Archive for #HeroQuest2019

#HeroQuest2019: Finishing touches

Posted in heroquest, old stuff, paintjob, Terrain with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2019 by krautscientist

With the Sorcerer’s Table and Alchemist’s Bench now officially done and dusted, I was left with two final pieces of HeroQuest furniture from this original set of four models left to paint:

It goes without saying that I remained committed to making each of these pieces as cool as I could — after all, the furniture is one of the things that makes the original HeroQuest boxed set such a classic!

I started with the weapon rack. Now this piece was interesting in that it’s really easy to make it look really dull — after all, the weapons stacked on the rack should be mostly silver, right? And you could even paint the rack itself silver as well and be home in time for dinner…

This was obviously the biggest possible pitfall to avoid here, so I chose to use a few spot colours to make a nice contrast with all of those silver blades. I also decided to paint the rack itself as wood, seeing how the sculpt itself suggested a bit of a wooden texture to the entire thing. I would be remiss not to mention how RemyT’s paintjob once again served as a major point of reference, although I chose to swap around a few colours.

Anyway, here’s the weapon rack with the first couple of base colours blocked in (and most of the wood already finished):

And a bit later, with all of the base colours in place:

This already gave me a good idea of the colour balance, so all that remained were some finishing touches. Unsurprisingly, the whole thing really came to life after the washed had been applied, especially when it came to making the metallic parts look more like metal and less like painted plastic:


From here on out, it was all a question of adding a few finishing touches and higlights, and I took my sweet time with this step.

The obvious problem with the weapon rack, as was pointed out to me by fellow hobbyist Anderas, is that it’s completely out of whack with the rest of the HeroQuest set when it comes to scale: Those weapons are really far too big to be wielded by any model appearing in the game, except maybe for the Gargoyle πŸ˜‰ But I still cannot stop myself from liking the weapon rack immensely: It’s an interesting and fairly unique addition to HeroQuest’s set of furniture, and it was also fairly enjoyable to paint because it provided the perfect excuse to work with different colours in order to make all those weapons look suitably interesting and exotic.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the finished weapon rack:



And, as an extra little bit of fun, here’s a comparison with my newly painted weapon rack and an older piece still sporting the earlier paintjob from elementary school days:

So, just one piece to go, and this last one represented a bit of a challenge: the Torture Rack:

So what was the challenge I mentioned? Well, as you can see, the stock torture rack has these weird handles that come as separate pieces. Those were missing on my version, long lost to some unremembered calamity (or, more likely, my general tendency for messiness). So I needed to think of a replacement while, at the same time, I really didn’t like the stock version: Those handles have always seemed so weird to me. So why not kill two birds with one stone (or rather, one torture rack) and work on a replacement that would seem more believable (and mechanically sound).

After a bit of scrounging around, I came up with this solution, thanks to some some leftover bits and bobs from my bitzbox:

Those handwheels somehow seemed far more believable to me, and they were really easy to make, too: The actual wheel can be any round slice of plastic, while the handles were made from cut-down spikes from one of those spike racks from the CSM vehicle sprue that any chaos player is sure to have dozens of πŸ˜‰

The parts where the stock handles normally attach was carefully cut off before the handwheels were glued on, then reattached to work as a kind of spoke for the whole assembly.

I was pretty happy with this solution, and everything came together rather nicely when I undercoated the piece:

The paintjob itself was a fairly straightforward affair, because it was mostly about creating a suitably weathered wood effect on the rough planks of the torture rack, with some metallic accents here and there:

Of course the obvious fun came when the rack had been painted and it was time to crack open the Tamiya Clear Red for some added blood spatter. Take a look at the finished torture rack:


As a tribute to the older “paintjob”, I decided to place the bloodstains in almost exactly the same locations as before, only with a slightly more realistic look.

Before going for the bright, glossy look, I created a deeper layer of stains that look more faded and matte, mostly to hint at the fact that this torture rack has probably been in use for quite some time — brrrr…. 😦

 

And with that, the four missing pieces of furniture were finished. And I am honestly pretty chuffed with each and every one of them, to be honest:


All of this also makes for a pretty productive Easter holiday, if I do say so myself:

Even better, yet, this also marks the completion of the entire set of HeroQuest furniture. Here’s the complete collection, assembled for your viewing pleasure:

The prospect of getting to paint the furniture was what kept me going through some of the more grueling parts of this project — and rightly so, because I truly had a blast with those pieces! If you still have some of these somewhere in your cupboard of shame, I can only recommend giving them a spin — it’s highly enjoyable, and it taught me more about painting wood than my entire 30 years in the hobby that came before πŸ™‚

However, I was so happy with myself about all that painted furniture that I almost forgot a sizeable part of the HeroQuest boxed set that still needed to be painted — the doors!

Because the game comes with 21 bases for the cardboard doors that are such an integral part of the HeroQuest experience, and while those are hardly the flashiest part of the game, I would still need to paint them in order to be able to call my copy of HeroQuest truly painted.

I chose to go for the same stoney look I also used for the bases on all of the hero and monster models:

And while this made for a fairly quick and dirty approach, painting over almost 40 of those bases (because I still own almost two complete sets) took a bit of doing. A fair bit of my last hobby session at my friend Annie’s place was actually given over to the somewhat thankless task of painting, washing and drybrushing door bases:

But I soldiered on, and now the doors are done as well — including quite a few spares:

And last but not least, I was finally able to get my hands on the last component of the game that was still missing from my copy: the four character boards:

Now this was the one instance where I had to venture into the den of madness that is trying to buy HeroQuest items off ebay, but I got an okay deal, the boards got here without further damage, and they are in fairly good condition, considering their age, so all’s well that ends well.

And with that, I have actually completed my HeroQuest set (minus the twelve Men-at-arms, but those will have to wait for a bit yet). And of course I am not entirely without ideas for future additions to my collection.

That will have to wait for a bit, however, as does a proper photographic exploration of the finished set — that’s what you can look forward to for next week’s update. For now, I would love to hear your thoughts about this week’s update, so please feel free to leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Advertisements

#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… πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰

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!

#HeroQuest2019: Dungeon interior design 101

Posted in heroquest, old stuff, paintjob, Terrain with tags , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2019 by krautscientist

Time for another update from the depths of the dungeon: With the hero and monster models for my HeroQuest set now accounted for,…

…it was time to turn my attention to the furniture that comes with the game.

Now I have been looking forward to this particular part of my #HeroQuest2019 project for quite a while, both because the little furniture was always one of the coolest parts of HeroQuest, but also because the pieces provide an interesting challenge:

At first glance, the task of painting the furniture seems straightforward enough — even moreso since there isn’t even that much to be painted in the first place: Nearly all of the pieces, save the weapons rack, are made up of a foldable cardboard part and a plastic part that holds everything together and provides some sculpted detail. However, therein lies the challenge: While you may or may not choose to make the monsters and heroes resemble the in-game art (or the Mike McVey paintjobs on the box, for that matter), that choice doesn’t really matter all that much during the actual game, where the models basically stand on their own.

Not so with the furniture, because the art on the cardboard parts is always there, so it makes sense to ensure that the paintjob of the plastic part actually fits the art — or even matches the colours employed. This added a fun little wrinkle to the whole exercise, and one that doesn’t usually occur during 40k painting.

Now you could obviously choose a different approach and replace all of the cardboard with new parts made from wood, foamcore or GS — and, indeed, back when I made a short previous attempt at painting my HeroQuest set, that was exactly what I wanted to do, prompted by Damien Thevenin’s fantastic work, among others (his blog is unfortunately defunct, but photos of his work can still be found on various forums, Google, Pinterest and, in fact, on his Facebook page).

These days I feel a little differently about the cardboard parts of the furniture, however: They are really charming, for one. And the match the high level of the rest of HeroQuest’s graphical presentation. So I decided the cardboard parts deserved to be preserved — which, in turn, would require a bit of “Trompe-l’œil painting”, so to speak, to make sure everything fit together from a visual standpoint.

I started with something that I knew would be fun, namely the fireplace and sarcophagus:

I actually made a previous attempt at the Sarcophagus, inspired by a similar piece created by the aforementioned Damien Thevenin. Here’s the stock (unpainted) sarcophagus next to the one I built up using foamcore and some extra bitz:




I still think the built-up piece works rather well — I am only a bit miffed in hindsight that I didn’t give more care to the actual paintjob…

So my second attempt at painting the sarcophagus ended up being a bit more conventional — but also more involved, with the actual paintjob carefully built up over several instances of careful drybrushing. Take a look at the finished piece:



When I was happy with the colour, I added a few lines here and there that might be cracks, veins or fault lines in the stone — they were simply drawn on using a pencil, an idea stolen from a marble base my buddy DexterKong created using a pencil a while back.

The technique worked pretty well and seems like it should warrant further exploration at a later date…

The fireplace was great fun in that it contained a bit of a “special effect”. Seeing how the logs that are part of the sculpted plastic bit are actually a bit farther away from the roaring fire burning in the background, as it were, I decided to go for the look of logs that are starting to catch fire, with their edges beginning to glow. It’s an effect I’ve had to improvise, but I am still happy with the outcome:

I also added several layers of Bloodletter glaze to the stone floor, making it look as though there were heat radiating outwards from the fire — an effect that already came in handy back when I built the base for my Daemon Primarch Angron conversion.

So with the first two pieces successfully completed, I decided to jump right into a bigger task and tackled the bookcases, cupboard, treasure chests and tables next. All of these use the exact same wooden tones for the carboard artwork, so it definitely made sense to paint them back to back:

Now seeing how the plastic parts on these pieces of furniture are so relatively small, you wouldn’t suspect them to be a lot of work, right? I thought so too, but finishing those pieces did take quite some doing!

Fortunately enough, my friend Annie helpfully pointed out that Valllejo’s Parasite Brown is a surprisingly close match for the wooden tone appearing on the cardboard pieces — this made my life much easier during the painting process!

So let’s take a look at the results. We’ll start with the bookcases and cupboard:


The Parasite Brown basecoat really did most of the work here. After adding some Strong Tone wash, the wood on those bookcases was drybrushed, although by being very careful and deliberate about it, I made sure that the bristles of the drybrush actually created an effect similar to woodgrain — a bit of a happy accident, admittedly πŸ˜‰


The relatively straightforward way of painting the wood left me with enough time to focus on some of the smaller details, such as adding some character to the rats perched on top of the bookcases and cupboard:

Next up were the treasure chests, which should have been the easiest part of painting the furniture, but did take far longer to complete than they had any right to. Once again, I used Parasite Brown for the wood and contrasted it with heavily blackened and worn metal fittings (created by undercoating the metallic area with Leadbelcher, then going to town on it with a heavy wash of Dark Tone and Vallejo Smokey Ink. Some scratches were then sponged and painted on).


The tables followed the same formular, although they were interesting in that they allowed me to experiment with painting on some freehand suggestion of woodgrain. You should even be able to make it out in the pictures below if you squint πŸ˜‰


Oh, and as you can see, I also painted the little throne. This has always been one of my favourite pieces of HQ furniture, but it turned out to be really straightforward to paint (a small accident with a pot of brown paint notwithstanding…):

Working with these pieces has also made me (re-)discover what HeroQuest already taught us in the gender-stereotypical toy landscape of the 80s and 90s: That it’s perfectly okay to play around with little furniture if you feel like it. Seriously, those pieces are just begging to be used for little vignettes:

Ah, yes: There’s nothing like a comfy chair next to a roaring fire, and with treasure to plunder already in sight — this is the life!

 

Now all of the above actually adds up to quite a collection of finished furniture, if I do say so myself. Take a look:


This leaves only four unpainted parts, and seeing how each of the remaining pieces is one-of-a-kind, this should make the home stretch of the project rather enjoyable. At least that’s what I hope! πŸ™‚


On a partially related note, I have recently upgraded to a new phone, and of course one of the more important things was to figure out whether it was any good at taking miniature photos — so what better test run than to set up some mock HeroQuest game situations? Anyway, I thought you guys might enjoy these as well, and they seem like a nice capstone for today’s post:





For now, these shots are merely a staged affair, but at this rate, it won’t be long before I actually get to experience the fully painted game in earnest — keep your fingers crossed for me! πŸ™‚

And with that, it’s back to the painting table for me! Please feel free to let me hear any feedback or comments you may have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

#HeroQuest2019: Back into the dungeon!

Posted in heroquest, old stuff, Orcs & Goblins, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2019 by krautscientist

It’s back to HeroQuest this week, as my #HeroQuest2019 project slowly but surely reaches the home stretch, and I have some new models to share with you. So let’s not waste any time and get right into the meat of things, shall we?

When we last talked about progress on my HeroQuest set, I still had to paint two more monster types: the Goblins and the Fimir (Fimirs? Fimirach?). I won’t lie, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to painting yet more green, but I also realised that I had to power through those models before ending fatigue set in.

Fortunately enough, fellow hobbyist Weltenlaeufer provided me with the perfect kickstart to my efforts over at the Ye Olde Inn forum: He inquired after my recipe for painting greenskins, and in order to answer him, I posted a step by step tutorial for my Goblins and also used this as the perfect opportunity to actually get those Goblins painted at the same time — pretty smart, eh?

[In case anyone’s interested, the full tutorial can be found here. I don’t really want to reproduce it here, mostly because it’s mostly based on A Gentleman’s One’s fantastic greenskin recipe anyway).]

And so a short while later, the Goblins were finished:

While 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 for some added visual variation, for one, and also helps to differentiate the Goblins from their larger cousins. I think it also fits that the small, wily Goblins should be a bit more into fashion concerns than their lumbering Orc relatives… πŸ˜‰

So here’s a look at all of the HeroQuest greenskins:

So that left just one type of monster, and I had good reason for leaving this one for last: the Fimir.

Now the Fimir are an interesting colourful touch in HeroQuest’s bestiary, in that they do fulfil the role of the classic lizardman, but with a twist. They are cyclopean, for one, and their armour has always struck me as interestingly mesoamerican — but maybe I am just overthinking things here. Anyway, my main point of reference for the models’ paintjob was, once again, the classic Mike McVey approach, seen here on a prototype model that also appears on the back of the quest book:

This is the prototype Fimir as he still looks today, in Bryan Ansell’s private collection. I nabbed the picture from RealmofChaos80s.

But the truth is that the actual Fimir models contained in the HeroQuest boxed set are not quite on par with the prototype. Now this is definitely true for some of the other monsters as well, but by and large, most of them work really well on their own, especially given the relatively unsophisticated one-piece mono-pose nature of the HeroQuest models.

The Fimir, however, definitely get the short end of the stick in this respect: The models are weirdly clunky and ungainly, with lots of weird angles and strange lines. To wit, the mere act of cleaning the mold lines off those models was an exercise in frustration! Some of the detail from the prototype model is either far softer on the production models or nowhere to be seen at all. So I would have to deal with that issue during the painting process.

At the same time, finding an actual painting recipe that worked also took some doing — in hindsight, it’s funny how I actually have so many different test models for painted Fimir in my collection. In fact, for an extra bit of fun, here’s an evolution of my various Fimir models over the years:

I and II weren’t even painted by me, but by the first of my friends to dabble in miniature painting, back in elementary school. I think he was onto something with the red Fimir, though, and if I should ever paint another set of Fimir, I think I’ll be going for an alternate scheme like that (this would also be a cool way of suggesting different tribes or broods of Fimir, seeing how they are lizard people and everything…). III was the first Fimir I painted (with scale model acrylics, no less). IV was painted with Citadel colours, but I’m not quite sure what I thought I was doing there — I seem to have had a pretty bad painting streak during the early-to-mid 90s, in hindsight. V and VI are my modern attempts that we will be taking a closer look at in a second:

So here’s my first “modern” Fimir model painted some time last month, in order to nail down a painting approach:


The main colour I used for the skin was GW Moot Green, and it ended up looking…very green. I also became too greedy for a quick recipe during the painting process, and didn’t spend nearly enough time carefully layering on the skin colour, adding some pretty slapdash higlights on top, instead. All of this lead to a pretty rough looking model, at least where the skin was concerned.

At the same time, there were also some parts that I was pretty happy with: The golden armour works pretty well, as does the obsidian-style axe, if you ask me. And I think the red jewel that adorns the belly plate actually came out pretty well. But whichever way you want to cut it, I would need to tweak the recipe on the second attempt. Which is what I did this past weekend. Take a look:


The difference seems subtle at first, but I would argue the skin works quite a bit better: The higlights have been layered on more carefully (and in several steps), and the overall skin tone – created by mixing GW Warboss Green and GW Elysian Green in various ratios (starting with 70:30, then 50:50, then something more like 30:70) – makes the Fimir look a little less cartoony and more like a somewhat crocodilian swamp dweller. At the same time, I kept most of the touches that had worked well before, such as the golden armour and the axe looking as though it was made from some kind of obsidian or volcanic glass.

I also painted three models at the same time, in order to finish the last missing monsters for my HeroQuest collection:


And while the test model does look a bit different, it can still be used to fill out the ranks:

As a matter of fact, fellow hobbyist PDH has offered to send over three more Fimir models from his own collection, which will give me the opportunity to either tweak the recipe yet again or – more likely – go for something completely different to hint at a different subspecies of Fimir.

In any case, that means all of the “green” monster models from the base game are now officially complete:

And, even better, with that, I have actually managed to paint all the models in the classic HeroQuest Game System:



And here’s the entire HeroQuest collection so far, with some extra monsters to round out the bestiary as well as the added characters, such as Sir Ragnar and the Witch Lord. Quite a few models, if I do say so myself — and almost all of them have been painted in 2019! Take a look:


Honestly, I never thought I’d see the day — this project has been thirty years in the making, and it’s also a bit of a childhood dream come true, to be honest. When lining all of those little guys up for the photo, I couldn’t stop grinning πŸ˜‰

And still, that’s not quite the end of this project yet: I do have a couple of ideas for additional models (and there are still those Master Edition men-at-arms to take care of), for one. Before that, however, I’ll have to deal with all of the HeroQuest furniture — something I am actually looking forward to quite a bit, and I am in fact already hard at work on the first pieces!

For now, however, I am incredibly happy with the models I have managed to complete so far:


Also, on a related note, my friend Annie was wonderful enough to let me have some more leftovers from her extra copy of HeroQuest, namely the monster cards and Master Edition questbook, which brings me one step closer to owning a complete set again:

So that’s another huge chunk of #HeroQuest2019 out of the way — it actually looks like I may get to take the completed set for a spin this very year — who would have expected that, eh? πŸ˜‰

Of course I would love to hear any thoughts or comments you may have, so drop me a line! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

#HeroQuest2019: This is a Gargoyle!

Posted in Chaos, heroquest, old stuff, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2019 by krautscientist

As key luminaries of the realm have aptly pointed out, one of the best things about HeroQuest is the Gargoyle:

And while I stand by my earlier assessment that the Chaos Warlock is actually the cooler miniature, the Gargoyle pretty much won by sheer shock and awe tactics, back when I originally opened the game box: He was massive! He came in three separate parts! I remember a younger version of myself not wanting to let go of the model for the entirety of Christmas, back in 1989 πŸ˜‰

A couple of years after that, I actually painted the Gargoyle, trying to match the paintjob that appeared on the back of the HeroQuest quest book (once again, courtesy of Mike McVey). Here’s the result:

I remember being over the moon with my paintjob back in the day. From a modern perspective, it’s easy to see how my approach was hampered by the limitation of seemingly never using any shading and merely painting on the base colours πŸ˜‰ I am still pretty pleased with the colour blending on the sword, though…

Now it was clear that painting another Gargoyle would have to be a part of my #HeroQuest2019 project. My original plan was to keep the Gargoyle for last and only paint him once all of the other monsters had been finished. But then real life (TM) had been such a slog recently that I felt I deserved a little reward for soldiering on, so the Gargoyle jumped the queue a bit.

When it came to the actual painting recipe, I didn’t have to think all that long: Sure, one option would have been to actually paint the model as a stone statue — after all, the Gargoyle is supposedly rather a stone effigy come to life than an actual Daemon. Plus there are some rather gorgeous “stone” Gargoyles, painted by fellow hobbyists, out there. But this approach just seemed a bit boring to me.

These days, I am actually aware of the fact that the HeroQuest gargoyle is a slightly rebranded Bloodthirster of Khorne (or a statue of a Bloodthirster brought to life, to be precise). To the point where the vintage metal Bloodthirster from the time HeroQuest was released actually included options that allowed you to basically assemble a bigger HeroQuest Gargoyle.

And a Khornate Daemon required bold colours: Red and brass. So I ended up back with the “official” Mike McVey paintjob yet again:

Now the picture above doesn’t really use the actual Gargoyle model as included in the HeroQuest boxed set, but rather a slightly more elaborate metal prototype. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why my paintjob ended up looking slightly different — although it’s still heavily based on Mike McVey’s approach. Here’s a first tentative look:

I wasn’t so sure about the somewhat different look at first, but the model has definitely grown on me over the last couple of days, and I am pretty happy with the finished model now — definitely an improvement over my last paintjob from the mid-90s (even though the difference doesn’t look quite as stark in the photo as it does in real life):

I would also be remiss not to mention Tale of Painters’ flame tutorial yet again, which really came in handy when painting the Gargoyle’s sword — I merely reversed the recipe this time around πŸ˜‰

So with the model finished, I set up the usual, proper “glamour shots”. So here, without further ado, is the Gargoyle:







All in all, I am really very happy with the finished model — this guy will make for a brilliant boss monster to pitch against those pesky heroes… πŸ˜‰

What’s more, with the completion of the Gargoyle, Team Chaos is now finished as well. Just look at them, all glorious red and dark metal:


At the same time, I still need to complete quite a few models before my HeroQuest set can be considered finished: The Goblins are still missing, as are the Fimi/Fimirs/Fimirach (?!). And then there’s the furniture, of course, something I am already looking forward to quite a bit! If nothing else, though, I do have at least one model for each of the monster types now:

And while we are at it, here’s a look at all of my completed HeroQuest models right now:


As you can see, the assembly also includes the two “bonus models” I have created to round out the set, namely Sir Ragnar and the Witch Lord.


What’s more, I was surprised to find out that this collection actually makes for some forty models that I have mostly managed to paint in the first quarter of 2019 — that’s quite an achievement, given my – usually glacially slow – pace when it comes to painting!

So that’s it for today. Of course I would love to hear any thoughts and feedback you may have, so don’t be shy! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

#HeroQuest2019: The Forces of Chaos

Posted in Chaos, heroquest, old stuff, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2019 by krautscientist

In a way, all of the greenskins and undead I have painted for my #HeroQuest2019 project so far have mostly been a preparation for the models I want to share with you in today’s post — because even back when I got my first HeroQuest set, I immediately fell in love with the chaos models above all others: This was basically my very first contact with GW’s approach to the forces of chaos, but even back then, the faceless, armoured menace of the HeroQuest chaos warriors deeply appealed to me — and with long lasting consequences, arguably, because I am still a fan of heavily armoured, spiky chaos models to this very day!

So I wanted to do the chaos warrior models justice, but I was also slightly nervous about coming up with the right recipe for them. And there was also another problem, one that becomes obvious when you take a look at the chaos warriors appearing in this picture:

Yes, two of them had already been painted previously — and quite horribly so, to be honest: The first model was caked in an absolutely atrocious paintjob that mostly consisted of a thick coat of Blood Red, slathered over an even thicker undercoat of the old white GW primer. Even with several scrubbing sessions, I wasn’t able to completely strip off the paint, so I feared he would never exactly be a beauty again:

Case in point, there was even a weird lump on his left shoulder that didn’t match the look of the other chaos warriors, and only after some prying with a hobby knife did I discover that it was an ancient lump of superglue… Oh well… πŸ˜‰

His buddy, on the other hand, seemed like he would be less of a problem, because old his paintjob was a lot thinner — it consisted of hard to remove scale model acrylics, though, so even after stripping, there was still some black on him:

…So these two were the models I started with. Here’s another look at them, next to an old plastic WFB/Talisman chaos warrior whom I may use to represent the named chaos warriors that appear in some of the quests. Since he already looks like a slightly upgraded version of the HeroQuest models anyway, this seems like a pretty sound approach (as an aside, I still have an entire squad of those old plastic warriors that forms a part of my very first WFB chaos army):

So it was clear that I would start with the more damaged of the two chaos warriors as my guinea pig, because there was simply a lot less left to lose with that – already pretty rough – model. But still, the question remained: What recipe was I to use for my HeroQuest chaos warriors?

My first point of reference was to take a look at the classic Mike McVey paintjob from back in the day:

But it didn’t take me long to realise that this approach wouldn’t work for me: I am no Mike McVey, for one, and wasn’t sure I would be able to reproduce all of the tiny patterns and detail you can see in the model above — and I also have to admit that the finished look seemed just a bit too trippy and artistic to me — I was looking for something a little more down to earth for my own models.

Another approach that I had seen fellow hobbyists use was to paint each of the four chaos warriors as a follower of one of the four chaos gods, respectively. This seemed like such a cool idea, and I really thought about it for quite a while. In the end, however, I really wanted the four models to work as a massive, unified block of inhuman, armoured malice, and having them in all colours of the rainbow would have worked against that intended effect.

So I went back to the other obvious reference material: The chaos warrior monster card included in the game itself:

Now this seemed quite a bit closer to home — and it would also have the added benefit of perfectly matching GW’s classic “Red Period” for chaos models.

So here’s how my first test model turned out:

GW’s modern red hues look great when layered on top of one another, so they also worked like a charm when highlighting the armour. I was basically able to use a variant of Duncan Rhodes’ Bloodthirster recipe (which I also used to paint my own Bloodthirster and Daemon Primarch Angron conversion, respectively.)

The sculpt itself helped a lot, as well — in fact, it feels like those old HeroQuest chaos warriors were basically invented to teach people how to edge-highlight armour plates. Granted, the results are still not quite as tidy and clean as I would have liked, but I was still really happy with the finished piece — and all on a model that had seemed like a total loss beforehand, no less! πŸ™‚

So I quickly painted the second chaos warrior in line, the one that had previously been painted black all over:

Things got even easier afterwards, because the remaining two chaos warriors were still pristine and didn’t require any salvage operations. So it didn’t take me long to finish the entire set of four chaos warriors:

So with the success of finishing the chaos warriors still fresh on my mind, I turned to the model I actually feared the most: The Chaos Warlock:

Don’t worry, we’ll be getting to this guy in a furture post…

The Gargoyle may be the showiest, biggest and most complex monster in the HeroQuest box, but I think I like the Chaos Warlock even better — again, I blame being a huge fan of Skeletor during my childhood. But even from a modern perspective, I think it’s one of the most interesting models in the box, and one that hasn’t really been superseded by flashier, subsequent Warhammer releases. There’s also the iconic pose — anyway, to make a long story short, I think the Warlock is the coolest model in the entire HeroQuest box, period.

Unfortunately, he was also always and, invariably, the first model to be lost for good. I have actually managed to lose two of those over the years — I distinctly remember painting one of them about about 25 years ago, it was even the first model I ever used actual Citadel Paints on, incidentally. But it’s nowhere to be found today, probably lost at the bottom of a moving box in the attic or basement…

So I was really lucky when, back in 2013, fellow hobbyist (and grimdark impresario) Alexander Winberg was awesome enough to send me an extra chaos warlock — and after the model had been part of my to-do pile for more than five years, I felt it was finally time to get it painted at long last, nervous though I was about the prospect…

Once again, I first looked at the classic McVey paintjob:

And even after doing quite a bit of research, this was where I ended back up — it’s just the most inconic way of painting this model, and the one that seems to work best (unless you are going for a direct copy of Filmation Skeletor’s look):

So for once, I would try to approximate a McVey paintjob directly — no small feat, certainly…

Another point of reference that helped immensely during the painting process was RemyT’s warlock (his are probably the best-painted HeroQuest models in existence), and his version actually used the plastic model, and not the metal pre-production prototype, which definitely helped.

Anyway, I had to cheat a bit here and there, suggesting detail instead of actually perfectly painting it, but I quickly felt like I was actually on to something:

The whole exercise actually gave me a whole new appreciation for Mike McVey’s and RemyT’s respective paintjobs, simply because they have managed to feature so much detail in so very little space. I did the best I could to replicate the look, but like I said, some of the more intricate patterns and effects are suggested, rather than cleanly painted (those tiny white triangles on the robe get less and less convincing the closer you look, for instance). I also left out some of the most delicate wrinkles and squiggles from the reference material, mostly because it felt like taking the model even further would have meant pushing my luck and risking a paintjob I was already really happy with…

That said, my paintjob basically shows off the maximum of detail I could safely pull off, within the limits of my abilities as a miniature painter. Like I said, I was really nervous about this particular model, and I would argue I have managed to do it justice, at least to the best of my abilities.

So here’s the finished piece:

In spite of not achieving the exact same level of detail visible on Mike McVey’s and Remy’s models, I am still really, really proud of the finished model, if I do say so myself: Finally having painted the warlock to this standard was one of the moments I was really looking forward to when I started this model!

So, in closing, let us take a look at “Team Chaos” as it stands right now:

And with that, we are done for today. I would love to hear what you think, of course, so feel free to leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! πŸ™‚

#HeroQuest2019: The Witch Lord

Posted in heroquest, old stuff, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2019 by krautscientist

More #HeroQuest2019 today, but after blazing through the entire set of undead monsters, I felt I had earned myself a little wiggle room for a bit of fun. So what is this about?

As you have already seen in a previous post of mine, I won’t simply limit myself to painting the classic models, but I am also looking at some chances here and there to add some custom models to my set of HeroQuest, in order to create representations for the special characters that appear in some of the quests, but don’t have an official model. So this time around, my plan was to create a model to represent that most dastardly of recurring HeroQuest villains: The dreadful WITCH LORD!

For those who don’t remember the game, seeing how it’s been thirty years and everything, the Witch Lord made his first appearance in the standard quest book: Intrepid adventurers would accidentally awaken him about two-thirds through the base game’s collection of quests, while actually searching for a magical artifact, then had to find a magic sword that could harm him in response to his awakening. The Witch Lord then served as the quest book’s end boss, so to speak. Yet that was not the end of it:

A couple of expansions for HeroQuest were released a bit after the basic game system, and one of these was titled “Return of the Witch Lord”. Here’s Les Edward’s cover artwork for that particular expansion:

Illustration by Les Edwards

When I saw it, I was instantly in love! In fact, the cover artwork alone sold me on the expansion, so when I was allowed to choose a HeroQuest expansion box as a birthday gift, I chose this. How could I not, with all those wonderfully skeletal knights on the cover, and let’s not forget Skeletor’s debonair cousin at the centre of attention!

In hindsight, especially from a collector’s perspective, it would have been so much smarter to get, say, the “Against the Ogre Horde” expansion that actually came with some original sculpts, whereas Return of the Witch Lord just featured more skeletons, mummies and Zombies. But I couldn’t help myself, that illustration just went straight for the throat — in fact, it remains one of my favourite fantasy illustrations of all time, and I feel tempted to say that I even prefer it to the actual HeroQuest cover artwork.

There was also something truly cool about having a recurring villain across several iterations, especially one so blatantly inspired by Skeletor. Fun fact, though, I didn’t even realise the villain of the piece was supposed to be the Witch Lord as the German title of the expansion was “Die RΓΌckkehr des Hexers”, and the only character referred to as a “Hexer” (Warlock) in the German version of HeroQuest was a character from an earlier quest, represented by this model from the box, yet another skull-faced evildoer:

Don’t worry, we’ll be getting to this guy in a furture post…

Anyway, be that as it may, I think you can maybe understand why remembering the Witch Lord gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. So when I sat down recently to think about whether or not I could add a couple of custom conversions to my classic HeroQuest set, it was obvious the Witch Lord would end up right at the front of the queue.

I started by collecting inspiration online and looking at other people’s work, as I usually do before a conversion project. Once again, Lestodante’s collection provided ample inspiration:

Models from Lestodante’s collection

As you can see, the model he uses for the Witch Lord is, in fact, a custom sculpt that almost perfectly replicates the artwork while also looking very much like an official HeroQuest model from back in the day — a wonderful solution, and I am still green with envy!

There was also Ampersand’s really cool Witch Lord:

Witch Lord conversion by Ampersand

As you can probably guess from looking at the model, this one uses more modern GW plastic parts, namely from the (still available) Skeleton Warriors. So I made a note and earmarked that particular kit as a possible source of useful bitz.

As an aside, there’s also the Frostgrave Lich Lord, who would have would have worked really well, too, even though I only discovered this after the fact:

In fact, given the resemblance in both the design and the very name, you’ve got to wonder…

But anyway, a proud converter like me has to come up with his own version, right? So keeping the excellent inspiration in mind, I decided that the best way to start was to work from the very artwork that had inspired me so much many years ago. So here’s a closer look at the Witch Lord as originally imagined by Les Edwards:

My initial idea included some Skaven Stormvermin and Empire flagellant parts and would have looked a bit like this 40k renegade psyker I built a couple of years ago:

And I think the general approach would have worked pretty well, too. But then fate struck, and I discovered an even better approach:

You see, one of the things I wanted to achieve with my Witch Lord model was to have the model invoke that particular, slightly clunky “retro GW” Oldhammer look: I wanted a model that looked like it could actually have been produced back when HeroQuest was originally released.

So what better way than to start with a vintage model from back in the day?

So here’s what my very first Witch Lord mockup looked like:

The model is actually mostly based on an old, early-to-mid 90s Dark Elf Warlock. This guy:

And I still had the remains of one of those in my bitzbox. It was already in a pretty sorry state, too, missing both its its head, right hand and staff by the time I got it, so it’s not like I actually had to vandalise a classic model to make my Witch Lord — if anything, this was yet another salvage job!

The head came from the – aforementioned – GW Skeleton Warriors, with horns from the plastic WFB Chaos Marauders. And I began building the Witch Lord’s staff by combining an old Skeleton standard bearer arm (for the staff) and a bird skull from the GW Skulls kit.

After I had the basic outline, it was mostly a matter of matching as many visual cues from the artwork as possible. So here’s the finished conversion:

I replaced the first version of the left hand with a Empire flagellant hand. The detailing on the staff was achieved by grafting some Bloodletter horns and teeth to the bird skull for a pretty convincing look, if I do say so myself (Fun Fact: I have since discovered that the staff wielded by the leader of the Nightvault Godsworn Hunt warband would have been an almost ideal place to start — oh well…).

And since everything was still looking rather hideous at this point, it was a good thing that the undercoat had the great effect of pulling all of the disparate parts together rather nicely.Take a look:

Even though I had to make a couple of compromises, I think I have still done a pretty good job at matching both Les Edward’s art and the somewhat clunky vintage HeroQuest look, wouldn’t you agree?

When it came to painting the model, the artwork worked as perfect inspiration, so I tried to match it as closely as possible, especially for the luxurious crimson robes, dark metal and bright golden parts. Here’s a PIP shot…

…and here’s the mostly finished model:


Of course the Witch Lord needed to be on a proper HeroQuest base, so I carefully cut a damaged skeleton from its original base and used that for my Witch Lord model. One weird but cool thing was that the undercoat produced a really pronounced crackle effect when sprayed onto the base, and for no discernible reason, at that. At first I was a little miffed, but then I realised that this was a cool little effect, seeing how this is the base of a powerful undead monstrosity, so I actually embraced it:

And I still wasn’t done with the model itself either, as I wasn’t perfectly happy with those empty eye sockets, and rather wanted to feature those evil, glowing eyes from the artwork. So I went back to the model and created the tiniest eyeballs you can probably imagine, from almost microscopic amounts of GS. So here’s how that turned out:

And with that, the model was officially complete. So without any further ado, I give you: The Witch Lord:




All in all, this was a great way of expanding the classic collection of models, give myself a fun distraction between painting all of those monopose monsters, but trying to match the retro-GW look was also a neat little challenge.

So here’s a look at the Witch Lord commanding his army of the undead:

So that’s it for today. I am pretty happy with my little undead horde, but I still have a lot of work before I can call my set of HeroQuest completed, so it’s back to the painting table for me πŸ˜‰

It goes without saying that I would love to hear your thoughts on my version of the Witch Lord, so drop me a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! πŸ™‚