2 Hour Goblins is a bit of a misnomer. It already assumes that you’ve taken the time to build and spray the models with a coat of primer. Rather, it took me 2 hours to paint approximately 16 goblins, which was more than enough for the encounters that I would be running in my D&D campaign. I used a similar technique for the Hobgoblins, with just some differences in terms of choice of paint.
Choice of Models:
For D&D Goblins, I decided to use Moria Goblins from Games Workshop’s Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game. Part of this choice was expediency: I already had them in hand, but also, if I had to buy them, a box of 12 for just under $30CDN works out to about $2.75 per model. Price wise, this is comparable to individual metal figures from Reaper, but not nearly as good as their new Bones line. The advantage of the Moria Goblins over the Bones miniatures is that there’s a larger number of poses. It makes keeping track of which model is which easier.
For the Hobgoblins, I stuck with the same line and used the Mordor Orcs as the stand-ins for similar reasons. The added bonus is that because the Mordor Orcs and Moria Goblins are from the same line, and at least some of them were sculpted by the same people, there’s a consistent look to them. There’s some minor conversions done to add shields to some of the spear-wielding Orcs, but they work.
I’m one who has always said to use the best paints for the job regardless of the company that produces them. My primary go-to paints have been from Privateer Press and Games Workshop, with some Vallejo model and game colour as backup. In the case of these miniatures, however, I ended up using new Games Workshop “Base” paints almost exclusively.
Here’s the list:
- Skin: Ratskin Flesh (Hobgoblin); Deathworld Forest (Goblin)
- Eyes: Averland Sunset
- Armour/Weapons: Dryad Bark, Mournfang Brown, Jokareo Orange, Necron Compound (Dry)
- Cloth: Mephiston Red
- Leather Straps: Mournfang Brown
- Wood: Dryad Bark
- General Wash: Agrax Earthshade
- General Utility: Abaddon Black, Ceramite White
This is a short list. 11 paint pots total. Keep in mind, this is about painting them quickly, not about winning any painting contests. Finer techniques should be reserved for one-of models, be it a larger monster or the central villain.
2 hour Techniques:
The real trick with doing 2 hour goblins/hobgoblins is managing the order. Normally I tend to work on one colour section at a time, as I like to do one particular area of a model start to finish before moving on. I often start with the skin and work outward by clothing. However, when doing speed painting like this, by definition, that needs to go out the window.
Regardless of whether I use a speed or more careful technique, I paint my models in an assembly line format. Apply the paint to each model in a line, and then go back to the first model with the next step. Acrylic paints tend to dry quickly, so by the time you get back to the first model, it will be ready for the next step. I also always try to apply paint, with the exception of the armour technique, by position the model in my hand so I am always pulling the brush across the model, never pushing it. Also, aside from the dry compound, or stippling, always water down your paints. For me, the “sweet spot” of watering paints down is when you draw the brush through the paint, and you can see the line behind it close up quickly. If you can’t see any line, it’s too thin, if the line stays, its too thick. There are techniques that use thinner paints, but I’m not using them here.
So here are the steps I used:
- Primer colour: Black – For this kind of technique, this is the fastest. In this case, I used GW’s primer as it is a “darker” black than either Privateer Press’ primer, or Duplicolor’s Black Sandable auto-primer. Any of the three will work just fine.
- Block Colours:
- Armour: The armour makes up the largest part of these models, and as such, most of the time can be saved here. I used a stippling technique, using dryad bark, mournfang brown, and jokaero orange in successive layers.
- I used the GW Stippling brush in this case, but frankly any old brush with worn out bristles will work just fine. Dip the brush in the paint pot, wipe some of it off on a paper towel, and then make a stabbing/grinding action with the brush on the model. I was fairly heavy with the darker colours, and very conservative with the orange. This is to simulate crude or rusting weapons/armour. I’m always one to say less is more.
- After doing this, I then lightly drybrushed the armour using Necron Compound. You could also use a dark metal colour as well, but the Necron Compound will be dulled down by the shade/wash towards the end.
- Skin: Using a smaller brush, carefully block in the colours of skin. Face, elbows, legs that isn’t covered with armour. You don’t need to get right up to the edge of the armour/clothes with this, in fact you’re better to leave a small gap, and let the primer coat suggest a shadow.
- Cloth: Mephiston Red – Very similar to the skin, paint around the areas of cloth using a smaller brush. You’re better to leave too much space on the cloth instead of accidentally getting paint on the armour.
- Leather Straps: Mournfang brown. Best to use a small brush.
- Eyes. The goblins have large eyes, even for 25mm models. I did small dots of averland sunset on any goblin eyes that didn’t have helmets.
- Teeth: Normally I like to do by teeth in a few more stages, favouring them to be a bit more yellow, however, in this case, I just used a small brush, and ceramite white, with just a little bit of paint on it, dragged across the teeth. The wash would take care of the rest.
- Hair. Using Abaddon Black to clean up around the edges of the hair and cover over any of the drybrushed/stippled colours.
- Wash: Using Agrax Earthshade straight out of the pot and a large wash brush, I slopped lots of this stuff all over these models and set them up to dry (about 30 minutes)
- Touch ups: Once this is dry, the miniatures are largely done. I wanted to do a few touch-ups/highlights by using a small brush and the paint that was originally used to colour a certain block (be it skin, cloth, leather) and apply a few (small) highlights. For skin, I’d do the middle of the forehead if visible, the ridge of the nose, cheekbones, knees and elbows.
This process can be completed in two hours, including letting the wash dry. It doesn’t account for finishing the models off, which includes basing and clear coating. It’s optional, but frankly it looks better on the tabletop.
The fastest basing technique would be to scoop and spread GW textures onto the bases of these models. For these models I used astrogranite as the texture. Scooping it onto the model and spreading it around with an old brush. Once dry, a drybrush of Terminatus Stone Dry Compound on the base (and lightly on the hair), plus painting the rim of the base black, and the model is ready to be clear coated.
The other technique that I actually prefer over the texture paints is to apply watered down glue to the top of the base, dip the base in sand, let dry, and then paint with a grey or earth tone that has been thinned with a bit of water and rubbing alcohol. Just don’t use the rubbing alcohol with Vallejo paints… it will turn it into goo. As it happens I have a lot of the out-of-print Calthan Brown which I uses for all my brown-tone basing. Once the base paint is dry, drybrushing with a lighter tone or dry compound gives a nice look to it.
Sometimes called varnishing, this is a way to get the colours to blend together nicely. No matter how matte the washes tend to be, they will leave glossy spots on your models. I tend to use Testors Dullcote as my clearcoat, as it is a dead-flat finish where all you are looking at is the paint, and no glossy points that give a concentrated reflection of light.