#HeroQuest2019: Into the breach…

Work on my current endeavour to paint a complete HeroQuest set continues, and while today’s update may not be the most exciting one, it was always clear that this project wasn’t going to be all shiny hero models — no, a true dungeon master also needs enough monstrous henchmen, so I continued the project by painting some of the HeroQuest monsters:

During my previous attempt at painting HeroQuest models (back in 2014), I had already finished a couple of test models for some of the monster races included in the game, so I already had a basic idea of what I was going for:

While I knew I would have to slightly tweak some of the recipes, this was still a solid base to start from, if nothing else.

For starters, I chose to work on the Orcs, the most numerous monsters to appear in the HeroQuest box. The base game comes with eight of them, I already had the one test model (that would only need a few minor touch ups), and I decided to throw in an extra Orc to bring the overall number up to ten. Ultimately, my goal is to have the sixteen Orcs that are required to also be able to run the “Kellar’s Keep” expansion, but for now, nine Orcs to paint seemed just tedious enough for me πŸ˜‰

Like I said, my test model seemed like a good place to start, with a tweak or two. I definitely wanted to keep the recipe for the skin — it’s an approach I discovered a couple of years ago over at A Gentleman’s Ones, and it has served me really well over the years, making for a convincing looking green skin that also has a certain warmth and organic look to it. So that was definitely a keeper. I also wanted to keep the overall, slightly grimy and dirty look, mostly because it just seemed like a good match for Orcs.

Now the basic sculpt of the HeroQuest Orc is pretty cool, but the models are also all virtually identical, except for their weapons: There are four different weapons and I had nine models left to paint, so I decided to go with differently coloured smocks for every three models or so, just to add a bit of variety. Apart from this variation, however, I basically stuck to batch painting the models:

While this worked fairly well, I discovered once again that batch painting simply isn’t for me. There’s also the fact that the HeroQuest Orcs are just complex enough to be slightly irritating when you batch paint them, but I gritted my teeth and soldiered on. And here are my finished Orcs:

Now these guys certainly aren’t award winning material, but they work well as a group, and I’d say there’s just enough colour variation to keep things interesting. I also changed my recipe for painting the weapons a bit when compared to my test model, and I think the dark metal look, with added scratches, works better than the initial approach.

Two quests in the standard HeroQuest questbook call for an Orc warlord, who uses the model with the curved, notched Scimitar, so I gave that particular model a red jacket, to set him apart from the rank and file. While I may end up creating a dedicated warlord model at some point, this guy should work well enough whenever I want to stay within the framework provided by the classic models.

So here’s a closer look at the different weapons and fabric colours:

Oh, and I guess it’s pretty obvious how, like my previous HeroQuest models, these ten should also definitely count as contributions towards Azazel’s “Neglected models” community challenge for February πŸ˜‰


Anyway, with ten models completed, I felt I had earned a little fun for myself, so I ended up creating a custom model for a HeroQuest NPC: The second quest in the classic quest book is about rescuing an Empire Knight captured by the Orcs, one Sir Ragnar (or Sir Manfred, in the original UK version. He’s Ragnar in the German version, though, probably because Manfred is a pretty common German first name — a name suited to your dad or uncle, however, not to a mighty Knight from a fantastic realm. Just saying…).

Now the actual game doesn’t feature a dedicated model for Sir Ragnar, as he is intended to be represented by the Chaos Warlock model — but, come on, I couldn’t let that stand, right?

While doing a bit of research, I stumbled upon this custom model for Sir Ragnar/Manfred, commissioned by fellow hobbyist Lestodante:

And while this basically seemed like the ideal solution – the model actually looks like an actual, official HeroQuest model, the chances to get my hands on one of those seemed slim to nonexistent, so I had to get creative myself.

Taking quite a bit of inspiration from Lestodante’s model, I kitbashed my own Sir Ragnar. Seeing how the character is an Empire Knight from the (almost-) Warhammer world of HeroQuest, I mostly used plastic Empire bitz, some of them rather vintage, which was key for achieving that slightly clunky, vintage HeroQuest look. So here’s my version of Sir Ragnar:

The conversion is actually really simple, combining a set of legs from the old Empire state troops with a torso and arms from the – still available – flagellants and an old plastic Knights of the White Wolf head. I wanted Sir Ragnar to look like he had spent quite some time in captivity, hence the shaggy beard and tattered shirt. Both his hands and neck are also manacled, which I think is a good way to represent both this captivity and his less than stellar stat-line in the game.

I also did my best to make sure he matched the rest of the HeroQuest models in scale. Oh, and I gave him a proper HeroQuest base, of course, salvaged from a heavily damaged Skeleton model.

All in all, I am pretty happy with the finished model — and building a character to match the classic miniature style was a neat little creative challenge!

So yeah, if nothing else, you can see how I am taking this project rather seriously πŸ˜‰ I would love to hear your thoughts about my progress so far! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

47 Responses to “#HeroQuest2019: Into the breach…”

  1. jondogomulka Says:

    Sehr gut. Nicht nur gut umgesetzt bislang sondern im Ganzen auch ein phantastisches Projekt.
    Ich habe mein HQ vom Dachboden geholt als mein Sohn alte genug war und wann immer wir spielen, denke ich mir, wie viel cooler es wΓ€re mit bemalten Figuren…

    • Vielen Dank! Genau aus demselben Gedanken heraus habe ich jetzt endlich mal angefangen, das Spiel ernsthaft zu bemalen. Sonst gehen noch zehn Jahre ins Land — und irgendwann geht es mit den BemalfΓ€higkeiten dann ja auch nicht mehr bergauf, sondern ganz im Gegenteil… πŸ˜‰

  2. Awesome! I have fond memories of heroquest, and I always love seeing the old models get some fresh paint!

  3. Very nice mate – great idea for the prisoner too, he’s perfect!

  4. Damn! I probably should finish my set too one of these days πŸ˜‚

  5. remi hoegeli Says:

    Simple but super effective conversion !

  6. They look great. I do like your own converted model.



  7. I’m really enjoying these posts! Nicely done Sir Ragnar!

  8. Nice progress on this project. I agree on your point about batch painting. But finishing a bunch of models at once is very satisfying and helps to stay motivated in my opinion .

    I really like your style of painting orc skin and the colours you’ve used for the fabrics are choosen well and are looking great.

    Your custom Sir Ragnar is really well done and he fits nicely to the older minis.

    • Cheers, Lars! This project has made me realise that batch painting isn’t for me, and I am having a hard time batch painting anything more complex than HeroQuest monsters. But you are right, of course: Finishing ten little guys at the same time does feel pretty great πŸ˜‰

  9. did I say I love this HQ stuff already? ok, I love it! and creating your own sir Manfred (in Italy he was sir Manfred, as in the UK) is a very good idea, and a great way of having a break from batch painting which, even though rewarding in the end, I used to find boring sometimes… I am feeling motivation to paint my old HQ models rising…

  10. Pandora's Bitz Box Says:

    Holy crap what a surge of nostalgia this was. These look really fantastic and I’m getting mixed emotions about my positive memories of playing this with my brother and the fact that that game is long gone.

    So cool man.

    • Thanks a lot, mate! I feel your (phantom) pain regarding HeroQuest am I am so happy I still have an almost complete set!

      • Pandora's Bitz Box Says:

        I remember havming loads of photocopies of the map layout and designing so many of my own dungeon layouts using all of our expansions and stuff… that we never played. πŸ˜‚

      • Haha, who didn’t come up with dozens of scenarios? I remember many jolly games that mostly consisted of me trying to annihilate my fellow players in the most cruel way possible — I didn’t really get the whole GM angle back then, I guess… πŸ˜‰

  11. dochalf Says:

    Awesome as always. Love the goblins’ robes.

  12. Hi KrautScientist, just to avoid confusion, I didn’t commisioned that Sir Ragnar to the author. It was sculpted by Italian artist Marco Partenzi on his own, then when after few years he finally decided to made it available to the masses a certain number was required for the production so I ordered some.
    What I commissioned was instead the Witch Lord miniature to another Italian artist, Fabio Rizzo.
    Anyway, as I already sayd somewhere else, great job with your painting and conversions!

  13. The best thing about Hero Quest is the Dwarf! ;P … and your paint jobs are spot on to how I think I would redo my Hero Quest models if I could find them!

  14. PickaxeJunky Says:

    He’s definitely sir Ragnar in my (UK) copy of heroquest.

    Maybe he was Manfred in the US version? Or maybe it was changed in a subsequent a edition?

    Have you got any designs on painting the models from the ogre horde, or Wizards of morcar expansions?

    The ogres were pretty detailed models, and the Wizards were a little more dynamic than some of the standard evil henchmen.

    I came across some cool reimaginings of the Wizards of morcar on cool mini or not:

    Pretty good. Maybe once you’ve finished the original models you could try kitbashing some more up to date versions of these models?

    • Huh, is that right? I only learned earlier this year that he wasn’t just Sir Ragnar in every version — although I suppse the Manfred monicker makes sense, given the heavily Germanic nature of the WFB Empire. Then again, to a German, it would have been a super weird name choice for a character in a fantasy game, seeing how Manfred is a pretty pedestrian German first name πŸ˜‰

      As for the Ogre Horde or the Wizards of Morcar, I could kick myself that I never managed to get my hands on any of those — the wizards, in particular, seem so tempting to me, although they are crazy expensive these days. To add insult to injury, of course my friend Annie has ALL of those models…

      As for kitbashing my own models, let’s just say that Sir Ragnar wasn’t the only conversion project…

  15. […] A blog about KrautScientist's wargaming exploits « #HeroQuest2019: Into the breach… […]

  16. Pandora's Bitz Box Says:

    Just room after too of gargoyles and traps? πŸ˜‚

    • Haha, right on! πŸ˜‰

      I remember one particular game where I actually…

      1. Filled an entire room with basically all of the skeleton models

      2. Had so many fallen blocks that I actually boxed the heroes into a no-win condition and had to improvise.

      3. Had my end boss escape via a set of stairs conveniently placed directly behind him, denying the heroes the kill.

      Man, my younger self was a bit of an asshat…

  17. Nice work on getting those cloned monopose orcs done, and to a nice standard as well. Sir Mannfred Ragnar looks especially great – and a good creative solution to the problem, as well!

  18. […] KS rapidly followed this up with a HeroQuest-sized horde of Orcs. […]

  19. […] a way, all of the greenskins and undead I have painted for my #HeroQuest2019 project so far have mostly been a preparation for […]

  20. […] also includes the two “bonus models” I have created to round out the set, namely Sir Ragnar and the Witch […]

  21. […] the recipe for the skin and weapons is very similar to the approach I used for my HeroQuest Orcs, I decided to paint the Goblins’ clothes in a slightly more colourful manner — it makes […]

  22. […] also means that I have completed three “bonus models” for my HeroQuest set: Sir Ragnar (Manfred), The Orc Warlord and the Witch […]

  23. Hello!
    Well, I am not sure this is going to work but…any chances it is possible to buy a copy of this awesome Sir Manfred/Ragnar model?

    • Hey Giovanni, in case it’s my converted Sir Manfred/Ragnar you are referring to, while I wouldn’t sell one, it would be really, really easy to convert one yourself with just a few bitz! Let me know if you need any hints to get you started!

  24. Hi , how glad am I that I’ve stumbled across this blog now! As I’m in the process of batch painting my Heroquest game (played it as a kid when it first came out and my girls are just getting into it now, they’re aged 8 and 6). Love your styles and information, think I’ll be dipping into the knowledge as I work through the painting. Just wish I had decent paints and not just random colours left from the girls little supplies. Peace.

    • Hey Stuart, cheers for the kind words and glad to hear you enjoy the blog! Feel free to stick around! πŸ˜‰

      You should also definitely check out the “Ye Olde Inn” forum for all of your HeroQuest needs. And, picking up on something you said, you actually might want to invest in some proper paints, especially for those HQ miniatures, seeing how these are getting quite rare (and more and more expensive) these days — just sayin’… πŸ˜‰

  25. Aw he is 𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭! This sunday I’m going to start converting Quest 2, “The Rescue of Sir Ragnar” to Tabletop Simulator. I was wondering if you have any 3D versions of Sir Ragnar that I could use.

  26. Scot Todd Says:

    This is just stupendous work. I’ve just bought a tatty copy and I’m very inspired by the creative choices you made.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: