Wednesday, 14 December 2011

How to Batch-Paint Night Goblins

Its been a while since I did a full on tutorial so I figured I would turn my latest unit into one. People often comment on the speed of my painting output, whilst it is true that I paint quickly the main reason for this is batch painting techniques and discipline. Now I can't teach the second but I can show my methods for batch painting in the hopes that they help some people! So without further ado, let's learn how to paint this unit:

Obviously, first we clean the mold lines and prime them (black of course). First considerations when batch painting are to avoid any wasted steps. Think through the colour scheme and identify common stages - especially washes. For us, the first step is the robes as they are the largest part of the model.

To give a less unified appearance to the unit I have varied the initial basecoat. Note that I have laid out the unit in rows of the same colour and have seperated the command squad across the different colours to prevent them looking like a uniform. The colours used here are (in no particular order) Charadon Granite; German Grey; Dark Sea Green; German Camouflage Brown; Khemri Brown + Chaos Black; Dark Blue Grey.

While the robes finish drying I paint the other details that will need a black wash. First the leather - using Leather Brown...

Next the metalwork. A 50:50 mix of Tin Bitz and Boltgun Metal highlighted with Boltgun Metal.

Once fully dry, the first liberal wash of Badab Black is applied, this is enough for the other details but the robes needed a little more:

So a second wash of Badab Black is layered over the robes giving them a black tone but with the varied highlight tones.

Next step is to basecoat the skin, using Knarloc Green.

Then layered highlights of a 75:25 mix of Knarloc Green and Rotting Flesh.

And a sharp highlight on the edges and knuckles of the skin in 50:50 Knarloc Green and Rotting Flesh.

A wash of Thraka Green enlivens and shades the skin.

The next wash stage will be a brown so we need to do all of the stages that need a brown base, first the woodwork. A basecoat of Beige Brown is applied to all the wood.

Then all of the ropes and strings are basecoated in Khemri Brown.

Pseudo woodgrain is applied with Deck Tan. The woodgrain is as simple as streaks of the lighter tone. I made an additional effort on the standard pole and the musician's gong stand.

The woodwork and ropes are washed with Devlan Mud. While this is drying we paint some of the detail areas.

The Banner pole is first basecoated in Iyanden Darksun, I left the very edges in the bare metal to be turned into chips later. The next step is to give some shading with Gryphonne Sepia, once dry I then re-highlighted with Iyanden Darksun. Then I used Yellow Ink to glaze the banner to intensify the yellow. Then I used the Iyanden Darksun with a little Deck Tan (or Bleached Bone, Deck Tan was just wet on the pallete) added to edge all of the paintwork to give more of a chipped look. A final glaze of Yellow Ink toned down the highlights and bound the whole thing together. I did the same thing to the cowl of the champion.

The gong was basecoated in a couple of thin layers of Dwarf Bronze, then sequential highlights of first 75:25 Dwarf Bronze and Mithril Silver and then a thinner highlight of 50:50 Dwarf Bronze and Mithril Silver. A wash of Devlan Mud finishes the effect and provides definition.

A wash of Badab Black helped to define the mouths.

The fletchings of the bows were painted in Dheneb Stone (really should have been done before the Devlan Mud wash as they needed the wash to define them, doh! Live and learn).

The teeth are dotted in with Bleached Bone and the eyes with Blood Red.

Glue on the basing sand (I generally use PVA for large units or superglue for single characters)

Wait for the glue to dry, no really, wait and then wash the sand with really watered-down PVA to weld the particles down. If you have trouble with the sand leaving the base during painting try this trick. Dynamite won't shift it after this. [Disclaimer: yeah, dynamite would probably shift it...]

I basecoated the sand with Khemri Brown. Khemri is really my go to colour when basing, it blends with desert as easily as grasslands and doesn't even look too bad on urban terrain.

Pick out the larger stones with Charadon Granite. This really helps to create a believable groundwork.

Drybrush the sand and rocks with Dheneb Stone. This creates a kind of flinty feel on the stones.


While basing the models also base the movement tray in exactly the same way as the miniature bases. You could leave the tray part grey but it looks a bit better in Khemri Brown when the goblins start to die. And they will. They're, y'know, goblins...

Finally I add patches of my grass mix to the bases and the unit is done!

I hope this quick insight into how I paint has illuminated you on the benefits of batch painting. Any questions or comments can be put in the comments section below, cunning huh?


1 comment:

  1. Great guide. I collect Night Goblins too. Brilliant stuff.