Necromunda Goliaths pt 03

Necromunda Goliaths pt 03

Well, this has been another major work in progress and I had originally planned on sharing this when the Blood Bowl Dwarves got completed. Now that the Necromunda Goliaths have been bumped up the queue (and getting closer to being done at this point), I guess it’s time.

Welcome to the age old story of Plastic vs Metal minis! Or a small subset of that story.

When I started collecting minis in my early Blood Bowl days, I had acquired a lot of metal minis. All the teams I had, except the ones from the boxed set were metal. Ok, there were a few substitute plastic D&D minis I used, but the plan was to replace those eventually…and maybe some plastic GW subs too….but let’s get on with the story!

I got very accustomed to the nice heft of moving those metal minis across the Blood Bowl pitch in our never ending battle of the pigskin (football).

In 2016 Blood Bowl was re-released. Hurray! Very cool looking minis. But they were made of plastic and light, really light. Boo.

There wasn’t much I could do about that….except maybe weight the bases.


Weighted Bases

Cue the orchestral soundtrack as I walk you through a lot of planning and thought and experimenting. Weighing metal minis, weighing plastic minis, trying different materials….

*fast forward*

….eventually I would find metal discs that would work okay and settled on the following solution.

Weighted Bases (30mm)


Here’s a pic that illustrates the process:

25mm base examples

Take a base, flip it over, use a Dremel tool to remove any protruding bits.

Wash the base with warm soapy water, let dry.

Set the base top-side down.

Place a small amount of Milliput inside the base.

Stick a washer inside. I went with Zinc washers, the stainless steel ones seem to be non-magnetic.

Another very thin layer of Milliput over the disc. In this case the disc nicely fills the inner space of the base and I only had to add a small amount of milliput in the hole of the washer.

Superglue a metal disc over the top.

Prime with the color of your choice.

Protect the bottom as best as possible. So far that has been a few coats of Dullcote for me, but I’ll be looking for something more heavy duty in the future.

What purposes does all this tediousness serve?

First off, it builds character and it will grow a moustache on your face. It didn’t? Then you didn’t try hard enough!

Second, that “zinc washer” I mentioned, should be magnetic. Unlike that expensive metal disc I purchased for the very bottom of the base previously (used for the larger 30mm bases). This means you can build a convoluted magnetic storage box later on.

Third, it adds weight to the base. Therefore you will grow super strong arms while picking up your newly weighted minis. This is a good thing. The combination of metal discs and Milliput should add enough weight to make the wimpy plastic mini almost the same weight as a mighty metal mini!

Actually, I did a little comparison…

(From left to right: GW Plastic Human Blitzer, GW Plastic Black Orc Blocker, Custom Dwarf Star Player with weighted base)

I weighed each of those three minis, just to show how much of a difference the weighted base would make. The outcome was:

Human Blitzer: 0.0 oz (didn’t register, too light)

Black Orc Blocker: 0.02 oz

Custom Dwarf Star (with weighted base): 0.5 o


Here’s two more:

(From left to right: Necromunda Goliath with weighted base, GW Lewdgrip Whiparm (metal mini))

So how does a plastic mini with a weighted base compare to an actual metal mini?

Fairly close!

Necromunda Goliath with weighted base: 0.6 oz

Lewdgrip Whiparm (metal mini): 0.6 oz

Granted, Lewdgrip is a much smaller mini (and smaller base) than the Goliath, so the plastic mini with a weighted base won’t end up matching the weight of a metal mini exactly. But it does a significant heft to the mini, that I feel is a similar enough feel to moving metal minis.

I also weighed the unassembled pieces of a Necromunda Van Saar ganger with a weighted 25mm base. They come out to roughly .3 oz. Still heavier than straight plastic, but you lose some of the weight for the smaller mini/bases.

Weighted bases not good enough for you? Ok, let’s move on!


Weathered Weighted Bases!

Check out those glorious puppies!


Now is the time to point you towards a great YouTube tutorial from Berlin Tabletop on weathering Necromunda bases!

The video is in German, but I could pretty much tell what he was doing just by watching. The main thing was figuring out which paints he was using. Unfortunately, one of the best parts was the Modelmates Rust effect paints and I can’t find it anywhere. Really sad, as it made a beautiful rust effect on his bases, without a ton of effort.

I mainly followed along with the paint scheme from the video and from previous experience painting terrain. Which reminds me, I’ll have to post up some of the barricades I painted someday.

Prime – airbrushed with Vallejo Air Black Primer

Base – Overbrushed with cheap craft art paint, always good for terrain. In this case it was Folkart Brushed Metal Dark Grey.

Bronze – to add some areas of interest, I painted a few sections of the base with Balthasar Gold.

Dirt – Agrax Earthshade. Applied the wash over everything, then heavier in recesses and lower plates. Keep applying in recesses until you are happy with the darkness. You could also use a little Typhus Corrosion to add more spots of concentrated dirt.

Grease – Nuln Oil for the darker ‘puddles’ of grease spots. Seemed to work best when applied in the lower level parts or used in small drops on some of the higher parts. Also works nicely placed in some of the vented slots.

Rust – this was my makeshift recipe for rust. Though not as nice as what Berlin Tabletop used in his video, it worked okay. Apply spots of rust in areas where you think water might collect. Definitely don’t mix your grease and rust patches. The oil/grease would normally help prevent rust. After I figured out where I wanted it, I applied some very thinned down Skrag Brown. Then added some Typhus Corrosion over the top of some areas for texture. Lightly dry brushed the Typhus Corrosion with Ryza Rust. Ryza is pretty bright, but the Typhus Corrosion seemed to suck up the color, which worked out pretty nicely.

Scratches – To add some scratches, I used Vallejo Model Air Chrome. Put a small amount on a small brush and quickly swiped across the surfaces with just the tip. I swiped at one angle and then turned the base 90 degrees to swipe at another angle. If you can get a few small thin parallel lines going, that usually looks really nice too. It gives the impression of the metal getting scraped and scratched in the busy Underhive.

Bronze corrosion – I hadn’t applied any, judging from the pics. But a few spots of Nihiliakh Oxide will give a nice corrosion effect if applied to Batlthasar gold. Usually works best when applied in very tiny amounts on things like rivets, etc.

Sight Lines – hard to see on the pic, but the bottom most base in the pic, has two diagonal red lines towards the bottom. My idea was to add some “Sight Lines” to the base, so I wouldn’t have to use the tokens from the game box and ensure we’re using the same “facing” consistently.

The facing is a little tricky as the mini’s shoulders/torso are often facing one way and the character’s head and weapons are facing another.

So, I figured I would add some markings to the mini base, but something that doesn’t stand out too much. How about some faint red lines? That seemed to work ‘ok’, and I didn’t want to go much brighter as it would be pretty distracting.

Well, after I placed the mini on the base, I discovered that the mini pretty much obscured the lines when you are looking overhead (or from behind the mini). For now, I’m just going to plan on using the line of sight templates from the box.


Wrap Up

And that’s pretty much it. I still want to go back and paint some yellow/black hazard stripes on a few bases. I’ll need to pick up some Averland Sunset and the other two yellow colors he used in the video first. Though, I think he only used two yellows in the tutorial.

I’m not 100% sold on my weighted bases solution. They are nice and hefty, but I might be able to get the same results with a combination of cheap washers and milliput (which is what I did in the second picture). I also find milliput messy to work with, so I will likely look for another filler in the future.

Questions and suggestions always welcome. Thanks for checking it out!

19 thoughts on “Necromunda Goliaths pt 03

  1. Nice basing tutorial and they look pretty good! If I cast my mind back to when I did my mechanical engineering degree (that’s a long way back), good quality stainless steel is not magnetic because of its chromium content, but poorer grades are magnetic (think that’s right but, excuse the pun, I’m bit rusty on this stuff now)! I use zinc-plated steel washers, like the ones you’ve shown, for basing larger figures or weapons teams and find them really useful!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for the kind words JNV and the advice regarding washers! It’s funny, I seemed to recall picking up a pack that was labelled “titanium” and remembered them being magnetic. But when I went to the hardware store again, the only options I saw were stainless steel and zinc. Naturally I have both at home, because I didn’t bother to take a magnet for testing the first time around. Live and learn!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Yea, I see a number of people using them as bases. Given the price point, weight, and durability, I can see why they are popular. If they were a little thicker and solid, I’d probably be totally sold. Though the textured or sculpted tops of GW’s Blood Bowl and Necromunda bases have been really nice.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve got a washer that’s thick and solid but enough about the wife! Nice bases mate, really look the part. Not sure I can enter the debate on the use of washers although I do get the concept of wanting to make the figures heavier. At the risk of asking the obvious, is it not possible to buy just metal bases?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Haha, my wife is not thick or solid. Maybe I should return her? Not a chance!

      I have seen a few older lead bases. Nothing in the newer 30mm size that I know of. Would be nice though. Or if I was really smart, I could work on casting my own. But I’m not that crafty.

      And thanks TIM, glad you approve of them bases! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. See, I’m not sure I approve of all this adding more weight to models, now I’m in my 30s I need to think of my back! That said I do use this trick for adding a bit of weight to models like standard bearers and anyone flying through the air (those ork stormboys are particularly bad for this) that might otherwise be inclined to fall over at a moment’s notice. My trick is much, much lazier than this though. I use a penny (smallest denomination of coin in the UK, so functionally the cheapest thing one can “buy”) and I stick it to the underside of the base with blue-tac (is blue-tac a UK only phenomenon? Presumably available elsewhere but maybe under a different brand? Essentially reusable adhesive tack for sticking up posters and so on. Handy for testing out conversions too). I’ve found it works nicely, takes about 2 seconds per base, very little cost involved, lasts as long as you need it to, disassembles instantly as well. That said I’m not aiming for a feeling of heft or weight to the models, just stability.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh yea, we have “Blu-Tac”, and other poster sticking material in the US too. I use it all the time for temporarily holding minis to rubber stoppers (my version of the “miniature holder”). Probably a few pics of this somewhere on my site. I’ve also tested different brands of the stuff to find which has the best temporary stick without getting too gummy. Blue-tac is definitely one of the better brands. I’ve used it in games a few times if I need to tack something onto a mini. Also used it to hold an unassembled mini long to snap some pics. So many uses for the stuff!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I admire your dedication man. Similar to Wudugast I’ve only ever weighed down a standard bearer and yeah I used a 10 cent piece haha. The plan is to, one day, weigh down everything but that’s a huuuuuge job as I have roughly 800 plastic miniatures ahaha. Maybe I’ll pay one of the kids to do it one day. I’ll check out that German tutorial.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks IRO. That means a lot, because my family just thinks I’m a crazy old man. I’m pretty sure they are conspiring to lock me in the painting room or have me committed or both….

      Paying the kids to do the dirty work. Nope, I’ve never done anything like that. The awesome thing with toddlers, is that they don’t know what money is yet, so they will do stuff for free. Flip side is, I’d probably have to spend 30 minutes convincing her to do a 1 minute task, and then I would find all the minis are in the toilet!

      Yea, do check out that German tutorial, and if you find anyone dealing in Modelmates Rust, hook me up!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice write-up – you’ve certainly gone to a lot more trouble on weighting those bases than I do. And I see them being wonderful for Blood Bowl. For Necro/40k, I personally like to not have the undersides of the bases perfectly flat, mostly because of balancing models on terrain – on uneven terrain, stuff just goes under the bases and makes the models a little more stable. Not that you’re doing it wrong because it’s different to my solution(!) – just another perspective, though. I just use washers from the local Hardware store.

    Also, have you seen Vallejo Weathering Effect Washes? They might work for you if you can’t find the Model Master stuff:

    In versions of 40k/necro that used facings, I’d usually make a mark (like a hazard chevron) on the “mid-rear” point of the bases, so I’d always know which way they were “canonically” facing, especially for those models with a body one way, weapons another and head a third way.

    To TIM – we could use metal bases, but they’d be a LOT heavier, and it’s about adding a little bit of heft, but mostly stability to the figures. Nestling a washer under the plastic rather than a metal base also means less scratching with a plastic base, plus plastic is more consistent and you can get those nice patterned and textured ones like Faust uses here…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks man! Yea, that’s a great tip about the underside of bases combined with terrain. I haven’t ventured into 3d Necromunda yet. We’ll probably be playing the 2d version until I get the rules down better. It would probably save me some time by just gluing washers underneath and not filling the space. Which would also leave a cavity to grip terrain. I’ll keep that in mind when I make some more bases again.

      Almost all the new models are facing one way, moving/shooting the other. From what you’re describing, it sounds like you’re adding a small strip of the black/yellow pattern on the rear side of the base. I like that better than the front, as the person using the model will most likely be looking from the rear side. Though the firing arc is placed at the front of the model. I’m guessing it will still work and not be too distracting. I probably just need to visualize it better.

      Oh, and the nice plastic textured bases I used there, come with the Necromunda models. Pretty sweet that they have the built-in design on the top already. I probably should have mentioned that in the article.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yeah – I’ve been buying all the new Necro stuff as it comes out. Just haven’t had time to do anything with it yet because backlog. I’ve been using the same bases in their “buy me” form on my Iron Warriors as well as a few of my updated Necro models. (though the four Necro models I’ve completed have the slightly older Sector Imperialis style). You sound right on the money with the chevron. I like them on the back because of aesthetic reasons, also we didn’t have those fancy templates back in the day (I think).

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hey thanks for the link to the Vallejo Rust wash (@miniature market, to boot!). I wish I had found that before I placed last week’s order. Yea, I’m definitely going to check those out. I had seen some packs of Vallejo washes/texture effects, but they were really spendy on Amazon, and all I really want is rust (right now). So this will be great. Thanks again, I’m buying your next round of drinks!

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  6. Yeah, stainless is not magnetic. I use zinc coated steel washers. But I flock the washers. Lately my go to is to prime the washers’ undersides with white after soaking them a bit in vinegar. This helps adhesion of paint later. Of course, they need to be washed as well. I have to say Citadel’s line of texture paints makes a great way to add to washers and get individualized bases that match others in the unit overall. They are easy to apply, and it helps to use a hairdryer on several of them to get cracking and crackling effects. Then apply washes and dry brush.

    I like your tutorial though. Interesting to see your approach!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Mark! I hadn’t ever thought of soaking the washers in vinegar. That’s another one for my mad scientist experiments! I also haven’t played around with the Citadel texture paints yet, I have a few and they are on my todo list. Probably once I get around to painting another Blood Bowl team. For Necromunda I prefer the bases that come with them. Thanks for the tips, I’m constantly learning in this hobby!

      Liked by 2 people

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