Monthly Archives: April 2013

Lizardmen – Part 2

Finished the first of the new, pretty happy with them, got lots more to build and paint.



Lizardmen – Part 1

I’ve been painting my older brother’s old GW Lizardman army for fun, and I bought him a few of the new kits from a store that was doing a GW clearance sale, lot of that going on lately, in order to bulk out his forces and turn them into a viable army. Then he decided to give me the Lizardman army as he already had three others under construction, which is super-exciting, thanks Bro!  Now I have a pretty decent Lizardman force thaat only needs a few personalities and a lot of paint to finish it off.

I had started with painting his command section; a saurus champion and a drummer that had both been primed white and I decided to match the colors of the standard bearer that my younger brother had painted seventeen years ago- orange body with yellow scales.


I had also picked up some old plastic lizardmen from ebay (20) for a dollar each. They arrived with a plainish green and blue paint job on seventeen of them and three others in an off-whitey yellowish color. Unfortunately one of the whiteys had broken off his head, arm, and weapon in shipping. 😦   Fortunately the Temple Guard and Cavalry kits I’d picked up had lots of extra bits so I kitted out the broken guy as a unit champion and the other two whiteys as bodyguards.


For the other seventeen greenys I just did little spot repaints to give them a better color palette (all their gear was blue so it matched their scales) and gave them all finishing treatments. The mini on the left is before.


I decided I didn’t want to repaint all of the old Lizardmen into the new orange scheme. Instead I remembered what I’d read about the 16th century Korean army during the Japanese invasion; Armys were formed from local conscipts and militia and an army commander and his staff were sent from the capital to command the local forces. I decided the orange scheme would be for the “Chosen Ones” or lizardman nobility and champions. That way it would be really easy to pick out command figures and elite units on the tabletop battlefield.

To paint up the new kits (GW multi-part plastic temple guards and saurus cavalry) I primed everything black, then dry-brushed them white. This is a trick I picked up from my younger brother that works pretty well as it gives my brighter colors a bright base to work from and puts a lot of shading in place right from the start.


I like to have a white base for bright colors as it’s easier to make colors darker, not as easy to make them lighter. My red, oranges and yellows always go on pretty thin anyways and they get muddy if I’m trying to throw them onto a black base paint color. I start with the skin and then work my way outwards from a minis center, I think in color layers just like in clothes layers; what do you put on first? What goes on over that? First, the orange skin;


That’s all I got through today, I hope to be finishing them tomorrow.

The mount-lizard needed a different color to set it off from the rider and I decided to go with an orangey-red for the body and a deeper red for the scales and horns.

red raptor

I have to say that the current GW plastic multi-part kits are of excellent quality. When I started buying GW minis the plastic “Beakie” marines were all the rage. The amount of kit options you get on the sprues and the quality of the plastic material itself are quite impressive. I think their pricing structure though, on the whole, is ridiculously expensive. The plastic temple guards and cavalry are actually a pretty good deal for what you get in the box, it’s even better when you can get them on clearance.

Homemade Palm Trees

Ten years ago I quit painting minis and packed up everything associated with them and then shuffled my boxes of toys from house to house without opening them. Last month I started opening everything and taking stock of what I had and what was unpainted. I found I had two packs of Citadel plastic jungle trees that had never been assembled so I built, dipped and flocked the lot which gave me jungle trees. These kits are no longer available from GW and I couldn’t find any through Google, but I did trip across this TMP Workbench article;

I decided to give Dervel’s method a try and also keep track of how much time and money each tree cost.

The trees took me about fifteen minutes each to construct, after the first one I found my rhythm and they became much easier. I primed them black and painted them up in greens and browns, so maybe twenty-five minutes each all told. One tree I painted in base greens and browns then dipped into Bombay Black polyurethane stain and let sit over night before matt-spraying and applying the green highlights.


The one in the center (above) and left (below) was dipped then highlighted.Image

The costs broke down as follows;

Fender washers (bases); 10 for $5.90 = $.59 each

Galvanized steel wire; $7.29 (110 feet/1,320 inches) = $.06 per foot

Labels; $4.49 (150 count) = $.02 each

Pipe cleaners; $.89 (26 count) = $.03 each

Each tree- Fender washer (1x.59) = $.59

6 inch wires (8x.03) = $.24

Labels (8x.02) = $.16

Pipe cleaners (2x.03) = $.06

Total = $1.05 each

*The paints, flocking, primer and matt spray were not included as they get used on many projects.

The GW plastic trees cost me $10.00 for a pack of four, $2.50 each. However, they’re out of production and unavailable, so their cost can’t be seriously compared to the home-builts.

My thanks to Dervel of TMP for a well-done Workbench article.

More Runts

My older brother and I have been churning through my pile of unpainted 40K Gretchin minis the past few weeks, he painted 15 and I painted 8 so that puts me up to 63 painted Gretchin. My goal is to finish all of the unpainted Gretchin on my table, which would put me over 100.

And what an absolutely useless army that would be. 😀

We both started from a black primer coat and did the skins in basic goblin green color; he did his solid and I dry-brushed mine on to keep the shading in the recesses. I went for solid color fills with a very small subdued palette-mostly browns, metal, little blue, little off-white. My brother used oranges, yellows, reds, metals, blue and purples with ink washes* (green, orange and yellow) to darken or brighten the base colors.

Once we both had our basic colors finished they were all dipped in Tudor Satin polyurethane stain, allowed to dry overnight then matt-sprayed to knock off the shine.

You can paint on top of matt spray as it is clear acrylic, can’t paint on top of un-matted polyurethane though-the paint slides around a lot.

Then they all received the same highlight mix; Equal parts white, green and yellow drybrushed onto the raised portions of the models skin. Then yellow dots for eyes, a little flock for their bases, and voila –


The rets of the Gretchin Horde will have to wait a bit as I am switching over to finishing some Lizardmen and some palm trees terrain.

*The inks that we use are from the original Citadel shipment to the USA in 1988. A little ink goes a long ways. 🙂

Red & Green (but not Christmas)

My brother are cranking out a bunch of Gretchin/Runts/Gobbos for a Warpath intro game this week and I wanted a leader for the rebellious Runts faction. I dug through the unpainted lead pile and found the Red Gobbo from GorkaMorka. The first pic is the completed base colors. I try to make sure everything is neat and clean at this point, haven’t done any drybushing or highlighting as he’s about to get dipped.


He gets dipped in tudor satin polyurethane stain and set aside for about 12 hours. I made sure to thin the dip on his scarf while the dip was wet with a brush dipped in mineral spirits.


Once he’s hardened and dry I flock his base, matt coat him to knock the shine off and seal the flocking, do a few highlights, and matt spray him again. You can paint on top of the clear acrylic spray, painting on top of the polyurethane sealant doesn’t work too well.


He’s ready to command his legion of Runts!

Hopefully I’ll have an AAR later this week with some thoughts about actually playing the Warpath rules and how they feel different from 40K.

Flocking bases

Litko Aerosystems (great guys there) posed a question; How do you finish your bases?

This is a simple bit that adds a great finishing touch to painted minis; flocking the base. It’s really easy but many people don’t seem to want to add this bit, dunno why.

What is flock? Well, I use ground and earthy scenic materials from model railroad stores, game stores usually sell the same product for 2x the price. I also gather up little pebbles, sawdust, and beach sand for additional effects.

First, spread plain old white glue around on the base.


I keep little instant coffee cans full of flocking materials around, this mix is a green turf blend with some small pebbles mixed in. Dip the wet glue base into the flock and swish it about.


Set aside to dry, 20 minutes or so. Shake off the excess and spray mini with matt sealant. It seals the paint and also helps add a layer of protection to your base flocking. For bigger model bases you can also add bigger rocks or battlefield debris on top of the flocking to create mini-dioramas.


*Arquebus troops painted by Arctic Dragon, dipped and flocked by me.

Painting Miniatures again.

So I quit painting toy soldiers about 9 or 10 years ago, which was when my second child was born and I no longer had time for a hobby, I just put everything in boxes and mostly forgot about them. I still purchased some Heroscape and Heroclix minis, they were pre-painted and didn’t have the time and focus demands that unpainted lead figures require.

Then last year for some odd reason I bought into the Reaper Bones Kickstarter project, just got swept up in the mass hysteria I guess. My order should be here next month and I decided I needed to start re-learning how to paint miniatures. So last month I unpacked everything and started digging through the unpainted pile and finishing things.

The method I’ve been using is to get clean basic blocks of color on the figures, dip them in a polyurethane stain for shading, flock their bases, hit them with a coat of matt spray, do some highlighting if necessary, then matt seal them again. They look pretty decent, I’m happy with them at least. Here’s a few recent additions to the “Done” pile in my house;


I have no idea what this guy is. I bought this mini 10 years ago…Warzone Razide? I only used three paint colors for the body, brown wash for the eyes and mouth recesses, chestnut ink over the dark flesh in the exposed muscle areas, dipped (bombay mahoganey-blackish), sprayed, dotted the eyes with yellow. I put him on a Heroscape base so he could join my son’s Marro Swarm, the glue had an odd reaction though and there’s some frosting on his toes that needs cleaning up.


Eldar Guardian, wanted to see what the mahogany would do to the red and white scheme,  it deepened the reds nicely and I used a brush with mineral spirits to thin the dip on his helmet.


Old GW Ork Nob from 1988, tried a Tudor Satin (medium brown) dip on this one to see how it would effect the yellows in the armor.


And an Ork robot, mahogany over red.

I haven’t done any highlights on any of these minis, I’m still practicing dry-brushing to get a consistent effect so I don’t just glob on paint by accident and wipe out my previous work.