Monday, January 10, 2011

Red Orc Restoration, C29 Creepy Crawlies, Heroquest Undead

Original, cleaned and fully restored painted FF24 Red Orc (aka Red Goblin)
Happy new year lead freaks!
Over the holiday season I got a few nice emails encouraging me to do a lot more stuff this year.  Get that!
So with that in mind I wanted to start the year with a tute.

During the holidays I got stuck into the lead pile and knocked off a few jobs that where bugging me.One of which was some sexily bad Citadel Red Goblins!  That clever son of a gun Beepie (bpi) painted some of these last year so well that it encouraged me to hunt them down on evilbay and get me some retro badness.  The elongated heads and faint eyes make these models look bad to begin with, but as you can see a little love and pow!  Its like Gygax & Dave A. are still alive and rolling up stats.

These old figures can be restored with a dunk in bicarb soda water to halt any potential lead rot, and a gentle working over with a copper brush.   Wear a mask.  I had my lead levels checked this week by my GP, and came up clear.  Yay for me.  Anyway, find a soft copper brush- mine is a cheap BBQ scrubber from the supermarket.  Test it with some gentle brushes and look for scratches, then go for all holy hell.

As usual, I use diluted grey-green miliput brushed on with a cheap brush to fill minute surface cracks.  A quick smooth off with fine sand paper, and a polish with bluetac and you will have a lovely painting surface.

Beepie sanded off his shield bosses so he could paint some insanely small insignia on the shields, and looking at the models I think that's a great idea.  This brings me to my next subject.  Augmentation.

Converting old miniatures feels a bit naughty, I tend to only do this to broken ones, but there is no harm in using a little putty to fix up a figure to modern tastes right?  I call this augmentation, because I am not really converting the figure at all, but it would be wrong to say they are perfect archive pieces.  The orc to the right is my faithful archive model.  The next batch (these figures are dirt cheap because, damn, they are ugly) I am augmenting.

To give an example, the models sword is battered and wonky.  Great for an orc, but most figures from this era suffer the same problem.  Applying freshly mixed milliput grey-green with a moistened card and carving a smooth, sharp edged blade is a great augmentation.  Fingers of this era are often just lines, lacking the comic book knuckles that the early eighties brought that beg for highlighting.  A small amount of greenstuff mixed 8:1 with sculpey a black clay shaper and a little patience can make all the difference.  Speaking of which...

C29 creepy crawlies (beetles, scorpion, unknown chaosy two headed  lizard thing and giant tick)
These bad boys are mostly C29 creepy crawlies.  They have been modernised by gluing on slotta bases and then very carefully sculpting a dungeon floor surface using procreate to hide their integral bases.
Any help identifying the mysterious two headed, one winged chaos snake thing is most welcome!  Really early chaos familiar perhaps?

MB Heroquest plastics.  Yay.
Continuing on the old dungeon theme, I found a bag of unloved Heroquest figures in a flea market a few months back.  By some strange twist of fate, a few months before I discovered a shrink wrapped mint Heroquest box in an bric-a-brac and antiques store not one hundred paces from the same spot!  Tenner.  Bargain.  Its now in my vault...  will be selling that on ebay soon, once the Aussie dollar drops a bit.

I converted the minis by carefully shaving off the plastic base with a razor.  I say carefully, because the plastic used for these is much harder than modern citadel plastics, so does not take stress well.  If you try this, dont cut with something like tin snips, you will get white stress tears and odds are the leg will snap off.  A fresh scalpel and some patience payed off, and I had these, two zombies and five goblins prepped for a little mid week old school insomnia indulgence.
I plan to go back and do some sexy blending later on these, pick out the teeth then varnish the ever living crap out of them for sticky pizza fingered gaming in the near future.  I googled heroquest to see if anyone else had painted their figures recently and to see what they did, and I was really surprised how big a community it still has!  You go Heroquest fans!


  1. Dave, cannot say how nice it is to find someone with the same love of the oldies and only the oldies. I will post some of my own collection therein!

  2. wow. Absolutely stunning work!
    I still have a mint boxed set of Heroquest just waitning to be painted, if I paint it to 1% of the quality you have here I would be over the moon! Really inspiring images there.

    I am looking at some of your older space marine miniatures, and it made me look in my boxes for an old female space marine miniature I used to own, she stood with a bolter and a sword, short haired, lovely miniature. I have lots of the older 1988 miniatures knocking about. I loved how they looked, and the early 90's miniatures too...

  3. Cheers!
    Hey, I just bought that gal- and already own her sister... very, very rare figures nowadays!

    Not sure how I will paint them yet.

  4. Oh, and good luck on the heroquest set... having done most of one of these my advice is...

    Spray prime the figures with tamiya plastic primer- this will make the paint stay on during gaming- the plastic they used is a tad shiney, so this is a good step.
    I would go the spray black undercoat for the figures to save yourself edging.
    Stick the figures on strips three or four at a time in batches of the same type- this will make painting them fly by as you have very little handling.
    Start with the skeletons, they are easy and it will give you a big morale boost to have a whole lot finished so quickly.
    The mummies come next- you can actually to all the bandages when you do the skeletons bone.
    The final tip is go contrasty... the heroquest board is pretty bright, and you play from a few feet away, so subtle shading wont be as satisfying.

    Good luck!

  5. Hi Delaney -
    I'm writing an article on the evolution of orc miniatures - I was hoping that I could use some pics of your red orcs for my post (with full attribution, of course!). Is that OK with you? My website is: