Necromunda Van Saar pt 01

Necromunda Van Saar pt 01


In the interest of getting Necromunda played, I’ve started on the team of miniatures chosen by my son, the “Van Saar”.


Paint Scheme

Not an earth-shattering post today, mainly focused on getting a paint scheme sorted out for the Van Saar gang.

I looked at Games Workshop’s paint tutorial for the Van Saar. I then bought the base paints they used, and then promptly decided I would try something different! Partially because I had painted the Goliath gang using GW’s paint scheme and wanted to diverge, but also because I had other ideas in mind.

Here’s some quick images of what they have looked like over the years.

Original Necromunda Van Saar



New Necromunda Van Saar

The gang itself is a bit militaristic and the makers of fine guns. This lent me to thinking about a military style paint scheme, of greens and browns. Throw some bits of high tech in there as well.

Enter the Test Strips. I’ve mentioned this before (, but this has been a really nice way to get a quick paint scheme worked up without having to paint an entire mini.

On the far left (#1), GW’s Van Saar paint scheme. The rest are ideas I tried out (except #6, which I didn’t use).

I’m really glad that I didn’t paint up the gang using that first color scheme. Even after a wash, it ended up being pretty bright. Being a comic geek, it reminded me too much of Lex Luthor’s Powered Armor suit too, and I know I wouldn’t be able to get that out of my head.

Put em up, Supes!

So I opted for more drab green with some brown tones. I looked up a lot of different images online to get some ideas, everything from color schemes used on Cadian miniatures, GI Joes, Alien/Aliens, Starship Troopers, etc. Ultimately the colors used on Boba Fett in Star Wars really spoke to me. Grey, green, brown. I tried out a few combos, and even tried just green on green. Green on top of grey, with some khaki under-armor won out. Though I had to darken the Khaki with wash considerably and it almost makes me think I should have gone with a slightly darker tan. The ‘cyber’ parts I opted to do in purple. Not 100% sold on that idea, but it seems to work okay.

I wanted to paint the gun green like GW did on the latest models, but doubt it would look right next to the already green armor. Agony set in, and I ended up asking my brother. He suggested the black/silver with red accents. That seemed decent enough, so I gave it a go. I think that turned out pretty well, especially with the parts he recommended accenting. This will also serve a dual purpose in helping to differentiate two very similar guns from each other. I’ll paint one with red accents, and the other with a different accent color.

The flesh was another consideration, as the Van Saar are supposed to be weakened by radiation sickness, according to the new lore. So I needed to go fairly pale. GW’s paint scheme starts with a base of Rakarth Flesh. Never tried it, but might as well give it a go. Great stuff! For a pale skin tone, it worked pretty nicely. I almost didn’t apply a second coat, as the grey underneath was really adding to the pale effect. Still looks good even with the second coat though, and a thin wash of Reikland Fleshshade gave it some nice shading. I’ll be keeping this paint in mind for the next time I need to do a nice pale skin tone (hello gingers!) again. Also I should probably mention that the mini itself had a nicely sculpted gaunt face, making things pretty much a breeze.

Similar idea for the hair, make them look not so healthy. My theory is that the minis without the helmets might be the veterans, and with the radiation sickness, they might all look a little older than they actually are. Mournfang Brown as the base, wash with Agrax Earthshade. Pick out some parts with Skavenblight Dinge. Add some additional grey streaks, with Dawnstone. This ended up pretty decent for some dulled, and grey striped hair. I might apply one more wash, but will see.

I’m not completely finished with highlights, but this is where the mini is at right now. Note: the cyber ponytail and shoulder pieces still need to be painted up and attached.


My one lament about this piece, is that the weather has not been kind. I’ve had the ceiling fan going non-stop for days. Which doesn’t help with paint drying out but also I’ve had to continually pick bits of lint, etc. off the mini.

The wash seems a bit stickier than usual, and (in the pic below) is pretty dark in some spots. Not sure if this was an effect of hot weather or what, but the unevenness is a little annoying.

Sticky, dark wash?


Paint List

Prime: Stylnrez Grey Airbrush Primer

Base colors:
Grey (I cheated! I left the Grey Primer exposed, instead of painting another grey over the top)
Green: Castellan Green
Brown (under-armor): Vallejo Game Color Khaki
Purple: Vallejo Game Extra Opaque Heavy Violet
Balthasar Gold (metal joints)
Leadbelcher (shiny metal bits)
Black: Vallejo Air Black
Grenades: Vallejo Model Color Ger. Cam. Bright Green and Vallejo Game Extra Opaque Heavy Red

Wash: all over, except flesh: Nuln oil (75%, 25% Flow Aid). Possibly a second wash applied

Wash: Agrax Earthshade (100%) over Khaki and shadowed areas

Rakarth Flesh as base
Reikland Fleshshade wash
I haven’t gotten to the highlights yet, but likely Rakarth Flesh and Flayed One Flesh mix (50/50).

So far have only applied grey highlights
Grey: Dawnstone

Base: Mournfang Brown
Wash: Agrax Earthshade
Highlights of Skavenblight Dinge and then Dawnstone

Wrap Up

One mini close to being done! My highlights tend to be pretty light, so I don’t know if there will be a huge difference in the finished mini.

Painting wise, these have been fiddly. Painting the edges of those green plates, at less than 1mm thickness, was a chore. Though looking at the mini now, it seems the wash covers the edges, so maybe I didn’t need to do that? The other fiddly part is having to figure out what color goes where. I had to print out a couple pics from online to use as reference. Those got used quite a bit. Now that I have a nearly finished model, I’m hoping that won’t be as bad now. I can also try and work on 3 models at a time, which will hopefully speed things along.

After a long time, I’m on the home stretch of getting the ‘prototype’ done. Feels pretty good to get him mostly glued together and painted. Though it still feels like I’m far off from having a team of them done. I think I’ll be more excited as I get more of them painted up and I start to realize that we will finally be able to play Necromunda with some painted miniatures.

Thanks for checking it out!

20 thoughts on “Necromunda Van Saar pt 01

    1. Thanks TIM. It’s amazing how much time can be spent on picking out colors. I usually have some idea, but trying to take that fuzzy idea out of my brain and make it reality is a real challenge!

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  1. Haha, thanks JNV! I was looking at it again last night…it could be because I applied straight wash with no Flow Aid and then it pooled in that spot. Usually I’ll mix wash/flow aid at 50/50 or 75/25. So I’ll have to watch out for that more in the future.

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  2. Looking good. I wasn’t sure from the description how well the green would work out for a setting that is, by definition, entirely urban, but it’s muted enough that it really works. Good call by your brother on the guns, too. Black and silver, with a few red details, is a great look there.

    Rakarth Flesh is fantastic stuff. Ever since I first got some, I’ve found myself using it more and more. In addition to actual flesh tones, it’s become one of my selection of base colours I use to work up from when painting white.

    GW’s washes can sometimes do some weird things if they’re not shaken thoroughly enough and they separate out a little. It’s one of the reasons I use the Army Painter inks more and more instead.

    I definitely hear you on the issues with floating dust and such getting on Models. There’s always so much cat hair floating around my apartment that I’m pretty sure everything I’ve painted in the last 8 years has some stuck to it somewhere :3

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    1. Thanks Alexis. Yea, I guess with the green I was thinking sorta Sci-Fi/Military. A guy like Boba Fett, probably wouldn’t look too horribly out of place in my version of the Hive. The model looks even darker under the normal light. I feel a little too dark, but I can live with it.

      Yea, the Black/Silver paint was going to be my last resort. But then he mentioned it, and I decided to just give it a go.

      Im sure I’ll be using Rakarth quite a bit in the future. I was pretty surprised, especially since I almost didn’t buy it “Enhh, super pale skin tone…I probably have something just as good already…”. Makes me think we should all list our top favorite paints to work with someday, haha!

      I should give my Army Painter and Secret Weapon washes some more play time. I had another random issue with GW washes turning out spots of white on the Goliaths. My only guess was that there might have been something left over in the palette that reacted badly with it. In this case I just used straight Agrax, and I probably should have thinned down like I usually do.

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      1. The spots of white (usually in what should be the darkest areas) is another of those known issues with Citadel Shades. Again, shaking them thoroughly usually helps, but it’s nice to not have to worry.

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        1. Ah ok, good to know. I haven’t seen it sense. The key seems to be “Shake, shake! Shake, Shake! Shake your…Washes! Shake your Washes!”. 😉


            1. I’ve actually been tempted to pick up one of those nail polish shakers. The best rated one is $99 though, and that’s a lot of paint pots…


  3. He looks pretty good to me. I haven’t even started thinking about what to do with my own Van Saar. Too much half-painted stuff to get rid of first! I do like the dark green and Boba Fett rationale, though. As an OldNecro player, I do have a bit of difficulty making the connection between the original Van Saar (and Cawdor) and their new iterations, though…

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    1. Thanks Azazel! Luckily I didn’t play Old Necro, otherwise I might have the same problems with those gangs. Van Saar don’t seem too terribly different, though I still don’t understand the Arachnid ties. Cawdor do seem quite a bit different from their previous incarnation. I wonder what’s going to happen to DeLaque?

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        1. I imagine they will at least be stealthy, coat-wearing, baldies though? Though I am wondering if they will be sniper types, as Van Saar and Escher already seem to lean more towards taking people out from far away. The nice thing though…is I feel that after Cawdor and Delaque, I’ll have a pretty complete game and wouldn’t feel compelled to buy tons more. Whereas with Blood Bowl, I don’t see an end anytime soon. There are a few teams that I’m not crazy about, so I might skip those just for budget, but I pretty much want them all.


    1. Thank you, oh crazy one! It’s good to know I’m on the right track with the colors, before I take on the rest of that lot. Any day now, maybe just 1 more hour of the Conan game first…haha.

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  4. I like him, there’s something military and practical about him which suggests he is a professional, which plays to the Van Saar aesthetic as opposed to the other gangs.

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