Dreadfleet: Scabrus

This little piece was a nice surprise, as it was one of the easier pieces to rip through fairly quickly.  I got into it after not dealing too well with Swordfysh (those blasted sails are a real test thanks to the shallow sculpt!) I decided enough was too mich and took a time out on the Swordfysh to try anything else and my gaze fell on Skabrus. What I enjoy with all Skaven themed pieces is that you really have carte blanche to dress it anyway you want and it is still valid!  I painted the entire ship in the four pieces that easily seperate – base, two sides of ship and mast – in order to outline all details and frankly, get the brush into all crevices without undoing some previous work!

  • First things first – primed with Skull White.  Light is your friend with the washed out and rotting affect I was aiming for here.
  • I then based it all in Dheneb Stone, before adding a very watery wash ofLeviathan Purple – thick as treacle!
  • Washed with Codex Grey, or even Astronomicon would do the trick.  I think that I was nowhere near as liberal as I could have been.  I later dry brushed with Dheneb Stone again to mellow the Purple out.
  • The bones and teeth were all based in Bleached Bone before getting a good shower with Ogryn Flesh and Devlan Mud 1:1 mix – I followed this up with what may only be described as an almost dry wash of Badb Black nearer the base of the bones.  Whenwell dry, I tipped and highlighted the spines, teeth and bone edges with Skull White.
  • The mouth was layered in Liche Purple, then an overlay of Warlock before meeting the gums and thereafter an evening up with Scab Red on the very edge and interior of the mouth.
  • All timber got a simply Scorched Brown layer except the hut near the flag on the mast (that got a Kommando Khaki wall and Graveyard Earth roof.
  • The ropes were all detailed in Vermin Brown and highlighted in Snakebite Leather in places.
  • The bell was layered in Dark Angels Green, then spotted with Snot Green and finally a tight highlight of Scorpion Green.  I didn’t bother with light sourcing as the bell is quite a distance from the ship itself.
  • The eye sockets were given a dip of Badb Black, and the left eye was then given a dot of Space Wolves Grey, but even Dheneb Stone would do the trick.
  • The Gun rails got a Scorched Brown base before the Cannon bases were given a Tin Bitz layer.  The cannon themselves I picked out with Boltgun Metal.
  • The Flag is painter’s choice – you could even go so nerdy as to consult the Hearldry of the Skaven!  I threw on some Scab Red base for half and Shadow Grey with some Bubonic Brown or even Desert Yellow on the Sigil.  I gave it all a sparing wash with Badb Black and when dry dusted it with Dheneb Stone drybrush.
  • The Brass balls –  based in Tin Bitz before adding a drybrush of Dwarf Bronze and a liberal drybrush of Hawk Turquoise for the vergris.  I picked out the bands in Scorched Brown too.
  • Finally, I fine-tuned the highlights with Skull White, including the flaps of sagging or burst skin.  This was a very effective tool for lisitng  a distinction between the Dheneb under-layer and rotting flesh.

The base was simple, and I thought I was the bee’s knees, dog’s b*ll*ks and cat’s pj’s ramping up the detail with lots of going over the finer elements only to place the ship over the base and find almost all of the piece was obscured… My sense of satisfaction was warped to grim determination to see the rest of the thing out regardless.  I would have to tell people about the great level of effort that went into it should the conversation ever arise…;P

For those what may be interested though, here are the annotated cliff notes version:

  • Base with Mechrite Red
  • Layer with Scab Red
  • Wash with Leviathan Purple and Thraka Green mix – 1:1 is fine
  • Wash with Baal Red
  • Pick out some various organs in Blood Red sparingly – throw in the odd Warlock Purple too, but even more sparingly
  • All timber picked out in Scorched Brown
  • Brass ball was based in Tin Bitz before adding a drybrush of Dwarf Bronze and a liberal drybrush of Hawk Turquoise for the vergris.  I picked out the bands in Scorched Brown too, but they could easily have been the same as the rest of the ball.
  • Water was as per GW guidelines, listed in the terrain section of this site, with the following exceptions – the tubes trailing the ship were picked out in Mechrite Red base and a VERY light Scab Red/Blood Red 1:1 mix.  The crud trail directly behind the Scabrus I layerd in a wash of Orchide Shade, followed by a wash in Thraka Green – pretty heavy, really.  I then picked out bubbles and chunks in Dark Angel Green and Snot Green extremely light highlights.

An that was all there was to this one.  I like it, but it is far from perfect.  I think a different colour scheme to the skin would work well – black irridescent dark to light would be good too, but I think that the flaking, rotting flesh best offsets the darker innards.  The mouth I mussed, but like ti fine enough.  If I am honest, this is like a model I would have painted when I was even more amateur, but I’m ok with it as it is in essence, putrifying flesh with re-animated rat pirates living inside it…if that sentence isn’t enough to make you test your enthusiasm fo this kind of project, then I don’t know what is!  Done, onto the next one!

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5 responses to “Dreadfleet: Scabrus

    • For these ships, I definitely paint them off sprue – if it were a simple army selection, it would be primed on the sprue with spray, but these are just too detailed and involved – have to see them assembled first (impatience) before stripping them again if necessary for access to the full sculpt.

    • Getting there alright- about halfway through the ships anyway, but the counters and terrain remain still! Thanks for the compliment, but really I know when I’m pushing time instead of skill! You should kick into them soon yourself-post a few pics that I could learn from! My only real advice is don’t do Swordfysh or Bloody Reaver first! They’re a terror on the shallow details on the sails. Other than than that, it really is the most satisfying painting I’ve done in recent memory.

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