Last week we asked: When did Orks and Goblins become Green?  Today we tackle another important question which you’ll discover doesn’t matter if you’ve already chosen your paint scheme.

These are the first Skaven I’ve ever painted, and they were painted last week, though they’re from the original Warhammer Quest game from 1995.

(Think about that for a second: 22 years. These miniatures were made at least 22 years ago and somebody (me) finally got around to painting them.)

I saw them in one of my storage cases, and thought: “Let’s finish these!”

Along with a Gnoll from Reaper miniatures and a warrior from an unknown company (Grenadier?).


After the initial prep work, the Gnoll and the anonymous warrior were done in an hour each. I timed myself. I was about to spatter some Blood Red from Reaper on the gnoll’s flail, when I noticed my hour was almost up, I still needed to touch up the base, and that was that.

The Skaven, of course, took longer to finish. I wanted to finish them in 3-4 hours. I knew, from past experience, painting the shields might take a while–especially if I wanted to do my own designs on the three blank shields without their own designs.


Yet as I was putting a heavy drybrush of Olive Green, by Vallejo, on the first Skaven’s hood, I stopped when a question popped into my head:

Do Skaven wear green?

Next thing I knew I had put my brush down to do research!


Pictures on the Internet revealed that, yes, some Skaven wear green. But it wasted my time because it led to more questions:

Is the color worn based on Skaven clan? What about the shield designs?

At some point, common sense prevailed and I asked myself the right questions:

Am I ever going to use this in an “official” Games Workshop event? Do I really care what a die-hard Warhammer player versed in Skaven lore thinks about my miniatures?

No and no.

The figures will grace the table in Dragon Rampant someday, or perhaps in a game like Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG.

When it comes to painting miniatures (or anything related to tabletop games), it can be too easy to fall into making things “official.” But it happens. For some reason, you want your miniatures to resemble the “official” miniatures in the rulebook or what you’ve seen on the company’s website.

From my experience, the more “official” you become with gaming, the less creativity you have, and the more detours you’ll take. Its okay to do research, but do it before you start the project.

My goal was to finish these Skaven, get them done once and for all, but I got distracted by “official business.” I already had an idea of the paint scheme for the figure, the only thing I didn’t want is for them to look like Santa’s little rat-faced elves.

Or Smurfs.