How Not To Paint: Sparr the Goblin

This week’s How Not To guide is brought to you by Hasslefree, told you I could paint models other than Otherworld!

This is Sparr, a drunken Scottish goblin. Many of the techniques I use in this example could be used to paint any goblin. Sparr marks the first of a new tribe of Goblins that I will eventually bulk out with John Pickford’s Gobbos from Otherworld.

So, first I prepped the model by priming it black.  1 face Here you can see that the first thing I did was paint the eyes, teeth and tongue. The eyes and teeth were done with Sand the tongue with Burgundy. Next this was washed over with Gryphonne Sepia (GW Wash) and then rehighlighted using the base colour. 2 base With the eyes and mouth dealt with I moved on to the base coat. The skin was done using Orkhide Green (Foundation GW) the red is Mechrite Red (Foundation GW) and all the browns are either Chocolate Brown (Gamecraft) or Calthan Brown (Gw Foundation)3 green toneWith the model entirely base coated I began work on the flesh. This was done simply with Stone Green (Game Craft ) leaving just the darkest recesses untouched.  4 1st green washThen I ran a wash of Thraka Green over the top of the all the flesh. I followed that with a highlight of Golden Yellow on all the major raised surfaces. 5 yellow highlight As you can see I should have probably done a little more work on blending this, but the model is so small that in the end it doesn't show up too badly. This was all washed down with another coat of Thraka Green or two. 6 2nd green wash And that was the flesh done. Time for the tartan. Firstly I ran a coat of Burgundy over the tope of the base coat. Then I rehighlighted with Mechrite Red, followed by Orange. 7 orange robeThen I ran Baal Red (GW Wash) over the entire thing, twice. Finally I ran a coat of Delvan Mud (GW Wash) over it too to bring the tone down.8 mace While I waited for the washes to dry I painted the grip on the mace. This was done using Khemri Brown followed by Dhenes Stone. The reason I used foundation paints for the highlights is because they grip to the model with minimum effort meaning you can be quite delicate with them. This also received a wash of Delvan Mud. 9 1st stripeNext I used Dhenes Stone to apply a series of lines to the robes and the hat. Again using the foundation paints because of how well they adhere. I was not following any particular historic pattern here, I just picked colours I liked. Traditionally my freehand is terrible, although geometric shapes tend to come out better. I was reasonably pleased with the result. 10 2nd stripe Next I added a stripe of Adeptus Battlegrey running horizontally. With that done I started work on the bottle. I wanted it to look like a nearly empty whisky bottle. So I painted the bottom half with Khemri Brown and the top half with Dhenes Stone. The label was painted with Khaki. 11 bottle base The whole thing was then washed with Ogryn Flesh. The bottom half was highlighted with Leather Brown followed by Golden Brown. All the edges were then highlighted in white, with added light flares on the empty half of the bottle. Dark Grey was added in a line right next to the White highlights on the upper part of the bottle to give the illusion of glass. Everything was then washed down with Ogryn Flesh again and a few further highlights added in Golden Brown. I added a small amount of Flesh Wash (Vallejo) to the whiskey. The label was highlighted in sand then black lines were added as text. Finally all glass parts of the bottle were given a coat of Gloss Varnish. Eventually it looked like this.    12 bottle highlightsNext I added more Dhenes Stone to the model, using it to add the Fuzz to the Fuzzy Boots.  fuzzy boots This is done simply with small straight brush strokes. If I was looking for more depth I would have washed them with a darker colour and re-highlighted, but I was happy with them as they were. After that I added Leather Brown followed by Khaki to all the brown sections of the model. These were then washed with Ogryn Flesh. 13 base coat of maceWith the boots done I started work on the metallics. I first painted everything with Boltgun Metal. Then I washed with with Ogryn Flesh. Added chainmail highlights and followed them up with Mithril Silver. 14 Mace And yes, I can’t tell the difference between them either… 15 touch upsAnd that was pretty much it. I painted his sideburns with Chestnut Brown, followed by Rust and then a Rust and Sand highlight. I added Flesh Wash Ink to the haft of the mace and  added a small amount of Sand to bring out the eyes again after repeated washes. And now he was ready for basing.   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         I used various bits and pieces from Gale Force 9 to try and make the base look a bit rugged and Highlands like.  

Throughout this step by step guide I’ve named specific washes from Games Workshop. These could easily be replaced with Light Brown wash, Dark Brown wash etc. I named them purely for the sake of thoroughness.

I hope you have enjoyed this How Not To guide, as always you can let me know by giving it a thumbs up below or by commenting. Thanks for Reading…

The Duke


  1. Love the teeth and gums and the tartan pattern. What size/# brushes are you using?

    Looking forward to the Githyanki!

  2. Normally I use a 5/0 size brush. I never change brushes when painting either, which would explain why they all fall apart quite quickly.

    This guy however was painted using a GW Fine Detail Brush, I'd guess it was closer to a 3/0. The GW brush isn't anywhere near fine enough for my taste and due to the length of the bristles you don't get anywhere near enough control.

    My new brush arrived this morning. It's from Army Painter so we'll see if it's any better...

    Thanks for the comment/compliment.



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