Tag Archives: miniatures

Mini Challenge Complete

With the weekend now over, Chris’ ‘challenge within a challenge’ has come to an end. Basically, the premise was to each paint up a sergeant by the end of the weekend.

Chris Seadon came up with this superb Destroyers sergeant for his pre heresy Death Guard army

Death Guard Destroyer Sergeant

There’s some really nice details on this mini, but the stand out feature is the armour, that glorious rad-blackened armour. it has a lovely (if such a word can be used for anything Death Guard related) depth to it, and the dusty, matte finish really makes it look the part.

My part in this mini challenge comes in the form of a kitbashed Dark Vengeance Sergeant Raphael, (with space wolf legs and blood angel arms) for my Disciples of Caliban army. It was fun to paint I must say, especially the face, for which I used the ‘eavy metal space hulk tutorial found in a old-ish copy of white dwarf (It’s still available in pdf form over on the Games Workshop site, just google ‘space hulk masterclass’ and it’s the top result)

Sergeant Raphael

An honourable mention goes to Alisdair, who did not manage to finish his sergeant in time for the mini challenge. Mild mockery will ensue regarding his timekeeping, however his miniature, as always, is stunning.

Blood Angel Sergeant

Take a good look at Ali’s Blood Angel and see if you can spot all the work that has gone into this model, there’s sculpting work all over the place but most will not spot it until it’s pointed out. Another rather lovely model to look at which, along with Chris’s, set’s the bar high.

As for other updates posted on our Facebook page, here are Alisdair’s and Chris’s Squad updates and a couple of pics from our latest entry into the challenge, Demetris Tampakoudis (better known as DaemonPrinceDargor on Bolter & Chainsword)

Alisdair's Blood Angels Chris's Death Guard Destroyer squad

Demetris's Sons of Horus Preator Demetris's Sons of Horus

As soon as everyone has a squad update posted i’ll jam it all together here on the site.

Happy Painting Everyone!

Total Wargamer Painting Competition



It’s official, The Goldfish of Justice has been asked to help judge a painting competition at Total Wargamer in Evesham on Saturday 27th July during the summer fete. I shall be on hand to answer any painting questions you might have and if I can wrangle a little space for a display I shall bring down some miniatures.

There are 3 categories

  • Single Miniature
  • Large Model
  • Under 16’s

Here’s the event page on facebook

Feel free to post a comment on here if you have any questions or pop onto Total Wargamers Facebook page


5 Tips on prepping your miniatures

prepOne thing that many new starters don’t get told is how to prep a miniature for paint. It’s a fairly simple process, but it does take time and can be the most unappealing part of miniature painting. So here are my top 5 tips on prepping miniatures. These are mostly aimed at beginners, so If it feels like I’m teaching you to suck eggs, don’t despair, more advanced stuff is on it’s way!

1: Take your time.

I know that when you’re starting out on the glorious road to painting stardom with thoughts of a fully painted army marauding across the battle field on your mind, you just want to get to the good bit straight away. I know I used to.

When I first started out, I tore straight into the boxes, quickly clipped off any obvious pieces of flash (excess material from the casting process) and mashed the model together before splashing paint all over it in a fairly unorthodox manner.

Now I’ve been doing it for a while, I know that the care taken with preparing the miniature has a direct effect on the outcome of your paintjob. The longer you spend  making sure your model is smooth and free of mould-lines, the better your paintjob will look and the quicker you’ll learn. It’s easier to see how to improve your blending for example, when you don’t have to try and look past a rough surface.

2: Use the right tool for the job

The expenditure required to start this hobby is more than people think, the models can cost a small fortune, as can amassing a decent collection of paints or the rulebooks needed to play a game. It would be a huge shame to ruin an expensive model by trying to clean it up with a potato peeler (an extreme example, but you see where I’m going with this)

If you’re dealing with a large lump of flash, use the side cutters. If you’re looking at a small mould line, use the scalpel to scrape it off (have the blade at a 150 degree angle with the sharp edge closest, then scrape away from your body.  Having the blade angled the other way, you risk the knife digging into the miniature and damaging it.) scraping technique(Obviously hold the piece in your other hand for stability, I couldn’t as I was taking the photo). And if you’re looking at a mould line a bit bigger, use the needle files to get rid of it.

When you start out, budget for a few simple tools. A scalpel, a pair of small side cutters, some needle files and a cutting mat.

cutting mat needle files scalpel side cutters

on the subject of side cutters, the angled ones that Games Workshop sell are good enough for the job but don’t last long, so it’s worth shopping around. There are cutters with a rounded head available but they make cutting some sprues a bit tricky. Scalpels are personal preference as to what feels comfortable, personally I use the GW scalpel handle with Swann Morton blades. (Swann Morton make surgical equipment too, so the blades they make are the sharpest I’ve ever found. Seriously, it’s like using a small power sword.) The GW handle is surprisingly comfortable to use.

3: Measure twice, cut once

It might seem a little out of place here, but the old carpenters adage of “measure twice, cut once” is useful for our purposes. The essence of it is to look carefully at what needs doing on the miniature before diving in. This way you can see any potential problems like awkward to get to mould lines or miscasts. Look for things that look out of place (compare with the picture on the box if you have one).

4: Put it down

odd one this, but it works for me. Once you think you’ve cleaned up all the mould lines, clipped off any flash etc, put the model down and work on something else. A degree of patience is needed with this but it’s worth it. Once you’ve done something else for a bit, go back to the model and have a look at it again, fresh eyes may pick up something else that you missed. I can tell you, finding these missed bits of flash are VERY annoying if you find them during painting.

5: Wash it

Once you’ve finished taking off mould lines and flash, give the miniature a quick wash under some warm water with washing up liquid and scrub it gently with an old toothbrush. There’s no point doing this before you’ve cleaned off all the mould lines because you’ll be handling the model a lot and of course, there’s oil on our fingertips all the time. The quick scrub with washing up liquid just removes the oil residue and any mould release left on the model (again, a leftover from the casting process, it quite literally helps the miniature be released from the mould)

These oils and mould release will prevent any undercoat from sticking to your miniature properly and subsequently make painting it a royal pain in the rear.

Note: If you’re dealing with Finecast (Games Workshop’s new resin which has taken over from most of their metal models) Make sure the water is cold or lukewarm, water that is too warm will make the miniature very, very soft and you could end up damaging something permanently.

I hope that these tips have been of use, feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.

Happy Painting!

Nurgle Plaguebearers

Things have been very busy in the goldfish studio of late, and there’s been very little time to update the blog. Hopefully this will be rectified soon with a spot of help  in the blog update department.

The main project from the last couple of days has been a unit of Nurgle Plaguebearers. These were an absolute joy to paint and we’ll be getting some of these in again very soon along with the new plague flys that GW have just released.


I started by basing the models with mourn mountain snow (the new basing paints from GW are great and make rank and file troops much easier to base, it doesn’t matter what colour you use) then undercoated the unit with Tamiya Grey primer.

The next step is to dig the airbrush out and basecoat the unit in Death World forest green, followed by a zenithal highlight of Nurgling Green. If you’ve never tried zenithal highlighting before, it’s worth trying as it’s so simple. Just basecoat the entire model in a middle to dark colour all over, then pick a lighter shade and use the airbrush to spray straight down onto the top of the model so it mimics the way light would hit the model.

The skin was given an extra highlight with a mix of Nurgling Green + White Scar, while the gribbly bits were picked out, first with Baal red and Agrax Earthshade washes, then with Pink horror and Pink horror + White Scar

The metal standard was painted with a 50/50 mix of Scaly Green + Hawk Turquoise (if you’re new to painting miniatures, these are old colours from GW but you may be able to find them on Ebay). The standard was then drybrushed with Brass Scorpion and then Runelord Brass which creates a really nice verdigris effect.

This is a brief overview of what goes into our tabletop standard miniatures but if anyone wants a proper tutorial series then just let us know in the comments!

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Fancagne Didier’s Latest sculpt “Takia of the Nakaema Tribe”

New miniature sculpts generally fill me with child-like glee when I see them, and this new one from Fancagne Didier is no exception, a lovely 52mm feline beastie released in resin by Kaha Miniatures (Available to pre-order now)

The miniature is available to pre-order now from Kaha Miniature’s Facebook page or  by contacting fancagne@gmail.com

Certainly adding this one to my list of minis I need in my collection!

Here’s an excerpt from the character description just to whet your appetite.

 Taika would make a good watchdog if he was not as reckless. His tiger’s heart seems inexhaustible. One day, however, I know that his luck will turn and impressive as his martial prowess is, this will not be enough to bail him out. In a split second, he must change or die. Daredevil from an early age, Taika is a strong head with a volcanic character. He often boasts of having the favor of fortune and being the best warrior of the tribe.