Necromunda – Van Saar pt 00

Necromunda – Van Saar pt 00

In the interest of getting Necromunda played, I’ve started on the second team of miniatures, the “Van Saar”. My son chose them of the teams we know will be available so far. I was able to finish a team of 6 Goliath gangers in 5 weeks. Not too shabby for me:

I wasn’t sure how long it will take to do a similar team of Van Saar, but I knew that the minis were a bit smaller and more complicated. At my current point, I’m guessing 10 weeks would not be unlikely. I’ve spent over two weeks just on the sub-assembly/trimming stages. I’m going to need some stamina to make my way through these. What follows is some pics during the prep work and general comments.



All split up and no place to go!

So that is pretty much how I “sub-assembled” most of these minis to start with. Most of you will understand what I mean by sub-assembly, but it’s essentially leaving these individual parts only partially assembled during the painting process. This makes it easier to paint all the parts without having to wedge the paint brush into crevices and/or try and paint at really awkward angles.

During my last session with these minis, I ended up gluing at least one leg on each mini. Also the little equipment bits (grenades, packs, etc.) got glued on as well. Additionally, I opted to glue the shoulder pads to the torso, so I don’t have to keep track of them. Whether they get in the way of painting the head later on, and make me regret that decision, remains to be seen.

The small tail looking piece is a ‘cyber-ponytail-thing’ and the ‘wishbone looking piece’ is a collar that extends from the back, over the shoulders. Both of those would be in the way of painting, and unfortunately quite fiddly, but will have to wait and get attached later. Hopefully they do not get lost along the way.

Speaking of which….how do I keep track of all this crap?!

Yea, I know, these are Goliaths, but just for pictures sake, go with me.

Before the minis were painted and assembled, I wanted to do a test run of the game to see if I would even like it. I printed out some standees (above). They also proved useful for identifying the models later on as I put them together.


Simply drop the printed pic in a baggie, with all those little itty bits, and now I can quickly see what is what and not lose things. Heh yea, the penny. I had my son choose which models he liked best, and dropped pennies in those bags. I will try and get those painted first.


Don’t dry on me while I randomly decide to snap this pic!

The multipart minis are a little more complicated to assemble than the Goliaths that came in the boxed game. I guess this is a typical thing for Games Workshop (GW), as it seemed the same for Blood Bowl boxed game minis vs the latter team box releases.

The image above shows how the guns are all two parts. Nice because you can make some variety there. I’m a little worried that the join between the two is a bit weak though. (EDIT: I’ve actually snapped more arms at the elbow joint than I have the guns, so far)

Overall the minis are pretty good. The chest pieces get a little marred up at the top because of the way they are attached to the sprue. But that gets mostly covered up by the shoulder pads, collar pieces. It looks like GW made a really good effort to cover up things like that. There are some mould lines that are pretty tiny and I failed to see them until after I primed. Most notably on the legs, and on top of the heads for those that don’t have the helmets. Since I had to “redo” the first couple minis I primed, I went ahead and removed the mould lines on those.

What’s this “redo” about?!

Well, as I got to sub-assembling the rest of these, I naturally got a crazy idea. Luckily this time, it was BEFORE I applied the last set of highlights!! Yea, see, I’m getting better at this stuff!

Or am I….

You know something is up, when the Hammer comes out!


Heh, that was not my shining moment. I had originally decided these minis were too small to attach magnets to weapons/hands or grenades and other wargear. However, the arm sockets and the arms themselves are actually a really nice size for magnets! Since I wasn’t crazy about a couple of poses and weapon combinations, I could either permanently glue different arms to different models….or I could magnetize the arms and swap wherever and whenever we like!

Unfortunately, the model above was one that was already primed. Additionally, the first magnet I tried to attach to her torso, went too deep. As did the second. Then I decided, why not magnetize both arms?! Trying to pry the arm off didn’t work, so out came the hammer to drive the magnets and arm out the other side. A bit messy and time consuming, but sometimes how these things go.

Here’s what we end up with:

So hopefully those pics help illustrate the magnetic arm swaps. Her left arm got removed and now sports a magnet too. Also a shoulder pad got attached to her right shoulder, so that mess should be covered.



Bath Time!

Yep, all minis get a brief scrub with soapy water, followed by an overnight soaking with soapy water. (especially important, since all kinds of scrap particles were dusting up the minis from trimming and magnet fiddling) Then they are rinsed the next day and left out to dry for a day. I snapped a shot, as it’s something I rarely take a pic of. But also because I had been wondering how to keep all those tiny bits together during this stage. Turns out I had an empty Ikea screw container. I washed it out a bit, and it was perfect for keeping all these bits together while soaking.


Towel Time!

I still need to fill in a couple gaps with plastic putty after they dry. I was worried how the plastic putty would react with an overnight water soaking, so I decided to leave that as my last bit of prep.

Wrap Up

Prep work took far longer than I liked, but it feels good to be on the home stretch of this. Priming will take a little while, but I can hopefully get the whole lot done in a couple stints.

I’m also pretty pleased with how the magnets turned out and will add quite a bit of variety for our games. I had planned on doing a few leg swaps, but it isn’t as necessary now that I can switch out arms and weapons on the fly. I would’ve liked to try out a few head swaps as well, but hey, it’s already been 2+ weeks spent at this stage, and it’s time to move on. If my son really, really likes this team, I can always buy a second team box and we can add even more variety then. Possibly finding some bits to convert some new weapons over. Time will tell.

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

28 thoughts on “Necromunda – Van Saar pt 00

  1. Thanks for that- it will stand me in good stead when I tackle mine. I don’t think I’ll go down the subassembley route though… at least not for the first 5.



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    1. Sure thing, Pete! There are a few models in there that I think I probably could have painted fully assembled, I’m just not too comfortable with it though.

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    1. Thanks man! Yea, I’m sometimes surprised how much work goes into the prep part. It’s not sexy enough to make videos of, so all we usually see is people applying paint to beautify their minis.

      Yea, any little things I can do to entice people to play games. Choosing their own team I think helps quite a bit, as no one want to be stuck playing something they don’t identify with. I guess that’s partly carried over from boardgames when people choose their own color, what dice they want to use, etc.

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  2. Man, you get hardcore with your prep. No wonder it takes you a while to get stuff done. It’s an area where I absolutely cut corners because the ratio of extra work to effect on the final product is way too high for me. Besides, it’s all going to instantly get cat hair all over it anyhow :3

    The little fiddly bits that get in the way of painting are another corner I cut. I used to stress about it, but now that I use black primer, anything I can’t get a brush to just ends up as extreme shading.

    The difference in fiddliness of the kit isn’t really a starter set vs. later release thing here. The Eschers are way more fiddly than the Goliaths, while the Orlocks are about the same. It’s more dependent on the aesthetics of the individual gangs than anything else, as far as I can tell.

    Little multi-compartment trays like that are great for this sort of project. I have a bunch of the plastic inserts from various metal/FineCast boxed sets that I use for keeping parts sorted out when I’m building a bunch of individuals and want to keep everything organized.

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    1. Yea, that’s pretty typical with me. When I start something, I don’t go lightly. Over time I might start cutting corners. Sometimes it’s just learning where and what you are willing to shortcut. I feel like I’m still pretty new to multipart kits, so this is a bit of a learning process.

      Good to know regarding the difference in fiddliness. The Blood Bowl Dwarves seemed a tad harder than the Boxed game Orcs. The same with the Van Saar and Orlocks versus the Boxed game Goliaths. I haven’t tried the Eschers yet, so I guess up for more fiddliness then.

      +1 for multi-compartment boxes. I’m actually thinking about getting more, but then where to store all the screws I dump out, haha?! But they are seriously just about perfect, not too deep, so the little bits are easy enough to get out, and won’t get stuck between the little dividers in the ‘Plano’ boxes. Stack and store really easily. I could probably even ditch the plastic baggies, and use some compartment boxes for staging when I want to cut some pieces up to have ready for washing/trimming or priming.

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  3. Are they not fiddly enough without you adding magnets into the mix hehe. Nah, well done mate. I really enjoyed this post as I am yet to get the kit but aim too soon. So this post was like a little tutorial. I have some ideas planned which will combine Kroot with Van saar. I look forward to seeing these painted man. Oh and you’ll find the blog and us blogging buddies of yours a good source of encouragement to help you get through all the stages of modelling. I certainly find that myself. I’m off to have some frozen yoghurt and a scotch. Not mixed together, although……

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    1. Oh did I forget to mention that I assemble these while standing on my head, with one arm tied behind my back? Seriously. I find if there is hard path and an easy one, I’ll always be on the damned hard one.

      Thanks man, painting is going slower than expected. I think I’ve worked out my color scheme. But the weather has been pretty hot, so paint is drying out way too fast. And now we’re having guest this weekend, again. Yea, definitely no Jewel for me in July. Just have to enjoy the fun painting time when and where I can.

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  4. Wow, you don’t mess around when it comes to assembly do you? Must admit that admirable though that is it sounds far too much like hard work to me. I almost never use subassemblies for infantry sized models. If I can’t see to paint something I tend to assume no-one else can see that I haven’t! Occasionally this does mean I end up swearing and painting at odd angles but generally speaking I think it saves me time and helps me maintain my enthusiasm.

    Got a colour scheme worked out for your Van Saars yet (or going to let your son pick that too)? Think mine will be yellow and black, there’s something waspish about them.

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    1. Well all the comments are making me rethink the sub-assembly now. I guess I could paint the undersides black at least. It hasn’t been too hard at the painting stage, as I do the base paint, then a wash, and then start gluing pieces on before highlights. Though I think I tried highlighting stuff sub-assembled on the Goliaths, only to find out that the highlights didn’t line up after attaching the pieces. This time though, for sure!

      Oh yea, I’m going to do my Van Saar in yellow and black too!

      Haha, nope. Though I bet yours will turn out great. They have a spider motif, so Red and Black or Black/Purple would be good. I’m going for more traditional military colors. I haven’t quite got it worked out, but I think I’m about to ready to paint a test model or two just to make sure.

      Oh, and I’m sure glad I didn’t use the colors that GW did in their tutorial. I tried those out on one of my test strips, and it just didn’t look right at all.

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      1. Just spotted this Van Saar in a similar scheme to the one I’m planning, although much, much better painted.
        Shows it works anyway, now I’ll have to see if I can pull off something similar with my inferior skills!

        I see you’ve used the bare head on your example model. I’m still struggling to decide if I’m going to have a bare headed leader myself or if the whole gang will be masked. Right now I’m leaning towards the latter because I reckon the overall effect would be great but I do quite like some of the bare heads so I’m tempted to include them.

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        1. Hunh, I’m actually not that crazy about the paints on that one. The black/yellow work, but they really should have painted the chest piece black. I think that would have killed it. Technically, the highlights and shading are pretty well done. The tubing is really nice, probably my favorite part actually. Anyways, I’ll quite picking it apart, haha!

          There will be a mix of helmet-less and helmeted team members. It’s kind of funny, as I liked the helmets, but my Son picked almost all of the minis without helmets. Since I magnetized the arms, I quit tracking which models he had picked out, as we can now just swap arms. I figure after I get a few painted, I’ll let him choose again which ones he wants on his gang and which weapons he is going to buy for them.

          What color skin are you going to give them? Since the fluff mentions radiation sickness, I’m leaning towards following their skin color scheme. Though I’m not sure that I will really like the look. I think I’m going to have to do a test strip of skin tones.

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          1. You’re a harsh judge mate! You sure you’re not actually a judge for Golden Daemon? I do see what you mean though, I think I’ll be using a bit less yellow on mine than they have.

            Any skin that’s showing on mine will be ghastly and pale. Never seeing daylight, living on a deeply polluted planet and suffering from radiation sickness don’t combine to give someone a healthy pallor, I’ll leave the ruddy glow for the Goliaths 😀

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            1. I wanted to do “fake tan” for the Goliaths, but the end result was far from. :/

              Haha, no Golden Demon judge here! Honestly, I wish more Golden Demon winners looked a little more like that one and less of the perfectly air brushed quality. It takes a lot of work to get the mini to look like that, I know, but it’s just not my taste.

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        1. See I prefer yours. Honestly I’m not that keen on him. Technically he’s spot on I’ll admit but he’s much too clean for me, not just for Necromunda but for a human. He’s flawless, they’ve done such a good job of painting him that he no longer looks real. For me the aim is to trick the eye into thinking it sees tiny people and draw us into their world. This however looks like a model, all be it an exquisitely painted one.

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          1. Yea, I feel the same about paint jobs that look too perfect. Though you could probably dip him in shade, to make him a bit dirtier and then he would still dance circles around my effort.

            They are definitely at a painting level that looks far beyond my reach for sure.

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            1. Just been assembling my own Van Saars and I take my hat off to you even further for your meticulous assembly style. I don’t think I’ve ever dealt with a kit that was so fiddly and has so many bits – I was terrified of losing things the entire time! Everything that came off the sprue I glued down immediately in case I lost it! Of course it didn’t help that I ignored the advice of my peers and kitbashed and converted everything…

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              1. Well it’s good to know it wasn’t just me. I think I did end up losing one of those damned neck collars just last week. Should be a decent team for conversions, so I’ll be pretty curious to see what cool stuff you come up with.

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  5. As others have said – you really go to town with your assembly. I don’t do anywhere near that amount of preparation with the soapy baths and re-rinses. I do wash some models, but that’s more resin and boardgame PVC generally.

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  6. Nice post, I suppose if I ever get to my Bolt Action starter set I’ll run into these issues, minus the magnets. I’m still amazed to see stuff like this, being pretty much a lead guy assembly is not usually an issue (but is on my current Jewel).

    Good show of your prep and planning. I’m the same on that!

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