Saturday, 18 June 2016

Rats in spaaaace - Jes Goodwin my hero


Wow, that's quite an achievement here. A relief actually. Space skaven are long term residents at the top of my "to do " list but for some reason I've never quite managed to take the time to fully go into it. The main reason might be I wanted to paint them all at once so that sort of process tends to make things a bit more impressive to get on with.
Anyway I'm glad I've managed to pull some fingers out of some orifices and finish no less than 12 models at once (2 of the little rats above come from my rogue quest project.
But why space skaven ?
The answer lies in one name : Jes Goodwin.

The original skaven (as well as the more recent ones) all already have elements to make porting to 40k possible. Technology, a strong visual identity and they're mutants basically.

Just take a look at some of the sketches in "the Gothic and the Eldritch and you can see it doesn't take much to push Fantasy skaven into the grim darkness of the far future as Jes imagines it.


With that in mind I've worked on many models at once, they are not presented in the order I worked on but more by affinity and rank.
So here are the captain and astropath (aka Astrorat) :


The captain is obviously based on one of the iconic characters of WHFB 4th ed : Ikit The claw. The flat YMCA pose is a good indicator of when he's from and removing his halberd was not a piece of cake I can swear :


It was replaced with a modernish bolter and space marine arm to make his armour a powered one and I addd a Skitari backpack (what a wonderful kit really) to give him the power supply he requires. A little OSL to represent the lightning claw and flamer and the guy is good to go !

The astrorat is of course a wink to the Rogue Trader astropath concept which and the reference was an evidence as soon as I saw the plague monk figure (which was damaged and thus required conversion work anyway). I repurposed Ikit's back banner to make a staff for the astropath which made things complete.

Picture from the most Excellent Magpie and old lead
Painting wise, I fist was tempted to go with a very strong vibrating colour scheme (orange and grey with dark blacks) but then I decided to dig the WW1 path a little deeper. That's how I ended up with that worn out kaki and greys. I think it does enhance the "scavenger" side of the models without making them too fantasy.

The next members were the ones that were using the most the WW1 vibe mixed with Steampunk as in the sketch below :


The greyseer with warplock pistol only got a pair of combat shoes (like most of the skaven of the band actually) and a bionic eye (because it's the easy/lazy way to make things sci-fi really).
I have to say the globadier next to him has got to be one of the most excellent models I've ever painted. It's an humble one for sure but it displays the genius of its creator really, everything in the pose and details, the way it works with the 2 piece mould constraints... I just love it.


Next (those actually were the first 2 I converted) were the best equiped (after the captain) of the bunch :


The guy on the left is based on one of the most famous leaders so I tried to stay faithful to the sculpt and only swapped the halberd for a power axe. Apart from new boots and a WW1 gas mask, there wasn't much more modifications on this one (he's got to be the most converted of the bunch).
The guy on the right only got shoes but the pose and equipment was already too good to be altered really.


The warpfire thrower and his little companion are excellent models and there was no chance I would leave them aside really. The gun bearer is a variant of the greyseer actually and the slave is just another of those wonderful Goodwin models. Once again, it's playing with the 2 piece moulds constraints and offers a really cool pose. So nice to see even slaves got the best of Jes for this range.
I altered the mask to add a gas mask part I had from somewhere and I linked both models with some bass string (should have used green stuff rolls.
Oh and while I'm at it : DO NOT PAINT MODELS ATTACHED TO ONE BASE.

Really.

Do yourself a favour.


AAAAaahhh, my favourite ! The rat-ogre is just insanely great. I love that model. you can see it's lacking a tail (rat ogres got one after that in 4th ed while losing much of their body hair) and this particular conversion had been in the back of my mind for some time. Well I actually wanted to give him retro running shoes like Reeboks and maybe some bling but I followed advice from friends and didn't overdo it.
I finally just sculpted him a sleeveless shirt and a pair of shorts to replace his loinclothe.


Lastly, here are some Necromunda rats I got a few days before finishing the band so I added them to the crew. I think they couldn't be better anywhere else really (despite the obvious style differences between Trish's and Jes' styles).



So this is it, 12 models at once and a full warband to play. It's a lot different from how I envisionned them at the start but I have to say I like them a lot. I hope you people will like them as well and will find them Sci-fi enough. I have to say I do like the "on the edge" look of them.

EDIT : I wanted to share that with you but had to be reminded, if you ever feel like knowing a bit more about space skaven, check this excellent post !

So what's coming next ? Well I got myself into serious trouble...
You'll see what I mean...

52 comments:

  1. The rat ogre looks like he might work for Shredder in those shades.

    This is a fabulous warband JB. I'm itching to face them across a table, brilliant.

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    1. There's definitely a Bebop/Rocksteady vibe in this guy !

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  2. Now that's impressive mate. Space Skaven have always been a thing to me, but lacking the ingeniosity to make them, i chose the side of the Space Marine Skaven back in the days, much more easy.

    Your conversions here are really smart, works damn well and give the Skaven feeling at first glance. The Rat Ogre with its clothes and glasses is particlarly awesome indeed.

    Must say i'm not fully sold on the grey fur/grey clothes choice but that's a matter of personal taste so who cares? This warband is looking ace.

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    1. I have to say it's puzzled me as well, a bit more thinking could have avoided that I reckon.
      Thanks mec !

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  3. These guys are so good. Well worth the wait. They need to get stuck into some dark deeds, pronto!

    With regards to the shoes on the rat ogre, I believe we agreed that Reeboks would be too much, but some giant Converse All Stars would be spot on. But whatevs man. It's cool I guess.

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    1. Chuck taylors would have made him too fantasy, I needed something more modern like reebok pumps ;)

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  4. Genius... I pondered the awesomeness of space scaven wayback in the day - never had the time, skill or cash to do anything with the idea back then, so it is immensely pleasing to see someone a) make it happen, and b) make it all look so amazing! Seriously dude, you have made my year :-)

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    1. Lol, thanks mate !
      I'd really like to see them meet your techno-barbarians as they both have a foot in each period.

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    2. Ditto dude - well, I'll be bringing the TBs to BOYL, so it could happen if you're popping over/under La Manche this year???

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    3. AAAAAAh fuck, what a shame, I'm not able to make it this year despite the many people I'd like to see again or for the first time !

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    4. Ah well, I'm sure there will be other times mate - might be a good excuse for me to pop over to France some time ;-)

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  5. Brilliant work! Really like your painting style. some simple and effective conversions. Could they be the Hrud?

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    1. You just need to say they are and they are !
      Thanks a lot !

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  6. Sweet googly moogly, they're fantastic! And such simple, effective changes too. Using red for the warp-stony effects makes them striking. Love them.

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    1. Cheers, I really wanted to avoid the green warpstone and swap it for some malevolent radioactive red instead. Glad you like it too !

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  7. Good looking Ratties, spaces Kitties next? :D

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    1. An army of gyrinx-men ... now I like he sound of that !

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  8. The transition from fantasy to 40k is a simple change of focus for Skaven I think - they already have some excellent elements which work perfectly in the far future. I think the little additions (grenades, shoes, power axe etc) just underline the 'fit'. My favourite is your rat ogre - by adding the shades and vest you've effectively created a new ogryn. Just with more fur ;)

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    1. That was the idea indeed but until the end I wasn't fully sure it would work.
      The red made it happen though.
      The rat ogryn really is fun, Just a pair of shirts and shades make it work, I'm eager to plat him.

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  9. I'm speachless, they're beautiful!

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    1. Coming from such a connoisseur, I'm flattered !
      Thanks!

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  10. Every one a work of art: to see them altogether, wow!

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    1. It's fun to have a whole warband finished at once, a bit tiresome but the ego boost is worth it !

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  11. Oh man JB you gave outdone yourself! So awesome!

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    1. Cheers Bud !, I'm really eager to get them on some tabletop !

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  12. Shit I came to too late to the party so everyone has already said it all. Rats.

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    1. A bit late yeah but I'm on a forgiving day ;)
      Cheers mate !

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  13. They look great! I have all of these figures (and many more....) and I was thinking of a project like this (but I'm not sure if I want to just make a fantasy army....?)...

    I think they work well, the conversions are nice without being over the top, and the flashes of red work well to set off the dark colour (if anything they could do with more red, in my personal view... :) ).

    I am a bit disappointed though that the rat ogre didn't get Reebok pumps....

    W

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    1. The original colour scheme I had in mind implied far more red and orange but I finally opted for something darker to enhance the WW1 and scavenger look of them. Vibe Vs Graphic if you want ! ^^
      I wish I had painted the ograt's shirt kaki too but the Reebok thing is too good to be left aside, there's another rat-ogre sculpt I could use ;)
      Cheers man !

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    2. All personal preference, they look great --- looking forward to seeing the Reebok pumps though... ;)

      W

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  14. I'm ashamed to not have commented sooner. This project has me very excited, it seems like a fantastic way to use my Skaven leftovers.
    In my opinion they need suicide bombers, I call dibs

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    1. Damn ! Suicide bombers sound really skaven indeed ! You have a real skaven expertise so I'd ove to see a few of them brought to RT by you !

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  15. Très belle bande JB, t'es vraiment très inspéré sur ce coup là. En plus elle vont bien à peindre ces figurines et je suis certain que tu a pris plus de plaisir que d'habitude à réaliser ce projet.. coquin ;)

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    1. Comme d'hab, le Goodwin ca se peint comme du petit lait (expression de merde) mais je trouve qu'il a du se faire encore plus plais' sur celles là, même les piétons humbles comme l'esclave ou le globadier sont super fines et intelligemment sculptés je trouve, pour le coup je trouve le perso Ikit beaucoup plus grossier en comparaison dans l'exécution ou la conception.
      Merci à toi mec !

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  16. Jaw dropping work, JB. Seriously! Space Skavens was just a thing long time missing and you brought them to life brilliantly. Bravo!

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    1. Cheers Amigo ! I tend to aim at niches so that I don't have too much other projects to be compared to !

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  17. I've always loved Jes' Skaven models, I have a few in my collection myself.

    Your conversions look great and really overall the whole band looks amazing in those WWI inspired colours.

    Well done.

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    1. I just don't tire of Jes' models really ! Have you painted some of those Skaven, if not I strongly welcome you to have a go, they're a treat !
      Cheers !

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  18. While I find the captain to be a little too much, the 'astrorat' is just awesome, just as the rat ogre which is brilliant and simple at the same time. Loving the model and the twist you gave to the whole band !

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    1. The captain wasn't intended at first given he's a 4th ed model but the model was added in a package by a kind soul so I had to use him somehow. He's a bit different from teh others though so I totally get the feeling.
      Cheers mec !

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  19. Oh wow! I've always thought that the Skaven had a very trench warfare feel to them and you've included some of my favourite Skaven miniatures in this band! ^^

    The power-armoured space rat is an especially awesome concept! ^^

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    1. Cheers Becca ! I had never got even remotely close to skaven before so wanted to use the "right" models if I was making a band !

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  20. I'm running out of ways to say that you rock JB ;) I might start going through adjectives in the dictionary to find new ways :P

    I don't know why GW never introduced these obvious critters into the 40K world. I mean they ported justs about everything else from the fantasy world into it.....except for undead, which I think either Bryan Ansell or Rick Priestley once said was just a stupid idea and that they'd never do it. Years later they introduced Necrons :(

    Back on point, they're a perfect fit for the Underhive. Strange and somewhat disappointing that they never bothered pursue to it. On the flipside, it leaves the way clear for "us" (but more specifically "you") to create whatever we see fit to fill the gap :) Maybe it's a blessing in disguise.

    Top work JB!

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    1. I really think it's a blessing, it leaves whole areas clear for us to discover and write, what more could we ask for ? (Yeah I know, more spare time ^^)
      Cheers mate !

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  21. Bloody hell mate, you're brave to cut up all these amazing JG figs. They are some of my all fav figs of the time.

    Love what you've done though and boots on all of them?! Genius!

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    1. I have actually altered only 2 of them, the rest just for green stuff !
      They are excellent I agree, a real treat from the start till the end.
      Cheers !

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  22. Another set of AMAZING conversions, so simple, so brilliant.

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    1. Cheers, those guys took me about 2 years of procrastination but here we are. I'm really glad they're done at last !

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  23. Their was a comment in the WH40k Compendium about Rodotoxin for ratlin snipers.

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    1. Oh I didn't know that, I love those little pieces of info that open doors ! Thanks !

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  24. They look just marvellous. Have to agree with the rest and say that the Rat-ogre is prorobly the coolest (it is probably the sunglasses that gives him extra Cool point).

    Have to say that I am a bit surprised that you, with your interests in martial arts and the 80:s, did not make a Splinter (from TMNT) homage to go with them.

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    1. I know what you mean, I could and probably will add a splinter like model at some point for fun but at the time I mad ethose, I was already mixing many influences at once so didn't want to blur line too much.
      In Hindsight, the rat-ogre should have had a white T-shirt for even more cool points but you learn more from mistakes than from successes. ;)

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