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Giant Troll – Finishing

Welcome the the third and final part of my giant troll painting journey. Here you’ll see the finished paint jobs and be able to make your own minds up as to whether it’s a good job or not. Of course the critical thing is whether Jacob of Ral Partha Legacy thinks it’s a good thing or not. I know I’ve been drafted into the RPL painting army, but I don’t want to end up in the pioneer corps and only get scenery to paint. These have been interesting, and old school which is right up my street. Tom Meier has sculpted these to his usual high standard. Lots of details and character, which makes the job of the painter that much easier.

Basecoating the final bits

So first up, I’m returning to the troll with his great stone axe. Some processes described here will also be done to the posh troll where they have similar materials and textures. One of these being the wooden handles of their weapons. A light drybrush of MSP 9032 amber gold over the wood areas of the wood help to bring out a woodgrain effect. I also used a little of this over his leather skirt. Here it helps to make it look worn and faded at the tops of the creases.

He has sandle like shoes, so 9137 Blackened Brown for the soles. This also helps to create a bit of contrast between his feet and the base. His belt consists of a series of round metal plates. I’m thinking of these as shields he’s collected from fallen human village defenders, and have painted them 9205 blackened steel as a base coat.

Skintones revisited

With these additions I can now see the skin tones are looking a bit flat and could do with some extra work. With green, either yellow or white will work as hightones. I tend to go with white, especially for flesh. The troll has a pronounced bone structure to it’s limbs. So I see the white showing off the stretched skin over bone and loosing some of it’s usual green pigment. To do this I mixed 9177 camoflage green with 9039 pure white, + flow improver and retarder. I’m aiming for a just greenish off white tint. It also needs to be a thin glaze consistency so it doesn’t swamp the colours underneath.

For the dark shade it was a mix of 9176 military green with 9037 pure black + flow and retarder. Again this wants to be thin. Apply to the very highest and lowest points only. Here experience and how well your eye is trained will be your guide as to how many times you need to go over the same areas. Once is usually never enough.

Axe Details

Now there are still a few grey primed bits that need some base colour. Most obviously the cord bindings holding the rather impressive stone axe head to it’s wooden shaft. Iyanden yellow contrast paint was used here. It’s a warmer yellow which produces nice brown deep tones where it pools and gathers. The individual strands of the bindings have been sculpted, so this works well to show everything off. The stone of the axe head needs a bit more contrast, so a light drybrush of white, followed by careful application of flow and retarder aided black to the worked surface, was added.

The last bit still to receive paint are the small collection of severed heads that posh troll has hanging from his belt. They’re a bit difficult to see as they’re tucked behind his barrel. Bit of a gruesome addition, but probably a status symbol with which to bragg to others trolls about. Anyway they need a basecoat, and for this there is only really one choice. 9149 mouldy skin.

When dry I them went over them with a black wash. I have to confess I didn’t spend a lot of time on them for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they are a minor and just about hidden detail, and secondly, there isn’t a great deal of detail to play around with. I’m arguing that an impression in a dark recess that doesn’t really show up in the photographs is ok. I think quite a few painters work on the basis that if it’s not on show, it doesn’t get painted.


So now with all the paint on they must be finished. Technically I suppose that would be the case. If I had completed everything perfectly the first time round, but I didn’t. I never do, and it’s here that the most difficult to describe phase of the painting begins ; tinkering. Some tasks have a definate beginning and end, painting miniatures doesn’t. The more you look, the more you see things that need a bit more highlighting, a black line, deeper shading, more contras

I call it my tinkering phase, and it’s where I look at the mini and make the adjustment I think makes it better. It’s all down to how well your eye has progressed, but that is another lengthy subject. Rhonda Bender is a fantastic mini painter who also has her own blog, and has written about painting eye much better than I ever could. Have a look here if you’d like to know more

In short, it how well you see and understand what is in front of you. As you get better, colour, contrast, texture and a whole host of other things start to make more sense. This can then be related to the mini and used to gauge how successful you’ve been in what you’ve tried to show via the paint.


In conclusion, I’m pretty happy with how these turned out. I wanted a grungy, lived in look and I think it shows. But that’s only my opinion. As I mentioned at the beginning of this trio of post, I’m not an expert painter. There are many who would have taken these in a different direction, and made them fly. And that’s the great fun of miniature painting. Do it the way you want 🙂