Sunday, September 9, 2012

First completed figures of the challenge, and a look at the Trollforged goblins

Here's my full unit of goblins from Trollforged, not quite completed yet, but the painting is done. They still need their bases detailed, and the standard bearer needs a standard attached to the pole he's toting around. They also haven't gotten their final matte varnish yet, but I had a little free time to take some pictures and write a post, so here they are, almost done.

The four command figures are conversions. The Trollforged plastic/resin/whatever-it-is material is easy to cut and takes well to superglue, making conversions a snap. The standard bearer is my favorite of the bunch - the terrified look on his face is perfect for a goblin going into battle, in the front line of his unit, with nothing but a big flag to defend himself with... I snipped off the halberd and drilled into his hand, then inserted a standard made from wire, putty, and a skull that's been kicking around in my bits box for  at least twenty years. I think it was originally attached to an undead centaur. Also, I cut off the horns on the sides of his helmet and repositioned one of them on top of his head.

The leader got a sword made from a bit of a large packing staple, with some putty for the hilt. He also got the leftover helmet horn from the standard bearer. The champion is probably my least favorite of the four converted models. I tried repositioning his arms a few different ways, originally intending to give him two weapons, but nothing really looked good and I finally just glued part of an old GW plastic skaven arm and weapon to him. Not the greatest, but it'll have to do.

The musician got a pretty extensive conversion. Part of his right arm was cut off and repositioned, the arm below the elbow was sculpted from putty, as was the horn. Finally, his face got some putty as well, to make him look like he's giving a good blow on that horn.

The paint job is very basic - blocked in colors followed by a magic wash. I was going for decent tabletop quality, not display pieces, and besides twenty finished figures is a good start on my self-imposed painting challenge (More on that below).

And now, my thoughts on the Trollforged figures, having painted and converted them. The sculpts are fantastic, more Jim Henson than GW-style goblins, which in my book is a good thing. They ooze character, and at a buck a figure everybody should have a unit or two of these guys in their fantasy armies. 

The not-so-good-stuff: The material used is not nearly as strong as Trollforged's YouTube video implies. I had one broken weapon when they arrived, and two more broke off when washing the figures to remove any mold release residue. Another one broke at the ankles when I tried to remove him from his base - Several of the figures sat oddly in their bases the first time around, and had to have bits removed from their tabs or feet to stand properly in the base. Fortunately, these are all easy fixes.

With most resin castings there will be some bubbles and other issues, and these guys are no exception. Some of them were missing fingertips and such, and while that too is a fairly easy fix with some putty, I figured the hell with it and counted on paint to hide the casting flaws.

Even with the casting issues, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these figures. In fact, I think I might need another ten for this unit - "The Goblins of the Red Shoes" - and maybe another ten to convert and otherwise fiddle with. They'd be great for a dungeon encounter, and converting them would be an interesting project...

So now we come to my painting challenge. I've committed to paint 300 figures before the Reaper Bones Kickstarter loot arrives next March, which might not seem like much of a challenge to some painters, but it's a pretty daunting task for me. Here's the first, painted before I got stuck into the Goblins of the Red Shoes.

He's a Grenadier magic user circa 1982, stripped of his decades-old paint job and re-done in much the same colors. Again, the base is not finished, for two reasons. One, I'm giving myself some leeway on basing for the challenge. I know, I know, it's not done unless the base is done, but I'm also not sure where I want to go with basing my figures these days. I'm growing increasingly dissatisfied with the ubiquitous slotta-base, and I'm looking into and thinking about various alternatives. I prefer a base that sits closer to the ground, like the pennies I based my hobbits on from a few posts back, and one that can be detailed on the edges as well as the top, helping the model blend into the table a little better. Finally, I'm thinking of splitting my figures into two groups, those used for wargames and those used for RPGs. Most of my fantasy RPGs are old-fashioned dungeon crawls, so I want to base those figures appropriately with stone or rock floor details, while the wargames figures will have dirt, grass, etc.

The challenge so far: 21 figures painted, 279 to go...


  1. Great work.
    Especialy on the musician.

    1. Thanks! These guys are a joy to convert - Like I mentioned, I plan on picking up some more of them just to convert them into suitable dungeoncrawl opponents.