Skaven Clan Rats: Painting Tutorial

Hey guys Cavalier, commission painter for Frontline Gaming and co-host of Splintermind the Dark Eldar Podcast, back with another painting tutorial, this time on my approach to painting Skaven Clan Rats!


One of the best factions in all of the Old World and the Age of Sigmar has got to be Skaven. These guys are so iconic and getting to paint them on commission is always a treat. I plan adding some to my Heroquest Collection, so its a good time to be painting them on commission!

So I’ve never been the hugest fan of GW’s painting approach to Skaven. I know thats a popular thing to say nowadays, but this is the only army or model you’ll ever catch me saying that. I’m a big fan of their entire aesthetic. So I got permission from the client to do these in a dark, furrier (that sounds weird) scheme and I couldn’t be happier because this is exactly how I planned on painting mine!

Step 1

Prime them Chaos Black and hit them with Dryad Bark. Dryad Bark is super close to being black, but it really helps to establish a greater depth of color, especially in this dark paint scheme.

Step 3

Hit that sucker with some Mournfang Brown. This is another Base color so it goes on like a dream.

Step 3

One of my ultimate favorite paints, Skrag Brown. This gives a nice leathery hue to that brown and really makes everything it touches look richer and fuller. I love this color and use it for leathers all the time. It pops but blends into the overall pallet really well.

Step 4

This paint is a new favorite, its called Sylvaneth Bark, its a GW Dry paint and it really does a lot. It sort of jumps up in brightness but dont worry we’re gonna knock it back down again. But it does add a nice gradient to the brown and keep these really small, dark models retain a good range of color.

Step 5

But before we can circle round back to the brown which we want to knock down with good old Agrax Earthshade, we gotta block out the rest of the colors all of which will be receiving Agrax’ magic touch. So block out the cloth with Caliban Green, then the armor with Leadbelcher. Apply Nuln Oil to the armor and let it dry.

Step 6

Next up hit the model with some Agrax. Really into the metallics as it’ll give a corroded and dirty look to the metal which is perfect for Skaven. Go easy on the fur though, you dont want to undo all the nice browns you’ve layered up already. After applying a LIGHT Agrax to the fur, let it dry and re-highlight it with Skrag Brown. Really hit that muzzel with the Skrag too as we’re gonna blend that to flesh tones next.

Step 7

Next up paint the muzzel. Do a highlight over the Skrag with Cadian Flesh and then highlight that with Kislev Flesh. This adds just enough pale skin to evoke a mutant humanoid.

Step 8

Highlight that Green. Highlight the Caliban Green with Warp Stone and then Warboss Green.

Step 9

Paint that tail! Now this next approach may not be for everybody, but I think the bright pink tail adds a nice splash color to these minis and creates a gross slightly wormy type vibe to the model which is perfect for these blight bringers! I paint it Screamer Pink, shaded with Carroburg Crimson. Clean it up then highlight the tale with Pink Horror and finally Emperors Children. Then you are done!

So this is the final product. Hope you guys found the tutorial useful. This approach could easily be adapted to the Sylvaneth army, Dark Angels in their 40k colors or just an approach towards leather in general. Hope you guys enjoyed it.

If you are interested in Aeldari discussion check out our podcast: Splintermind for exclusive Drukharii and all things Aeldari news and discussion. If you are interested in following my painting exploits check me out on Instagram! Thanks for reading and stay tuned!


And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!







About Cavalier

Commission Painter for Frontline Gaming + Co-Host of the Splintermind: The Dark Eldar Podcast

4 Responses to “Skaven Clan Rats: Painting Tutorial”

  1. Avatar
    WestRider March 29, 2019 1:39 am #

    Excellent stuff! I’m not a big fan of GW’s approach to Skaven either, and this guy looks much better. I’d modify it a bit for my taste (use the same flesh tones as the face on the tail and hands), but all the general steps are great advice.

    • Avatar
      Cavalier March 30, 2019 2:50 am #

      Thanks as always Westrider. Glad you liked it. I know the tail is a bit over the top, but I thought it’d be a fun blast of color. Glad I’m not alone on the stock painting scheme, thanks!

  2. Reecius
    Reecius March 30, 2019 9:31 am #

    Great tutorial! Love the color choices.

    Man, I need to get my Plague Rats painted up….

    • Avatar
      Cavalier March 30, 2019 4:54 pm #

      Thanks Reece appreciate it man. Super fun paint scheme, plan on doing this on my Heroquest Skaven this way lol… anyway thanks man glad you dig it!

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