Thursday, March 3, 2011

Skaven Painting Tutorial

Right, I said I would do a tutorial on how I painted up the little rodents. I now present to you the skaven tutorial.

First off, I primed all of the little guys in black. As they are going to end up being rather dirty, dingy, and for the most part dark, black is the way to go. I sprayed them with Army Painter Black. This stuff is great. Very good coverage and comes out with some strength. I highly recommend it. I used to use Testors to prime them with, but Army Painter is extremely good.

Here I have given a rough covering of Calthan Brown to the fur areas.I paint in layers to the model, skin first, then the next layer up, armor or clothing, then the next, and finally what ever may be on top of those layers. It is much easier to paint interior items when you don't have to worry about getting paint on the layer above it. If you follow the steps properly, you can avoid having to reach the paint brush in to tight spaces having to avoid dabbing any already painted edges.

Anyway, the next layer I had was the skin, the actual flesh. I had this meet up with the fur I put on previously. This will join when the wash comes down. I used Tallarn Flesh for the skin color. I have also painted the spear shaft with a Bestial Brown

Here I have already put on the yellow, red, and the metal. I used Iyanden Yellow, Mechrite Red, and Boltgun Metal. The model right now could be used in a regiment. For me it is only half done. It hasn't taken long to get to this stage; as I have only used 5 colors not counting the priming or the base.

I have just give this skaven a wash with Devlan Mud. This will tie many of the colors together. You can see this on the hand where the fur and the flesh meet. As an added bonus, the wash will creep into crevices and folds as it dries to give a shade to those locations.

Again, you could field him as he stands now, but to get a good effect with your models, you really want to have three layers to each color. The whole base, shade, highlight theme. Since I already have the base down and the shade as well, I need the highlight. I simply went back with the original color for each location and painted along raised edges or areas that will catch the light better. You can see the hand is looking much nicer now, more subtle and somewhat realistic for a ratman.

Finally, after the paint has dried, I sealed him with a gloss coat first for strength and resistance to chipping, followed by a dull coat. Both of these were sprayed on using Testors sprays. The dull coat for Testors is one of the best out there. I will say, the sprays will basically re-wet the paint underneath it which will again create a fusion of areas, tying them in again. It's rather nice to get that effect. It can also be a pain if you had just gotten it perfect and the spray ruins it. I plan ahead and expect it now. That is one of the reasons the Heavy Metal team at GW doesn't spray them.

So that is it. What was that 7 colors, fur, skin, armor, hood, skirt(?), shaft, and the wash. All GW colors and most of them Foundation paints, mainly for their coverage ability. They can go over black, or any other color, with one coat. Thanks, comments are welcome!


  1. Nice one! I'm a new skaven player looking around the net for painting tutorials, and I think your's is better, easy to understand, and more budget I think(?). Other's just use 10+ colors with highlights and shades but even 7 color of your can still look better.

    Hope you can post more of this stuff!

  2. Normally you will not zoom in on a standard regimental skaven. When you have 30 of these guys lined up it is much more impressive. The zooms on these skaven make them look a bit bleh, but remember these are going to be used en masse. So, do not be discouraged if your guys come out not looking like Heavy Metal quality. I am certainly not upset with how they came out.