Wednesday, 27 April 2016

April Fools! - Goblin Doom Diver

So, it turns out I love a good online monthly pun based painting theme...

You know, like the now well established 'Orctober'? Or the very successful 'Deadcember' theme on the Oldhammer Community page (my contribution to Deadcember can be viewed here, I missed 'Vermember' 2015 sadly, but have some old school plastic skaven lined up and waiting for this year), or my less successful Middlehammer entry to 'Slannuary' of 5th Edition Saurus warriors (not too much of a stretch that one, but not quite Oldhammer enough)?

The ever approachable Mark Evans, of Middlehamer and Animosity Wargaming infamy, and I had been having a bit of a chat about possible themes for the Middlehammer group and the role they can play in building the community. Sadly I was unable to join in with the Middlehammer facebook group's March for March theme (where you had to paint a regiment of infantry) because life stuff happened, but I thought it was a great idea to motivate us to get a whole block of troops done! I hope to join in next year if it runs again, although I'd also like to suggest 'Imperial March' as a possible theme. It would allow both Fantasy and Rogue Trader/40k fans to get involved (themes need to be nice and inclusive!), and it tips a nod to a certain much loved Sci Fi franchise ;)

Do you have any ideas for a painting theme? The more terrible the pun the better! If so post them up as suggestions on the Middlehammer fb page and see what the feedback is like. I guess at least a months' notice for everybody is a good idea...

Anyway, this month's Middlehammer painting theme was right up my alley - April Fools!

I have been really enjoying painting fantasy non-combatants recently, and there is plenty one might choose in that vein, but that would really be more in keeping with Oldhammer than Middlehammer I feel (only my opinon - not looking to start that argument here!). No, for something that really said 'MH' it could olnly be the drug crazed lunacy of the Goblin Doom Diver!

Here he is, the loveable little nut job.
These are iconic to me of WHFB 4th edition Goblins, plus I'd recently purchased one for my growing greenskin horde which is being used in our WHFB4 campaign Crisis in Caledor (look out for new Battle Report soon, with greatly improved pictures and scenery), and I like to use the monthly themes to spur me to get things painted that are either directly related to current projects, or stand a very high chance of actually being used in a game in the near future where possible.

I also wanted to use this as an opportunity to work on my basing, which is one of my Hobby Resolutions for 2016, so in keeping with the background of the unit I decided to include some tiny putty mushrooms. It was only the second time I had ever bothered to do this for a base, the first being approx 20 years ago for Orion King of the Woods, who at the time was the most ambitious and successful paint job I'd ever completed.

I now really regret not swapping the base for the goblin with one facing forward, but can't be bothered to go back and change it as I'm keen to keep moving on with other projects.

Here are the two pieces with half their base coats on, and the bases worked up.
I actually studied some pictures of Fly Agaric mushrooms (Amantia Muscaria the classic red and white toadstools) and noted that the white dots are far from symetrical and certanly not rounded in shape, they are like little irregular flakes in fact, so I tried to capture that but am now worried it looks too much like poor brushmanship. After catching myself obsessing about the accuracy of markings on a tiny putty mushroom less than a centimetre in diameter, I first realised how far I had come in my hobbying since deciding to get back into it properly last year, and then thankfully got over myself and moved on with the painting of the actual models.

A view of the two pieces in progress. Note the naturalistic markings on the Toadstools. NOTE THEM DAMN YOU!
Here you can see the attempts at different finishes on the metal work. The workings of the wheel are deliberatley more grimey whcih I think works. Not sure about the bronze hand in the end as it possible fades into the brown a bit too much.
I decided early on that I wanted the catapult to use fairly muted and realistic colours, so went for a controlled pallette of browns and dark metallics. For example, I used bubonic brown with a flesh wash for the 'elastic' as I imagine this to be made from some monstrous body byproduct, the alchemically treated and stretched pizzle of a manticore perhaps? I used Boltgun metal over black for most of the metal, using more flesh wash (slightly glossier than brown ink) to create a greasy, rusty run off sort of look around the axle and outer wheel fixings, while I tried to create some variation by using a Tin Bitz and Shining Gold to make the hand gripping the arms of the catapult appear a dull bronze, which also ties in to other elements of my existing forces. There IS quite a lot of RED in my greenskin horde, but this is balanced by grubby, muddy tones in many places overall to make feature colours stand out and to add realism. In this case it also serves to allow the Goblin whackjob to take centre stage with a more colourful look to fit the April Fools! theme.

I'm pretty happy with the muted and realistic colour scheme on the catapult, although I might make some changes were I to do it again.
Next time I'd probably go for a naturalistic look on all the skulls to break up the monotony of metal and wood.
I wanted the goblin to really bring home the April Fools! theme so had always intended hm to be wearing some form of Jesters' motley. I decided on simple red and yellow quarters, the red to fit in with the rest of the army, and the dirty yellow being a nice counterpoint but still well within the Greenskin's preferred MH colour spectrum. Any rope and wood was given the same treatment of Snakebite Leather or Bestial Brown followed by dark brown/black ink across both pieces to help tie them in, the dark bronze and iron colours were also repeated on the goblin. The Goblin flesh was a very simple job but one I'm really happy with, Snot green base coat, orc flesh wash, Snot Green hightlights, then mixing in Badmoon Yellow to finish. Worm purple for the tongue, bleached bone for the teeth, and blood red eyes as always.

I'm really happy with how the face turned out in particular.

I wanted to keep the wings dark so the jester's costume would stand out, but not brown or black, so I opted to mix my own very dark blue-purple-black, which was then washed down with blue ink. I should have done more work to highlight this with some of the Liche Purple I used in the mix, but again I didn't want to take away from the jester's garb so kept it muted.

I think this view shows it is lacking a few highlights on the metal and the wings, but I'm fairly happy with the execution of the colour scheme I had planned.

The two finished elements together.

Still need to work on those bases though...
I'm pretty chuffed overall with this piece, and I certainly enjoyed it immensely. I also doubt I'd have even started it let alone finished it during April without idea being spurred by the Middlehammer painting theme. This fool is now ready to make an appearance in our WHFB4 campaign alot earlier than otherwise, so it shows what good motivation a Monthly painting theme can provide!

Although sadly I've not seen too many others posting their own contributions, that is part of why more themes would be really good to encourage more community content from the Middlehammerers, so I hope you've enjoyed this post and that we see more themes and more contributions in the future!


  1. Aw, brilliant shout for an April Fool theme - doesn't get much more foolish than launching yourself at the enemy with a pair of shonky wings and a big spiky hat! Awesome realism on the mushrooms duly noted :-)

    1. Thanks! The Doom Diver really did jump out as the ideal choice for this theme. Lack of highlights on the wings now bugging me more and more however...