Thursday 30 May 2024


Over the years, I've come to realise that there are several motivating factors that get me painting. Obviously, painting to play games with my friends is the biggest of these, but I also often paint miniatures out of nostalgia for my long list youth, and sometimes simply because a setting or range inspires me.

The motivating factor that I don't admit to very often is an extremely petty desire to somehow put one over Games Workshop after they ripped my Undead army in half twenty years ago.

Yes, I should get out more and probably touch some grass.

Anyway, it's this less than noble part of my character that is at play in this post.

I don't play Age of Sigmar. I've never played Age of Sigmar. None of my regular gaming group have any desire to play Age of Sigmar. However, I am painting up Skaven for Age of Sigmar.


Well, as the advertising for the new edition of Age of Sigmar hit, it occured to me that I actually owned equivalent miniatures to almost all of the Skaven Spearhead force, and that childish and vengeful part of my soul kicked in...

Therefore I'm creating a starter army for Age of Sigmar without handing over any money at all.

Take that GW! Mwa-ha-haaaaa!

More seriously, I made a commitment to myself to paint a 1000 point army of Skaven at the start of the year, but I burned out on sorting out my existing armies for Warhammer: The Old World. So I figured that Age of Sigmar has smaller armies (less painting), I can still get the Skaven painted, and they then at least give me the option to try out a new game (my Daemons of Tzeentch would provide appropriate opposition).

The miniatures that will form the core of the force are the plastic Clanrats from Advanced Heroquest, that have sat unpainted for thirty years.

They are simplistic monopose sculpts (barring slight weapon and shield changes) that are showing their age. Arguably the worst part of the models are the top of their heads, which have no texture, however, other than that they are fine, and better than some of Games Workshop's later monopose sculpts, with some surprising areas of detail, such as the back of the shields.

In terms of painting, I've mainly used contrast paints in order to get things done quickly. These are tabletop standard at best, but I have never had the patience for large scale batch painting, and en masse they'll look fine.

The Skaven Spearhead (which is a starter box which has a reduced version of the game built round it) features two units of 10 Clanrats, and so I'm differentiating the units with slightly different coloured tunics.

I've only done seven for each unit at the moment as I'm going to need to convert champions, standard bearers and musicians to bring them up to full strength.

I have enough models to probably bring one of the two units up to twenty in time.

The Giant Rats don't feature in the Spearhead force, but I figured that I could get them done quickly at the same time.

These are the monopose plastic rats from the Warhammer Quest/Swarms sprues.

I used the same simple painting approach I used on the Clanrats, however I did vary the fur colours on some of them to provide some visual variation. This has also convinced me to do the same if and when I add Clanrats to the existing units.

I've not done the basing on them yet because I want to wait and see if Giant Rats are worth using in the game, or whether I should base them up as Swarms.

A further option would be to base them up as an Endless Spell - lasting magic effects that are built as part of the army list.

The Skaven have an Endless Spell aptly called Vermintide, which uses the above base size, giving me the option to create something scenic, which could be fun. I still have a few more Giant Rats currently having the paint stripped off them, so I should be able to make something that looked appropriate.

Will I ever play Age of Sigmar?

I honestly don't know, but I'm getting miniatures painted out of spite, and I'm sure I'll be able to use them somehow, maybe in 7TV or Five Leagues from the Borderlands.

Acquired: -100
Painted: 290
Lead Mountain: 660


  1. I've got some of those old rat models! They're still pretty good, even if they're monopose. I too feel the need to get one over on GW by painting old stuff, which usually ends up with me blowing a load of money on ebay. Oh well. Anyhow, they're all looking good and will make an excellent mob. Will you be converting any war machines?

    1. Thanks.

      They hold up well enough, especially when compared to the monopose ones used in Warhammer Quest. In fact, I think the flat head thing might be why future plastic Skaven spotted helmets.

      I may knock up war machines, but before I get there I have more Clanrats, some Rat Ogres, a Grey Seer and possibly some Night Runners to do.

  2. What about 1 page rules

    1. I might try that too. The issue is convincing someone else. However, I think OPR might be an easier sell than AoS.

  3. Great work on the classic models.