Sunday, 18 December 2011

Spotlight On: A Different Kind of Screaming Bell


Many years ago I bought a bunch of Warhammer miniatures of a kid in Ferndown.At the time I wasn't into Warhammer Fantasy and this act kind of catapulted me into it.

Part of that BIG purchase was the original Skaven Screaming Bell (this isn't my paint job by the way).

But it was a bit static for my tastes so I made a rather more dramatic conversion. 

But when the new Screaming Bell came out I felt the ante had been upped. I was  going to have to go a long way to outdo it (if that was even possible). I got the kit and made the Plague Furnace, then looked at the spare parts remaining and rubbed my hands together. 

The thing that inspired me the most here was a line from the army book: "It is from these unholy altars that the Grey Seers preach their plans of total domination in the name of the Great Horned Rat." I wanted it to be something that they use outside of battle for their dark rituals and I wanted it to be a huge centrepiece (while still sitting on the correct base size). 

Here's the Grey Seer's pulpit. 

The banner at the top on those big spears was a late addition and I had to really rein myself in. It was going to be much bigger but I realised it would then be too big to stand on my biggest shelf! 

The banner is made from kitchen towel ripped into little chunks and hung over a piece of thread, then hardened with super glue.

The bell on the new Screaming Bell was so cool that I had to use it and I could have used it to replace my original one. But I really wanted to go all out on bells. With two warpstone bells and a whole bunch of other supporting bells of different sizes, we can imagine the vast and cacophonous din that would break out across the battlefield, and also take place at their moonlit rituals.

I toyed with using the old bell ringer on the little platform in front of this bell for a while but in the ens felt this bowl of steaming warpstone worked better.

The extra bells are from Christmas decorations. They're painted Tin Bitz with Boltgun Metal stippling.

(I love how this picture came out - it really captures the sense of scale) 

As you can see, it all fits neatly (though perhaps a tad improbably) onto the normal base - the original carriage from the original Screaming Bell.

Now the Rat Ogre has this cool chain coming up from his hand so I decided it would be a shame not to use it. 

I got some thin chain from B&Q, prised open a link and joined it to the end then positioned everything so that it could look like he was ringing the upper bell. 

On second thought I added a secondary chain hanging down to the lower bell too. 

I'm reasonably pleased by how this came out. But not entirely.

I built the platform (from balsa wood) so that the rat ogre could be gripping onto the back of it, as he does to the official model.

He must go so deaf between those massive bells!

And there you have it. I'd like to say it's how you can get 2 models for the price of one, but after getting the original Screaming Bell, all the balsa wood, the extra parts, the chain and the big bells, then spending countless hours building and painting the thing, you MAY think it's not worth it. 

But I love it so who cares!

Now all I have to do is paint another 26-odd Clanrats to push it along!


  1. This must have taken half an eternity to complete. But it turned out just awesome. Really inspiring ... And, given the ordinary madness of any skaven worth it's name, this construct isn't even strange. ;-)

  2. It did take an awful long time. I generally do these kind of projects in several little pushes, getting fed up with it and abandoning it for a while before going back to it.

    I still have thirty or forty clanrats to paint to push it - hence the reason I haven't used it in a game yet!