standard Bearer, Musican = 189 points
[to be led by the Army General]

30 Clanrats, hand weapon, light armour, shield, Standard bearer, Musican, Level 15 Hero with heavy Armour, Hellhoned Blade = 296 points.

30 Clanrats, hand weapon, light armour, shield, Standard bearer, Musican, Level 10 Hero with heavy Armour, double handed weapon = 239 points.

30 Clanrats, hand weapon, light armour, shield, Standard bearer, Musican, Level 10 Hero with heavy Armour, double handed weapon = 239 points.

30 Clanrats, hand weapon, light armour, shield, Standard bearer, Musican, Level 10 Hero with heavy Armour, double handed weapon = 239 points.

40 Slaves, hand weapon, shield, Standard Bearer, Musican, Level 15 Hero, heavy armour, double handed weapon = 200 points.

6 Rat Ogres, with 3 Skaven Beastmasters with light armour, shield = 261 points.

4 Warp-Fire Throwers, 324 points.

3 Jeazzailachis = 117 points.

3 Poisoned Wind Globadiers, light armour = 78 points.

Total 3,000 points.

As you can see, it's a lot of models for a 3,000 point army, 180 foot soldiers, 7 weapon teams, 3 globaiders, 6 Rat Ogres with 3 handlers, and 2 Wizards and thier bound pet Wyvern.
The main tactics for the army is simply to advance and engage in melee with the covering fire from Warpfire Throwers and Jezzails. Difficult enemy units with be deal with by the Rat Ogres and/or Stormvermin. I avoided the 'trap' of just taking the minimum 20 Slaves. I have read in articles and from discussions that the 20 Slaves are usually easy to rout and then take the Clanrats with them in panic. 40 Slaves, plus the nasty suprise of a Level 15 hero will help stop that.
Painting wise there is a lot to do, but I have chosen a very simple paint scheme. I painted up a few test models and the Clanrats and Slaves will not take too long to paint once I get started. I do however still have to undercoat them (which I still like to do by hand). I also have paint strip about half of the metal models before repainting. I intend to have the army finished by the end of July.

 Birds eye view of the army, nearly 200 Skaven.
 Two painted test model plastic Clanrats. 
The one of the left from the Warhammer Regiments box set, the other from the Heroquest range. I have kept both of the different types in seperate regiments, working out as having two regiments of each.
I have also gone for Warpstone glowing green eyes.
 Skaven Slave. 
All the Slaves (apart from the unit leader and Musician) are from the Warhammer Regiments box set. To differentiate them from the Clanrats I have added plain wooden looking shields bought from Hasslefree Miniatures. I will also not paint the armour metallic unlike the Clanrats, but keep it brown as they are not equipped with armour.
 Two of the Beastmasters with shield added (although I will paint the shield more colourful than the Slaves ones). In the centre is the Citadel solid based C23 Slave Ogre which I am going to use as one of the Rat Ogres to add a bit of variety into the army, and to also get to use the model.
 Two Skaven Wizards, in need of paintstripping.
 Bound Wyvern, which is Citadel and is listed in the 0801 Young Dragons range as 'Rock Dragon'.
On the right is the army General, one of the few metal Skaven I bought in the 1980's.
I think he's pointing saying "Look, a Wyvern in a Skaven Army!"
 Some of C47 Chaos Ratmen and Skaven Command miniatures. Most of the C47 Ratmen will end up as Stormvermin. 
 I have two complete crews, and decided to use a Leader Model with Warlock Musket as a third. There is a second crew member for him with the gun rest in the post from e-bay at the moment!
I have test painted the one on the left.
 Warpfire Throwers.
I have always liked the idea of these and wanted to include them in the army. 

This week I shall be undercoating Skaven, and if time allows paint stripping and then painting Clanrats.

Sunday 22 June 2014

40,000 Views! ...and the return of the Warhammer Armies Project.

Amazingly as of this evening my Blog has reached 40,196 views!

A big thank you to everyone who has taken an interest in my Blog. When I started the Blog I had no idea if anyone would look at it or be interested in anything I posted. However looking at the results of my Blog dashboard people have taken in an interest in all of the different things I have posted.
I still have all sorts of odds and ends to post in the future. :)

Following on from that I have decided to return to completing my Warhammer Armies Project which I started last summer, but put on hold after painting my Wood Elf Army.
For those of you unfamilar with the idea, my plan has been to assemble a workable 3,000 point army for each of the eleven army entries in the 3rd Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle supplement 'Warhammer Armies'. I have already completed eight of the Armies, and only have three left to do: The Skaven; The Empire; and the High Elves. In addition I will also will assemble the Norse Army list from White Dwarf #107.

For the Skaven I have just completed an e-bay mail order for 17 Metal Skaven and a Rat Ogre to finish off the Skaven Army. I have enough models to field a complete Empire Army, but I might pick up a few bits from Wargames Foundry and e-bay to add that little extra character to the Army. As for the High Elves I have more than enough Elves to field a couple of 3,000 point armies, and so have been deciding on which style army list I want to go for. I have worked out a crazy Cavalry only army list of 40 Horsemen, a Dragon, a Giant Eagle, and two (yes two!) Elven attack Chariots, and a Wizard on horseback. However I might go for a slight better balanced army instead with infanrty and an Ethereal Host included.
Concerning the Norse army, I also have about enough models to field a 3,000 point Norse army. It will be a mainly Norse Dwarf army (with Fimir Aliies!) ,but I may change it to add more humans. These will be the old F4 Norse/Viking range of  Citadel models still available from Wargames Foundry.

For all of the eleven (twelve with the Norse) armies I have tried too keep to using 1980's or early 1990's miniatures, essentially 1st to 3rd Edition Warhammer models. I like the idea of presenting the armies as an army which could have been fielded at the time. With several of my armies this is the case! Were I have added later models I have tried to keep them in sympathy with the what I consider the 'feel' of an army of the time. There is no other other reason other than personal preference for me doing this.

The first army I shall be tackling is the Skaven. I have always wanted to do a Skaven Army and never collected much of an army at the time of Warhammer 3rd Edition. I have recently been collecting odds and ends with an idea to completing the army to field the 3,000 point force. The army list I have devised contains 180 Skaven infantry, 6 Rat Ogres, 7 weapons teams, 3 Posion Wind Globadiers, 2 Wizards, and a magically bound Wyvern. I'll publish the list on my next blog update when I do a more in depth look at the army.
I have made a start on painting the army already. I have painted up 4 test model Clan Rats to get an idea of speed painting them (each one took 4 to 5 mins), and painted up 4 of the Rat Ogres.

By the way, for those of you who are fans of the Praetorian Imperial Guard and are wondering where the Cavalry/Rough Riders have gone, don't worry. I will be painting them latter on in the year, and maybe some of them as an aside. The important thing for me was that I purchased them from Curious Constructs and that they are there for me to do at some point.

Anyway, here are a few photographs of what is to come,
enjoy :)
The Skaven Army.
In need of basing and the adding of shields. 
Most of the metal models will require paint stripping. I am awaiting delivery from e-bay of a further 17 metal C47 Chaos Ratmen/Skaven model which I will use for Stormvermin and 2 for Rat Ogre Handlers. 
The bulk of the Clan Rats and Slaves are plastic models from the Warhammer Regiments box set or from Advanced Heroquest, both from the later 1980's. All the models in the army are Citadel and from the late 1980's. The Command groups are all metal, as are the weapons teams, Characters, Rat Ogres, Stormvermin, and the Wyvern (which I forgot to photograph!) .
Empire Army.
Made up of metal models from the various Citadel and Maruader Miniatures Fighters and Empire ranges of the late 1980's. 
In addition to the infantry shown here, I have 40 crossbowmen and 30 archers (for use as Forstjaeger). 
I intend to buy a couple of pack of Wargames Foundry ex-Citadel Mercenaires, and a few dismounted Knight models from e-bay to add some more character to the army.
 High Elves.
40 horses and mounted Mage.
 Riders for the horses, a Lord on a Dragon (Marauder Miniatures MB17 High Elf Dragonlord), 2 Elven Attack Chariots (I need to locate one of the crewmen) and a Giant Eagle.
The little bag contains plastic lances.
 If I decide not to go for the Cavalry army I still have a box of Elves to choose from! 
 Norse army.
So far made up of 80 Norse Dwarf Warriors, 10 Dwarf Crossbows, 10 Dwarf Beserkers, a handful of Humans, a Dragon, and an Ally Contingent of 13 Fimir (one of them is out of shot). 
I also have a Citadel Lord of the Rings Range ME15 Gimli on a pony who I think might make a good General for the army. I have a Norse looking Wizard, but can't find the model at the moment.
 Two Skaven test models from the Warhammer Regiments boxset.
I have gone for a very simple darkened paint scheme. I have painted to eyes a fluorescent green mixed with white to suggest Warpstone enfused Skaven.
 Heroquest Skaven, again in the speed painting style. I don't mind speed painting the bulk of the Clan Warriors and Slaves as I don't think there is a lot of point spending too much time and detail on troops that will look dark and be ranked up in bulk where the detailing will not be seen. I shall spend more time on the command models, weapons teams, and characters.
 Rat Ogre with chain knuckle dusters.
Grey version of above.
Skaven Rat Ogre with sword.
 A ruddier furred version of above.

This week I shall be assembling the Skaven army and paint stripping the metal models ready for painting. I shall, if time allows paint as many as I have time for. Next blog update will be on the Skaven and the 3,000 point army list.

Sunday 15 June 2014

Here comes the Cavalry: Curious Constructs mail order.

Last weekend I finally got around to placing my mail order to Curious Constructs. It's been nearly a year since I did an update on my Praetorian Imperial Guard (now the Astra Miltarum) and have been meaning to re-visit them for a while.

For those of you unaware, Curious Constructs is a company run by Rob Angell (aka Col. Gravis) which specialises in making metal 28mm sci fi miniatures and conversion parts for 'Colonial Empire' style miniatures. These are very useful as additions to 40k Praetorian and Mordian armies, as well a useful for converting Cadian miniatures to create different looking Regiments.

His site can be found here:

and his blog is here:

The order arrived very quickly, in about for days. I opted to buy cavalry conversion parts and complete sets  so I could finally replace my Attilan Rough Riders, which while are ok, are not quite in keeping with the Praetorians. I will still keep a few handy in case I play at GW. In my mail order I ordered enough parts to build 25 Rough Riders, and have some heads and bits left over for adding to my Praetorian Infantry. You are required to supply your own mounts, of which I have enough, and brass rods for lances. In addition I will add Cadian bits for the officers.
 The plan is to have one squad of 8 Heavy Cavalry; one squad of 6 Hussars; one squad of 6 Lancers; and one squad of 5 mounted infantry. The Heavy Cavarly will be mounted on Cold Ones, the other squads on horses.

My aim has always been keep the Praetorian as GW as possible. I consider that adding too much from other ranges would detract from the overall all feel of the army, and dilute the Praetorian-ness of the army. Otherwise I might as well have just bought Zulu War miniatures and 'Steampunked' them. However, adding the Curious Constructs Cavalry and bits fit in well.

As an aside, 'The Trooper' by Iron Maiden is a great song to assemble cavalry too, although for some strange reason I also found myself singing 'Stop the Cavalry' by Jona Lewie!
Perhaps this clip from the film 'Young Winston' will be better. I like the way the Cadian las pistol is similar to Winstons Pistol (a Mauser Broomhandle pistol)!  :)

As a further aside, I popped over to Worthing (West Sussex)  to buy Brass Rods for the lances, and there is a new model shop opened, A and B Gaming. Nice little shop with friendly owners selling Warmachine, Judge Dredd, Vallejo, and all sorts of stuff.
Here's thier site:

Anyway, here is the mail order, and some Praetorian Snipers which I also converted up this week.
I have added several photographs of scale comparisons to help people if they want to undertake conversion projects.
Enjoy :)

 All in bags! 
Enough bits to make 25 Cavalry.
 Heavy Cavalry body and lance tip. The torso is wearing a Cuirass rather than just a breastplate.
 Sprue of Heavy Cavalry heads wearing plumed helmets.
 Head on Cuirass.
 Heavy Cavalry mounts. 
I have 8 old Lizarman Cold Ones from ages ago and plan to have the Heavy Cavalry mounted on them to give a sci fi and Heavy Cavalry feel. 
The troopers uniform will be red coats with dark blue riding breeches, the Cold Ones I might re-piant with bright blue/turquoise hides.
 Lancers Torso.
The Lancer Uniform will be dark blue with a white front to the jacket, similar to the 17th Lancers in the Zulu Wars.
 Pith Helmet on Lancer torso.
 Hussar torso on the left, standard infantry torso on the right.
Hussar uniform will be a dark blue Dolman, with red riding breeches, similar to the 11th Hussars.
The mounted infantry will be the same as the dismounted Praetorian infantry.
 Pith Helmet heads.
 Hussar torso and legs on horse.
 Scale comparison of Curious Constructs infantry torso with two Cadian torsos either side.
 Cadian Head on torso.
 Heavy Cavalry torso on Cadian legs.
 Cadian arm onHeavy Cavalry torso.
 Cavalry all sorted out! 
I have added some Cadian parts and some of the Imperial Guard metal conversion heads. 
 Maxmini resin heads.
I bought some of these last year, and whilst the details are great, the Pith Helmets were out of keeping with the GW Praetorians...
 ...however in retrospect I have decided to add them to the Lancer torsos and probably the Hussar ones too as they are too good to waste.
The Heavy Cavalry still have the plumed helmets, and the mounted infantry will retain the Curious Constructs Pith Helmets, the spare ones of which will go into repairing a batch of old Mordians I have.
 To add the lance the idea is to drill through the hand grip and place the brass rod through it.  However I found this somewhat tricky, so just cut the hand grip off (left)..
 ...and then reattached it with greenstuff. 
The same thing happend with the lance tip. 
I will tidy it up more once it has set.
 Assembled Lancer, with Maxmini head, and on GW horse.
 Assembled Heavy Cavalry on Cold One.
 Left side view.
Converted snipers made from Mordian bodies, Catachan Sniper rifles, and GW Imperial Guard heads. 
I am planning to paint these in Rifle Green.

Next blog update will probably on how far I have proceeded with assembling the Rough Riders (and maybe even painted some!). I also plan to do a little update on Great Goblins/Gnolls, and on the wider revisiting of my Praetorian Army.

Sunday 8 June 2014

The World Eaters, and building a little piece of Istvaan III.

After my busy week last week concerning the World Eater challange, I had a quieter week basing up the army and buying stuff online (more of that later).

This week I painted the bases of the World Eaters and varnished the army. I also decided that I would build some scenery to go with the new style bases I made for them, as well as tying in with the style of bases I plan for my Rogue trader Chaos Marines in the future.

I have always liked  the story of the Horus Heresy, from the first details in Slaves to Darkness (the 1988 Book of the Astronomican had a mention, but not much), to the current range of novels on the subject (although I am very behind on my reading list for them). One of my favourite sources of inspiration is the 'The Horus Heresy: Collected Visions' art book. In that book are lots of lovely artwork of Chaos Marines clashing with Loyalists. Much of the art is set in ruined Neo-Classical Marble cities, as oppossed to the later 40k world of Gothic ruins. Hence the idea of it being Istvaan III, site of the epic fighting at the start of the Heresy, or  perhaps just another pretty city trashed in the Heresy or even before in the Great Crusade.

So, I had a few old bits of Classical style ruins from years ago and decided to paint them up for the photographing of the World Eaters and to match thier bases, and later for the bases of the Rogue Trader Chaos Marines.  By the way, I am aware that the World Eaters in red Power Armour would be incongruous to the current Heresy era paint scheme, but the city could still be a later ruin, or a ruin from long ago.
 In additon to the ruins, I painted the underside of the green flocked board a marble stone, to represent the ground of the city. I also painted a dark purple and brooding sky on the otherside of the blue sky board, as an alien or post Life Eater Virus bombed sky of Istvaan III. It's all only a partial stop gap until I can get a proper table made, although the ruins will be used with other ruins as I add to them in the future.

The first part of this update are the World Eaters all based up. Second is the construction and completion of the ruins. I am very happy with the way both have turned out and complment each other, and might add to the World Eater Army at a later date.
Enjoy :)
 The World Eater Army.
Try as I might I could'nt get a better group photograph.
 The Warlord and 9 Chosen Chaos Marines acting as his bodyguard.
All the Chosen and the Warlord are metal models, although some have plastic arms.
For the Chosen Squad only I chose to paint some of the Skulls on them bone coloured to stand out from the ordinary Beserkers.
 Warlord on a Juggernought.
I gave the Khorne symbol and extra coat of red to make it glow a little more, and to constrast with the black/red depth of the head.
 Chosen with axe, and Icon Bearer. 
 2 Chosen with Powerfists.
 Skull helmeted Beserker, and Chainaxe Marine.
 Two more Chosen. 
Like the Aspiring Champions I have lightly drybrushed gold on the horns, blending it into the red.
 Besrker with glaive, which I will use as Power Axe.
I like how the gold and red blended together on his horned helmet. 
This is my favourite miniature of the army.
Aspiring Champions, the one on the left is an all metal Chaos Marine, the one on the right, like all the other ordinary Beserkers, is plastic and from the Beserker box set with added bits.
 Two more Champions, showing the blending. 
All the Champions are equipped with Power Fists.
 Last 2 Champions, the one on the right made from a 'normal' plastic Chaos Marine.
I tried to use all of the running models to give a feel of movement to the army.
I also used all the metal World Eater shoulder pads I had.
 Two more Besrkers running through the ruins. 
I replaced the horned Khornate helmets with Mark 7 style ones, but keeping the Horned Helms for only the Aspiring Champions.
 2 Beserkers with with alternate helms, the one on the left is a Khorne Helmet with the horns cut off. The other is a variant Mark 7 that looks a little like Mark 5.
 Close up of the base. 
I cut out 1cm squared pieces of plasti-card to act as flag stones, and superglued one of more of them to the base. Then added bits of model railway gravel basing material. 
I then painted the whole base Vallejo Stone Grey, and then just it drybrushed white.
 A squad running through the ruins!
 Dreadnought (aka Hellbrute in the current Chaos Codex).
 Side view of the Plasma Cannon.
Left side Claw.
 2 Predators advancing through the ruins.
First Predator.

 Second Predator. 
I went for the same style of red/black as the rest of the army, but painted a lot of the mechanical parts metal looking to give that machine look. 
Two of the kits were old Grendel Miniatures one, the other an old piece of fish tank scenery. The fallen statues are snapped off from the fish tank ruin. 
I painted them exactly the same as the Marines bases. 
The board was painted with Homebase 'Matt Stone' Emulsion, drybrush highlighted with white.
 The bits on Thursday evening!
 Friday, with some of the many, many plasti-card square I have cut out!

 Late Saturday afternoon.
 Finished Acropolis.
 The fish tank ruin, made from a hard plastic.
 Rear view. 
It had a big hole in the top which I covered with plasti-card squares and rubble. I did the same for the two holes left where I removed the statues.
Round temple, also from Grendel. 
The front step said 'Hades' on it, which I green-stuffed over.
Toppled Staues, with a Marine for scale.

Not sure what I will be painting this week, but I am in the mood for tackling another army project, although maybe not all in one week with daily blog updates!
Next weeks update, if the Royal Mail are quick, will be an interesting suprise project :)