Skaven Painting Guide

Below are my thoughts on painting a Skaven force. One of the things that puts people off playing Skaven is the seemingly endless amount of models that you need to paint before you can even take a small 1500 point force along to your local Games Workshop store to give some poxy High Elf player a stuffing. However using the (admitedly well known) techniques outlined below you should be able to paint a force quite quickly and to a reasonable standard. I've included some pictures of GW Skaven models just to show what the studio staff turn out.

Speed Painting Techniques
In my humble opinion their is one technique that you need to master to enable you to paint a Skaven force before the end of the millenium. That technique is the humble one of Drybrushing. Once you can drybrush you will have no problems painting rank and file Skaven at a rapid rate.

So you now how to Drybrush know do you? Excellent. Below are the colours and simple techniques that I have used with some sucess to paint my Skaven Army. It may not be quite Golden Deamon winning standard but it's neat, tidy and looks good on the battlefield.

All of my Skaven models have been undercoated with a white undercoat with two important exceptions. These are the Screaming Bell and the Doomwheel. These were both undercoated black as the majority of the models colour scheme was black and I didn't fancy painting it all by hand. Remember you must always undercoat as otherwise the paint will just rub off in your hands and you'll have to start painting all over agian.

Painting Fur on Skaven is easy. For brown Skaven paint all the fur areas with Vermin Fur and leave to dry. When it is dry wash with a mixture of Chestnut Brown and Brown inks and again leave to dry. The final stage is to drybrush the fur areas with a mixture of Vermin Fur and Skull White. With Stormvermin, Assassins and Important Characters with black fur I use the following simple method. Paint the fur with Chaos Black and then with a mixture of Chaos Black and Skull White drybrush. The drybrushing technique works very well with fur as it has lots of nice ridges for the brush to get caught up on.

Hands, Feet, Tails and Heads
I tend to paint all of these areas at the same time, mainly for speed reasons, though on characters I do things in a different order. I normally basecoat with Snakebite Leather and then highlight with Bronzed Flesh. The final highlights are done with Elf Flesh. Toenails are painted with Chaos Black and then Bleached Bone so that a small line of black stands out around each of them. This is very simple to do but looks very effective. Characters and Specials tend to have Go Fasta Red toenails which are highlighted with Blood Angel Orange. Mouths and eyes are first painted Chaos Black and I then pick the teeth out in Skull White together with the pupils of the eyes. I don't like doing the eyes red because they always end up looking silly.

Many of the Skaven models come with full body robes which make them very quick to paint. Take Plague Monks for instance. To give them a more monkish feel than the GW ones have, my Plague Monks all have the same colour robe but different colour hoods. The robes are painted in Shadow Grey and then drybrushed with Space Wolf Grey. The hoods are painted in various bright colours such as yellow, green and orange, much as the "official paint scheme" shows.

Most of the Clanrat and Stormvermin models tend to wear laminar type armour. I tend to paint this with colours, rather than metalics as I personally feel that it adds to the overall appearance of the model (plus it fits in with the cover of the army book). My big block of clanrats that pushes the Screaming Bell, for instance, have dark red armour which, when combined with the bell, makes the unit look very mean and menacing. The armour was painted by first base coating it with Red Gore and then giving it a Brown / Cheastnut ink wash. It was then highlighted with Go Fasta Red with the edges of the armour plates being highlighted in Blood Angel Orange. I used a similar technique on the Stormvermin regiment though their armour is painted green instead of red.
Chainmail I paint as normal ie a Chaos Black basecoat with a Chainmail drybrush.

Swords and Wooden Bits
I don't like giving my Skaven metal looking weapons as it tends to make them look to clean and tidy. Instead I paint them Chaos Black and then highlight them with Dark Angel Green followed by Goblin Green . This looks very effective and makes the weapons look as if they are made out of warpstone rather than plain metal. I tend to do wood such as standard poles and the plague monk staffs in the same manner, again giving them a warpstone inflicted look.

The bits that have to be metal
Some things just have to be metal, such as the big bell on the Screaming Bell. I tend to paint these things bronze / gold rather than silver and this is the technique that I use. Firstly I paint the object Chainmail (over a Chaos Black basecoat) and then paint all the silver with Dwarf Bronze. When this is dry I give the whole area a heavy chestnut ink wash and then leave it overnight to dry properly. I then highlight with Gold and end up with a lovely aged bronze effect. It took me a few goes to get the consistancy of the ink wash right but in the end I managed it. The other things that I 've painted using this technique are the Plague Censor Bearers censors on the flails.

I base my models by painting the bases Goblin Green and dipping them whilst the paint is still wet into a tub of flock. This is a quicker way than using PVA and sand and proves just as effective. I then clean any loose flock off the edges of the base and then repaint it, again with Goblin Green.

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