Finish Your Stuff Challenge

Original Hero Quest

2023 has been turning into another one of those “write off” years where I get almost nothing done. After finishing my Muties at the start of the year and posting them off for painting, I dabbled with a Carnival of Chaos Mordheim warband but lost motivation in the spring.

However, for the last couple of years I have been working on and off on painting up an original copy of Hero Quest.  Like many miniatures gamers, Hero Quest was my entry into the hobby, in what would have been around 1990, after I mercilessly and shamefully pushed my dad to get me a copy for my birthday.  Many happy hours (for me, at least) were then spent dungeon crawling with him and my brother.  Bur I never got around to painting my copy and the contents were eventually pillaged for parts, used as the basis for ill-advised conversions, or lost. So when the opportunity came up to pick up a copy I took it and vowed to paint it up so that I could later “induct” my own children into the hobby via this excellent gateway drug.

I’ve got a bit of motivation back this last couple of months and I’ve just finished painting everything.  Rather than forming a full project log, I’m dumping the entire thing in one mega post.  Let’s go!

December 2021 – Prep

The models in the box are rather dated, charmingly so EXCEPT for their moulded on flat bases. So in terms of modification, I decided to limit myself to rebasing them all.

I took them off their bases by carefully grinding away the underside of the bases where the feet meet the base with a burr bit in a multitool.

Then they all got a nice wash ready for painting…

A couple of models needed a bit of repairing – a new staff top for the wizard picked from the bits box; a new scythe for one of the skeletons made from plasticard. The witch lord and wizard also had very insubstantial feet after being removed from their  bases so they got thickened up a bit with plasticard. Finally I gently sharpened and reshaped the swords of the elf and barbarian and the gargoyles whip – the one concession to slightly more modern miniatures design.


Some time passes… (March 2022)

I started on the most numerous of the bad guys in the box, the Orcs and Goblins. Nowadays, this is a fairly intimidating number of models. I batch painted them (something I rarely do), mostly during work meetings that didn’t require much in the way of my participation if I recall correctly.

I moved on to an easy win the mummies and skeletons. Simple base coats followed by a heavy dousing in PVA mixed with black and brown paint, dabbed off with a cloth (I call this the “gunge method”) and then followed by layered highlights.


An aside on bases

I was “mass” producing the bases in batches of 10 or so. I chopped up squares and rectangles of 1mm cork sheet and stuck them to 25mm round bases with superglue (I experimented also with 20 and 25mm square bases – too small and big respectively).  Some bases got a little extra embellishment in the form of skulls, bones or rubble.

I undercoated the bases then painted the paving in various shades of green and blue.  Then they got the gunge treatment and a beige drybrush before being edged in very dark brown.


More time passes… (July 2022)

I tried the same technique on the zombies, but it didn’t work, so these are painted more traditionally (my disappointment explains the gap in progress between the other undead and these zombies). In the end they got a lot of attention, perhaps due to only being 3 models – just look at those poorly photographed but intense blue, green and purple layers on the flesh!

As a reward for breaking the back of the bad guys, I painted the mighty barbarian.


Lot’s more time passes… (March 2023)

I assume the summer of 2022 got hot which partly explains the big gap here. I picked up the last few rank and file bad guys, the chaos warriors and the fimir.

More standard layering going on here. I rather enjoyed the colourful warriors (I find red a very easy colour to paint). Not a scheme I’d have picked had it not been the one on the box.

I think around about now I must have painted the wizard, but I’ve  yet to photograph the sorcerous chap.

The finish line (Autumn 2023)

Participating in the local clubs monthly painting vow, I resolved to finally finish this project off, starting with the last 4 models. Ideas of making the gargoyle look like it was made of stone were soon cast aside in preference for the classic Khornate scheme (incidentally, a ridiculously quick and easy model and scheme to paint).

The furniture allowed me to return to the gunge method. I generally painted the metal parts in bronze and gave them a verdigris gunge, then painted the wood in, then an all over dark brown gunge, followed by some highlighting.

I haven’t painted an inside out fire effect since finishing my Eldar Avatar. It’s a bit over the top for a fireplace, looking as it does more like liquid magma than a few burning logs, but I couldn’t help myself.

The sorcerers table never came with a card insert (despite clearly having a slot for one). I built a base for it out of plasticard.  I have to credit my oldest boy with the idea for painting the edge of the pages of the spellbook in gold, a lovely touch.

Now…. how young is too young for Hero Quest?

One comment
  1. KrautScientist

    Fantastic work! Really loving your take on the Mike McVey Chaos Warrior recipe! And the Fimir (Fimirs? Fimirach?!) are also looking excellent — not small feat for these notoriously tricky-to-paint miniatures! 😉

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