Tuesday, May 2, 2023

ZeroTwentythree's April Skaven (620 pts)

 April Skaven: Clan Skryre (Wild Card)

I thought I would get in the April Fool spirit and paint some crazy and/or dangerous things  for this month's entry. Thus, Clan Skryre month. As with many of my OWAC projects & entries, there's a bit of nostalgia behind it. (See below.)

At first I was going to paint 12 Clan Skryre models for my Wildcard month. Then I added "one" more model, a rat swarm. Because 13 is better than 12! But I got jealous after seeing big beasts in other people's armies...

I first started playing Warhammer not long after 3rd edition came out. After a bit of experimentation with various "armies" I eventually settled two, Skaven and Dwarfs. If I had to guess, I'd say Skaven were the army of choice 80-90% of the time. A unique army with a quite a few unusual options. However, I was always jealous of all the other armies that could select awesome mounts like dragons, griffins, wyverns.... hell, even horses. This was probably exacerbated by the fact that my second army was in a similar situation.

At some point I figured I would try summoning a monstrous host. I always loved Lewis Carroll's Alice books, and The Jabberwock poem in particular. I picked up three figures back then, two of the Citadel model and one from Ral Partha. Two ended up being painted in gaudy fluorescent Polly-S acrylic paints. Perfectly chaotic! A "brightly colored" mutation. Although the creature was borrowed, it always seemed like one of the most chaotic of the creatures of chaos to me.

So that was my choice for summoning. They were usually unimpressive on the battlefield and a waste of spell points. But I continued to use them on occasion just so I had an excuse to put the model on the table and surprise my opponents.

I still have one of the Citadel and one of the RP figures, but they have been repainted in more drab colors to serve another purpose outside the scope of the OWAC. But I recently picked up two newer Jabberwock figures, one from Reaper and this one, from Satyr Art Studio/Drew Williams (sold by someone else now, I think.) I can't help but think that Drew's figure is a tribute to the Tom Meier sculpt from Ral Partha, similar to the giant he did a few years ago. I had to bend the figure a bit to get it into a similar pose but a little more three dimensional

I prepped the figure before the month started, but then wrestled with the color scheme for weeks. At first I was going to try to emulate old color printings of the original B&W John Tenniel illustration from Carroll's book. Then I thought about ultra-technicolor-izing that into a vivid RGB color scheme. But I couldn't get entirely behind either option. I haven't been sleeping well, and one night in my sleep-deprived tossing & turning late at night, I had the idea to paint it red. I like the way it has a cliche meanacing "devil" look to it, but is still a Jabberwock and creature of chaos. "Brightly colored" doesn't have to mean fluorescent blues and oranges and yellows and greens.

The Jabberwock is a creature of Skryre because it is a summoned host.

But the clan has more direct yet equally chaotic and unreliable means and methods. I had to get a few different photos for clarity, but below are a poisoned wind globadier and the one non-Skryre figure I did this month, a plague censer bearer.

The plague censer belongs to Clan Pestilens, but as I am not doing any plague monks (I think the clan was underdeveloped in terms of rules and figures until later editions) I figured this fella fit well with the Wildcard entry.

Back in the day... as a kid, I had to request my FLGS (I didn't even have one of those for a long time, and just picked up whatever scraps of Skaven figures were available scattered model train and comic book shops within a reasonable distance.) I don't know how it was elsewhere, but the US catalog had one code, "Skaven." And whatever they sent was what you got. I was hoping for a whole great variety. I got a boatload of warpfire-throwers. Like six packs of fire-throwers, and six packs of everything else. Luckily "everything else" included 2 rat ogres and some globadiers, but almost no actual troops. For most of 3rd edition the only foot soldiers I had (clanrats, slaves, stormvermin, black skaven, plague monks, etc.) that were available were just plastic Fantasy Regiments clan rats painted with different color schemes. 

Back to the present. I wanted to paint a fire thrower for the challenge, and knew I had a few of the old six still lingering around. I could strip one team and give it a fresh look. But after searching for months, I couldn't find them! I ended up ordering a fire thrower  team on ebay, and as expected, about two months later I found the two teams (one of each sculpt) that I had been looking for. Not a horrible end result. I still have my originals, plus I got to paint a new team for OWACV.

There was only one jezzail team sculpted by Jes back in the day, but I used to use the hero with a rifle as my "champion" among my old jezzails. All of those old figures are long gone, but I managed to collect the hero along with a single jezzail team before the challenge started. I used a modern plastic figure in lieu of the jezzail (musket) brace holder so I had the required two figures. Unfortunately the actual jezzail team are among the figures I didn't get to finish in time this month.

Not a terribly clear image, but I also painted one of the two "gas mask" poisoned wind globadiers I had planned for this month.

Lastly was the sort of "bonus" figures of the month. I never used a swarm host in 3rd edition. No one has in any of the games I've played or watched. This is the single most expensive figure (points wise) in the Skaven army and I just don't get it. But I had some extra swarm figures from 6th edition (I think?) which look pretty nice but are meant for a 50x50 base. Since no one I knew ever used swarms in 3rd ed. it came as a surprise to me that they go on 50mm diameter bases. Or 50mm radius bases. As discovered by the OWACV Team Skaven, there is a conflict in the rules, but I had already based mine on 50mm diameter. I think I will probably make a 50mm radius base with some additional rats for this swarm to fit inro so I can play it either way. Well... not exactly, because actually playing a swarm seems like a complete waste of effort. But maybe just so I can have it in my collection. :)

April Points:

50 pts          2 Poisoned Wind Globadiers
81 pts          Warpfire-Thrower Team
39 pts          Jezzail
200 pts       Jabberwock
250 pts       Rat Swarm

620 pts         April TOTAL

1,043 pts       OWAC TOTAL (so far)


  1. I love your paintjob on the skaven, but the jabberwock is even better! Great month!

    1. Thank you. I feel it's a little too monochromatic compared to the rest of the figures or even my other jabberwocks....

  2. The dread jabberwock was worth the wait! Excellent skaven, and love the champion!

  3. Well, I'd have said that painting a Jabberwock bright red was as daft as, say. painting a dragon purple, but he looks magnificent. A great way to add a burst of colour to the scurrying horde.

    I always love to read about your history with Warhammer, too. Love a bit of nostalgia :)

    1. Thanks. I don't think I would be in the OWAC without that does of nostalgia. The red was an admittedly odd choice. But so was the fluorescent blue, yellow, pink, and green of my 80's jabberwocks!

  4. Some cracking skaven models this month, but the jabberwock really catches the attention! I like your interpretation of that iconic beast

    1. Thanks. I'm still worrying it's an odd choice of color. But I'm happy with how it turned out!

  5. I love your painting on these. The poisoned globes, warpstone gems and jabberwock eyes are really good. I can't remember if I said before, but the mishrooms are a wonderful touch.
    The gas mask globadiers are some of my favourite skaven models, and yours there is lovely. Those globes contained by the ropes!
    Great month!

    1. Thanks. There was an oooold WD article about painting jems (on Eldar, maybe?) that opened my eyes to not only jems, but glass, metals, etc. and painting things as they reflect reality. So the filthy globes full of poisoned gas and jabberwock eyes are a credit to whoever wrote that article!

  6. The red Jabberwok is a stroke of fever dream inspiration, it looks great! Plus one for the efforts with the rat swarm. It might not be a great tactical choice, but a Skaven army wouldn't be complete without teeming hordes of rats!


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