Painting Skaven #1: Stormvermin

Here’s my first set of skaven finished. Six stormvermin from Citadel 1993 and 1995. I started with these rather than the clanrats. There were less of them, they aren’t all the same and I had a good idea of how I wanted to paint them.

These are all metal figures. While there are two main “poses” here, each of the six is unique. They all have a slightly different weapon, variations in armour, equipment, and heads. Some have chainmail, others small armour plates hanging from their belt. One has a ‘stud’ on his left arm (front far-right) where he should have a shield. I would think that having a shield would make wielding your 8 1/2 foot-long fauchard somewhat awkward, unless it was merely a buckler. (In my game scale, these guys are 5′ high.) I do have some skaven shields, but they look too large. Given some more time I may paint a smaller shield I have to add to the figure.

2021-03-27 Skaven Stv

For D&D/Pathfinder purposes I’m planning to consider all of these to be wielding glaives or glaive-guisarmes. Nomenclature of polearms is a crazy thing, and I’ve spent more than enough time this week trying to get an idea of what each is wielding, but for gaming purposes I need to be able to lump them all together.

If you want a fun look at polearms, watch this video by Lindybeige. Here’s a game from the end of that video: Try to get someone to express an opinion on a historical pole-arm that you made up. Extra points if it has a very silly name.

Painting: Space Marines (Space Crusade)

Here’s my three squads of Space Marines from the Space Crusade board game finally completed. Blood Angels (red), Imperial Fist (yellow) and Ultramarines (blue). I started painting figures from the game about two years ago, getting onto the space marines in October last year.

Each squad has three marines with bolters, one marine with a heavy weapon and a commander. The heavy weapons (assault cannon, missile launcher or plasma gun) and commanders weapons (heavy bolter, bolt pistol & power axe, or power glove & power sword) are interchangeable and I’ve had to do some careful filing to make sure they are less likely to get stuck together and break. (The ones that aren’t already broken that is.) For the images, I’ve made sure that I picked something different for each squad.

The plasma gun is meant to have a bright coppery-gold muzzle, but it looks quite yellow in the image, so I’ll go over it again tomorrow with bright bronze.

The special weapons were very fiddly to paint, and I wasn’t as concerned with spending as much time on them as I did with the marines themselves. As board game pieces, they will all go back into the game box soon. Everything in the box except for the orcs and gretchen have now been painted, and I have no intention of painting them. I started this because some of the pieces I could use in my Gamma World game (and have) and the marines deserve to be done if my friends and I ever decide to play again.

Last, but not least, here’s an orc who should have been painted back in Sept 2018 when I did orcs and goblins. He’s a bit paler than his brethren because he’s apparently been hiding with my skaven for at least a decade. The marines and the orc all qualify for Ann’s March painting challenge – Neglected but not forgotten!

Here’s a group shot of all the Space Crusade pieces that I’ve now painted.

Painting: W.I.P. and preparations

This week I’ve finally gotten back to painting my Space Marines from the Space Crusade board game, about 5 months after I nearly finished the other two squads. Once I do the main painting, which is pretty simple (part of the reason I got bored 5 months ago) I’ll finish off all the heavy weapons, and commander’s weapons. These weapons are all interchangeable, and I’ll need to do a little bit of mucking around to allow them to be swapped without any problems. A few have broken in the past because they fitted together too firmly and didn’t separate happily.

Today I dug through my figure boxes to locate all my skaven. I can clean them up in between painting, and the weather this week is good to take them all out and spray them with undercoat. Oddly enough, there a single orc who must have been abducted a decade or more ago. He can get painted too, and finally returned to his brethren.

The last squad of space marines is the Ultramarines, if the image hasn’t already given that away.

My skaven are: 12 Clanrats, 6 Stormvermin, 2 Assassins, 1 Lord, 1 Priest, 1 Seer, 1 Warlock. That isn’t an army by any stretch, but it was enough to keep my group occupied when we played Warhammer Quest.

I’m tempted to sell the Stormvermin. They don’t interest me greatly, whereas the rest can easily fit into D&D games as were-rats. Then again, I could introduce a variant of were-rats into my mega-dungeon. If I do that, the stormvermin will work as a heavier armoured support to the clanrats.

Hmm.. I think I’ve just decided to keep them all in the last minute of typing. I’ll now find myself stating out all the different figures using Pathfinder rules!

I’m enjoying a week’s leave from work, and painting and D&D planning are the two of the main things I aim to spend time on. Reading would be nice too, if I can find a couple of good books!


Late addition: I started cleaning the plastic clanrats and was very pleased at how little there is to do – almost no mold lines. Then I noticed the plastic bit underneath… How long have I had these figures? (Don’t answer that!)

I can’t believe I’ve never noticed this bit before. If I had surely I would have cut it off? Lol.

Fals’Krag Session 45 – No smoking!

It was great having all seven players for this session. Got quite nasty in a couple of fights. The session itself wasn’t long. We’d spent a fair bit of time catching up when everyone arrived, and longer levelling up afterwards.

I was waiting for someone to try and burn the “roiling oil” ooze, and wasn’t disappointed. What I hadn’t expected was the method used: the Brawler with his shirt of immolation hit and grappled it. His shirt bursts into flame if he grapples or is grappled.

= = = = = = = = = = =

(28th) Lanliss and bacon begin checking the rooms of what has become a shrine to Erynthul. (Evil Oeridean deity of hate, envy, and slaughter.) The two rooms likely used by the cult leaders have hidden gems and coins, while the main rooms with tables and stools provides an assortment of good food and drink. Some small casks of a reasonable ale are claimed and packed away. Most of the corpses have simple weapons and basic leather armour not worth salvage. Moving north along the thinner of the two building sections, they enter the last few badly damaged chambers. Bacon spots a shadowy figure appear within a doorway that appears to be casting a spell. A fireball of dark flame bursts around them all, with Summer and Boris taking the worst damage. The figure retreats and Bacon chases it, but only find an empty room. Lanliss and Seldrel follow, suspecting it has used invisibility. Seldrel fills the room with glitterdust revealing the creature as the rest of the group moves closer. The shadowy winged creature strikes at Lanliss and backs through the wall flying past Merxif and through another wall. The group spread out to check the connecting rooms and split up to look for the creature. Lanliss moves out to an alley and flies up into the room to keep watch. No sign is observed of their target, but a large shiny black ball of ooze exits a nearby section of the building. Lanliss and Hardaz move up, noting the thing smells likes oil. It strikes Lanliss a solid blow that also partly coats him in a nauseating film. Boris charges down the alley and throws himself on the blob. He knocks a chunk out of it and as planned, his shirt immolates, but with an unexpected result! The flame ignites the oily surface of the ooze and there is a explosion that hurts many of the group, while the alley fills with smoke. Winter is disconcerted as she can’t see anything to fire arrows at, and Boris is knocked unconscious. Seldrel has nothing to blow the smoke away and considers using magical cold, but he doesn’t want to hit any of his party. Merxif casts an area heal. The effect works on the ooze as well as everyone else, but it revives Boris giving him and the others a chance to retreat. They have all just taken positions out of the smoke when the ooze bounds out and slams into Hardaz. It doesn’t appear to be any worse for being on fire, and has been doing more damage to them than it’s taken. As the smoke starts to roll over them again, Seldrel floating above directs a cone of frost and puts out the fire. As the smoke clears the battered ooze is subject to everyone else’s attacks. Eventually it is broken up and begins to bubble and sink into the ground. Bacon had been making his way back around the building to rejoin the others and missed most of this, but had heard what sounded to him like a large humanoid cursing in very bad giantish. The shouting continued on and off a few times then stopped entirely.

Seldrel notes the winged shadow watching them from a distance – its also hovering in the air. Bacon sets off in pursuit, but the suspected shadow demon gestures and vanishes. This time Seldrel feels it has teleported.

Bacon notes movement at the end of the alley. Boris moves up and startles some rats, but hears movement in the building behind the wall. Lanliss turns invisible and he and Bacon join Boris. Lanliss observes a path in the dust of rubble through one doorway, and they soon confront three animated skeletons. Two appear to be champions, with swords and breastplate, while the third has cloak and dagger. The latter directs a ray of burning light at the group. Everyone pushes into the room to take down the skeletal mage before it can cast again, then smash the other two skeletons. Some gems and coins are found in a hidden box.

Moving back south around the building there is a doorway flanked by book symbols. Seldrel and Merxif think they aren’t religious. A faint light can be seen at the end of a long hall, and Lanliss and Bacon can hear a faint buzzing noise from nearby. In the dim light of an adjoining room is the body of a bugbear. As Lanliss moves closer, two dark purple rays shoot out and strike him for minor damage. His invisible form is now revealed by a purple glow. As a black wasp emerges from the gloom he strikes at it. It passes him and flies out of the building. It is quickly shot at by Bacon with his crossbow. His screaming bolt misses, but passes close enough to disorientate the creature. Seldrel fires magic missiles at it, and it is then brought down by Winter. The glow on Lanliss fades while Merxif examines the bugbear. Its swollen body is unconscious and they fear it is been implanted with wasp eggs. Seldrel uses fire from a wand to burn the body and the places where the wasp appears to have been building a nest. Bacon, Lanliss and Seldrel make their way into the hall, noting cubicles with damaged or rotted chairs and desks, with lamps fixed above them. In two cubicles, the lamps glow with magical light. Something bites Seldrel, and Lanliss sights a large leech on his shoulder. He scrapes it off with his sword, and Bacon sees two more moving towards the wizard. They are quickly killed and Seldrel realises his last spell for the day has vanished from his mind. The leeches are ‘wizards shackles’, attracted by arcane magic, draining it from wizards they attach themselves to. Only valueless paper scraps and bits of leather are found and the group thinks it worthwhile to return to the crafting halls.

Once back they check on Kevelli’s progress. He needs one more day to finish Hardaz’s new armour, then will return to Falsford. The group decide to rest, and sort out the treasure recovered recently. It is decided that a trip back to town is a good idea so that they can sell off all the stuff they don’t want to keep, and buy some supplies for what is on Seldrel’s list of things to be crafted.

1st Needfest. Once Kevelli is done, they all head in to town. Shopping, training and celebration of mid-winter proceeds. [8th Level]

Painting – Hero Quest “Gargoyle”

This is the last of my Hero Quest figures to see paint, having taken about 30 years. This is the “Gargoyle”, who I’d say was second-rate Balrog given the pose, whip and sword. I think in Warhammer he’s now considered a Bloodthirster.

He hasn’t been touched for perhaps a decade, and now that he’s painted he might actually see use, but not as he was originally meant for. Being completely unlike any fantasy gargoyle, I decided he’d make a good statue. Now that he’s done, he’ll fit right in as a Stone Golem. He’s also an entrant to Ann’s “Neglected but not forgotten” Painting Challenge for March.

As a statue, he’d be a nice terrain piece, and potentially a construct (animated statue). I wanted the look of an old painted statue that hadn’t seen care for a long time, and I feel I’ve right sort of look. (Particularly with the thought that it just might step off the base and attack.)

I’d previously cut away the whip and undercoated the figure when spraying something else. Yesterday I started with a base coat of grey, then painted parts with gold, silver, red and black. After a light coat of brown ink, I stuck him together – breaking the wings in the process. (The head and wings were separate pieces.) I cleaned up the wings, and stuck them on, then took some time to chip, mark and scrape at the figure. Then some more grey to colour the exposed plastic, and fade the coloured detail. The weather has been quite cool this weekend, so there was plenty of time to make sure the paint dried at each step.

Today I’ve done highlighting and basing. Just after I’d sprayed the first coat of varnish, I had the thought that when I’d broken the wings, it would have been best if I’d cut/broken a large chuck of one wing, and positioned that on the base like it had fallen down. I could still do that, but now I’m happy to have it done and want to move on to something else. I could have ‘chipped’ and ‘cracked’ the statue further, and marked the base like stone blocks too, but it’s not a show-piece and I rarely spend that much time and effort on the figures that I really like!

I did try something new with the base today. Yesterday I’d been cutting out the foam insert for a small figure case to properly put away my DungeonQuest heroes, and had read an article on painting statue minis. They’d used bits of the foam as moss. I salvaged some of mine, and tore off a couple of tiny bits. Painted green they make great foliage/moss.

The finished mini is on a 40mm square base, and is 70mm high to the sword tip.

I’m determined to finish my Space Marines next. I’d like to clear the tray before I start filling it up with skaven.

Fals’Krag Session 44 – Beholders!

Five players along on Saturday for a fun session. They didn’t explore a lot of the map, and had four main encounters, but all were with very different creatures and things weren’t always what they seemed in each.

I used shadow mini’s for the wraith spawn, (and they didn’t know they weren’t shadows for a while) and when I put the wraith on the board one player was concerned it could be a Spectre. We all enjoyed the evening, and the group is getting close to reaching 8th level.

= = = = = = = = = = =

(16th Sunsebb): As they return through the long grass in the north of the cavern, Lanliss and Bacon notice three giant toads moving towards them. Hardaz and Bacon move out to fight, and three slurks bound forward in addition. Merxif entangles two of their opponents, Hardaz gets slimed by one, and Winter shoots at those not in melee. The fight is short, but Bacon’s hands are blistered and he seems a bit drowsy. While Merxif is healing, Seldrel observes that the toad’s skin is poisonous. Merxif treats him as they continue to the tunnel into the cliff. They make their way back to the Crafting Halls and rest. Boris and Kevelli arrive back from Falsford bringing Hardaz’ new magical full plate armour, and a collar for Summer. The collar (of the true companion) makes the owl slightly more intelligent and he now understands spoken elvish. Kevelli states that he will rust-proof the armour, then is going back to Falsford for Needfest. (A week-long celebration of midwinter and the change of years) After hearing what the group has been doing, Kevelli suggests keeping the hand of a troll (if they encounter another) to activate the statue of Vaprak in the hall of the Gods.

27th The group rest while Kevelli and Seldrel do some crafting.

28th Leaving Boris with Kevelli again, they head back down to the cavern and head back to the western area to continue exploring.

The next block has a number of doors on the road-side and Lanliss quickly moves along and looks in each one. He notes a goblin corpse and some dead bats in different rooms. The other spread out to keep watch, while Seldrel checks the rooms for magic, and Lanliss looks more closely at the corpse. It has nothing of value, but while searching a shadowy humanoid shape emerges from the wall into the chamber Bacon has been checking. He calls a warning and begins to fight the incorporeal shape. Summer withdraws to Winter’s side and refuses to engage the being. A second appears near Lanliss. Seldrel immediately retreats out of the room and fires magic missiles at it. Bacon destroys his opponent, but another slips out of the stone to replace it, and then a fourth near Lanliss. They realise they are facing a wraith and some lesser shadow-like wraith-spawn. Merxif damages a pair with positive energy and Hardaz puts his ghost-touch enchanted axe to good work. The fight is fierce, with the life-hating undead striking the group a number of times, but they resist the worst of the life draining touch. Once all are destroyed, the Cleric spends time healing. The remainder of the building has many dried corpses, and an assortment of treasure, mostly being coins, armour and weapons, guarded by animated bugbear skeletons and Yuan-Ti zombies.

Lanliss turns invisible and scouts the badly damaged building to the south. Much of it has collapsed. The sight of five beholders in various sizes from about a foot across to six or seven feet in diameter has him retreating immediately. The group recall everything they have heard about the fearsome magic using aberrations. Seldrel is suspicious; there were so many creatures which project an anti-magic ray from their main eye and Lanliss wasn’t revealed or noticed. Suspecting an illusion, the group move forward together, with Lanliss this time using true sight. Coming around the corner he notes that they have all moved and are not illusions. Hardaz charges forward and strikes the closest, which also happens to be one of the smallest. His axe slices through the bulbous body which explodes. Seldrel’s second assumption is confirmed – Gas Spores! The beholder shaped fungi float forward and are met by Lanliss and the dwarves, while Winter fires arrows. All are quickly destroyed. The dwarves brush spore particles from themselves after being amid multiple exploding spheres. Bacon is not concerned, being practically immune to disease. Merxif examines Hardaz who it seems has not been effected by the spores either. What appear to have been goblin or morlock bodies have been reduced to much amid the rusting and rotting remains of armour and weapons. Seldrel suspects this is the effect of the spores, and they burn the bodies and spore remains.

The next large block of chambers to the east has a damaged corner through which they sight pillars, stairs down and a large hole. While the group keeps watch on the roads, Lanliss vanishes and enters. The hole takes up about half of the room, dropping about twenty feet into another chamber littered with rubble. He hears what he believes to be many bats below. What looks like a corpse draws him to rocks at the rear of the large room. It turns out to be a reddish-brown robe with a scattering on bones nearby and a scroll case. He brings the scroll case back to Seldrel who passes it to Merxif after a quick look. He adds it to his collection of cure scrolls. Seldrel and Lanliss move down the stairs and look around – there are coins amid the bat guano and rubble, but hundreds of bats are already agitated by the magical light. Back upstairs, Seldrel casts a fireball into the lower chamber and wait for the smoke to clear. An assortment of coins are recovered as well as a slightly melted golden box. The rest of the group note a loud noise start from the north-east. It could be shouting, or the roar of a beast, but before they have a chance to determine more about the sound, the banging of a drum and gong begin much closer to the east. Approaching, Seldrel can hear voices chanting in common, goblin and a third language he doesn’t recognise. The message concerns blood, slaughter and death. Lanliss moves forward, sighting a gnoll and a human in rust coloured robes in a nearby building. The noise ends while the party move closer, and the gnoll hears them advance. Merxif moves to a window, where he sees a more humanoids. He notes they are living, not undead. Seldrel casts haste on the group, and combat spreads over three rooms, one having an small altar. Three masked and robed humanoids (who prove to be minor clerics and a sorcerer) lead a mix of cultists: two humans, a half-orc, two gnolls and a bugbear. The main opponents are knocked down quickly, but part-way through One of the bodies begins to move; bursting apart to reveal a mosquito-like creature bigger than Merxif. It gives off an aura that makes Lanliss drowsy. It is battered into unconsciousness as the fight continues. Another defeated cultist ruptures and a second insectoid shakes itself off. Merxif is disturbed to realise that the first one under his feat, that they thought dying, is actually healing. He spends time battering it, trying to inflict more damage than it can repair. Seldrel decides these are Blight-spawn, aberrations that grow inside a living creature, emerging when the body dies. He suggests using fire against them and fears that their sting is poisonous. The group is now concerned about their defeated opponents, not just those still fighting, as more bodies break open. Merxif uses his goggles to look at the health of their enemy, identifying which are dead, not merely unconscious. Five of the nine cultists turn out to have been “infested”. Lanliss is the only one stung, but he has managed to resist the effect of the poison. No more cultists emerge from the surrounding buildings and the group pause to heal before searching.