Wooden Wars: The Rat King and His Army!

 Uncle Drosselmeier: “No. No! The spell will be broken if he slays the Mouse King.”

Clara: “...and wins the hand of a fair young maiden.”

Uncle Drosselmeier: “Precisely.”

Clara: “Oh… why are all the fairy stories the same?”

- Excerpt from the Nutcracker

The Rat King flanked by his soldiers!

As Clara asks above: "Why are all the fairy stories the same?" - I thought it was high time for the poor Mouse King to have the opportunity to win a few battles, so I’ve leveled him up to a Rat King instead! Bring it on Nutcracker!

The tail is designed to be posed in many positions.
Behold - the Rat King in all his Glory!
Tremble in fear of his size, that not-too-clean sword, and that tail!

Since the Nutcracker ballet seems to originate in Russia and trickle on over to Austria and Prussia, I’ve done a mash-up of uniforms for the Army. The King’s is based on the Austrian Officer’s uniform, with appropriate changes to fit for tail, etc. I also went for larger “7 Years Wars” style cuffs, because, well – that’s what they’d do in Hollywood!

The king stands 110mm high from top of base to top of crown- a very intimidating fellow!

Highland Dwarf Clan Lord confronts the Rat king in personal combat!
As I was designing him I gave him a medal and then thought to myself “Hey, I want that medal too!” As a result, the Rat King sprue comes with his medal.
Rat king Sprue with medal!
Rat Soldiers
 Like the Rat king, I've upgraded the mice from the original story to rats! The Rat soldiers' uniforms are based upon the Russian style. Simple and clean it’s really a fun uniform to paint in a myriad of colors, and as you can see, the rats tower over the poor wooden soldiers.  
Rat soldiers with muskatoon and dessert fork arm variants

Rat soldiers come with two arm variants  to set them as a Muskatoon (mousekatoon?) unit, or dreadful Dessert Fork bearing Elite Grenadiers.  Due to their size the standard unit of rats starts at 5 instead of 10, but can be as large as you want.  Imagine a 30 rat unit - pretty much unstoppable in melee!  These bad boys measure 100mm from top of base to top of Shako.

Rat soldier sprue with options- and coin!

Aesthetically you can mix troop types in a unit. If you do, that unit is always considered a shooting unit.
Should you choose to build an elite Rat unit (with forks) they do not shoot, but are fast moving  and get extra attacks in melee.

Scale of Rat soldier and British soldier!

Wooden Wars Rules - Variations for the Rat King’s Army
The Rat King’s troops are huge (compared to the standard wooden soldier) and ferocious and as such have some special rules.  

1.     Rat units start at 5 figures on up to as many as you want. With a unit of up to 10 models, keep them in a single line. After that start double/triple ranking them.  You may have a unit with a mix of muskatoon and forks, but it still counts as a firing unit. (Aesthetic note: it looks neat if you make the back rank all forks)

2.     A unit of all fork bearing rats is considered an elite unit (Grenadiers). They are fast moving (move 2 batons per turn in line) and get two attacks in the first round of combat, but there is no Dodgeball save in melee.  

3.     Due to their mass and fur, all rats get a Dodgeball save of 6+ against small arms fire, but not cannon or melee.

4.     Rat Soldier large muskatoons fire a hail of shot at the enemy instead of one bullet. To reflect this, a unit fires 2 balls during firing phase instead of 1. Like with cannon, balls are tossed at the same time.

5.     The Rat King has 4 attacks in melee instead of 3, and always has a Dodgeball save of 5+.

6.     If the Rat King is knocked over (defeated), the Rat Army flees, and the battle is over.


When Can I Get a Rat Army of My Own?!

Thanks for asking - These will be for sale starting in December on my Webstore: www.skullncrown.com 

(There’s also a link tab at the top of the blog!)







  1. Saw your post over @ TMP. Super nice creative modeling. The painting is superb IMHO.

  2. Thanks Jay, that's very kind of you. They really are a blast to paint- and even more fun to toss rubber balls at!


  3. You need to get some extra-large heads for your Napoleonic soldiers to make them Nutcrackers.

  4. Brion- a tempting idea. We actually have a 6 inch Nutcracker we got at the ballet, who commands the wooden soldiers on such occasions.

  5. I'm new to your website and your work, but this stuff blows me away: a beautiful, innovative and fun take on the hobby. Well done. Looking forward to checking out your other work. Congrats.

  6. Matthew- Welcome! Very kind of you to say such things. I've been a lurking fan of your blog for quite a while, and have a love of the old hammer.