Monday, 2 October 2017

Da Great Snot Off!

Blimey! Things have been busy on the hobby front recently with painting challenges and themes coming thick and fast. Following on from the very successful Procrastinators Challenge, Russ from the Middlehammer group launched the "Tale of Middlehammer Gamers" in September which encouraged the community to pledge which models from the armies they are currently working on they would complete by the end of the month. Russ saw a fantastic response with 23 pledges met, and some real beauties among them - check out the album on the Middlehammer fb page! With Orctober now upon us the challenge for the month is to work on bases for your army, whether it be painting them all Goblin Green, or sculpting something more scenic.

As you can see below I opted for a combination of both those approaches for my entry to Middlehammer Mark's Snotling themed challenge:


Snotlings at work and play

There had been a lot of snotling related chatter on the fb page and as soon as Mark suggested the idea of a Snotling themed challenge for September I knew it would be a winner and I had the urge to do something special, so I started to plan a modular diorama (the first time I have ever attempted such a thing) where each base of Snotlings would come together to form a scene.

The main concept is that there are two gangs of Snotlings both serving the same Orc and Goblin army, but they are rivals within their own little Snotling Economy. The dominant gang (in blue/grey/purple) the toadstool patch inside the ring of stone faces in control of the valuable trade in magic mushrooms for the fanatics, doom divers and various other shamanic purposes, they can afford the scrap metal equipment needed for the lucrative but risky enterprise of spider hunting, and can even equip their best fighters in the style of mini goblin units complete with Snotling fanatics!

The second gang are lower on the Snotling totem pole, confined to the less profitable occupations of dung farming, pumpkin growing, and scavenging the scree slopes for poisonous rock urchins. They are clad in cast off scraps of tanned hides and furs, with only a few among them having metal weapons. The idea was for this social stand off to be seen if you bring all the bases together in a particular order.

I drafted a plan on some graph paper and immediately set about gathering my materials together from the bitz box, and the store of milliput bits and bobs I make whenever I have a left over blob, and finally the lead pile to get the snotlings themselves... except I discovered that I only had 9 snotlings!!!

I looked upon the posts of the hordes of snots that others were posting on the fb page with undisguised envy! Clearly some Internet purchasing was in order, and although I did acquire some old school lead snotlings from evilbay at a not too unreasonable price, it was a suggestion from fellow Middlehammerer Andrew that the Demon World 15mm Goblins make good proxies that meant I was able to turn my initial idea into a reality. Cheers for that suggestion Andrew!

Assorted Gubbinz and horrible but cheap MDF bases

I numbered the bases on the reverse so I could keep track during the various stages. I was glad I did this on more than one occassion.

Snotling scale creep!
One issue I was presented with was the obvious variation in size among the various GW snotlings. The Demon World Gobbos are smaller but I was warned of that in advance, and at least they are all the same size! The one in the middle of the pic above is not far off a Goblin Spearman!

Actually, the issue of outsized Snotlings turned out to be helpful in sorting and grouping them together on to bases. The idea became that the larger snots would be champions that other smaller snots would gather around (accepted snotling lore being that they idolise any greenskin bigger than they are!)

The next stages were to transfer the paper plan onto the wooden bases in pencil and place the snotlings where I thought they would go (this changed a number of times as ideas developed), and then to add the putty elements and spiders.

Once I was happy with placement I started sticking things down, including a pile of gravel that would form the rock pile at the back, and some humps of milliput for the Snotling Fanatic bases to give them some variation. Next came sand flocking and... lentils. For toadstools. Obvs.

I'm not normally a fan of Army Painter sprays for base coats (although do use them for scenery occassionaly) but I was certainly glad I had a can of their Greenskin on hand for this project! +1 for Cheat Spray!

Base coats for everything next. The unpainted putty elements were deliberately left off as they would have prevented access while painting, but I regularly checked to see how everything was coming together and made a few tweaks here and there as we went.

It was around this time I changed the layout of the bottom three stands of Snotling Fanatics, this was for two reasons, firstly the two duplicate sculpts didn't look good next to each other and secondly the random scattering of rocks I added to the bases to break up the green then looked a bit lop sided in the original lay out. The new layout separated the sculpts and the three bases seemed to 'fit' better together that way as the scattering of rocks looks more natural. Yes. I spent WAY too much time staring at stands of snotlings...

Once the extra pumpkins had been added and the last two stone faces stuck in and painted, the final job was to add some height to the central pumpkin patch with some putty mushrooms on cocktail stick stalks, and a few more lentils. I mean toadstools.

There are a number of little stories being played out across two or more bases, which you can see below:

Here we can see the two rival Snotling Shamans facing off against each other, the dominant gang guarding the precious mushroom patch from the encroaching mob coming in from the dung pools (one of which can be seen on the left side)

The scree slopes are the hunting grounds for those unfortunate snots sent in search of poisonous rock urchins (the purple things!) which they normally sell to the Orc and Goblin Shamans, but can also be employed as rather dangerous missiles at short range.

Over near the pumpkin patch some unfortunate spider hunters are having the tables turned on them. If they fall backwards over the pumpkins into the rival gang's territory they are going to get beaten up... if the spider doesn't eat them first!

Down at the front you can see more successful spider hunting taking place. The Demon World Goblin troop types give some really lovely opportunities to have snotling proxies of classic WFB Goblin units like Netters and Clubbers, and I can see myself going back for some spider riders to continue this theme in the future. Some shield bearing Snotling Warriors also help blend the main scene into the three 'extra' Fanatic stands.

Sorry the photo is rubbish!

I had initially thought of these as a separate add on, showing what the Snotling tribe might look like on the battle field, but actually once you put them all together they do all make sense as a block of 12 bases, with one of the spiders seemingly stalking up behind the Snotling ranks at the front 😀

The finished mob
Apologies again for the blurry photos
I'm really chuffed with how these turned out, and how I was able to turn my initial vision into a reality of lead, putty and gravel. There are definitely some rough edges that would need smartening up, but if I'm honest I have had enough of snotlings for a while, so any touch ups will have to wait!

Thanks as always to Mark for coming up with the idea for the challenge, and to the Middlehammer group for providing inspiration. This project simply would never have existed otherwise!


  1. This riot of toadstools and little green guys is wonderful, evey base tells its own little story !

    1. Cheers mate! It was bags of fun to create, just as snotlings should be! :)