Thursday, 30 October 2014

Space Skaven! Jes Goodwin Concept Sketches via Jon Boyce inspire a Rogue Trader style conversion!


I am sure that many of you who read this blog are also readers of the Oldhammer Facebook Group. Unlike a blog or a forum, FB seems a lot more 'instant' and evolving and good posts can quickly disappear into the ether and can be missed by those who don't interact so much. It is because of this that I enjoy stealing other people's postings and sharing them here, as I suspect a far wider audience will be interested in them.

One such posting was by Jon Boyce in a conversation concerning the Space Skaven. Though mentioned in modern 40k fiction, actual official models have never been released. We got Space Undead but never Intergalatic Rats. Still, it didn't stop members of the community talking about them. Jon was kind enough to share these Jes Goodwin concepts published by the Black Library o help illustrate how they may have looked.

I thought that you guys might want to have a look at them too. 


I like the fact that these rats don't lack menace. Too much has been made of their cowardice in recent times, and this has resulted in a race that lacks real threat when you ponder how to use them. They are just another horde army to use a well oiled modern gaming phrase. 


Something in the images made me think of Star Wars. Don't they make you feel the same? Lacking a Space Skaven in my leadpile I pondered if converting and painting one today would be possible. I had a yearning to practice my speed painting technique and setting limits means I get figures completed despite having a wife and two kids in the house with me. So I headed over to the leadpile and pulled out my skaven collection. I selected a 1987 musician model as the addition of the pipes and machine parts gave me a good basis for a sci-fi Rogue Trader model. 


And here is the result! Complete with a Rogue Trader style back banner with a touch of skaven iconography. The conversion was quite simple. I removed what was left of the original dagger (it had been snapped off in antiquity) and replaced it with a cut in half old plastic Imperial guard las-rifle. Green stuff helped me build up the stock and extend the barrel. Several parts of the old RT01 Space Marine sprue helped add further detail and the back banner pole. 


As I mentioned earlier, I used my speed painting method on this model. I limited myself to 5 hours to work on it and that would include the conversion work. The model was based in red, with all the other colours blocked in quite simply. Then, I mixed up a 1:1:2 mix of Brown Ink, Chestnut Ink and water and covered the whole model in my own 'homemade' Army Painter dip. 

Once dry, it was a simple case of building up each colour once more with a base, highlight and final highlight. Simples. Once thing that I can say, is that the Star Wars influence didn't quite leave me, and the clothing colour scheme apes that of the uniform Luke Skywalker wore when he fly a Snowspeeder or X-Wing. 


The banner was also very simple to achieve. I used an old envelope as a material and sketched out a plan of the image in biro. I gave the top half a black basecoat and the bottom a red one. Using a very small brush, I created the starfield by dotting lots of little stars. For the first cliuster, I used a mid grey mix and slowly added increasing numbers of white to help give a sense of depth to the stars. The planet was built up in very much the same way using orange and yellow to give the impression of a rough, blasted surface. 

The skaven head was freehanded from an image I found on Google. I felt that using red to add the eyes and symbol would help tie in the image with the rest of the banner and the ratman's clothing. 


So what do you think? I didn't need the full five hours in the end and I am pretty happy with the results. 

Orlygg

19 comments:

  1. Perfect! I'm so impressed with how well this captures the look from the Jes Goodwin sketch. I really fancy doing something similar...although sadly I've only just parted with my large Skaven collection. Sigh...I guess I need to buy a replacement then ;)

    Great work and a gorgeous, eye-catching paint job to boot.

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    1. There are so many skaven that can be converted up in my opinion. Only a few quid on eBay and you can have a crack at your own. I heartily recommend it!

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  2. Splendid ! I now know for sure I need a space skaven team in my rogue trader collection.

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  3. Out of curiosity, where have they been mentioned in the fiction?

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    1. I cannot remember now... I am pretty sure there were mentions in Eisenhorn and The Last Chancers. Nothing overt of course, just subtle references.

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  4. Very nice! I don't suppose you've looked at any of the Mantic Space Rats recently? Not unrelated, you might say.

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    1. I had no idea that Mantic had released any. I shall go and have a look at them now. So thanks...

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    2. Yep the Veer-myn IIRC, they introduced them in their Space Hulkesque game "Pandora's Cargo"

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  5. Wow! That's all really... Just, wow!

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  6. excellent work. And I must say I thought of Star Wars as soon as I saw the first concept sketch. Reminded me of Tusken Raiders and Jawas. I think the mix of masks, loose coats and bandoleers had that effect on me.

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  7. Great work. I like the car roof photography studio:)

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  8. heh, space skaven. i always used to cheat when rolling for my chaos renegade's followers. somehow an unusual amount of my warbands included some skaven. what were the odds? :D

    i never knew they were considered as a 40k race.

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  9. Awesome. I seem to remember Ian Miller did quite a few Space Ratmen pictures? If nothing else there's The City... shudder!

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  10. Nice conversion!
    I've always thought the old Skaven Bloodbowl team would make a good basis for RT ratmen.
    The Mantic ones look nice but I don't care for the material they're made of.

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  11. Fantastic work on the conversion!

    Skaven of any type have never been one of "my" armies, but they would have/ would be great for 40K.
    Like everybody else, I immediately thought of Jawas and Tusken Raiders when seeing those drawings.

    The Mantic Veer-Myn do seem rather nice too.

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  12. I think his consepts did influence a lot of stuff in Warhammer Fantasy where Skaven were and I presume are pretty steampunk army with the warplock muskets, jezzails, flame throwers etc,

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    1. Yep, the Skaven are the Old World's answer to the Steampunk movement, or more in their case Warpstonepunk :D

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  13. I've also seen converted Skaven ratmen gangs for Necromunda around the web. Always meant to have a go myself. I think I will now. I don't know how you paint so fast. I can spend five hours just staring at a miniature before even picking up a brush. The banner turns a good model into an eyecatching one.

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