18 December 2016

The Heroquest Hero Quest: The Second Goblin

When I got invited to participate in The Heroquest Hero Quest, I was courteously informed that the pickings were fairly slim in what was left to paint. I recalled the HQ goblins being decent miniatures, and had a vague recollection of one residing in one of my shoeboxes of old WHFB miniatures. Some digging followed, and I was on board with this little fellow:

"Decent" status debatable
As you can see from the photo, I had done a wonderfully clean job back in the 90s of removing him from both his integral base and his right foot. I had then cleverly circumvented the problem by simply ignoring it and gluing his stump of a leg to the base - a 20mm square to befit a goblin in WHFB.

The basing provided me with a bit of a problem, and I wondered whether I should try to rebuild the foot out of putty and if I should give the poor goblin a more prestigious base. The 20mm slotted square, after all, combined several poor elements: it had a huge slot in the middle, it was small and cramped and due to its size I hadn't even been able to glue the poor gobbo facing directly forward.

I decided against changing the base, however. I felt a weird sense of obligation to an 17 or so years distant version of me, who had decided that this was the way to go with this particular goblin. Who was I to argue with teenage me, full of enthusiasm for a newly started hobby, after all. So the 20mm square stayed on. This left just the problem of the foot. I decided to follow the same principle, and not rebuild the foot.

I left the stump as it was, but designed the base to suggest that the goblin was wading in mud and the foot was just submerged. I had long wanted to try out Citadel's Stirland Mud texture paint, so this was a good chance for that as well.

Instead of painting the goblin as a greenskin, I went for a mustard yellow/brown skintone. I had tried this earlier on some goblins and liked the result a lot. This combined with my aversion to painting green skin (after years of painting orcs and goblins for WHFB) sealed the deal. This would be a pale and pasty creepy little murderous underground dweller - or in a word, a goblin.

I kept the paintjob simple, with a basic brown robe, grey boots and a worn, rusted axe blade. I painted the axe haft red as a nod to that 90s orc and goblin aesthetic, but kept the red dark and toned down to fit the mini.

I puttied over the slot in the base, slapped a lot of Stirland mud around, slapped a lot of brown wash around and slapped a lot of gloss varnish around. Add in a few tufts, and voilá! Goblin standing in deep, icky mud it is. So rather than working on a teenage mistake, I had just literally ended up burying and glossing it over as an adult. Art imitates life and all that...

Anyway, here's the finished product, hope you like it! It makes me happy to finally see this mini painted. After all those years and that chopped off foot, he deserved it.


  1. Yellow is a tremendous colour for a goblin! It should be used more.

    Nice trick with the mud too :)

  2. A lovely piece of work, that. The mud effect is great and I will be appropriating it forthwith because that's an art thing that artists do. The psychological ruminations are of course a key theme of this whole project - you worked through your teenage angst with this goblin, just as I worked through my male insecurities by painting the Barbarian. It is thusly that HeroQuest shall heal the world.

  3. This is exactly the sort of rescue job I love, and what great results! I agree about the skin colour and mud effect too :)

  4. I'm completely sold to that mustard colour tone ! Very clever trick with the feet too !

  5. Clever idea with the mud. The rusting on the axe references the moistness of the land and together you've established a sprawling wetness-based narrative that worldbuilds masterfully.

  6. That's a nice, smoothly painted, malignant looking little guy Mikko.

    I love it.

  7. It looks really good, I didn't even notice the missing foot until I read your blog (of course I skipped to the pictures first!).

  8. I love seeing old abandoned minis given a new lease of life. The skin colour is excellent, a tremendous wee gobbo!

  9. A cracking job. Your mustard skin tone is very nice on this venerable Kev Adams gobbo. I like how you are getting a nice wet murky feel to the model, he looks like he is springing on an adventurer during their toilet break :).