Are there holes in your miniature collection? I’ve had one in mine for years – orcs and goblins. When it comes to tabletop villains, I’ve got dark elves, skaven (wererats), chaos (mutant humans), beastmen, gnolls, and all kinds of undead, but very very few orcs and goblins.
I’m working on a new campaign, a new storyline. Until now, all of my characters have been a warrior or soldier of some type, but that has changed with WHAT (Warrior Heroes Adventures in Talomir by Two Hour Wargames). The new rules on casting spells caught my attention, especially the Magic Power dice for Black Moon aligned characters. I’ve been playing increasingly darker characters and maybe the time is right to leave the ambivalence of the Twilight and join the dark side.
My new character is a half-elven sorceress (Caster class in WHAT) with an obsession to rule time. So, who would follow a maniacal sorceress on adventures?
From page 49 of the WHAT rule book: “Not the sharpest knife in the drawer….Goblins can be found as low cost sell swords as well as common Brigands.”
Goblins! And I found the perfect ones, the Sparksoot Female Goblins from Artisan Guild Miniatures. I purchased mine from Moradin’s Forge. Moradin’s Forge is unique in that they offer these figures with lots of different options for weapons and other hand-held items. And, there’s more, these sculpts follow recent art trends in that these female goblins are cute and have hair!
And as with the trends in art, I decided to paint them up like the female goblins found in the World of Warcraft video game. In the World of Warcraft fantasy setting, the goblins are very very capitalistic – a narcissistic form of capitalism. And like Gnomes, their hair color comes in many vibrant shades – though most male goblins are bald, the ones that do have hair seem to favor the Elvis pompadour.
I started with my usual process, I primed with black gesso and after it had dried and cured, I applied a zenithal highlight of a light gray ink.
The next step is to paint the largest surface area – in the case of these ladies, it’s the skin. I don’t have any “Goblin Green” paint. I used a mix of Vallejo Uniform Green highlighted with Vallejo Yellow Green as the skin base coat. Then I painted the hair in vibrant colors and their clothing.
Once the skin, hair and clothing are done, the next steps are to paint all of the leather, wood, and metal items on each figure. The lighter leather color is Reaper’s Oiled Leather and the darker leather is Reaper’s Ruddy Leather. Wooden weapon shafts were painted using Reaper’s Harvest Brown. The dark metals were painted with Vallejo Gunmetal Grey and edged with Vallejo Steel. The bladed weapons were painted with Vallejo Oily Steel edged with Vallejo Steel. Finally, the brass parts were a mix of Reaper’s Ancient Bronze and Vallejo Polished Gold.
The next step is to apply a wash and then paint the remaining details and highlights. I used to slather a wash over the entire miniature, much like the “dip” method, but have found that doing so results in a lot of unnecessary work to bring back the base colors before highlighting. There are few miniatures I paint in that style now days, miniatures like mummies, skeletons, trees. I prefer to be much more selective in applying washes, Usually leather, wood, metal and areas that need more definition receive the wash.
I only paint eyes if the sculptor has really made them the focal point of the face. The eyes on these goblins are large almost anime-style and are really what makes these goblins cute. Most RPG monster manuals and bestiaries state goblins have red eyes, but in World of Warcraft, goblins have a wide range of eye color including greens, browns, blues and violets as well as red. So, I gave these goblins red violet eyes.
The final step is to seal the miniatures with a matte varnish and then attach them to clear acrylic bases. I’ve started using clear bases because of the variety of battle mats and battle boards available. It’s purely a personal choice – I just get disturbed if a miniature drags around a bit of a forest or swamp when in a city or on a ship.
Now that the band is complete, it’s time to work on my star character – Zhu Paand:
I hope you found this post helpful in painting goblins. If you would like to know more details on how I painted these or would like to know more about the miniatures, please leave a comment.
Ahh! There is a renaissance in goblin art just check this out: