Regiment of 30 night goblins and how I base my 28 mm miniatures.

So, I recently finished a unit of 30 night goblins I’ve been working on and off on for the last two years. Originally I planned on multi basing them for KoW, but I decided that it was better to base them individually so I could use them for more game systems.

Led by Buddy and his assistant Buddy

Some of my friends, as well as a couple of people on different fora, have asked me how I do my basing, so I decided to make a little tutorial of sorts.

Step 1

First I paint the bases with zhandri dust. The coat does not need to be fully opaque or even.

step 2

Then I glue on larger rocks or debris. If I have painted any other kinds of detail to have on the base, this is when I add it. This allows me to pile on the dirt to make it look like it sits in the ground rather then awkwardly on top of it.


Next I add my dirt. This is dirt from a small wood where people often motocross. This means the muddy areas become a fine sandy dirt when dry, and it absorbs liquid amazingly well. I sift it, and keep the larger rocks to decorate bases… like here. This is just a first layer, I put down a thickish (only slightly watered down) layer of pva and dip the base in the dirt, shaking of excess. The coverage here does not need to be perfect – we will add more. On every stage with he dirt I clean off the dirt from places I don’t want it with a damp brush.

step 4

Now is one of the more fun steps – I have a little container with very watered down pva glue, another with the sifted dirt, and I sprinkle more on to places where I want more dirt. I try to make details such as rocks look like they sit in the ground, and I try to make interesting small variations in the elevation rather than a flat layer.
I see now that in this example I buried one of the goblins right foot. Oh well, you can clean excess dirt off with a damp brush but since these are lovely back-rank night goblins I don’t really care. It won’t be visible when gaming anyway. Leave this to dry overnight.

step 5

now I add some of my homemade flock here and there. This is simply sifted sawdust painted with cheap craft acrylics. I try to vary where I put it, and make it look random and natural. I catch myself flocking the front left and back right of bases too often, it takes a little bit of effort to not make it look to planned.

Step 6

Finally I add static grass, tufts and clump foliage. I try to make sure all bases always have some point of interest – be that a large rock or interesting tuft – but I also try (and fail) to not make it too systematic and regular.

Finish the base off by painting the rim matte black.

How I paint my (rank and file) 28mm Orcs skin.

Step 1:

Basecoat all of the skin with a nice desaturated green. I currently use army painters army green, but this works fine with an olive green as well (I’m considering getting some other greens in order to vary the skin tone on my orcs).

You may notice that I use xenithal priming – this is entirely optional, I do it because I feel it makes it easier to see details, not because it has any effect on the colours themselves.

Step 2:

Now I give the skin two thinned down highlights with army painter camo green – This can easily be replaced by adding one part of an ivory colour to three parts of the base colour. I generally thin colours with liquitex matte medium and a bit of water, but really you could just use water.

Step three:

My final highlight is made by adding some more ivory to the skin tone – this time I used army painter drake tooth, but any ivory colour works fine. In this case I used 2 parts camo green to one part drake tooth.

Step four:

Next I glaze some additional colours onto the skin – generally I use a light flesh colour and magenta. I heavily recommend using some medium for this step, but water does work too. On characters I’ll often paint the whole thing using shades and glazes, but that takes too much time on rank and file figures – it is however great for adding some nice colour without changing the values too much.

In these cases I used three layers of each glaze, with a third on this specific model for the wound on his head. I add magenta to places with thin skin or in deep recesses, as well as any visible blood vessels (I guess my orcs have reddish or magenta blood), while I add the flesh tone to extremities that might have thick or worn skin, such as brows, chin, elbows and knees, knuckles and the palms of hands.