Painting – A score of Goblins

A score plus five goblins actually. Most were finished last weekend but I didn’t get to photograph them until today. (Lots of pics!)

Yes, these are all Citadel/Warhammer goblins and they are NOT greenskins! While these figures have been used over the years for Hero Quest, Warhammer Quest, (possibly Warhammer FRP), MERP and various editions of Dungeons and Dragons – it’s D&D that I mostly play.

The various editions of D&D (1st-3.5) have been fairly consistent with their descriptions of goblins: Eyes varying in colour from red to yellow. Skin colour ranging from yellow through any shade of orange to a deep red. I’ve usually gone with a dull yellow. These have a Army Painter Soft Tone (brown ink) over “Oriental Flesh”, and I really like the mottled effect that has resulted on many.


The full set here are:  eight bowmen, six spearmen, four with sword and shield, six with swords and axes, and one shaman. One goblin had his sword break long ago. I trimmed the hilt away, so he’s just got his fists – maybe he’s the tribe’s brawler. (He can always stand back and insult PC’s. )

I’ve gone with a variety of colours, brighter than what goblins probably should wear, but I wanted them to stand out as individuals. I also didn’t go for as much detail or fine paint work as I do for unique figures. These are basic units that could see a lot of use, and generally goblins die quickly – so they aren’t likely to be on the table for long. I wanted to paint the lot of them without spending weeks doing it.

The Shaman got more time because he’s a more detailed figure and deserved extra effort. He’s the only metal figure in this group and has stuff everywhere – pouches, skulls, bandages, jewellery, trinkets, etc. He was fun to paint. He hasn’t been varnished yet, so I might do a little more detailing on some of the jewellery/trinkets, etc. (Just thinking some of those odd shapes are mushrooms!)



Next up: I’ve got sixteen Orcs. They’ve all been undercoated, fleshed out and I’ve started on weapons and mail. Their champion is halfway done, so I’m hoping not to take more than 2 weeks to finish them all.

I keep leaving Star Wars figures at the back of the desk as I think of older figures I have that I’d like to paint to use in my mega-dungeon. This probably means that a group of Reaper Bones Kobolds will follow the Orcs.

Goblins and Orcs

My megadungeon writing has reached the extent now that I’ve got plenty to keep the players busy exploring. We’ve talked about starting play in the “near” future, and with that in mind I thought it would be good to have some painted goblins.

I’ve got a bunch of goblin and orc figures – they are all Citadel from Warhammer, Warhammer Quest and Hero Quest. They have seen a lot of use over the years, but none (except one I did in 2016) have been painted. I’m going to need a few goblins in our first PF/D&D FalsKrag session, and likely more at other times as well as some orcs later on. This seems as good a reason as any to get me painting again.

It’s also the second half of the year, the weather in southern Australia is generally getting warmer, and if I want to paint at least as many figures this year as last I’ve got to get moving. I’m certainly not aiming for an average of 1 figure per day (I still can’t believe Azazel is managing that on top of work, gaming, etc) but I like the idea of 100 figures that I was aiming for last year.

Not the best photo. (Click for larger) I’ll take better quality shots once they’re done!

Last weekend gave me two relatively warm and sunny days, so I got out and sprayed 41 figures. Then got to clean up mold lines, etc and gave them another undercoat spray. This weekend I’ve been painting flesh. Since most of these figures are groups (or units) of four to eight identical (or almost identical) minis, I’m hoping that I can paint them faster than all the single unique figures that I usually find myself working on.

I’m planning a fairly uniform colour scheme for the orcs (pun intended) – they all wear chain mail with jackets and pants, except for the orc (? – where’s my rulebooks and WHQ notes?) leader. With the goblins I want more variety. I don’t see goblins as an organised military force, so I think I’ll stick with a limited range of colours, but there should be more individuality between the same type of figure.


Just got sidetracked trying to work out what the orc champion actually is. He’s an early plastic slotta-base figure. I’m positive he’s a ‘black orc champion’ from the horns, but I can’t find the same figure on the net. Enough procrastination… time to paint more faces before dinner and “The Terror” (TV series).

Starting another year…

I haven’t started painting for 2018 yet.

I thought I’d post a group shot of all my painted figures for Zombicide: Black Plague. They did make up 80% of what I painted in 2017 and it’s really nice looking at them all set out.


Three of us played yesterday – making this my first game of anything for 2018 – and it was great that everyone had painted survivors.

Here’s a few slightly closer shots:



In the same theme of completed sets, here’s a group that were finished in 2016. There were individual posts at the time, but I meant to take a group shot once all had been finished. They have all been on a side desk collecting dust for too long. Now I can put them away in cases or on my bookshelf for display.


These figures are meant to be (with one exception) 1985 Citadel figures, “Lord of the Rings” series.

ME-1 Fellowship Heroes – Aragon, Frodo with ring, Gandalf. (Front centre)

ME-2 Fellowship Heroes – Legolas, & Gimli with axe. (Centre)

ME-11 Gandalf and Shadowfax. (Left. I didn’t keep the Gandalf rider, only the horse.)

ME-13 Frodo and horse. (Front right)

ME-15 Gimli with axe, shield, and horse. (Front)

ME-21 Boromir and horse. (Front left.)

ME-35 Beorn, Werebear. (Rear left)

ME-51 Orcs of the Red Eye. (Rear rightish)

ME-55 Mouth of Sauron and skeletal horse.

ME-61 Sauron and throne. (Only the throne remains!)

ME-62 Saruman the White and horse. (Right)

ME-74 Snagga, Goblins. (Front right)

ME-83 Tom Bombadil & Fatty Lumpkin. (Left. I didn’t keep Tom)

The exception is M049, “Angmar Troll with cleaver”, a Mithril Miniatures (1988), Witchking of Angmar series. (Rear leftish)

I can’t remember which of the three horses/ponies on the right are which any more.

Interesting note: The base for “Boromir’s horse” was actually marked ‘Aragorn’.

Thanks to Azazel for painting Sauron’s Throne! (The rest I did myself.)

Painting: Citadel Dwarven Trollslayers

It’s nice when free time, good weather and the desire to paint can all happen at the same time! I completed this pair of dwarves yesterday and they are outside drying after a spray coat of varnish. This now means I’ve reached having about 99% of my hero/adventurer figures (human, elf, dwarf, gnome, halfling) painted. It leaves a lot of “monster” humanoids to go.


A pair of troll-slayers ready for battle!


I bought these two together in a blister pack to use in Warhammer Quest a long time ago. (One of Azazel’s posts dates them to the early 90’s.) They are Citadel warhammer metal figures and they have a nice pose and reasonable detail. I didn’t go for anything fancy, just simple colours.


Dwarves – about face!


My next painting project is Zombicide – Black Plague. I’d undercoated a bunch of figures a month or two ago. While I didn’t get to start painting, the white has helped the necromancers stand out on the game board from the general zombies. I started painting flesh last night and should do more today. I’m aiming to paint the necromancers and the full range of abominations. Later, I’ll also start to paint the survivors.


I don’t want to see all of these on the board at the same time!


After painting my black orc recently, I really would like to paint a set of orcs. While unlikely to see use as army units, they do get used as NPC’s and in small groups in my D&D games. I’m sure that all my orcs (about thirty) are Citadel Warhammer figures, from a few different sets over a short space of years. There’s some variety of pose and equipment, but they have a uniform look. I really like the idea of painting a group of miniatures all with a very similar (or the same) colour scheme – as opposed to the very different work that all my unique heroes and adventurers have required.

Painting: A few more adventurers…

I finished these three a while ago and I’d have two dwarves done as well if I hadn’t spent most of the last week with an annoying cold. I’ve spent most of my time reading or watching TV, or simply going to bed early. I’m determined to get the dwarves completed this weekend!


Wizard, Sorceress, Barbarian

These three figures are all from very different sources.

  1. Citadel Wizard – Plastic figure from Warhammer Quest. I finished the elf and barbarian from the same set two months ago, having done the dwarf warrior nearly three years ago! I wanted bright colours for this mini and had a lot of fun painting it. The staff originally had a very large ornate top with “wings” that I thought was way over the top, so I cut it back to something much simpler.
  2. Reaper Bones – “Juliette, Female Wizard”. This was my first ever bones figure and I’m happy to do a few more after this. I’ve seen other paints of this figure and if I have some time, a very fine brush and a steady hand I’ll come back and do some touch ups to bring out the vest/belts detail more. By the looks of things there is slightly better detail on the metal version of this figure. My figure also suffers slightly from a not well shaped hand (extended) and a face that’s not smoothly formed – apparently common problems to this miniature. The hand once painted looks okay, and with a knife and file I was able to smooth out the face a little – at least the fault isn’t obvious unless you hold the figure up close.
  3. Barbarian – I don’t recall the manufacturer of this metal figure. I’ve had it for a very long time. It’s a nice pose and reasonable detail. The figure is a bit smaller/thinner than the majority of my figures, so he looks like a “young” male, rather than the typical brawny adult.


Rear view


Coming soon… my two Citadel Warhammer dwarves… mostly weapons and jewellery to be finished.

Painting – An assortment of figures

Over the last two weeks I’ve been doing some painting, mostly in between battles in ‘World of Tanks’ of an evening.

I’ve got ten figures that have all been re-based and I’m steadily working my way through painting them. Mostly I’ve picked a colour and used it on a few figures, and occasionally focussed on one figure. They are mostly Citadel figures – predominately Warhammer and Hero Quest. I’m painting my first Reaper Bones figure here too! Four metal, six plastic. Most are general adventurers/heroes, but there are two that stand out – one Orc (a Black Orc Lord/Chief from Warhammer) and a ‘Snotling Team’. This pair of snotlings isn’t an available figure… I took two small humanoids (presumably snotlings) that were extras from something else I had (Citadel Warhammer), cut them free from whatever else they were with and stuck them together on a base. This was done a few years ago for a friend who decided to play the Snotling Team in one of our Hero Quest games – based on a fan constructed Hero class. They may never actually be used again, but I’d like to have them painted!


This group is nearly the last of my unpainted heroes/adventurers. Future projects? I have a set of Dungeon Quest heroes (I think its a dozen) that I’d like to paint at some time.  I’d like to move onto some of my Orc/Goblin/Skaven leaders, and I’ve also plans to paint the survivors for Zombicide: Black Plague.

Painting: Goblins at last!

My last set of Citadel “Lord of the Rings” figures has been completed! Back in the middle of last year I started to clean these six figures in preparation for a complete repaint. They didn’t get much further than that until last week.


“Orcs of the Red Eye” and “Snagga: Goblins”

They will primarily be used in D&D games so I wanted to change their skin tones from green (Warhammer influence back when I first started painting) to a yellow/orange more in keeping with D&D goblins. They were in such poor shape that repainting them entire seemed better than touch-ups. The three on the left are “Orcs” and the three to the right are “Goblins”. Two of the “orcs” have slightly thinner bodies, and the “goblins” seem to show more teeth. Apart from that, size, clothes/gear are all alike, and they are obviously sculpted in the same style. If I didn’t have a visual reference for the original sets, I’d never pick which were from which set.


Rear view

Their skin colour is oriental flesh which came out well after a second coat and some brown ink at the end. Their chainmail is antique copper and clothes mostly in browns, greens and a touch of red. Weapons, helmets and (metal) shields mostly gunmetal and black ink. I tried bright bronze on a small shield and a helmet. The shield has been dulled to suggest wear and the helmet looked so out of place it was redone with silver and then also dulled down. Two of the “orcs” have small eyes (of Sauron) on the front of their helms and the third (left-most archer) has an eye-outline marked on his shield – half covered by his cloak and not very visible in my photo. I found a “eye” decal in my warhammer bits and a touch of red paint on that has made a nice shield decoration for one of the sword weilders, in keeping with their LotR origin.


“Capture those hobbits!”

I’ll use them as elite goblins for D&D – they are a bit small for orcs. They are slightly bigger and bulkier than a typical WH goblin and a little smaller than a WH orc. Here’s a size comparison. An orc and a goblin from Warhammer, one of my Citadel “goblins”, and Frodo and Boromir from the same range.


That’s all of my Citadel LotR collection painted, except for one piece. When I first posted my idea to work through them all, I didn’t know what to do with Sauron’s throne. Azazel gave me some suggestions, then stated “Damn. I want to paint it myself now.” So gave it to him. Considering how much he complains about what is already on his painting desk, this was probably a mistake – so I think it’s time I got it back. With his suggestions and a site I found on painting marble effects, I should come up with something worthwhile.

Painting – Horse bones with eyes aplenty.

No soft white plastic here! This metal Citadel figure is the mount for my Mouth of Sauron figure that I painted quite a while back. This is a great, well detailed miniature that really deserved the work that I’ve put into it over the last two weeks. I’ve also been watching a lot of Grimm (Season Four), and producing floor plans for D&D (final stage of Expedition to the Demonweb Pits).

Yellow Ochre for a base colour all over, then some careful white paint over the bones. AP ink (Strong tone) over that to darken the gaps, holes, lines, etc… then white again, with a touch of flesh in some spots, and another run of ink. More white highlighting, and a bit of black paint in the eye sockets. Burnt Sienna on the reins with black ink (AP Dark Tone) to detail the eyes on those. A light grey (Field Stone) on the hooves, followed by black ink.

The horse got re-based about this stage – glued to a 40mm round base, then some moulding paste, sand and a couple of small stones. Once dry, painted mostly with Burnt Sienna, and touches of Hull Red and black. A little brown ink to make sure the gaps were “filled in”.

I wasn’t sure what to do with the barding, and I’d initially painted all of that black. I went over it later with a dark grey, then (as I started to have some ideas) used AP Green Tone ink and a hint of silver. This gave me a nice dark metallic green look to the armour. Some black ink shaped the eyes and I wasn’t sure about colouring them like I’d done on the Mouth of Sauron. Then I decided to try gold instead of yellow – found an Antique Gold that came up nicely, then a bit of crimson in the middle of the eye. Black ink over that has filled the lines and makes the eyes stand out a little more than otherwise.

The weather was great this morning, so as well as putting out washing to dry, I was able to take the horse out for a coat of spray varnish. You may look at the pictures and wonder what is going on with the horse’s tail – after curving down to the back legs, it widens a little and ends in a barb or sting just between the rear hooves.

One finished horse

Tonight (after a few more episodes of Grimm), I should be back to the goblins and orcs (that are my remaining creatures in the Lord of the Rings figures to paint) in between a game of Talisman!

From the other side


Not quite eyes in the back of the head…

Painting – Frodo, Frodo, Allies and Enemies!

“If you must know more, his name is Beorn. He is very strong, and he is a skin-changer. He changes his skin: sometimes he is a huge black bear, sometimes he is a great strong black-haired man with huge arms and a great beard. I cannot tell you much more, though that ought to be enough.”

– Gandalf, from “Queer Lodgings” in The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien.

Lord of the Rings – Frodo, Frodo, Beorn, Beorn and only one Troll.

I didn’t check the book before painting any of these. Most (if not all) of my Lord of the Rings figures are likely to be used as non-specific heroes and not as the characters that they are meant to portray. I painted Beorn’s bear form in dark brown without considering other colours. I can get more visible “texture” to show the detail on the figure with a range of browns. I can’t do this with black, although I’m sure other painters can use highlighting to bring out the fur. I probably would have done the man-form with black hair, but I’m not going to repaint it now.

Both hobbits are Frodo. The one holding the One Ring and wearing a mithril shirt, is the more distinct Frodo figure, although I feel this is more like my idea of Bilbo than Frodo. The other is a more general hobbit figure (more like Sam), although I really like the hair on the bare feet!

I’ve been very impressed by the (Angmar) “Troll with Cleaver”. I really like the figure – nice pose, clean moulding and good detail, although I think the face could have been done a little better. I’m watching out for the second Angmar Troll (with morning star) from this series now – I’d love to have the pair of them! Most of my figures are used for D&D games, and I’m looking forward to using this one as an “enlarged” Orc (or half-Orc), or as a half-Ogre. (Does anyone remember Ogrillons?)

I had all of these finished last weekend – but Melbourne has been so cold and damp that I wasn’t going to spray them. Today is cool, but sunny and so they were out and spray varnished this morning.

I’ve nearly finished the skeletal horse – I’m hoping to base it this afternoon – but probably won’t get final details done as I’m expecting a bunch of friends over in a couple of hours to play D&D/Pathfinder!

Painting – My Kingdom for a Horse…

My painting has been slow over the last two weeks. Most nights after work I’ve done bits of painting while playing Talisman. I collected some sand during the week to add to my modelling materials and have found that tea leaves (from a unused tea-bag) make very good flock. Unpainted they look like dry leaves, with some green they do a good grass/moss impersonation!

Citadel Horses – Lord of the Rings

I’ve finished six of the “Lord of the Rings” horses and have made progress with my Angmar Troll, two Frodo figures and Beorn. I’ve retouched a bear (also Beorn) and I’ve got three goblins and three orcs to do some re-painting with too. I was very happy to get a mostly sunny morning today, to put the horses out and spray them! I think I need to buy another can of clear acrylic when I next go near a Bunnings store.

I’ll put up more pictures of the horses when I’ve got the whole series done!