Year of The Rat Project – Skaven Doomwheel
This contraption is as crazy as the name Skaven Doomwheel. Out of a popular wargaming series War Hammer comes this killer wheel which is a cross between Steam Punk and an oversized rolling barrel. The Skaven are a race of ratmen in this wargaming universe who designed and operate this machine in their wars against their enemies. Two team of rats run this oversized squirrel cage wheel to propel it forward, while an assistant pumps a bellow that fires up some sort of boiler. And that in turn is connected to this big green stone inside the wheel called a “warpstone”. This magical stone energizes and zaps green lightning bolts through the two stone-tipped prongs extending forward, plus two more extending perpendicular to the wheel. Real Rat stuff for this Year of the Rat.
While I do not play War Hammer games, this wheel is a fun break from the realism of normal plastic modeling. There are no “historical” colors to adhere to and you could pretty much make it anyway you please. It turned out to be a multi-layered construction that was fairly challenging, and a lot of painting involved.
This plastic kit of the Doomwheel by Warhammer is a very detailed plastic kit. I am impressed by the fine molding and intricate machine shapes that form the Doomwheel. Even the running rat teams are finely sculpted. The fit is excellent with hardly any seams at all. These Made-in-England kits would give Tamiya and Hasegawa a run for their money in quality and detail. This kit come with extra rat figures in case you need more around the wheel.
My main complaint is that the kit parts are not numbered and the instructions are pictures that you have to pay close attention to for right side and left side assemblies. There is also little in the way of painting guide but I suppose you can allow your imagination to fly in all directions. In terms of scale (if there is such a thing with ratmen) I would say that it approximates 1/35.
Construction starts with the largest molded part of the center ring. The “pilot” ratman is built into the center of the ring and you have a choice between a screaming rat face or one who has this gas mask apparatus hooked up to the controls. I chose the latter. I primed the assembly with Tamiya NATO Black XF-69.
I chose to paint that central ring frame with Model Master Metallizer Burnt Iron (brush applied), and then highlighted with Prismacolor Metallic Gold PC950. The end result looks like rubbed bronze.
The hose running around the center ring frame and the “pilot’s” respirator is highlighted using Prismacolor Metallic Silver PC949.
Next I painted the figure of the “pilot” with acrylics and accented with oil paints for the shadows and highlights. I chose a series of brown shades from Tamiya Red Brown to Tamiya Hull Red for the cloak and clothing. The Warpstone itself is painted in Model Masters Euro Green, dry-brushed with Citadel Gauss Blaster Green. The generator-looking thing attached to the warpstone is finished with the same rubbed bronze look, and green glow achieved using Tamiya Park Green X-28 overlaid with Citadel Gauss Blaster Green.
The gold sections are painted in Testor gold enamel, then aged to antique look with an oil paint wash of dark brown.
The one kit part I did not want to use was the large oversized banner over the wheel. The molded plastic flag was too thick for that scale and the folds were to chunky. I decided to make one out of kitchen aluminum foil.
The rear stabilizing roller and subsequently all wooden panels were finished in the following order: Base layer of Tamiya Wooden Deck Tan XF-78, followed by a turpenoid oil wash of dark brown (1:1 Burnt Umber and Lamp Black). Steel sections were painted Metallizer Non-buff Gun Metal, then highlighted with Prismacolor PC-950.
A big flange plate near to the wheel yoke is painted to the same rubbed bronze finish and then a platform using the same colors for wood finish was attached with supports.
The right and left handed roller wheels is actually a squirrel cage with a middle lane for the rat teams to run in. Woode pain ting is similar as the rear wheel just now, and the steel parts are finished with Metallizer Gun Metal and highlighted with Prismacolor silver pencil. The left versus right hand wheel orientations are very specific; the picture above is for the right wheel.
This sequence show the attachment of the right wheel to the center ring.
This sequence shows the attachment of the left wheel.
Next this plate is fitted over the two largest gear sprockets with the Skaven emblem.
Another set of spur gear sprockets are fitted to the lower rear left and right quarters. Again these sets of gears have a specific left vs. right orientation.
The “boiler” unit at the rear of the wheel is painted first in Testors Metallic Gold, then washed with Vallejo Game Color Wash Sepia Shade. The later really gives a good worn patina for the boiler.
Next I painted this nasty row of scythe blades with gun metal and silver color pencil. It attaches to the front of the wheel.
Now comes some serious rat painting. A total of 12 to be exact! Grey ones, black ones, brown ones! Enough to give you the bubonic plague!
These two dramatic scythe blade-and warpstone blades are then painted and fitted to the sides. These should go on last to the layers of the Doomwheel.
This wheel periscope is painted in steel and blue (Tamiya Clear Blue over Model Masters Flat White FS37875)
Some serious figure painting using similar techniques laid out in Tutorial 6. This one is the bellows operator perched on that rear platform just above the rear stabilizing wheel.
Earlier on, I had mentioned that I was going to replace the flag with foil. I carefully cut away the old flag, taking care to preserve the rings. The new foil flag is painted the colors of the Skaven rat clans. Then I carefully attached the foil flag to the rings.
At this point the Doomwheel itself is complete. Time to work on the base.
I purposely tilted the board to make a grassy slope, then painted it Tamiya Earth Brown, and sprinkled on Woodland Scenics medium green grass. The grass and rocks are affixed with diluted white glue applied with a pipette. Rat power is on!