Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Vermember 2016

So I've been having my own private painting theme for November 2016.

When I got back into the Hobby last year, and then really got into the Oldhammer Community over the summer of 2015, Erny's idea for Orctober really caught my attention and imagination. Sadly I couldn't quite my brushes lined up for Vermember (which I think sort of sprung up as slightly tongue in cheek reaction to Orctober, but I'm not 100% about that) as I had too many other projects on the go, even though I had some of the old Fantasy Regiments white plactic crack Skaven undercoated. I did manage to get myself sorted for Deadcember 2015 and had an absolute blast bringing these guys back from the dead.

So I kept hold of my undercoated Skaven with a mind to this year and some cozy, uninterupted autumn evenings being warmed by lukewarm cups of tea and the glow of the daylight bulb in the painting lamp. Ha! Haha. Hahahahahahahahahhaaaaaaaaa!!!!! *sobs* *sniffs* Yeah that didn't happen.

Over the course of the year I've also aquired a number of other giant rats, and ratmen from a number of oldhammer job lots. Different time periods and manufactures repreented here, and I'm not entirely sure of all of them to be honest, so if anyone can help identify them that would be much appreciated! So I had myself a little collection of outsized anthropomorphic vermin to paint up for my own Vermember challenge :)

Also over time I'd aquired this already painted Skaven Jezzail team. I quite like the pale flesh and bright red-orange claws, and the green and purple colour scheme on the clothes matches the colour scheme I use for my broad alliance of Warhammer Fantasy bad guys, which I was also planning to use on the 3rd edition Skaven themselves. So I decided that these would be my rough guide to what I wanted to end up with.

I've forgotten when I got these, and I don' think I had a plan for them other than I've always liked the model and it would have been a bargain on ebay.
It has been hanging around a bit unloved tbh, so it needed a few touch ups where it had got bashed.
Not sure I have achieved that, as I've only brought them up to my usual 'table top ready' standard, which will fit in with the the rest of my WFB horde, but they sit alongside each other reasonably well in the end so I'm happy enough.

Back to bright green painted bases, but they fit the rest of my WFB forces, and at least I fill in the gaps with putty these days.

Imagine your HeroQuest Barabarian came round the corner to a Skaven Jezzail aimed at crotch height, with only his loin cloth to protect the family jewels...

I used a similar colour palette to both the Jezzail team, and my rag tag WFB mercs, painting their clothes in the appropriately verminous colours of scab red, worm purple, hideous blue, and err... forest green. I used London Grey from Valejo for the leather armour, strapping and wrist bands, as I like the slight shine it has which gives it a heavy quality on fabric, leather etc, but then inked that down quite heavily to give the armour both grime and some definition. I freehanded the red skaven symbols and decided to call it a day pretty much.

One thing I'm not massively happy with is the eyes. I debated whether to go for the classic opaque red glow, or whether to leave them unpainted, as the inking had left them with a shadowy sinsiter look. In the end I opted to try and tie them in with the lycanthrope vibe by using the same style of eyes as I had on a recent werewolf. As these guys are potentially going to act as wererats in my D&D campaign I liked the idea of lycanthropes having the same mad staring eyes. Unfortunately the sickly yellow eyeball with a red pupil, while making them look manic, has also made them look a bit cartoonish and in the end detracted from the overall finish. I painted the rest of the giant rats with red eyes if the eye ball was prominent, or left them shadowy if not and I'm happier with those.

I really should have left the eyes shadowy from the inks, but unpainted, for a more naturalistic look. I like the bright red claws though, even though they are just as cartoonish.
I enjoyed painting the tails, highlighting up from Tanned Flesh to Dwarf Flesh. The pouch is Billious Brown with Flesh Wash. Blades are Bolt Gun Metal with Armour Wash.
The random giant and were rats have been based up for use in D&D etc. so I've gone for a simple basing treatment that will keep them usable for D&D, HeroQuest, Frostgrave etc. They really are a mixed bunch and one in particular was a very ropey specimen indeed. One of them I've really come to love however.

I quite like the diversity of wererat forms this provides me for my D&D campaign, where they were an early feature that I hope we return to.
I'd focussed primarily on the unit of 3rd Ed Plastic Skaven and time for my Vermember project was running out, so the giant rats and the smaller of the two ratmen all got the same treatment of Bestial Brown up to Snakebite Leather for teh fur, and Tanned Flesh up to Dwarf Flesh for the feet and tails, and then a thinned down Armour Wash over the whole lot. I then went for the same bright red claws which I liked so much on the skaven, also as a bit of a tie in even though the basing is completely different. As previously mentioned, I left the eyes shaded, or picked them out in red depending on the sculpt. Could have done more with these, but ran out of steam and needed to move on.

Pretty sure this is a GW Giant Rat from a WFB swarm. The white metal alloy suggests Middlehammer period, but my Skaven knowledge is poor.
I picked these up in a job lot on the Oldhammer Trading Post, and one of them was a really ropey, dare I say amateurish sculpt. It's an oversized and impractical beast, the tail overhanging even a 25mm base, and his feet/claws look like there is a twist in the leg at the ankle. As I painted him he came to remind me of one of these little blighters, which did little to endear him to me. However, on the day I came to finish him I ended up watching the Princess Bride with Son#1 at ridiculous o'clock in the moring whilst his Mother valiantly tried to get Son#2 back to sleep, and I saw the fight with the amateurish, mishapen, giant vole rats, and suddenly all was forgiven.

I sort of like him now he's done. He can do service as a Dire Rat thanks to his size. Does anyone have any clue as to the manufacturer?
Not the best photo to show it off, but this chap is interesting as he is holding a short sword. I really like the pathetic aesthetic this model has, which really fits the D&D wererat mythos for me. The inclusion of the sword promises the threat of a backstab from the shadows, possibly from that sewer grate you just stepped over and are now being dragged back into by dozens of sharp little claws, all you can see are red eyes gleaming in the darkness, and the stink... oh the stink!

I really like this model, bags of character. I'm already coming up with a character and backstory for him.
This last one was a different manufacturer again. A very thick solid base with no obvious markings on the bottom. Now that I'm thinking about it, the only models with similar bases I've had in my own possession have been the Alternative Armies Ion Knights, so maybe I'll check out the rest of their ranges.

He's a big beast, and the two handed polearm said Stormvermin to me so I painted him up with a view to him being a veteran, with white patchy fur and skin showing through (pretty sure this is intended by the sculpt). The leather armour is Scab Red up to Blood Red with two coats of Armour Wash for a laquered leather look. The metal, pouch and claws all got the same treatment as outlined at various points above. The thing I regret on this one is having the colours of the rope and brocade around the weapon the wrong way round. Blue rope with gold brocade would look much better. The more I look at it the more it bugs me, and I don't know why I did it.

There's bags of detail on this model, from the extra blade on the belt, with the same leather loops that attach the puch on the other side, and a giant rat huddled protectively under his haunches. This really deserved more time than I gave it, even though I gave it more time than the others. I did give a little extra thought (but probably not care) to the base, marking in two drainage channels filled with dubious brown run off, hopefully giving him a more sewery vibe.

So with that my Vermember challenge was over. Except it wasn't, as that was 30th November and my challenge to myself included this blog post. At least the painting was done within time (although probably rushed because of it, yet again they probably wouldn't have been painted at all without a monthly challenge), and I could move on with the next awesome Oldhammer monthly painting challenge! Except I can't quite yet, as I'm painting up a load of Discworld miniatures as Christmas presents and they mostly need finishing by this weekend...

Anyway, the next awesome Oldhammer monthly painting challenge is now well under way -Rab's Geekly Digest brings us Deadcember 2016! Hoorah!

There is an additional theme this year "The Quick and the Dead" which an awful lot of people are taking to mean something hat can move fast, and a fair number have chosen to paint up their long horded Tom Meier Zombie Dragons in celebration! We really are in for a treat :)

My own take on the theme, and I think this was shared by a few other fb group members, is more gun smoke and chewing tobacco. Always keen to harness the motivating power of a monthly painting challenge, I've siezed the opportunity to work on a project within a project, that I've been planning for a while, which involves gun slinging undead.

Pretty sure the one on the far left is a recast now that I have them next to each other, but its not terrible.
The classic Citadel skeletons with Blunder Buss and Machine Gun are obvious choices, but I love the models. Anyway, I'd hoped to have these based up and undercoated by now at least, but I suspect this is going to be a project for the later part of the month now. I'm really looking forward to them though and hope you come back to see how they turn out.


  1. Nice one mate, that's a great selection of ratty goodness right there. Love those skellies too! Looking forward to seeing those painted up :-)

    1. Thanks mate :) Yet another project that wouldn't have got done otherwise, and although they don't all tie together as a whole they will get a lot of use this way.

      And yes, I'm really looking forward to getting to work on those skellies!