Archive for alchemist’s bench

#HeroQuest2019: The end is nigh…

Posted in heroquest, old stuff, paintjob, Terrain with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2019 by krautscientist

Not much longer before I finally own a completely painted HeroQuest set — and it’s probably for the best, too, because my readers are likely getting bored with all of the HeroQuest content of late… 😉

Anyway, last time I blazed my way through some of the more pedestrian parts of HeroQuest’s furniture, painting a whole lot of bookcases, chests and tables:

This left me with some of the more original pieces, and I was really looking forward to getting started. So here’s a look at the four missing pieces of furniture I still needed to paint at this point:

I decided to start with the sorcerer’s table, a nice and straightforward beginning. Blocking in the base colours, then working with washes and a heavy drybrush to create the table’s stone texture was relaxing work.

But that blank page on the right kept teasing me, because I knew I wanted to do something fun with it — on the one hand, simply leaving it blank would have been such a wasted opportunity, but on the other hand, simply adding more scripture also seemed like a somewhat bland solution, so I went for something a little more involved: I figured that whoever the owner of the table might be, they could possibly be trying to summon a dastardly monster to sic it on the heroes, so I did this…

Do you recognise what this is supposed to be…?

Quite right, it’s a miniature version of the Gary Chalk illustration that appears on the back of the monster cards (incidentally, the same creature also makes another appearance on the cards for “wandering monsters”).

If you are familiar with HeroQuest related trivia, you may also be asking yourself: “What about the candles?” Because each sorcerer’s table originally came with two candles (complete with flames) that were, invariably, the first parts to break or be lost, apparently: Nearly every owner of a HeroQuest set has to mitigate the fact that those chandles are likely to be lost or incomplete.

The funny thing is, I actually do have another sorcerer’s table with the candles …mostly intact:

As you can see, it was subjected to an earlier, less sophisticated paintjob, and I really wanted to start fresh with an unpainted piece. Plus I also chose the skull and rat setup for nostalgia reasons: You see, when I received my first copy of HeroQuest, the table never had the candles — either they weren’t included in the box for some reason or (equally likely) my dad didn’t realise what they were and threw them out when he assembled the original game for me. Anyway, I only realised the candles were a thing when buying my second copy years later, so I thought it would be a nice shout out to those golden days of yore to build the table with the rat and skull 🙂

I also made sure to paint the rat with light grey, almost white, fur, as a shout out to the Skaven race, because their Grey Seers mostly have light grey/white fur as well 😉

Anyway, here’s my finished sorcerer’s table:

Next up was the alchemist’s bench, easily one of the most interesting parts of HeroQuest’s furniture set — oh, sure, it may look all boring and angular, but as we’ll be seeing in a minute, this is a piece where you can really give it your best shot as a painter.

Anyway, it was easy enough to get started by blocking in the base colours, especially the wood: Once again, using Vallejo’s Parasite Brown made for an excellent match with the colour on the cardboard part of the bench. Here’s the piece after basecoating and a first pass of washes:

The next step was to take care of the wooden parts of the bench, and I did so with a mixture of drybrushing and freehanding, trying once again to suggest the texture of woodgrain. This was even more important here than on the tables and bookcases, because the alchemist’s bench has some large, flat surfaces that really profit from that extra bit of detailing:

When it came to the desktop, I picked it out in a dark red, to suggest that the surface of the bench has been covered in some kind of felt, leather or rubber, the better to serve as a support for all kinds of chemical shenanigans. By the same token, I made sure to paint on lots of dirt stains and scuff marks, to show how the bench is suitably dirty and grimy:

With that out of the way, the actual bench was mostly done:

This was were the fun started, however, because there were still those nifty extra parts: The scales that go on top of the bench were painted in a heavily verdigrised bronze/copper colour, always a nice little touch:

Most time was actually spent on the little potion flasks, though, in order to turn them into a bit of a eye catcher. This part was also an excellent way of introducing a bit of bold colour to the entire piece:

After everything was assembled, the bench was varnished with matte varnish. Then the flasks received a thick coat of gloss varnish, for fairly obvious reasons. And I also added a last round of glossy “special effects”: Some blood effect on and around the receptacle on the left side of the bench, and some ink splatter around the inkwell, papers and quill. Those last touches really sell the model, if you ask me, because they create that slightly chaotic look that really fits the desk of a mad alchemist. Take a look at the finished piece:

When all is said and done, this was one of the most rewarding pieces in the entire set to paint, and it’s also one of my favourite parts of my HeroQuest collection now.


Before we pack up for the week, there’s one last model I want to share with you today — and it has nothing whatsoever to do with furniture. So what is this about?

Of course I do realise that, technically speaking, the hero and monster models are all done and dusted. But there was still one last addition I wanted to make to my collection: You see, there are two quests in the HeroQuest quest book that call for an Orc character, namely an Orc warlord named Ulag and, slightly later, his son Grak. And while the quest book advises players to just use an Orc model with a longsword to represent either of the two, this didn’t sit right with me: I wanted a proper model I could use for whenever the game called for an Orc warlord!

My search for a period appropriate (GW) model led me to this guy:

One of the old Battle Masters Orcs, released only a couple of years later than HeroQuest (and cast in the same green plastic, incidentally). The Battle Masters Orc won out against a monpose Warhammer plastic Orc by virtue of looking a bit more similar to the HeroQuest Orcs, while at the same time boasting a slightly more heavily armoured look that made him seem more formidable.

Now the Battle Masters models are ever so slightly less detailed than the HeroQuest miniatures, but I hoped that a suitably involved paintjob would still make the model look cool enough for the job — oh, and I also spliced in an Evil Sun shield emblem from a slightly more modern plastic Orc kit, for good measure 😉

Applying the same greenskin skin recipe I had used for the rest of my Orcs, albeit with another higlight layer or two thrown in, I was able to create a model that looks similar in hue to my other HeroQuest greenskins, yet ever so slightly stands out as a more important character due to its more sophisticated paintjob.

And something pretty funny happened during the painting process: When I checked out the HeroQuest cover artwork for the umpteenth time, I discovered this guy lurking in the background:

It’s a huge coincidence, obviously, but I still feel kinda vindicated by this discovery 😉

So I So here’s my stand-in for Ulag, Grak or any other Orc Warlord I may need in games of HeroQuest:

Like I said, I think the model works fairly well as a leader for the HeroQuest Orcs: The pose and overall look are close enough, whereas the added armour really makes him look like a leader figure for the lesser orcs. Here’s a comparison picture:

And here are all of my HeroQuest Orcs with their new leader:

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

It pleases me that I actually have models for these characters now, and it’s certainly a little touch that makes my HeroQuest set just that little bit more unique.

So just a few more pieces left to paint, and then I’ll have completed a project that has been thirty years in the making! For now, however, I would love to hear any feedback or thoughts you may have concerning today’s update! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!