Painting Genestealers (GW Space Crusade)

Back in 1990, Games Workshop got together with Milton Bradley and released ‘Space Crusade’: a Warhammer 40K inspired board game for 2-4 players. While it’s possible that I bought it myself, I think it’s more likely that it was a birthday or christmas gift. I have played it quite a bit, and enjoyed it, and often thought about painting the space marines. It has mostly been collecting dust most of the last decade until I started raiding the box for various figures to use in my Gamma World game.

Both the Dreadnought and androids (Necrons) have been painted and appeared on my blog in the past. Recently Dave brought a You-tube video to his readers attention that involved painting genestealers in five different styles. This promptly got my genestealers located and put on my desk to paint. I was disappointed to find I only had three! (I haven’t lost any pieces; the game only comes with three.) I had hoped for five or six so I could follow two of the paint schemes.


I started with a basic ultramarine blue as a base coat, and then mixed a purple into that and went back over most of the model. A mix of flesh & purple on the head, hands, feet, and the ribbed bits on back, legs, arms, etc. Still following the video, a lightly watered down light tone (Army Painter ink), some (slightly lighter) blue highlighting, and gun-metal on the claws instead of a dark grey. Fushia for the tongue and head detail, white teeth and eyes, followed by a spot of red. I did highlight most of the claws with a bit of mid-grey (which is visible, though not obvious from the photo), and a lighter pink on the top of the fingers – which appears after drying not to have been light enough to actually stand out. Some of the blue highlighting isn’t particularly noticable either, so next time I try this I need to go even lighter, or simply do a second round with more white mixed in. I’m very happy with the final look in any case.

I’ve got the chaos marines from the set on my desk now too. A few of the people (thanks again Dave!) I follow have been using “the Tray” as a way of storing works-in-progress and a visible plan of what they want to paint in the “near” future. The figures I plan to paint, normally just sit on my desk. I’m thinking a tray of some sort will both encourage me to complete some figures, and stop me having to move the figures on my desk around when I need to take photographs, have books on the desk as I look up rules, or write adventures, etc, or my wife wants to take over part of the desk. A tray can be picked up entire and moved out of the way more easily than individual figures.

So here’s the tray – or what will be the tray once I actually find or make one:

Nolzur’s Minis: Beauty is in the eye of…

I finished this Nozlur’s Marvelous Miniatures “Beholder Zombie” last week, but I wasn’t happy with the colour/lighting. Today photography has worked out better and I included a standard mini in one shot for scale. Mold lines weren’t much of a problem with this figure, and the pose and detail is great.

I bought this figure planning to paint it as a standard (ie living) beholder, and then while looking at images on-line I decided to stay with the undead version. Dr Faust’s Painting Clinic was my inspiration for this figure, although I went with a different colour scheme.


I had a lot of fun painting this figure. I don’t think I’ve put as much work into a single mini since I was painting the Zombicide BP Abominations. Being a large figure certainly makes things a bit easier. This (and the other Nolzur’s Beholder) come with replaceable eye-stalks (4 on this one) that are the same but with clear resin ‘spell effects’ protruding from the eyes. I’ve kept those for other projects and a little glue made sure the ‘normal’ eyes stayed in place. Since undead beholders are meant to have damaged and/or non-functioning eyes, I did a little extra damage to the figure.

Overall, I feel this is a great mini and I’m really happy with the final product. I also look forward to getting the other Nozlur’s beholder to work on now. Lastly, here’s some home-made beholders that I created a decade ago. They aren’t happy with the idea of being replaced!

Next project: Genestealers!

More Nolzur’s/Deep Cuts D&D Miniatures

The past two weeks have been fairly busy for me painting wise. During the last week I’ve completed two Yuan-ti (snake-men), two air elementals and a cage. The weather was great this morning for drying figures, and photography.

These five figures are all from the Wizkids line of “high defintion” pre-primed figures. The Yuan-ti “Malisons” are Nolzur’s D&D figures, the others are from Pathfinder Deep-Cuts. All required a little bit of cutting and filing to remove mold lines. Being a nearly-transparent plastic/resin, I couldn’t remove the line completely from the air elementals. It might be possible with a really fine file and fine sandpaper, but likely not wortth the time required.

I’ve had a number of Yuan-ti being encountered in my FalsKrag D&D adventure, so adding to the two Reaper snake-men (that I painted in April last year) with actual Yuan-ti figures is a bonus. (Especially at the price of Nolzur’s pack of two compared to Reapers single metal figures.)

Both figures have nice detail and were fun to paint, using a colour scheme based off my previous snake-men. I’m considering going back to the one with the snake tail and darkening the rivets on the chest belts. “Malison” appears to be the D&D 5th edition name for what were previously “halfbloods”; Yuan-ti with both human and snake body-parts. Here’s a group shot with the Reaper figures:

Next the Air Elementals. Following a friend’s post with the same figures, I tried a light wash of white with a hint of blue. I could have left them ‘as-is’ but I hoped to bring out the swirls of the figure a bit more. It didn’t work as well as I’d hoped, but it’s definitely fit for purpose as a game piece. I think you’d need a fine detail brush and actually paint along many of the lines to get a really impressive effect, and the time and interest to do so.

Last, the cage. I’ve wanted a cage for a while, and bought this after seeing Azazel’s work. (Thanks for bringing all these figures to my notice and your notes on painting them! Like your original post I’ve forgotten to photograph it with the “wooden” base.) It was pretty fast & easy to paint – mid grey inside, black outside and then a not very precise silver over the top – leaving some of the black still visible. The bits in between each bar took a bit longer. A little ink, mostly on the corners to bring out some of the bars and rivets. The three figures with it are just to show it’s size. If I end up getting another cage, I’ll paint it rusty. This also came with two ‘piles’ of chains that have gone aside into a box. I don’t see a use for them now, but you never know…

Summer of Scenery Challenge – Nolzur’s Pillars

Wargame Sculptor’s Blog has a Summer of Scenery Challenge (July-August) – or the ‘Not-so-Summer’ challenge for those of us in the middle of Winter. When I was planning my last lot of figure purchases I noticed that WizKids Nolzur’s Mavellous Miniatures line had a set of pillars. I’ve generally used discs or tokens in game play to mark impassable terrain or pillars and thought these would be an excellent replacement. So here’s my scenery/terrain entry.

This is a simple set of four identical stone pillars and a collapsed pillar. Each of my pillars is slightly different because my original base coat of dark grey had a bit less black and a bit more grey as I did each one. The one of the right (above) would have been the first. Some ink, then two dry brushing of lighter greys to bring out the uneven surface of the blocks got them done pretty quickly. They did come with a hole in each to fit a banner, which I filled and painted over. I’ve kept the banners which could always be painted and blue-tacked on if I wanted.

Overall, these are a really nice set from Nolzur’s, that were easy and quick to paint. They are likely to get a lot of use, and I’m tempted to get another set in future. Lastly, here’s a different shot with a few standard figures to show scale. (The images can be clicked on for a larger version)

The good, the bad, and the not-so ugly…

I recently bought a second group of WizKids Nolzur’s/Deep Cuts Miniatures. I think they are getting better! My complaints the first time around were about mold lines and obscured fine detail. The detail has generally been very good, but something like a medusa’s snake hair with mold lines is ridiculous. Cleaning up the mold lines is fairly easy, but not when you risk damaging some feature of the figure. The mold lines on this set are mostly in places that are easy to clean up without messing up detail. On the cage and pillars, they are all on corners. Once I’d cleaned them up I wanted to start painting…

Azazel painted a Deep Cuts cage a while back, which sent me looking at the new range. I’ve wanted a cage like that for a long time, and now I have one, plus a bunch of pillars, two air elementals and two Yuan-ti malisons (snake men). I should have bought two cages, one to look shiny and another rusted. (Maybe next order?) I got one other figure that isn’t in the shot above. Considering that my players aren’t likely to see it in use for at least another 2 months, it probably isn’t worth keeping it a secret. When it’s painted, I’ll want to post it anyway! The pillars are a set of four, a broken pillar, and four banners that socket into the standing pillars. I can’t see myself using the banners, so I’ve filled the hole in each pillar. If I change my mind it will be easy to blue-tack a banner on when I want it. The snake men will be a great addition to my two reaper snake men, and I’ll paint the snake parts with the same colour scheme.

One of the snake men surprises me. It’s got great detail with the scales, but its a five part figure stuck together; torso, two arms, and a two part tail. I don’t think I’ve seen more than two pieces to other Nolzurs figures. It’s a pity there’s a mold line right along the tail, but it doesn’t marr the scale effect much. I’m more concerned that the joins aren’t the best, but a little filing, filling and paint should cover those up. I’m very happy that the mold line across the head goes from side to side (not through his face) and that he has no hair. The lighting on the pic is a bit bright, but it does make the gaps more obvious.


Coronavirus and lock-downs haven’t had any direct effect on me up to this point, except that my D&D group hasn’t been getting together. I’ve still been going in to work every day while two-thirds of the staff work from home. The newest lock-down here in Victoria (Australia) has had an unexpected effect of making something I was going to be doing next week much more complicated and now I’ll be spending nearly all next week at home. Since I can only do a small part of my normal job at home, I’ll have more time to write and paint. These figure arrived in perfect timing in a sense. I really want to paint these (and finish the last few Star Wars minis) and I have time to do so!