Monday, 17 December 2012

Tutorial: How to paint Goblins from the Hobbit

My Bilbo and Gandalf tutorials are proving popular, so I've decided to continue the series of Hobbit tutorials, this time concentrating on the evil Goblins. Within the Eascape from Goblin Town boxset there are 38 Goblin Warriors, a Captain, Grinnah, the Scribe on his swing and the monstrous Goblin King. Painting a large horde can be daunting so the aim of this tutorial is to speed things up a bit. Details after the jump. 

This tutorial assumes you have a basic understanding of how to paint. For the beginners, I will explain some techniques such as washing, drybrushing and stippling as I go along. Each picture below shows four chronological steps. Underneath each picture are the corresponding instructions. Each step shows the paint I used during that step. It's good to have reference material close to hand to check colours. I used google images for film stills and Games Workshop's 360º pictures on their website were a great help. 

Paints you will need for this tutorial:
White Primer
Carroburg Crimson (shade)
Eldar Flesh (dry)
Pallid Wych Flesh (layer)
Rhinox Hide (base)
Balor Brown (layer)
Karak Stone (layer)
Gorthor Brown (layer)
Dawnstone (layer)
Administratum Grey (layer)
Skrag Brown (layer)
Jokero Orange (base)
Ironbreaker (layer)
Bloodletter (glaze)
Seraphim Sepia (shade)
Stirland Mud (texture)
XV-88 (base)

1. Undercoat the model white. I used Citadel Skull White spray. I recommend applying double sided tape to the sides of a stick with a square profile and sticking as many models to the stick as possible. You will maximise the use of your spray can by catching models in different angles with the overspray.
2. Using a large brush, load it up with Carroburg Crimson and spread it over the skin of the model. Don't worry if it goes over details. 
3. Citadel Dry paints are more pigment then liquid. These paints have the consistency of a Crème Brûlée. In this stage you need to dry brush Eldar Flesh over the skin areas. To dry brush take a large brush with short bristles (splayed out is good) dab the tip of the brush in to the paint pot and then wipe it off onto a tissue until only a little remains on the brush. Then lightly flick across the model with the brush multiple times to see the dry brush layer build up. It's best to build it up with light layers to get a softer effect then to hit it with a fully loaded brush.
4. Repeat the drybrushing stage above with Pallid Wych Flesh. This isn't a Citadel Dry paint, so you will need to wipe more off onto a tissue.

5. Paint all the details such as weapons, loin cloths, rags, teeth and eyes with Rhinox hide.
6. Paint the loin cloths, rags and ropes with Balor Brown. You'll notice I've painted Grinnah's whip with this colour as well. Leave Rhinox Hide showing through creases, folds and overlapping areas. 
7. Highlight the previous stage's colour with Karak Stone. 
8. Paint the straggly hair with Gorthor Brown. 

9. Pick out the raised hair detail with Dawnstone. 
10. Highlight the hair with Administratum Grey.
11. I wanted to paint my Goblin's weapons in a really rusty way so I dabbed on a base layer of Skrag Brown.
12. To get that rusty texture to the blades, you need to stipple on Jokearo Orange. Firstly you need to make a stippling brush. Take an old brush, one that will no longer hold a point (called fish tailing) is perfect and use a pair of scissors to cut it down to 3-4mm in length. To stipple, dab the modified brush in the paint and then dab it onto tissue several times, then dab it onto the model. You can see in the close up the kind of effect this creates. 

13. Using a fine detail brush apply tiny dabs of Ironbreaker along the edges of the blades.
14. Paint the eyes with Jokearo Orange (you can do this at stage 12 if you wish). Then using a small brush use Bloodletter Glaze in the creases of the face, the gums and on and around the eyes. This red tone gives a bit of life to the face and I think makes them look more evil. 
15. The Goblins are covered in pus filled spots and they live in the dank and dirty Misty Mountains so we need to make the model a little more grubby. I used Seraphim Sepia to wash over each individual spot/lump. I also used this colour randomly and sparingly on the skin to show dirt. Small clumps of spotting work nicely.
Finally base the model in a way which fits in with your collection. I used Stirland Mud texture paint highlighted with Karak Stone and the base edge was painted with XV-88. Static grass and scrub were glued on in small clumps.

In conclusion,  the washing and drybrushing stages aren't pretty close up but they really are useful techniques to speed up the painting of such a large quantity of models. Obviously I've painted two models at the same time. This is called batch painting, where multiple models are painted at the same time. You can batch paint as many models as you feel comfortable. I will be batch painting the rest of my Goblins in batches of 9 (38 remaining Goblins divided by 9 models at a time = 4 batches).

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  1. I think sadly the worst part about these is the basing. I am not a fan of the Stirland Mud finish - it just doesn't seem to match the preciseness of the paintwork everywhere else.

    I thought it looked odd on Bilbo but now I have seen it on a number of your figures it makes them look shabby. Don't get me wrong these are still lovely and better than what I have turned ot lately but they just bring the overall level down.

    But a good tutorial and some cool new ideas thanks once again for making the effort.

  2. I think the basing works, but am also really liking how you tackled the skin bit! Starting with a white base, and a heavy red wash, going back up to a almost white finish. Nice work there. It is also cool that you have put a list of the paints at the beginning as pointed out by a couple other commenting on the past few tutorials. Great! Shows that not only are you trying to find something that will help your readers, but also LISTENING to them as well! Again, Fantastic! Keep it up!

  3. This was just what I needed! Thanks so much for this EXCELLENT tutorial!!!!

  4. @ Minitrol - Not sure what I can learn from your opinion? Care to make the criticism constructive and offer some suggestions? I'm all ears. Cheers.

    @ M R Lee - I read all the comments people post, so of course if I see a good suggestion that is going to improve the post for everyone I'm going to implement it. It's why I'm so grateful for the comments.

    @ Greg Sapara - I'm glad this is useful for you. These tutorials takes ages to make, but I enjoy making them so expect to see more.

  5. Was just pointing out that there are other blogs out there that want comments, but don't act upon them. It is just another reason why this one outshines the rest ;)

  6. It's really cool to see someone stepping up and putting these together (for the Hobbit and Dark Vengeance). It's sad that GW makes you buy all the painting guides they have now, and from what I hear they still aren't any good. I first learned how to paint from following their guides step by step until I learned enough to figure it out myself. Thanks for doing these. They're exactly what GW should have included in the box!

  7. Very nice tutorial as always. I will follow these when I get the Hobbit Set sometime after Christmas :)

  8. Awesome, thank you so much.

  9. Thank you so much for this.
    The time and effort that you out into this is well worth it - as you can see, if you inspire just 1 painter to try new things then (like I already said) it is well worth it.
    I have searched high and low for a guide like this - which doesn't ask for paints from companies I have never heard of before...and this is the ONLY one I have found.
    Thank you very much for this, makes me very happy hehe.
    Will you tackle one for the scenery from the boxed set?
    The mass of wood and the throne is something I am struggling with to be honest.
    Thanks for the patience you put into these - they simply look stunning :)

    1. THanks for your feedback. With regards to the scenery, sadly I've painted it and already photographed it for a showcase post on this blog for later on in the week. So there won't be a tutorial. HOwever, this is the breakdown for Wood

      Rhinox Hide
      Nuln Oil
      Gorthor Brown
      Baneblade Brown

      Skulls are:
      Ungor Flesh
      Seraphim Sepia
      Screaming Skull

      Gore is:
      Tamiya Clear Red (check out the blood tutorial in the tutorial section).

      I might list the paints for the throne in the post before it goes live. Watch this space.

    2. For what it's worth, the current WD has a tutorial for the wood/skull terrain pieces. It's a pretty good one, but I think Garfy covered it pretty well in his reply.

    3. I pretty much copied the White Dwarf one, but changed some of the colours ever so slightly. (-:

  10. Hi Garfy, great tutorial. What grass clumps do you use for your bases?

    1. Hi Eldorad. It's just static grass and a blob of PVA glue.

  11. Thanks for all this tutorials. I am new here and I really appreciate all this artciles! Hoping to see the tutorial for all those dwarfs!

    1. Welcome to Tale of Painters Strait. I don't know about all the dwarves, but I'll keep going for as long as possible. I will definitely be doing a Thorin tutorial next.

  12. Fantastic thanks Garfy, the figs look great again and I really appreciated the addition of a paint list, as others have said it's nice to know that you read the comments and act on them rather than just looking for appreciation.

    Keep up the good work, my wife has popped my box under the tree so I'm really looking forward to trying out the guides once Christmas has come

  13. Love this tutorial! My goblins are turning out great and im able to batch paint them quickly thanks to this tutorial, would you be able to do some tutorials for more of the hobbit stuff? Like erebor dwarfs and hunter orcs?

  14. [IMG][/IMG]

    or the link here

    the result of a great tutorial! Superb!

  15. Josh these are fantastic. They look better then mine! Well done dude. Thank you for sharing them, I'm grinning like a cheshire cat knowing that someone has actually used this guide!

    In answer to your earlier question (sorry, didn't see it) I will be adding a tutorial for the eagles soon.

    1. Cheers Garfy for the great feedback! These are my first models painted for almost 4 years so really pleased with the results but couldnt of done it without your help! I look forward to the next hobbit tutorial :)

      Just the grass to be done on the bases now and the last batch of 6

  16. Thanks for writing this. I'm a bit new to all this and when I made a start on my goblins they didn't come out very well. I became a bit dispondant about them and they've been put away for a while.

    But after finding your article today I got them back out and went back over a few of them using some of your suggestions. I think you've helped me rescue them, with the Balour Brown being a particular success.

    Need to get a bit of Dawnstone to sort the hair out, but now feeling confident that I'll have a half decent set of figures before long.

    Now to study your dwarf guides :-)

    1. This is fantastic to hear. I love to hear about people finding inspiration in my tutorials. I would absolutely love it if you sent me finished pictures of your Goblins. I can guarantee I'll share them on our Facebook page.

  17. Finished my first batch of Goblins. Thanks so much. Seriously.

  18. in the above comments there is a post about the scenery thanks for that it would be nice to have something about the throne :) .... thank for everything i bought the whole months ago finally i shall not be afraid knowing that i have these tutorials on my side... keep it up !!!

    1. Sorry, I can't see myself painting the throne again, so I won't be able to produce a tutorial for this piece.

  19. Hi, this is a first-class tutorial as always! Just a question- how do you apply the Texture paint to get the best effect, because I can't seem to get it right. Thanks

    1. Really thick with an old brush. You might want to do two coats.

  20. Hey I just finished the ridiculous amount of goblins. Thank you so much for the tutorial! Are you guys on instagram?