Zarbag’s Gitz

And here’s the whole gang! (more about the squigs in the previous post) When I initially started painting the gobbos I thought they’d be pretty quick to finish. Once again, I was wrong ๐Ÿ˜€

Zarbag’s Gitz

The main inspiration for the paint scheme came from a classic Adrian Smith painting of Night Goblins. The main take-aways were the blue, black and red robes, as well as the freehand patterns on the hoods. My colors are obviously quite a bit more vibrant and cartoony than the artwork, but I’ve noticed I like my miniatures like that!

Prog da Netter, Dibbz, Stikkit and Redkap

The robes were finished pretty quickly, and painting a rough fabric texture by hashing is always fun. To contrast the robes I tried painting the skin smoother. While the light green paints have pretty bad coverage, I’m once again really happy with how they came out.

Then it was on to the details, of which there were many. Each model also seemed to have their own special things, which made batch painting difficult. But that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it! Even painting all the rope textures on the net was quite enjoyable, relaxing even. There were a few details which were a bit more intimidating (those involving blending), but once I started doing them they all came out great! It was funny actually, at first Drizgit da Squig Herder was my least favorite of the bunch (the mushroom on his mouth doesn’t really work for me), but after painting the fire effects he’s one of my favorites.

Drizgit da Squig Herder, Zarbag and Snirk Sourtongue

I quite like the bases on this warband, they have various small details that add to the narrative of the group. I actually started this painting project with the bases, something I don’t often do. As painting the bases was mostly drybrushing, I thought I’d have to repaint a lot less if I started with them (looking at Zarbag and those mushrooms!). Of course, I then had to lightly drybrush the bottoms of the robes after finishing the models, but thankfully that went without issues.

I’ve got one regret with this warband, and that’s not doing gap-filling properly. Thankfully it’s not (very) visible on the photos, but especially on Zarbag’s cowl it’s raining on my parade a bit, after painting him up so nicely. Painting-wise, there’s one or two things that I could’ve improved or added, but as fun as they’ve been to paint, it’s time to start working on something new.

I also get to cross off another square on the bingo card, this time it’s the “warband for a skirmish game”.

Zarbag’s Squigs

After building and priming all those models shown in the last post, I promptly went on to paint something different. So now, more than a year after building and priming them, I’ve finished painting Zarbag’s Gitz. In this post I’ll show you the two squigs, which I painted before the rest of the warband, and in a couple of days I’ll show the actual Gitz.

These two angry red balls were fun to paint, and quite quick as well, with so few elements to them. I tried some new recipes on these, mainly on the red skin and the teeth/bones. I shaded the red with Contrast paints, Blood Angels Red on one and Flesh Tearers (FT) on the other. Not much difference in the final product, FT provides a bit more contrast. Otherwise the process was the same. I used a flesh tone for highlighting, which was a first for me.

I wanted to try something different with the teeth as well, especially to provide contrast between the giant bone and the teeth on Bonerakka. I took inspiration from the studio models and tried Rakarth Flesh (RF) as a basecoat, shaded very carefully with thinned Nuln Oil. Highlighting with Pallid Wych Flesh (PWF) finished off the teeth. The bone was likewise RF, but shaded with Seraphim Sepia. I then layered with Flayed One Flesh and highlighted with PWF. Finally, I glazed on some color with a mix of Reikland Fleshshade and Carroburg Crimson. Very happy with the result!

One final note about painting the details: the brands on the squigs’ sides had me scratching my head for a bit, but happily one of my go-to sources, Tale of Painters, had me covered. Stahly has painted this warband very nicely and provides recipes for most of the colors, including the scarred flesh. Also helped with the mouths! I didn’t get mine to look quite as nice as the reference, but that’s fine.

I’m also sneaking in my hobby bingo card, as a week ago I built two new magnetic storage cases. The construction was exactly the same as the previous ones, so didn’t feel the need to post a picture of them. But with those, I should be set with storage for quite some time!

Mollog’s Mob

Praise Gork (or maybe Mork?)! New finished models, at long last!

I painted Mollog quite a while back in June, but didn’t have time to paint his minions. They ended up sitting primed until October, when I decided that it was time for them to get painted. I guess Bat Squig counts as my Orktober project?

As with Mollog, I pretty much followed the studio scheme, just altering the colors to be less purple. Because each of the minions has a different color scheme I painted them individually to completion before moving onto the next. This was great fun, and I once again tried wetblending and other more “freeform” techniques. This group was also a great exercise in how to tie the different color schemes together: even with the box art as reference I had to really think about the color choices. I actually ended up repainting the white on Spiteshroom, as the first iteration was too white! In the end I think I managed a cohesive unit, so I’m very happy with the result.

One minor thing that I kind of messed up was the bases, which ended up a bit lighter compared to Mollog’s due to too aggressive drybrushing. And speaking of bases, my word all those mushrooms took a long time to paint!


During the spring I went a bit nuts and bought a load of Underworlds warbands. I recently took stock of them, and noticed that I had seven boxes of unbuilt teams! Clearly I need to do something about the pile, and I started with one of the more novel warbands, Mollog’s Mob. In this post I’ll show you the titular, grumpy leader of the lot.

I’d normally paint the unit as a whole, but I’ve noticed that the summer months are usually spent working, travelling and with the wife, and if not, the weather’s often too hot to paint. So a bit strapped for hobby time.. But I wanted to enter something for Ann’s hobby challenge, Miniatures of Magnitude. Although the challenge ran for two months, I only had around three weeks to do my entry. Hence I decided to just paint Mollog, and leave the rest of the gang for another time. Fortunately all the models have somewhat different schemes, so batch painting wouldn’t necessarily have helped anyway.

For the paint scheme I mostly followed the box art and Duncan’s tutorial. I didn’t have all the paints used in the tutorial, but I thought that the scheme had a little to much purple in it anyway (the skin and the big mushrooms). My scheme ended up a bit more blue, and with more vibrant toadstools, a combination which I have to say I like more than the GW’s versions. I also took the highlighting a little further than Duncan did, as I’m trying to push the contrast on my models. Overall, I think this might be my best work so far, and it was a joy to paint!

There were a couple of new things that I tried on this model, and of which I’m really happy about. The first was that I used Pallid Wych Flesh for all (non-metal) final highlights, something that worked really well. It seems to pull all the colors together and of course makes those highlights pop. I also tried drying retarder for the first time, and did some rudimentary weblending on the toadstools and the blue mushroom. I think I didn’t yet get the right mix of paint and retarder, but I’ll surely keep practicing with it on future models.

And yeah, in addition to painting a big model for Ann’s challenge, there was an appropriate square in the hobby bingo as well: “paint a monster”. Done!

The Farstriders

My Shadespire collection grows by yet another warband! This time, I’ve finished the Farstriders! That makes six finished gangs, and two more to go to complete the first season of Underworlds.

Now, to be honest these could’ve been finished a lot sooner, had I not bought myself Hades from Steam. I’ve sunk so many hours into it during the last month that had I used them all painting, I’d probably have my Shadespire collection finished right about now.. It’s a pretty good game though ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway, the Farstriders. I decided to change my default SCE color scheme to something else for this group. At first I toyed with the idea of going with the box art golden boys, but then I felt that I needed to change it a bit to make it mine. I thought I’d just change the blue to red, but then I decided to change the gold as well, to a more weathered looking brass. I came across a cool Space Marine Minotaurs tutorial on FromTheWarp ages ago, and finally got to try it out. Well, loosely speaking. I used Citadel paints and their brass triad, just adding verdigris effects before all the drybrushing. I’ve used Nihilakh Oxide a couple times before, and have been a bit unhappy with the results, thinking that the paint went on too opaque, even with 1:1 thinning with medium. This time I diluted the wash even further, to 1:2, and think that it looks good to me (as long as I only go over areas once). Well, I erased most of the verdigris with the drybrushing anyway, so it didn’t really matter even if I put too much on.

My favorite part of the models to paint were the capes. As you might have noticed, I’m a bit of a sucker for differentiating my warband models in some way, and here I decided on making the capes in different colors. I used around five base colors for the initial pattern in each cape, which I then washed with different washes and drybrushed them to finish them off. While painting the initial pattern, I mixed the paints on the borders to achieve a smoother transition, either by mixing an intermediate color on the palette or by wetblending on the model.

There are a couple of things I’m not totally happy about on the models. One is that I probably should’ve pushed the highlights on the reds a bit more, as compared to the black leather bits they look a bit flat. Speaking of red, with these models I tried to make the reds on the topknot, pauldrons and the loincloth(?) a bit different, and brighter on top to draw attention there. Success, I think? I’m also not sure about the color choice on the bird: I tried to mimick a golden eagle, but brown and white doesn’t really stand out from the brass armor and white cape. But these are considerations for future models, I’m calling these ones done.

Last but not least, I’m claiming a square on the hobby bingo: a team painted specifically for a skirmish game. Seems like the year has started well on the bingo front, one month down and two (/three) squares completed! If I can keep this up, I’ll be finishing the whole board before the end of the year! (Yeah, fat chance..:)

Stormsire’s Cursebreakers

With all that’s been going on IRL, these guys have taken quite a while to complete. Still, after a month and a half on my painting desk, Stormsire’s Cursebreakers are at long last done.

Model-wise, there’s not much to say as they’re a stock Nightvault warband. Nice models. I had to do some gap filling, which didn’t come out super smooth as I only had greenstuff and it wasn’t ideal for the job. I’ve since bought Milliput, which is maybe better? We’ll see in the future, once I get to try it out..

For the paint scheme I chose the Silverlions, as I’ve done with all my Stormcast, but changed the red cloth to purple, which helps to differentiate the SCE warbands on the board. I also got lazy with the gold, and tried just drybrushing it. This, along with using a brown wash gave a more worn look. It’s also closer to what Thilo Engels did with his original scheme.

Another new-ish thing I tried with these models was to practice blends, mainly with the hair on Ammis and Rastus, and the flame on Stormsire’s hand. I chose to paint the hairdos on Ammis and Rastus differently, again for easier identification on the board. Both started from purple, but on Ammis the color transitions to pink, and on Rastus to blue. I think the colors work pretty well, as they’re found in other parts of the models: blue on the glass vials, pink on the weapon straps. Also, stereotypical boy/girl colors ๐Ÿ™‚

Most examples of Stormsire’s flame I’ve seen have been in some “magical” color. Cheap parlor tricks, I say. I thought that real(-ish) fire would complement the rest of the color scheme best, and I’m pretty happy with the result. To complement the fire, and to draw attention to Stormsire’s head I wanted to try red hair. Not quite as intense color as on dwarfs, but still reading as ginger. The image on my head was of the GoT Tormund Giantsbane, which I think I achieved, as my wife looked at the model and said “looks quite like the wildling boss man from GoT.”

Finally, by completing this warband I also finished my Nightvault core set, and claimed another square in the hobby bingo (“Paint all minis in a board game and play it”)! I’ve done the tasks in reverse order, as I played the game before painting the models, but I’ll still count it. Hopefully I get to play again before the end of the year though!

From the Archives: Ironskull’s Boyz

I’ve started working on Stormsire’s Cursebreakers, but as that will take some time still, let’s take a look at my final Underworlds warband that’s yet to be showcased: Ironskull’s Boyz.

Painting these guys took a lot longer than I originally anticipated. I completed the warband for last year’s Orktober, but originally started painting them in May. During the summer I moved, and as there wasn’t any real need to get the models finished, I also got distracted with other cool models. I know, I know, some painters take years or decades to finish miniatures, but four-ish months is still quite a lot of time.

This was a somewhat special project in that it was the first UW warband that I (slightly) converted. This was a simple headswap between Ironskull (the leader, with the cape), Bonekutta (big axe) and Basha (two clubs). Hakka’s (axe and knife) head was integrated in such a way that he got to keep it.. The reason for the headswap was basically that I wondered why the leader was called Ironskull, but the only head with a plate stuck to it didn’t belong to him!

To this day I think the Boyz are some of my best paintwork. The scheme, and the recipes for orange and green skin were borrowed from TaleofPainters’ Amy, big thanks to her for sharing. I especially like the faces, but painting the boss’ cape and the fur on his shoulder was really fun. These were also the first models that I tried painting checkers on, as well as sponge weathering. I wanted to use another kind of metal in addition to iron, so I added some accents of copper. I guess this makes Ironskull more of a Copper’ead, eh?

I’ll be revisiting Ironskull’s Boyz sometime in the future, as I was gifted an extra set of the models during the summer. Don’t know yet whether I’ll leave the models stock this time, or convert them even more, or about the color scheme. But Theophony on Dakka thought of painting the cape as a tattered Empire flag, so I’m fairly sure I have to steal the idea!

One final Underworlds related note. Yesterday while I was writing this post I noticed that Games Workshop had removed all Shadespire warbands from sale. I went and checked if Wayland or Element would still have the three gangs that I was missing on stock, but it turned out I was already too late. Luckily, the local game shop still had them in the shelf, and I promptly proceeded to buy Magore’s Fiends, Farstriders and Chosen Axes to complete my Shadespire collection. Didn’t really want to buy so much at once, but what can you do.. It looks like UW warbands will be on sale for two years before being retired, which means that I’ll have a year to get all the Nightvault expansions. Probably not going to get so committed to Beastgrave, as I have plenty to play (and paint!) with Shadespire and Nightvault already.

Thorns of the Briar Queen

Alright, my Nightvault collection is now officially started, as I’ve finished the first warband, Thorns of the Briar Queen!

As I was building these models I couldn’t help but admire the quality of GW’s new kits. Virtually no mold lines to speak of, and the dynamic poses of the models with only 1-3 pieces is astounding. Like all Nighthaunt, they are intricate, and sadly the ghost with the plank strapped to his arm lost a finger at some point. Well, he’s a tortured soul, so what’s one digit..

Painting the gang was mostly enjoyable, though more time consuming than anticipated. Painting the robes, the rusty metal and the black ghost bits was actually really fast, but the rest of the details (granted, there wasn’t an impossible amount of them) bogged me down a bit.

As per usual, I used schemes and recipes borrowed from hobbyists much more talented than me. The Nighthaunt scheme is from Jeff Vader, as already tried out on my Imperial Skaven. The rusty metal is from RobPaintsModels, which I also used for my Sepulchral Guard, with the crucial difference that I didn’t ruin it with an all-over wash of Agrax this time. While I love the dirty robes, I think my favorite part of these models are the roses, the red spot color brings some much needed contrast to the otherwise quite drab scheme. There’s a couple of details that I’m not too chuffed about: the white could’ve been smoother at places, and I didn’t quite know what to do with the diamonds on the Queen. They’re quite small details though, so I guess it’s OK..

I’ll also enter the Briar Queen and Varclav the Cruel (below) to Azazel’s monthly challenge, Jewel of July. They’re not big heroes, but as minor ones are eligible too, they’ll be my submission. I would’ve wanted to include Stormsire Cursebreaker as well, but that was a bit too ambitious. Well, I’ll just have to see if he’ll fit August’s challenge ๐Ÿ™‚

I think I’ll take a short break from painting now, and get back to building a couple of models. I recently got my ebay bits package, which allows me to start working on some new conversions that I’ve been looking forward to. Building might also be a little more tolerable than painting, as we’re feeling the heat wave in Finland as well..

From the Archives: Shadowpike Ruins

I’m hard at work painting the Thorns of the Briar Queen, but as they’re not done yet, I’ll have to showcase something else. Delving in the Underworlds, I feel Shadespire terrain is most appropriate!

If you’re familiar with Shadespire, you might know that official terrain, or “3D blocked hexes”, was never released. Many people seemed to scratchbuild them, however, and I’ve also found a couple of 3rd party terrain sets. The terrain pieces in this post are “Shadowpike Ruins Terrain Set” from Bitspudlo, and they can be used to fill every blocked hex in the two original Shadespire boards.

These were actually my first resin models. I had heard the horror stories about Forge World / Citadel Finecast and was a bit wary of buying them, but as the models looked great in the pictures and the price was right, I decided to take the plunge. I’m happy that I did, as the quality pretty much perfect! I shaved the base edges a bit, but that was it. I’m definitely more open to getting more resin models in the future. Probably not from Forge World though..

I painted the ruins with my goto sandstone recipe, the same I’ve used for basing pretty much all my models. In addition to the stone, there were plenty of details scattered about: chests, pots, lanterns, candles and of course some bones. Painting all of them took a bit of time, but it was fun to try out copper paints and verdigris.

When photographing the finished set I couldn’t resist taking some “cinematic” shots. Perhaps not the nicest of executions, technically speaking, but I liked the ideas. Can’t remember why I didn’t take photos with the Sepulchral Guard, as I had definitely finished them at the time.

So yeah, I’m very happy with these pieces, and they’ve been great on the game boards as well. I’ll probably end up getting the official terrain set for Nightvault at some point, even though I’m not crazy about all of the models, and the quality certainly isn’t as high as with these.

From the Archives: Garrek’s Reavers

I’ve started working on the 40k Skaven, but as they’re not ready yet, it’s time to once again present some older models from my collection. This time, it’s Garrek and his merry men.

Even though Garrek’s Reavers were the other half of the Shadespire core set, they were only the third warband to get painted. I was so excited about the Sepulchral Guard, that I just had to get them out of the way first. But these guys got painted eventually, and I reckon I did a pretty good job with them. Being some of the earlier models that I painted after getting back to the hobby, they were good practice for some techniques that I hadn’t done before. Firstly, I wanted to try different skin tones for all of them. I think this was a success, even though the two lightest tones came out a bit chalky. And I even managed to color code the models without realizing, so that the darker the skin is, the tougher the guy is.

Secondly, I got plenty of practice painting faces, as there were four bare heads amongst the group. Again, I’m happy how they came out, as none of them got the dreaded “derp face”, and I got all the irises to the right spot on the first try, believe it or not. I also got some individual teeth done, though only on upper or lower jaw, not both.. Finally, I got to try out Blood for the Blood God, which was fun. Haven’t really used it since though, except for an Ork Dreadnought.

The paint scheme for these Bloodreavers is a bit unusual for me, as it’s the studio version! I tried to find something else that I liked better, but at the time couldn’t. I have some ideas brewing for further Shadespire Khorne warbands though, whenever I get to them..

*Excuse the photos, which are a bit tiny. They’re from a time when I was still figuring out how to compose and take good(ish) shots. At least you can see some detail on the picture above. I should do another photoshoot for these guys, but you know how it is…