Skaven Warp Lightning Cannon


The Warp Lightning Cannon kit can be configured in two ways, one being the cannon, while the other, the Plagueclaw Catapult, is used to sling buckets of poisonous gunk at the enemy.

The Warp Lightning Cannon itself works by throwing green warp lightning bolts at the enemy. The energy itself is exceptionally dangerous and indiscriminate when unleashed. It is apparent that the technology is way ahead of anything the dwarves or the empire have at their disposal. Perhaps the main saving grace for anyone on the wrong end of it is that these lightning cannons are also hideously unstable and have the awkward tendency to explode due to their design.

A Plagueclaw Catapult on the other hand, is primarily a siege weapon, and not a very nice one at that. The Skaven Plague Monks create a toxic plague ridden matter loaded up with all sorts of nasties including corpses, diseases, toxic waste and bits of Warp Stone just to be nasty. The resultant insult when released from the catapult also unleashes a toxic cloud so dangerous, it can even bypass some forms of armour, and frequently kills its victims on contact.


For our basecoat, we’re going to use Rhinox Hide, applied using two thin coats to ensure a decent coverage without obscuring any of the important details. Once dried, apply Agrax Earthshade all over the model, ensuring that you work it into all the grooves and patterns. This will make the grain of the wood and a number of runic symbols carved into it become prominent.

Give it about half an hour to settle, then gently graze a fine layer of Gorthor Brown all over the model with a flared brush. Get as much paint off the brush on a piece of blotting paper before you flick your brush all over the model. This ensures that the grain will become even more visible, and the end result is a careworn and solid wooden effect.

There are clearly defined planks on the footboards and within the wheel assemblies that are clear from the casting of the plastic, and it may be worth considering to use different shades of brown – Mournfang Brown or Dryad Bark for example – to accentuate the differences in tone between shades on the boards. This can be done at a later stage if you prefer. 

The Warpstones set into the ornate brass barrel are the biggest contrasting feature here. For the main crystal, the tip of the cannon and the internal shaft running through the barrel, carefully apply Warpstone Glow.

Once dried, apply a liberal coating of Biel Tan Green shade paint over these areas. Give that half an hour or so to fully dry.

Next, carefully brush Moot Green over the edges of the crystals. This doesn’t take long to dry at all, sometimes within seconds of applying, at worst taking ten minutes to completely dry.
Tesseract Glow is applied to the crystals last of all. This is a relatively new technical paint from Games Workshop, and if it sits on the shelf for any length of time, it settles into two distinct layers which look quite cool in itself. Shake it well for at least a minute to fully mix these parts.

If you need a helpful trick, load a couple of small ballbearings into the pot. By giving it a good shake, these help mix the paint effectively without reacting with it. Once dried, it looks like it gives out an eerie glow, but alas it doesn’t glow in the dark. Trust me, I have tried! Even so, it is a weird green, absolutely perfect for this job.

With regards to the metal work around the wheels, cogs and other areas, Leadbelcher is used for the hard physical components, such as wheels rims, cogs and spikes. Screaming Bell is used on the parts of the more ornate cannon barrel, and other areas where brass would be used. If you look at early Industrial Revolution trains, such as Stephenson’s Rocket, brass and steel were often used together as an aesthetic.

You will also notice the odd electrical cable here and there around the cannon, seemingly held up by metal clips. For this cannon, I have used some primary base colours to highlight these, and used Leadbelcher on the clips.

The colours I have used for these cables are all base paints. Averland Sunset for yellow cables, Caliban Green, Jokeaero Orange, Mephiston Red, Macragge Blue and Nagarroth Night. Not essential, you could use Abbadon black for all of them, but being an engineer when not painting tiny rats, I kind of liked the idea of a haphazardous wiring job lashed up by rodents.

The crew of the cannon were added last prior to basing the model. This model comes with a captain with a rangefinder, and two engineer/mechanics. Here, the commanding rat has been situated on his own base. On the Lenses of the rangefinder that the gun captain is holding, Soulstone Blue has been used on the rangefinder to give a nice glass effect.

The clanrat with the spanner stands alongside the cannon, and the last but by no means least the little fellow pulling the lever has been stuck onto the cannon platform inside (the one with a box situated underneath). For more info on painting Clanrats, check out the Skaven Clanrats guide and accompanying YouTube video.

As before with the Clanrats, Stirland Battlemire has been used to base the cannon. You can add the odd splodge of Stirland Battlemud to compliment the mix.

On the tabletop

The Warp Lightning Cannon is a table top piece that I think adds a serious bit of weight to the Skaven army. It is also something of a poison chalice in Warhammer, sometimes controversial on the table.

The cannon can put out almost 3 volleys for every 2 the enemy can fire. However, in an artillery exchange, most of its other features such as range, magic damage and other factors end up being less useful, hence it balances out somewhat in a fight with other artillery systems used by Skaven opponents. Even so, they also have a faster projectile velocity than other forms of cannons, if you can call lightning a projectile of sorts – 25% faster in some instances, and its rate of fire playwise can be anywhere up to 50% faster in terms of Return Of Fire (ROF).

What I might do later is get two more Warp Lightning cannon kits, build another one, and a Plagueclaw to really make my Skaven clanrats a force to be reckoned with.

And finally…

One thing you must be with this particular model is to be careful of the blades at the front. During filming I dropped a camera on it and this broke off one of the blades. To top that, I also managed to stab myself in the finger with one. Won’t be needing any Blood For the Blood God paint on this job. Seriously, if you do snap one of the blades off, get a fine nail file pad, gently buff both ends, then glue together. Give it a few hours to fully cure and if done right, this shouldn’t be noticeable.


Bloodaxe Orks


The Bloodaxes are considered to be something akin to pariahs by other orks. Bloodaxes have many traits that could be considered to be almost civilised. They rationalise their battle plans, and think out courses of action (more so than compared to the other clans). They openly trade with other worlds and humans when required, acting as mercenaries or privateers on occasion. They will even entertain the notion of ‘retreat’ if a battle is going badly.

They also have adopted some sensible military habits, well…to a point. Surprisingly for Orks, they believe that getting shot is never a good thing, as it tends to spoil a good fight. They also favour camouflage, although it has passed them by that it’s for hiding and disguise. No, the Ork mentality is that the louder it is the better. They want their enemies to see them coming, well, that is once they have stopped being stealthy. A fight is, after all, a fight.

Their totems usually involve variations on a theme such as a skull with crossed axes. Clan glyphs differ widely, but overall is the Bloodaxes who have the most diverse glyphs. Axes, skulls, teeth, fangs and claws. Stuff like that.

The Bloodaxes generally tend to be far more regimented than other clans, and in some respects are certainly more dangerous, especially if the opposition are used to dealing with other Ork clans, which tend to be more unruly and haphazard in battle.

Bloodaxes are considered to be traitors. As mentioned before, they have been known to fight alongside humans occasionally. Which is why the other Ork clans refer to them as Untrustworthy Gits. It is perhaps the ability to be sneakier than the other ork clans that gives them such a bad reputation.

The Bloodaxe clan used to be much larger, but due to their friendly dealings with other species, the other Ork clans got the hump, and a big civil war called ‘Da Big Party’ erupted, and a large number of Bloodaxes were wiped out.

For once, common sense kicked in, and the remainder of the Bloodaxe Clan went into hiding, working as mercenaries and smugglers for the Imperium of Man, and any other species that they can trade and parlais favour with. This would explain their necessity for developing their deviousness and low cunning behaviours in order to survive. After Da Big Party, some Bloodaxes became what are known as ‘Freebooterz’. These now indulge in piracy, smuggling and trading with other races.

Most Bloodaxes tend to avoid getting shot, preferring stealth to achieve their objectives in battle. Preferring siege and ambush tactics, they favour dense terrain or urban sprawl for fighting. They also use decoys from time to time, sizing up the enemy’s capabilities and number. Favouring commando tactics, the Bloodaxes are rightly feared by their own and the enemy.


Any Ork regiment is comprised of some or all of these ranks:

Burna Boyz

Warbosses often start off as Bloodaxe Boyz or Stormboyz in their youth, and as they get older tend to be more dangerous on the battlefield, probably due to their innate cunning and to a certain degree, restraint.

Flyboyz are Orks that are associated with the Ork subculture known as Speed Freeks. While most Orks like to keep their feet firmly on the ground, Flyboyz have an insane desire to take to the air to wreak havoc on the enemy.

Sometimes Flyboyz will use small makeshift helicopters (Koptas), or some will work their way up to customised jet fighters (Dakkajets). The need for speed is a manic condition in some Orks, and is considered to be a bit of a mental issue. As such, most Orks generally tend to give them a wide berth as they’re generally deemed to be bloody lunatics.

Mekboyz are also an odd bunch. Technologically savvy, they build stuff on instinct, and at a psychic level, the things that they knock up on the fly usually work. It’s as if by believing something might work if you build it, it will. Give an Ork fire, and he will stay warm for a night. Give an Ork Depleted Uranium, and you’ll stay warm for years.

Mekboyz are usually aided and abetted by a small team of Grots to help them make things, and when they team up with Painboys, who act as Ork Doctors, the cybernetic abhorations that occur are both mindbendingly violent as well as funny.


This build gives the Bloodaxe Orks here a distinct camouflage scheme of sorts.  While not exactly inconspicuous, it does highlight their impeccable lack of taste.

Meanwhile, uniform accessories such as belts, boots and other parts of the uniforms have been dumbed down with sensible colours.  As always, I have painted the Ork Skin first, and to see how this is done, check out the first video below.

Because we are going to paint a camouflage pattern, this is going to take a bit more time. The base colour for our Bloodaxes camo scheme will be Nagaroth Night, which is a deep purple colour. In decreasing amounts as we build up the pattern, Temple Guard Blue, Calgar Blue and Ulthuan Grey are used to create the pattern. 

Where there are exposed tunics, these have been painted using Caledor Sky.  The overalls are Abaddon Black, with Mournfang Brown used for Belts, hides and boots.

For weapons and armour work, Leadbelcher has been used, as well as round all the boot toecaps, belt buckles, and bullet cases. For bullet tips and the odd earring, Auric Armour Gold has been used sparingly.

To complete these Bloodaxes, Agrax Earthshade is used to grime down the uniforms and camouflaged armour plating, while Nuln Oil is used to give the weapons that preloved battlefield look.

Armageddon Dust, a texture paint, is used to finally base the models, and to build up the paint and give some dimensions to the base with some occasional rocks, I’m using bits of cork painted accordingly, which are then glued on to the base and painted over.


For this build, I have gone down the usual route of buying several kits, getting spares on e-bay, adding the odd Kromlech part, and using the occasional stolen weapon from other species.