Testing oil paints #2 – Forest Goblin and Sylvan Elves

I’ve been painting more with oil paints while I am abroad.

The first model I have worked on is an old metal forest goblin on spider. A very simple paint job, which allowed me to get more comfortable with mixing oil layers and oil washes (wait for the layers to be fully dry!) and blending from white highlights down into darker colours as opposed to trying to add white highlights (that’s possible, but less effective, possibly due to the relative poor quality of my paints?)

Next, I’ve completed this test model Sylvan Elf / Wood Elf archer. Initially I had tried a gradient from dark green to bright red on the cloak, and it wasn’t working. The result was a purplish red cape. Not a great paint job, but this was a relatively quick process, which means very quick for my standards.

After the test I’ve done three more archers. With a clearer idea in mind, I worked even faster and with better results. I focussed on trying to get good edge highlights and blends. I think the front of the minis is pretty good.

I still have some doubts about the capes: maybe it’s just me not being sure where to put the highlights, maybe it’s because I did end up having to do the highlights by adding white, which is almost entirely “eaten” by the darker layers, unlike with acrylic paints.

As soon as the weather dries up I’ll go to the park to scavenge some moss and other basing materials… In the meantime, I’ve begun painting the big Rackham minotaur.

Cadwallon Mordheim #4 – Champions

So, I managed to quickly finish the two Rackham miniatures I was painting before leaving. They are two Reapers of Alahan from the Lions of Alahan faction of Confrontation and I am planning to use them as old imperial nobles and Champions in Mordheim.

They have to stand out from the militiamen, so more reds over the muted browns that I am using across the group. The one with grey hair may need some touch ups still, but I think for me these are a good standard.

I may want to modify the eyes of the grey-haired champion: I did want to go for a crazed stare (detail below) but maybe I went too far.

I’d like to add some tonal variation to the face, as well, but it’s so tiny I’m having issues with it. Anyway, I’ll go back to the project no sooner than the end of May. In the meantime, I’m preparing to paint some forestfolk – hoping to find time…


Testing oil paints

I’ve taken some time to test a new set of oil paints on some old Heroquest Fimirs and a Star Crusade Ork. I frigging love them! I am so hyped that even though I’m going away soon to work abroad for three months and have very little space in my suitcase, I managed to squeeze a small colour set, the Rackham minotaur and a few forest minis in.

If you like blends but find blending with acrylics tiresome, oils make the process simpler and much more enjoyable. On these Fimirs I worked fast and with thick paint and even fiddling around on my first try in less than two hours I had done the skin on all four of them.

The very long drying time is a boon and a small curse: you have all the time in the world to blend, correct, add highlights and shadows or secondary colours. So far I had no issues with the colours getting desaturated when you mix them: on the contrary, I find them particularly vivid.

After the paint dried, in a couple of days (the paint was very thick) , I sprayed the figures with a matt seal and painted some of the details in acrylics. The acrylic paint was slipping on the surface a little – maybe it’s the oils, maybe it’s the spray, maybe it was because the acrylics were very diluted already on the wet palette… I’ll have to test more.

One axe I have done in nmm with oils, which seems perfectly feasible, too. Edge highlighting is also the same as with acrylics, only you have to wait longer until the previous layer is completely dry. Oils can be used for very effective washes as well.

I spent a little bit more time on the Space Ork, diluted the oils with more medium and worked with much thinner layers. I think it turned out pretty nice.

Finishing these I went back to the Rackham minis and going back to a familiar medium I have the nice feeling I understand it a little better. I hope I can finish the two of them I was working on before I leave next week.

Till next time!


Malifaux Ten Thunders #1 – Shadow Emissary and Effigy

I have begun preparing these two Malifaux models which I picked up second hand.

This may be one of the best (affordable) dragon models I have ever seen. I’m planning to try and paint it with oil paints, because they’re supposed to make blending easier on these large surfaces.

Before assembling it, I thought I was going to have a trial with oil paints on this other Malifaux mini, but it is so tiny I think acrylics may be easier on it. I’ll dig up a larger miniature from the pile.

As for the colour schemes for the dragon, here’s a picture of the box art and two takes by painters on CMON to compare.

I definitely won’t be able to reproduce the translucent sheen of the box art. If I go for blue, I will probably have the cream coloured belly, which is rather standard but safer than any alternative I can think of. I could try and push the highlights to the kind of neon bright style on the right side, but probably just within a single part of the spectrum: something like blue to purple with subtle yellow or red pops on the head, tail and limbs.

Anyone with experience painting big beasts or with oils has any suggestions or recommendations before I walk confidently into a major mistake?

Till next time.

Gaslands style XR concrete wrecker tank

I was away from where I live last week and with my partner and her 5yo son when I got the occasion for a small extemporaneous project. Someone gifted him with a set of plastic Volvo construction vehicles of which he already had a copy and I jumped in and offered to customise one of them using cheap acrylics and a random brush.

He asked for a tank and, not being entirely convinced that a 5yo needs even more encouragement to play with toy weapons (evidently, that’s a privilege of politically conscious thirty-somethings), we agreed it’s a tank… for demolishing empty concrete buildings in view of replacing them with parks. Next I’ll make a post-apocalyptic tree-planter monster truck. 😉

The conversion is minimal: I only added a scrap furniture part scavenged in the garbage room to make the required cannon and a few toothpick pikes. The horrible brown mess which is supposed to be mud is the result of a mishap: I was trying out a technique in which you glue and strip rock salt to simulate chipped paint, but either because of the cheap quality of the primer or the resistance of the glue, whole blocks of salt, paint, and primer were coming off. Instead of removing everything and starting over, I added on it and called it passable.

All in all I think it’s a fun little fig, definitely casting some Metal Slug vibes.

Now I’ll be back on the Mordheim figures, and I’ve been doing some assembling on the side…

Till next time.

Cadwallon Mordheim #3 – Cadwe Militiaman and Youngblood

I painted two more figs.

The first one is from the coyly named game Hell Dorado, intended to be used as a youngblood, or at any rate new recruit, in Mordheim. I kept the colour scheme quite brown, to match the crossbowmen and the dogs, even though he’s a bit brighter than them. He must have spent less time in the mud. For the first time in a while this is a mini I painted from scratch, with no old half-done painting over it already. As a result, I think the paintjob is cleaner than usual, with the exception of the blade that gave me a hard time.

He looks nicer from the back! At any rate a pretty good, versatile fig: I can see it work in many different games and a few different eras.

The next miniature is a Rackham Cadwe militia. Very pleasant to paint and I’m happy with it. I just wish I had picked out the folds of the red-brown cloth a bit more: they look nice in real life but disappear in the picture. The nmm on the sword is more cartoony, but I like it and I got lucky and made it work on the first try.

Here’s a group picture of the project so far.

Enjoy the winter break you all, till next time!


Cadwallon Mordheim #2 – Crossbowmen and Dogs

I have completed the first batch of miniatures for the Mordheim project.

The difference between the first Cadwallon crossbowman model, which I had started painting years and years ago, and the others is quite noticeable. Even if I glazed on some colour to it, it remains very desaturated and brown. I was not going to repaint it, and I may keep it on the table as I go on with the project, to get a little dash of paint from time to time.

The red and violet glazes for the two new crossbowmen are more noticeable, and I went for red over brown for some of the cloth and leather. The cobblestones are also integrating more colour – one is done with coarser stippling, for the other I started with a wet blend. I know I should probably have a uniform technique for the bases, but the differences are not that major…

The dogs are very nice models from Hell Dorado, some of the best dog miniatures I can think of. All these are relatively quick paint jobs, for me at least – between two and three hours each, with all the glazing, hedge highlighting and bases, even though it’s hard to count, since I can very rarely spend a whole hour painting at any given time.

Next will be one of the youngbloods and one of the splendid Cadwallon militiamen (these are actually quite daunting, I hope I don’t screw them up).

Till next time,


Cadwallon Mordheim #1 – Test Model and Preparation

The next project will be a small warband for Mordheim – LRb, mostly using Rackham Cadwallon models.

Here’s a group picture of all the prepped models.

There are three crossbowmen, six militiamen, a knight, and two muggers (looking like noblemen with pistol and sword) from Confrontation’s Cadwallon faction, and two mercenaries with rapier and dagger and two dogs from Hell Dorado. The dogs especially will fit well with the Rackham models, since they seem to have the same kind of padded armour as the crossbowmen and some of the militiamen.

I had already started painting the Cadwallon Militia Crossbowmen ages ago. Here’s the reference card with the original colour scheme, from Confrontation pills.

One of the challenges was to give some visual interest to the colour scheme that I had chosen, which was basically all brown and sand. I liked it, and I still like it, but it needed something. I decided on a few light glazes of a mix of Vallejo hexed lichen and carmine red on the brigandine (I think that’s the type of armour they are wearing) and I’m very happy with the result.

The base is made with double-thick cereal box cardboard cut into cobblestones, and earth texture paste, but it still needs work: more contrast on the earth, some plants and some green tones all over.

As usual, I’ll advance very slowly but, hey, I already have the bases in place for a change!


For those who may be interested, here’s what the models would stand for in Mordheim, Liriving Rulebook:

Mordheim mercenary warband (Marienburg) 585 / 600 –15

75 Captain 60 sword 10 shield 5

55 Champion 30 sword 10 pistol 15

55 Champion 30 sword 10 pistol 15

25 Youngblood 15 sword 10 dagger

25 Youngblood 15 sword 10 dagger

150 Marksmen (x3) 25 crossbow 25 dagger

100 Swordsmen (x2) 35 sword 10 shield 5

100 Swordsmen (x2) 35 sword 10 shield 5

Resources and links

Cobblestones tutorials – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34TqscfOggo (for making the cobblestones) and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvVeRWaazW8 (for painting them)

Mordheim living rulebook: https://idoc.pub/download/mordheim-rule-bookpdf-d49odo05o849

Gnasher herd #8 – Make some noise!

It’s been a long time. But I got a new desk light and some new paints and got back a little bit into the hobby.

I completed this small squig herd unit for 9th Age, which has been waiting there on the work desk for the better part of… two years. For once, I have bases and all! I am a bit rusty and I didn’t have that much time to dedicate to the project, as usual, but it’s nice for me to complete something. Most of the models are from the new Gitz kit from GW, with one squig and one of the bagpipes being last generation GW metal and the weird goblin mutant with the gong classic Rackham.

I had forgotten how hard it is to fit the unit together on the small bases – these squigs and goblins keep squabbling, of course! Some still end up being obscured from most angles. The Orcs & Goblins I will manage to paint in the future will stay on the square bases, just because it was my very first army and I want to at least ideally try to complete it as it was meant to be years and years ago. But, in the future, I’ll probably switch to round bases.

The handlers all have instruments – I guess we can say the goblin in armour is screaming his head off and that the iron mask he wears is amplifying the sound. I have another possible unit, 30 strong, in which all the handlers will have long forks, and five more squigs to add to this unit, if I want… The new bagpipe model is really nice. The older one, though the sculpt and my paintjob are not as interesting, it had some character. The mutant is one of my favourite minis in its Confrontation faction.

The squigs from the new kit were very easy to assemble and paint. I followed a handy tutorial and I must reckon that it sped the process up immensely while keeping the results quite nice. Generally speaking, I realised it pays off to study and plan a little before starting to paint – still, I like experimenting as I go even if things can get a little messy.

I also started using some glaze medium, and it makes shading the smaller surfaces and handling nmm much easier.

I’m not sure if or what I will paint next, but I’m glad I managed to do this, and I still do my best to follow the wonderful work you all are sharing. A big cheers to everyone!


Resources and references:

Cave goblin spears #12 – Mad git

I stole some time from the desert of the real, and I have a simple goblin figure to share, a Rackham Goblin with Ball and Chain, to be used as a Mad Git in 9th Age, a Fanatic in Oldhammer or however GW now calls these crazed little chaps.

I’m really sorry I couldn’t find the time to read everybody’s posts lately – I have an impressive backlog to go through now. But I will, slowly.

The sculpt is nice, though a little messy here and there. And don’t ask how the goblin can spin… Chains were a pain to do nmm on and they didn’t turn out that well, plus the paint was chipping all the time no idea why. (Does anybody know a good tutorial on nmm chains or has advice on how to do them?)

I tried to improve my basing a little (hey! the model has a base, that’s an improvement already) and reorganised my basing material.

Handy, but I still need some brighter green grass…

Anyway, glad to be back, in some sort of way.