A Tale of Two Doomwheels (Chapter the Fourth)

When working with miniatures, and specifically with larger kits like what we’ve been seeing the past few days, you hit two points of uncertainty. The first comes when you take the figure out of the package and you wonder how the hell is going to fit together, and is it going to look retarded in the process? With metal figs this can be all the more daunting, especially if there’s large bits of flash (from leaks or seams in the mold where molten metal squirts out) or a lot of little hints of it.

The second moment comes after assembling and applying primer and you start applying that first layer of color. You wonder if you picked the right shade or color scheme, and if it’s not too late to reach for the Simply Green (a cleaning fluid that can strip acrylics off a mini) and start over. Usually this doesn’t last until you work on your second or even third part of your color scheme. It’s hard to visualize the whole when all you see is black (the primer) and brown.

I think in this case I’ve dodged that second moment of doubt, because in the course of assembly I’ve already done some of the painting. By now I have a clear idea of how I want these models to look and what colors are going to help me reach that goal. I don’t have to look at the pictures on the box and wonder if I can get close to that level of quality — and I know this sounds weird, but I actually know what I’m doing. With than in mind, I dove right in, brushes at the ready.

I started with the actual wheels first. They stand out as being the primary surface, even despite the fiddly bits sticking out of the plastic model. After all this is the part that’s going to crush my enemies, assuming they don’t get broasted by warp lightning or skewered on blades first. Real simple color combo applied with a #3 brush. Mahogany Brown for the base, Chestnut Brown layered over that, and a little highlighting with some Rust Brown. Again, unless I say otherwise, I stick with Reaper Master Series Paints.

Next comes the metallic bits. For anything made of steel, I started with Blackened Steel and added a coat of Tarnished Steel. The blades on the front of the plastic Wheel got some Honed Steel, while the periscope on the same model got some Polished Silver. The rear wheel of the plastic model has a coat of Old Bronze, which also served as the base for the sparky, coppery bits for either Wheel. Those parts, along with the boiler (again, on the plastic) got a coat of Tarnished Brass. I figure to my eyes they should be coppery enough to suffice. Why not use a copper color? Good question — and the answer is I don’t have any.

I decided to work on the warpy bits, or rather the warp-lightning projectors. As before I started with Grass Green and Jade Green before using Fluorescent Green (Vallejo) and Sun Yellow for highlights. For the plastic model I did the same with the little nubs on the curved arms on the arms, near the warpstones, thinking they’d be like spark plugs in a car engine.

Then came the Skaven operators themselves — in this case the pilot on the metal Wheel and the crew-rat on the plastic. The cloaks were a combination of Shadowed Stone, Stone Grey and Weathered Stone. The features of the rats were Aged Bone and Polished Bone with an Ogryn Flesh wash (Citadel). Note the Skaven working the bellows. I didn’t do the wash on the tail because I wanted it to keep that pale color.

At this point the rest is just details and touching up the occasional splat of paint that isn’twhere it’s supposed to be.

Front and back view of the 1999 model of the Doomwheel. Despite having to use epoxy and superglue in tandem, this was a very easy model to put together. There was no ambiguity, and the parts fit together very well. Painting is a little more difficult, and not just because of the surfaces. As minis go, this thing if fairly heavy, and I didn’t trust physics to NOT work against me if I just glued or tacked it to a stick as I normally do. As a result I had to handle the Wheel quite a bit, and that’s not good. I had to make a few touch-ups after all was said and done because I had worn paint (and primer) away during the process.

Still, it came out well. This model didn’t come with the rats running on and around it — I took some from the newer kit for additional decoration. It still needs a banner, but I’ll get to that when I get to putting banners on all of my armies.

The 2010 model of the Doomwheel. A more difficult figure to assemble and paint, but WOW was it worth the effort. There’s a lot of depth to this thing in a very literal sense. At the same time, I used the exact same colors I used in the other Wheel, with one exception. The banner uses Deep Red for the icons. The whole thing was given two coats of Polished Bone, and after the icons were in place, I used Gryphonne Sepia Wash (Citadel) to polish it off.

Call me old fashioned, but I like the feel of a metal miniature — the weight it carries when you put it on the table. While it’s not as detailed as the newer model, it still has that gravitas about it. That said, the new one looks truly sinister. Regardless seeing both of these things on the battlefield at the same time will be a sight to behold…



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