Painting Green Skin

Although I seem to be known as a Nurgle guy, my first army was Orks in Warhammer 40,000 during the legendary Rogue Trader era.  Why? Because no one played orks in our group and they forced me to.  I never won a single game during the Rogue Trader era.  Things didn’t get that much better in 2nd Edition due to infiltrating Assassins with virus grenades or just the virus outbreak strategy card.  There was a serious lack of play testing involved back then.

My friends made me assemble more models just so they could kill more models.  That’s why my fantasy army sat undone but assembled for years.  Me, I generally only assemble models I plan to paint. So pretty much any assembled but un-primed models in my household were put together at the urging and with the aid of Arden or Kathy or perhaps Paul…  I don’t know what the obsession with bigger games is.  I’m content to play 1500 points, in fact smaller games require you to make harder decisions when choosing your army list.

But that is not what this post is about. I’ve slowly been working through my massive collection of single pose plastic goblins, well massive for me.  However I have almost as many single pose Goffs and Gretchin.  In fact it is these models and a lot of losses to Eldar and Space Marines that moved me towards Nurgle.  Now my Nurgle miniature collection is almost painted out and I’m doing other Chaos Powers, Orks and Goblins are still on my long term “ta do list”.  I regular stop in at the Waaagh forums.  I’ve also starting doing test figures and what better models to test paints on then, 2nd Edition Gretchin. Servant of Decay from behind

The black basecoated one was done up for some contest on the Waaagh that I didn’t have time for.  The first grey one, was a test of Krylon Primer that went badly marring the face and the entire paint job.  The third Gretchin and the 2nd grey one, the one without the squig on the base, was also primed with Krylon Grey primer.  I discovered that Krylon Grey primer is the exact same shade of grey as Adeptus Battle Grey, or at least so close as to not matter.  This may be useful information to Imperial Guard players and will prompt me to paint another test Servant of Decay.

My original test figure for my Servants of Decay army was painted over a black base coat and used Foundry English Uniform Brown triad for the main uniform color.  Brown is a good army color and a good Nurgle color.  However the Nefarious fire are black with purple flames so purple and flames was always going to fit into my Servants of Decay scheme too, but I didn’t want black uniforms.  I was thinking grey uniforms… Now I think a plastic Goliath ganger will be painted up from a Krylon grey base coat and it will have grey clothing rather than brown…

Paints used in highlighting Gretchin
Paints used in highlighting Gretchin

However the point of this post is to show off the three gretchin I’ve been chipping away at, each with it’s own skin color.  The black gretchin got the traditional Ork Flesh up to Bilious Green layer technique that has been used on greenskins since the Rogue Trader era.  I only used a single wash on this model and it was the new Thrakka Green.

The poorly primed gretchin got a Gretchin Green basecoat, a color I never use in painting ork flesh, followed by a Camo Green highlight.  Then the model was given two washes of Thrakka Green.  Next it received another Camo Green highlight as the bad priming job obscures a lot of detail so it is better to paint highlights than rely on gravity to add lowlights for this model.  Finally this model got Rotting Flesh and Vallejo Model Color Green Grey highlights.

Gretchin after 2 or 3 coats of paint
Gretchin after 2 or 3 coats of paint

The third Gretchin is an experiment into the wash your way to victory or at least wash your way to a nice fleshtone.  John Blanche used brown paint and green wash to do some orks and that look has caught on some.  TastyTaste seems to think using Devlan Mud is evil, but have you ever seen a model painted by TastyTaste? I haven’t.  I’m pretty sure he’s not overly burdened by Golden Demons if you know what I mean.

Letting washes dry
Letting washes dry

People on the Waaagh forums have gotten good results using the new GW washes and various colors you wouldn’t associate with painting green skin.  I took a stab at it and started with Dheneb Stone for my basecoat over the grey.  This didn’t cover so well or look quite right so I immediately followed that with a quick highlight of Vallejo Model Color Beige.  Then I got more on script and did a fairly heavy wash of Devlan Mud and after drying time, two fairly heavy washes of Thrakka Green.

I’m not sure how much time this really saves when you factor in drying time, but if you’re painting 40 Gretchin it probably does save some time.  It is also a bit messy so doing the skin first then fixing the areas that are just primer is easier than doing the skin later and fixing more painted portions of the model.

It looked OK after three washes and just a single highlight, but I was highlighting the other models so I gave it a Green Grey highlight which fixed things some.  Maybe the highlights are less realistic, but they look better especially at arms length.  One thing about this Dheneb Stone and Beige technique is it leaves the eyeballs and teeth looking decent, where as the dark green traditional method you definitely have to work on the teeth and eyes more to get them to look right.  I’m still not sold on painting over grey, tomorrow I will try out red, metallic, and some other common colors.

Almost finished green skin
Almost finished green skin

Stay tuned…

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Blood for the Blood God!

Or something…  Today is a dull grey day in Vancouver so I didn’t do much, we have seasonal weather disorder up here, that’s a fearsome Nurgle creation that is…  Anyway I finished painting the two Servants of Khorne I was working on prior to Astronomi-con Vancouver 2010.  They were both test models, but now in the spirit of not wasting any work, I’ve penciled them in to my Astronomi-con Vancouver 2011 army.

OOP Plastic Bezerker

The Bezerker is the original plastic Bezerker model.  I’ve had some on sprues for years, I didn’t change it at all, I wanted it stock and simple.  I like how the red came out, better than my Khorne Lord possibly.  The Terminator Lord had so much detail, you had little room to build up armor highlights and there was almost no edge highlighting…  I’m pretty much an edge highlighter when it comes to power armor.

OOP Metal Bloodletter

The Purple Bloodletter is also long OOP.  I may end up using it as just a generic lesser daemon on a round base.  All my other daemons are on square bases, but I’m thinking of doing up a few stray models on round bases, I need to scare up some old pink and blue horrors.  But first I need to get a job.

I’ve been spending my evenings at Bean Around the World again looking at job postings.  Yesterday there weren’t many so I ended up updating my original blog.  Might even go in for the WordPress upgrade I keep considering.

These models are pretty simple, but painted to a high standard, even though I had other more pressing models to get done.  I’ve become a big believer in test models.  I do them a bit different as my test models usually look really good and then I simplify my paint scheme for the actual rank and file.  I even do test models for HQ and major conversions just to make sure I don’t waste more expensive or irreplaceable figures and parts.

Plastic Bezerkers

Now that these two models are out of the way I really am painting three old plastic Gretchin.  They’ll get a decent paint job but I don’t want to spend much time on them.  After that I have more Diseased Sons, three purple Nurgle Renegades and three green Nurgle Terminators, they were made with a Forgeworld bitz so I want them to look good.  I also have to re-base my old terminators on the new 40 mm round bases, that is a project that I’ve been going to do for well over a year…

The three Khorne models I've painted in dark red armor
The three Khorne models I've painted in dark red armor

When I get all that done, my paint queue will be the smallest it has been in years, of course I have lots of models I want or need to paint.  So I will eventually get to doing a squad of Bezerkers, three more Nefarious Fire including a new lord, but also I have 22 terrain tiles to make too by next year’s Astronomi-con.

It is off to the Matte sealing booth err box for these guys.  I’m going to try Testors Dullcoate one of these days…

Remember these models?

Work In Progress Models
Work In Progress Models

Well they are still not finished.  Finishing up all the models on my desk and in my painting queue was another post-Astronomi-con Vancouver goal.  Speaking of Astro Van the official scores were released today.  I finished tied for 2nd in Best Appearance and lost the trophy due to tie breakers.  Apparently no one voted for me for best army, while 3 people voted for Will’s Iron Warriors.  Oh well perhaps if I finish my army before 4AM the day of the tournament…

I’ll have to see about improving my appearance score by one more point, it’ll be tough but not impossible.  Maybe I should join a club and try to get some friends and family votes…  I finished 12th overall which is another personal best, but I think I could have done better in Games 3 and 6, if not winning at least getting a draw.  So the goal for next year is to finish my trench table, try to improve my painting score some how, and to win at least three games, hopefully four.  Given twelve months it might be doable, though it has gotten hot again.

Primed or mostly assembled
Primed or mostly assembled

First thing I need to do is apply for more jobs.  I’m still waiting to hear back from some company that might want me, but I found a few jobs yesterday that I was just too tired or lazy to apply for.  I think I’ll be applying to those this afternoon.  Then this evening back to the painting desk.  I gotta finish the 2nd test bezerker and the purple Bloodletter.  Both are only an hour or so away from being done.  Then I think I might paint some Gretchin…

That’s right three Gretchin have wormed their way into my paint queue and I think I can clear them out pretty quick.  Then there are a bunch of Diseased Sons that I’m going to do to complete certain units for this codex.  A new Chaos Codex would complicate my life but I think it is more than 12 months away, so eventually I’ll be doing Bezerkers, more Chosen, and some giant robots in theory for next year’s Astronomi-con Vancouver.  The Servants of Decay might have to wait another year, as will my orks.  I only paint so fast and the trench table is going to take most of my hobby time I think.

Revised 8th Edition Goblins and Ork army list

Last night or this morning I was lying in bed thinking of changes I could make to my Warhammer armies to try to actually win a game of Warhammer Fantasy Battle in 8th Edition.  There isn’t much I can do with an all Nurgle Daemon army at 1500 points.  I can add or subtract Plaguebearers, Nurglings, and Beasts of Nurgle and none of them have done much on the table top.  The Herald of Tzeentch might keep a few more of my models from dying in the magic phase but in general I have to play with the models I have painted.

New brushes and white paint
New brushes and white paint

After finishing the sorcerer I picked up yet more hobby supplies and looked for work.  A lot of jobs seem to be good fits for me this week and I talked to a CEO of a startup so maybe my third lengthy period of unemployment post-MBA will finally come to an end.  I really don’t care what I do, all experience will obviously help me, and I need money as I have too much debt.  But that’s not what my few readers care about.

I just finished writing a new army list at 1500 points, as that is the magic number at Strategies.  Bigger games obviously are possible as I have a lot of models painted and quite a few unpainted unlike the Daemon army which is mostly painted except for a few odds and sods OOP models.  My army list is goblin heavy and I’ve been trying to embrace that.  I even tried to go all goblins, but in the end I couldn’t say no to a 5 point bully and the Big Waaagh spell list.  So my 1500 point army list actually has 2 orks in it.  My 2000 point army list will have more orks and to save on painting but also so I can have a magic banner (Mork’s Spirit Totem) I’m breaking my vow of no Big ‘Uns.  I’m still unlikely to have Black Orks, though some Savage Orks might be fun, especially if new plastic models are in the pipe line as rumored.

Picking my daemon list is easy, my Ork and Goblin list takes a lot more time.  I have a lot more options, even with only a few units actually painted.  I painted so many goblins (with a tiny bit of help) that I can add or remove dozens of models from units, which doesn’t do that much, but it means I pick my CORE last.  I pick my warmachines first as I want them to be central to my army.  They shoot over the goblins, which in turn shoot and cast spells at the enemy until they get annoyed and charge or I get to cast one of the movement spells and opt for a surprise charge.  The Fanatics of course get in the way of the enemy.

Having dealt with Leadership 4 Night Goblin mercenaries I’ve been thinking of ways to increase my leadership.  I still don’t want an Ork general, but I can switch to a Goblin Warboss for one more leadership over the Night Goblin Warboss I added last time I revised the army list.  I also decided to put him in with the unit of spearmen and to move my Goblin Battle Standard Bearer to the big unit of archers as that will keep them from running away better than the sorcerer who I had leading the unit.  My yet to arrive new Night Goblin Boss figure will still go with the blue archers, but he’ll be demoted to Big Boss and I doubt I’ll bulk that unit up anymore.  This all means that I need to paint two hero goblins, which will be a pleasure, something like seven warmachine crew and then base up everything that doesn’t have it’s base finished, which is every model not in this picture.

Night Goblin Archer Horde

So without further ado here is the army list:

  • SPECIAL: Rock Lobber with Bully 75pts
  • RARE: 2 Doom Divers 160pts
  • LORD: Goblin Warboss with light armor, shield, Talisman of Preservation, and Martog’s Best Basha 131pts
  • LORD: Night Goblin Great Shaman with Staff of Sneaky Stealing, Amulet of Protectyness, and Magic Mushrooms 235pts
  • HERO: Goblin Big Boss Battle Standard Bearer with light armor and the Spider Banner 112pts
  • HERO: Night Goblin Big Boss with light armor, shield, Mad Cap Mushrooms, and Ulag’s Akrit Axe 79pts
  • HERO: Ork Shaman, Level 2 Wizard with the Horn of Urgok 140pts
  • CORE: Blue Archers, 24 Night Goblins with Bows, Full Command, 3 Fanatics, and Nets 202pts
  • CORE: Purple Archers, 28 Night Goblins with Bows, Full Command, and 2 Fanatics 154pts
  • CORE: Spearmen, 44 Goblins with Spears, Shields, and Light Armour plus Full Command 240pts

After working out all my heroes which I really need to keep the goblins from running away and to try not to get raped in the magic phase, I priced out all the blue archers, this is my smallest unit, but with max Fanatics and Nets and a Big Boss geared offensively they are both my most expendable unit and the one I’d like to send out first from my lines.  I’d just as soon not get into H2H with the other units as their main goal is to keep their heroes alive.

I also moved the Mad Cap Mushrooms to the Big Boss, this unit is almost completely painted and should be easier to base and make the movement tray for as it is half the size of the other archer unit.

Goblin Army

For the purple archers I wanted to make them a Horde so that meant three rows of at least ten.  They also have two heroes the Battle Standard Bearer for his Leadership 7 and the Night Goblin Shaman who is the most expensive model in my army.  Hopefully even at Level 3 he can do a good job at dispelling and combined with his Sneaky Staff he should.  The Magic Mushrooms are just for fun and so that I can avoid an unlucky failed casting.  The Ork Shaman is my offensive magical force.  He should have better spells and at 2000 points he’ll be a lot more powerful due to the unit of Big ‘Uns, Waaagh Paint, and Mork’s Spirit Totem.  I really think both my armies will start to come into their own at 2000 points…

The last unit I priced out was the biggest.  Previously I’d stubbornly insisted on fielding 65 Goblins with spears as that is how they are ranked up in my miniature case, but honestly once you get past four rows of ten, the rest are mainly human shields and based on how my games have gone lots of my models get killed before they get to fight anything.  I think this army will do most of it’s damage in the shooting and magic phase with my heroes occasionally having a good round of H2H.  The rank and file mainly will die in droves.  In order to maximize my Fanatics as much as possible the final unit ended up being 44 strong with full command.  This will necessitate me making three more movement trays to play this army at 1500 points but that’s alright, they aren’t as much work as painting and basing the actual models.  Eventually maybe I’ll have a whole collection of custom movement trays.

I haven’t priced it out, but I know what I want to add at 2000 points.  Waaagh Paint and Mork’s Spirit Totem and a unit of Big ‘Uns on foot with Choppas and Shields will eat up most of the points, but I’m tempted to buy another small Night Goblin Shaman just to get certain other magic items, like say a Dispell Scroll but honestly with all the anti-magic I will have thanks to other magic items I don’t really need it.  Usually when someone really wants to cast a spell they risk the miscast to get Irresistible Force.  I’ll also probably bulk up the purple goblin units a bit as I have the models painted, unlike the Orks on foot which I only have a handful painted.

I wanted to do a Horde of Orks but honestly I haven’t benefited much from the new Horde rule.  I think I’ve fielded the two largest units in the Mighty Empires Campaign and I’ve yet to win.  I think higher initiative is still more important than just masses of expendable bodies.  Leadership is even more important than Initiative which is why I fitted in the Horn of Urgok into this army list.  That will increase my Leadership army wide with a one in six chance of the Shaman carrying it taking a wound.  That’ll probably be the first thing I try to cast every Magic Phase, at least while the Shaman has two wounds.

Horde of Plaguebearers with Banners

Game 2 & 3 of Warhammer 8th Edition

And two more losses.  I’m beginning to think I’m the worst army list selector in the world.  Night Goblin mercenaries have leadership 4! Of course they were in range of both my general and the battle standard bearer when they panicked and ran in the first game, from Salamander fire.  Didn’t know they shot that far and force mandatory panic checks.  I don’t know much about the army lists I don’t own, playing something like 5 games since 4th Edition.

Anyway this was week two of the Strategies Mighty Empires campaign and I was tied with two other people for last.  It was also mandatory mercenaries week and in my defense I didn’t have any options.  I did Nurgle daemons as I own them from my 40K army the Diseased Sons, I just painted more, a movement tray, and ranked them up to give 8th Edition a go.  The only other fantasy models I own besides one or two more chaos champions, mostly all on round bases, was my 4th Edition Night Goblin army.

Being unemployed and them being close to being table ready, I grabbed one unit, which turned out to be 50 models, threw in a Night Goblin Shaman to help me in the magic phase, as in every game of 8th Edition I’ve played I’ve faced a Level 4 Sorcerer, that’s how I chose the army for this week.  It is impossible for Chaos Daemons to have a level 4 magic user in a 1500 point game.  If I make and save some gold in the campaign I can add up to another 250 points to my army.  But that is going to have to wait two weeks, because I’m going to a cousin’s wedding reception next Sunday.  Even the three fanatics I felt a little guilty about taking didn’t really do much, they killed a few Night Goblins and a Plaguebearer or two…

Deployment for game 1
Deployment for game 1

I just realized I forgot my animosity rolls.  Oh well I forget lots of rules…

This week I got to choose early, first even of the campaign events and took Building Boom and wanted to challenge Sidhu but he wasn’t there, so I ended up fighting Corey and his Lizardmen.  He had a Slann, Temple Guard, regular Sauruses who were the mercenaries, some skinks with blow guns, the big triceratops lizard and three salamanders.  Once again we rolled up lots of terrain and lots of it magical.  I played the second game on the same terrain approximately we rolled what type of rivers and stuff were on the board.  No one ever went in the mysterious forest.  I’m beginning to think I should hide behind the scenery, but the Nurgle Daemons don’t even have any ranged attacks and I generally lose during the magic phase, though this week was a bit better.

False Fanatic Release
False Fanatic Release

Anyway I’ve been thinking a lot on what I could do to try to make this army competitive.  It is tough at this points level, but I think the long term solution is another unit of line infantry and I’m thinking Daemonettes.  Short term the Herald of Tzeentch will be added if for no other reason than defensive magic ability.  I also hope to slowly build up some Fiends of Slaneesh, but until then the Beasts of Nurgle will get to come out and play.  Nurglings just seems so much worse than other options, even Beasts are no prize.  Nurgle appears to have the worst daemons in fantasy, but Plaguebearers are super popular in 40K, getting Feel No Pain and all.

Night Goblins run from fire
Night Goblins run from fire

Here is the quick version of the two games, as neither went terribly long.  In the first game, my small army in terms of units, finished deploying first and then my scouts didn’t really have any place to go in no man’s land.  The mission was a modified version of “Hired Guns” which uses I think mission 4 deployment.

Nurglings bite off too much lizard
Nurglings bite off too much lizard

In the first game the Nurglings went on my far left flank as I figured they might have a chance at killing Skinks.  The Plaguebearers went in front of the end of the river where the fighting would obviously take place.  Fantasy is so predictable in terms of where H2H will take place, I even tried to cast a movement spell but it was mainly a failure, I didn’t get to move far enough to get into H2H and it was ruled I had to go through my own fanatics.  I thought the Hand of Gork should pick up the unit, then put it down in a new place…

Dual charges into Plaguebearers
Dual charges into Plaguebearers

Anyway there is a good picture of deployment.  The dreaded Stegadon, that’s what the big dino is called, rampaged towards the Plaguebeares and despite me trying the tricky magic spell charge, got the charge on me.  The Plaguebearers of course held, but that thing is tough to wound.  So eventually the Temple Guard got to flank charge the Plaguebearers.  The reason the Plaguebearers got flanked charged was the mercenary Night Goblin archers got hit by Salamander flames, which can go surprisingly far.  These cause auto panic checks and despite getting two tries to roll 8 or less the Night Goblins panicked and ran, never rallied and disappeared off the board leaving Slim and a lone fanatic at the end.

Before all that happened the Skinks advanced to within 8 inches of the Night Goblins so I remember to send out the fanatics, but one of the many rules is they can’t go through terrain.  So I had to redo it as at first I sent two towards the Skinks and one towards the Temple Guard.  I also peppered the Temple Guard with 35 arrows and some magic.  Despite all the crap I threw at them, they still got the flank charge.

Slim and the Nurglings charged the Skinks.  I beat them up and pursued and wiped them out, but this left Slim kinda out of it positionally.  The Nurglings went on to charge the Sauruses in the side which obviously didn’t go well.  Slim turned himself around and flew back to try and rally the Night Goblins and to charge the Temple Guard in the rear.

I can’t remember all the details, but basically Slim needed to make his leadership test on 8 or less as I lost combat by one after the Plaguebearers were weakened further.  He failed, twice! This cost him his last wound.  This kinda left my battle standard bearer and a few other Plaguebearers and of course one lone fanatic.  I was not lucky with them, I think they killed more of my stuff than his.

Game 2 Deployment
Game 2 Deployment

After Slim died and the Night Goblins fled I conceded.  I then had to wait around to try to get a second chance to win my first game.  Eventually I did get to play Sidhu.

His army had a big unit of the elite Skaven with Halberds.  That unit also had the Grey Seer, a chieftain and the battle standard bearer.  I through a tonne of shots and spells at it, but couldn’t halt it in the end.  He also had two Doom Wheels which again I hit with piles of arrows, fanatics, Plague Swords, well maybe none of those, but goblin fists, I think Slim had a go at them too.  Both survived with one wound and two respectively.  Those things are pretty sick, they get shooting attacks, move randomly but fast, so you can’t stand and shoot them, the rats get 2D6 hits, they get Impact hits which as they go before everything are making me think some chariots will get painted for the goblins eventually.  I own one or two unpainted ones.

Game 2 Scout Moves
Game 2 Scout Moves

Anyway you can see deployment.  He had mercenary Blood Knights as that was his other evil army.  They did nothing effectively, though everything charged the Plaguebearers in the end and after they got hit by the Dreaded 13th spell I conceded.  Before all that happened I deployed the Nurglings on the right flank and moved the Night Goblins away from the river so the Fanatics would have more room to go crazy.  They didn’t do that great, Sidhu kept making saves with the damn Doom Wheels but I’d have to say they did better than game one.

Doom Wheels VS Nurglings
Doom Wheels VS Nurglings

The Night Goblins got off one volley of 35 arrows and managed to hit the Doom Wheel a pile, but did zero wounds.  Before that happened and despite setting up fairly far back, both Doom Wheels rolled very high, survived driving over the flaming barricade (the barbed wire) and smashed into the Nurglings wiping them out.

They over ran and drew out the fanatics and ultimately made it into H2H with the Night Goblins.

Night Goblins fail to kill doom wheels
Night Goblins fail to kill doom wheels

Night Goblins with Short Bows have no armour save at all.  So even 50 die pretty quickly when anything hardier than a sneeze kills them.  In my real Night Goblin army I’d have more of them, more fanatics too, and would have a Great Shaman leading that unit and my Warboss leading the other unit.  Plus I’d have my huge block of spearmen to occupy the centre and take the charge.  My goblin army is designed to stand around and shoot, the warmachines and magic do the damage and when the enemy gets frustrated he has to risk fanatics and lots of arrows and spears plus lots of goblin heroes.

Plaguebearers get stuck fighting in a river
Plaguebearers get stuck fighting in a river

So yeah two loses and no game next week for me.  Eventually I will earn some gold and can add up to 250 more points more to the army which will allow Slim and my Heralds to buy fancier toys, but more Plaguebearers and Nurglings is not the answer.  Maybe the Beasts can be useful, but I think I’d rather have 2 Fiends than one Beast of Nurgle.  Also the long term solution is another unit of line infantry.  10 Daemonettes with Full Command is 150 points which is 1.5 Beasts of Nurgle or basically 4.2 Nurgling stands.  The Daemonettes will have more attacks at 21, the rank and standard bonus, and likely fight before the enemy helping to soften them up for the Plaguebearers.  Nurglings have lots of wounds, but they are only toughness 3 and basically always lose combat and just disappear with their Leadership of 5, even 8 isn’t a big improvement.

Charged on all four sides
Charged on all four sides

Nope next month maybe after I get a job if I seriously try to turn this army into something that maybe wins a game, I’ll have to do up at least 10 Daemonettes maybe even 15.  Here is my army list, the best one I can make with the models I have painted:

  • Daemon Prince with wings and level 1 magic ability 370pts
  • Harold of Nurgle, Battle Standard Bearer, Slime Trail and the Banner of Unholy Victory 200pts
  • Herold of Tzeentch, Flames of Tzeentch, and Spell Breaker 165pts
  • 29 Plaguebearers, Full Command and a magic banner for 403pts
  • 3 Beasts of Nurgle 300pts
  • With my last 62 points I can buy five more Plaguebearers or if I get it painted, the Fiend of Slaneesh

About the only magic item I can take that might make a difference is switching from Icon of Eternal Virulence to the one that allows me to re-roll failed to wound rolls.  I’ll have to think on that some more.  The Harold of Tzeentch will get painted, but after that I need to paint my 2010 Astronomi-con Vancouver army, or at least the remaining 5 or 6 models.

Behold my Night Goblin Horde!

Night Goblins in their movement tray
Night Goblins in their movement tray

That’s right, it only took about 15 years but I sacrificed my shoulder and back, to finish off this unit of 54 Night Goblin Archers led by a Shaman.  The last little bit of brown is drying, then I’ll take the celebratory picture.  I don’t think I’ve ever done anything that compares to these guys.  At 55 models, all of which have custom bases and decent highlights on the flesh, with the front two rows being quite spiffy, the magnetic movement tray, the four different types of basing, no five…

First I got guilted into getting help with the base coating of these guys.  I’m not sure how much time that really saved me as the quality was well below what I would have done.  Even the cleaning of the models often leaves a lot to desire.  I highlighted the best dozen or so and did up command and a hero, then they sat for a couple more years.  Now with the arrival of Warhammer 8th Edition and being presently unemployed I had no excuse other than just not having the commitment to getting them done.

Bases painted brown
Bases painted brown

All week it seems I’ve been working towards this blog post.  I built the custom 11 by 5 movement tray.  I magnetized all the bases.  I created an Autumnal basing scheme.  I discovered I was five Night Goblins short of 55, so in one day I painted the missing members of the squad.  Then I didn’t think the back 3/5ths were highlighted enough so that was added to the ‘ta do’ list.

Those needing more highlights
Those needing more highlights

Finally I did an epic basing scheme, which I may not completely duplicate on the other squads in this army.  First I found the perfect brown, or at least a decent brown.  Then after painting the bases,I used UHU glue to put ballast and a little bit of this weird red flock on all the bases.

When that was dry I then did lichen, three different Autumnal colours spread out amongst the unit.  When this was completed and dried it was time for the static grass.  I had little experience with this material but I had a good set of tweezers which helped.  I also learned that static grass absorbs super glue quite a lot and that you need to keep the tweezers about a centimetre from where the glue is, and even then sometimes the glue will flow up the grass cramping your style.

Improved highlights on rear ranks
Improved highlights on rear ranks

I experimented with different sized clumps, different heights, pushing down to make it messy, applying it on an angle.  Not all my experiments were a success but taking the unit as a whole, it looks pretty damn impressive, even with all the one pose 4th Edition Warhammer box set archers.

When the static grass was dry it was time for the little brown leaves I got off of Antenociti’s Workshop.  These were applied with white glue (Weldbond brand) as was the lichen.  These were given ample time to dry as I was summoned out to celebrate Jeff’s birthday.  Then at the end of the evening I had to touch up the Delta Ceramcoat Golden Brown.

Ready for the first set of basing materials
Ready for the first set of basing materials

If I had to do it all over, it probably wouldn’t get done.  I put a lot of effort into these goblins even spread over 55 models.  The basing is over the top and the magnetized movement tray is a total luxury too, especially considering how often I play Warhammer Fantasy Battle.  One thing that could be done is to mix up the basing material and apply the mix to save steps.  The other thing that should be done is multiple coats of Golden Brown before any other basing material is applied.

Now on to the pictures, I took a lot, one or two after every stage, plus the obligatory final money shot.

Finished with ballast and flock
Finished with ballast and flock
Ready to apply lichen
Ready to apply lichen
Unit with lichen added to the bases
Unit with lichen added to the bases
Special lockable tweezers
Special lockable tweezers
Static grass application techniques
Static grass application techniques
Unit with static grass applied to bases
Unit with static grass applied to bases
Unit with little brown leaves added to bases
Unit with little brown leaves added to bases

Night Goblin Archer Horde

Waaagh!!!

Five Freshly Painted Night Goblins

Cloth after the black wash
Cloth after the black wash

While making the magnetic movement tray for a unit of old Night Goblin archers that I thought was 55 strong, 5 rows of 11.  I discovered that it was only 50 strong, well 49 including the hero.  It was late at night and I had been cutting 20mm squares of magnetic material into the wee hours, so I decided rather than just borrow one goblin from another unit for the game I was planning to play on Sunday, I’d dig out some new plastic Night Goblin archers I got off eBay and paint them up.

I’m a slow painter, so painting five models, even rank and file Night Goblins in basically one day, which was the task ahead of me, was going to take effort.  I would not be able to go at a leisurely pace, nor would I have lots of time for layered washes or trying out new stuff.  I began cleaning the models and though I learned later I didn’t too a perfect job, I had them cleaned and on magnetic bases by 1:38 AM.

Liche Purple Basecoat
Liche Purple Basecoat

Despite staying up late the night before I couldn’t sleep and got out of bed at quarter to six.  No I didn’t start painting then, but I did update this blog and probably give them there first coat of Chaos Black Spray primer.  I had to take care of my daily job search as well as buy groceries, so about 10 AM I had to get serious about painting these models.

I did two blasts of GW Black spray paint, which unlike all my recent Plaguebearers covered pretty good.  I did need to put on some more black here and there.  After I had a good black it was time to highlight it.  I used my top secret black highlighting recipe of Foundry Black Triad number 34.  After quickly putting on B & C from the triad I did a wash of Badab Black.  Then I did a slight re-highlight of 34C.

Applying purple flames
Applying purple flames

That’s it.  Bam! On to the purple.

For the purple I used my new dark purple recipe which consists of Liche Purple highlighted with the entire Foundry Royal Purple Triad, number 19 for the numerically superior.  That was it, even the flames were free-handed in one go.  No washes in this purple recipe.  I did take my second break during this phase.

The next phase was the most stressful, painting a face inside the hoods which I’d already highlighted.  This was a bit unnerving, but I never had to redo any purple or black highlights.  The only time I touched up one dot of purple, was doing one eyeball later on.

Close up of purple flames
Close up of purple flames

I didn’t use the exact green recipe I used on the others.  I probably went further than I needed to, but Goblins have characterful faces and getting the green to pop is the key to painting them.  I used Vallejo Sick Green, Game Colour 29 as my base.  Then I used a less than great pot of GW Goblin Green.  Things were looking OK, but I decided to paint GW Thraka Green wash into the darker recesses of the face and pretty much all over the hands and forearms.

I then had to build back up my highlights so I used Vallejo Game Colour Goblin Green.  This is only slightly lighter than GW’s Goblin Green if any different at all.  Although this was sound blending and colour progression, it wasn’t a big difference maker and was probably a poor choice given my goal of speed.  Then I got serious about highlighting the skin, I used a medium aged octagon pot of GW’s Striking Scorpion Green.  Finally highlights were with a round pot, that is starting to really show it’s age of, Bilious Green.  That pot was one of the first ten or if not ten, twenty I ever bought.  It came in I think the Monster Paint Set.

2 coats of green paint and a wash
2 coats of green paint and a wash

I think I took a break during the greens, I know I took a WIP photo.  The model was basically done, the big three of tunic, trim, and flesh were finished.  So I decided to ‘stick it to the man’ and not highlight the brown.  I quickly put brown over the leather straps, quiver, and arrows and practically ran down the hall to photograph them thinking I was done and it was time for dinner.

I think it was about 5pm.  As I was uploading the photos to my computer from my iPhone I remember, “Oi I didn’t paint the eyes!”.  Turns out I didn’t paint the mouths either.  These are important elements especially for Night Goblins.

This can be a tricky phase as you can ruin or at least damage careful highlights.  I dotted the eyes white, then Sunburst Yellow, another epically old pot, but not as old as the one beside it which will remain nameless (Badmoon Yellow from the Ork VS Eldar paint set).  That was it for the eyes.

Greenskin is good to go
Greenskin is good to go

The mouths I did a bit differently than usual.  I got out the paint colour I’m making famous, Reaper Master Series Clotted Red and painted the entire interior of the mouth with it.  I then got out Vallejo Beige and made sure it was subtle and painted the teeth.  The teeth on these models are like a carved pumpkin they go back as little triangles way into the back of the mouth.  This is not the norm for GW teeth and I wonder why it was done this way, probably something to do with lasers.

Anyway I think I took a WIP photo and despite being tired and hungry I did one more trick on the mouths.  I took a drop of water and some plasma red ink, mixed up a thin wash and filled the mouths with it.  I then leaned the models on their backs so it could colour the teeth and dry.  You have to wash that your wash doesn’t overflow.  If it does, quickly soak it up with a brush.

The false finish
The false finish

After laying on the couch listening to some blues, it was time to re-highlight the teeth.  It was necessary to touch up a lip here and there during the whole mouth painting process.  Highlights were done with Vallejo Beige and boring old Skull White.

Then I took a nap.  That’s right no dinner for me I was beat.

Much later I dragged my ass out of bed, photographed the models as best I could, typed up this here blog entry/tutorial and then gave the models a coal of Purity Seal.

Finally Finished Night Goblin
Finally Finished Night Goblin

Tomorrow I will base 54 Night Goblins and their magnetic movement tray, or die in the attempt.  Well maybe things aren’t that dire, it is just a game.  Damn mandatory mercenaries week in the Mighty Empires Campaign.

Five Franticly Painted Night Goblin Archers

Night Goblin Pose 1

Night Goblin Pose 2

Night Goblin Pose 3