“The Path Less Taken” (Paint what you got Challenge)

I’ve been taking part in “Dave Stones, Paint what you got challenge”, this basically means you paint stuff you already own (it’s actually a little difficult to paint stuff you don’t own, but that’s beside the point!). What this really means is you take this opportunity to get some colour on stuff you’ve had for far too long and have probably been putting off for one reason or another, and the figures I have for you this week definitely fall into this category. So I give you the “Pathfinders” from the Mantic “Dead Zone” starter set. Well if I’m brutally honest what I have here is half the figures from two starter sets, let me explain, a while back my youngest and I bought a starter set for this game on the recommendation of my eldest son, a while later he also passed on his starter set to me, I then glued together all the Pathfinder figures (10, see above) with a view to painting them all at once. However after adding the odd greenstuff “accoutrement” here and there in the form of slightly different hair, a slung rifle and a camo cape (on the standing sniper), then undercoating and starting them, I discovered, that a) I wasn’t actually that impressed with the figures and b) The dodgy detail on them made the a pain in the ar*e to paint! They therefore got pushed to the side of the painting table where they have languished ever since. But I have now decided that as part of Dave’s challenge I will get at least five of the bloody things finished.

So a quick run through as to where I was up to “vis’a’vis” the painting, as I said they had been undercoated in black, then their weapons were dry-brushed in chainmail. I’d also highlighted their torso body-armour in dark grey. Then I’d hit my first stumbling point, what colour to use on their other bits of armour? I decided (badly it turned out), to try sap green, now this is crafters paint (still acrylic, of course) rather than specific figure paint, and as such for some reason didn’t cover as well as I’d hoped and gave a glossy finish (not really a problem as they would eventually get matt varnished anyway), but I wasn’t that impressed with this, but carried on regardless. Next I couldn’t decide on a colour for their trousers, so eventually added the flesh to them in either European flesh highlighted with this mixed with pale flesh, or chocolate brown with dark fleshtone highlights, and this brought home yet another thing I didn’t like about them, half the figures are supposed to be female, but apart from slightly differing torso’s and heads, they use the same legs and muscular arms, now perhaps I’m being old fashioned here, but I don’t like my female figures to look like they have three square meals of steroids a day, don’t get me wrong I have no problem with muscular women, but if this is the case shouldn’t the men be just a little bigger again? Anyway it was about this point I decided there was other stuff I’d rather be painting, and so the inevitable happened, which was a shame as I’d actually been looking forward to painting these, after seeing the pic’s of them on the side of the box.

But I hear you ask what have you done to them this week? Alright I’m getting to that! Well first off I thought I’d highlight their torso’s again this time with mid grey, this was a mistake, as I really didn’t like the results (not off to the best of starts!😒), but then I thought, trousers, OK let’s start with Khaki (always a good military colour), with chocolate brown camo splodges, oh wait, they are going to have brown belts and straps so that won’t work 🤔, OK lets go for deep bronze green instead, and that looked alright, but it still needed a “pop” so I then added small irregular horizontal lines in stone green, this I really liked (first thing on these figures, I have liked tbh). Next I tidied up the sap green on their armour before highlighting these with more sap green mixed with some olive to lighten in slightly. Then I added the belts and bits in chocolate brown with leather highlights, looking at them now I realize the pads in their outer thighs should actually have been armored plates, so sap green again really but too late now. I still hated the mid-grey on their torso’s so went back and just painted it all dark grey, and left the Quickshade to (hopefully) do it’s magic on these (which it does seem to have on the finished figures  ). That left touching up the flesh with the same colours as before, adding the hair in sand and light sand, or chocolate brown and chestnut, some buckles in chainmail and a red “V” on the captains upper chest armour to pick him out from the “lower ranks”, and frankly I’d had enough of them 🙄.

As I said above I then gave them a coat of “Quickshade” (Strongtone) before hitting their bases with my old faithful trio of chocolate brown, khaki and coffee, and of course a final blow over with some matt varnish. They have come out OK’ish I’m still not a big fan of the sculpts, which is ironic in a way as these figures will probably see more table action than ninety eight percent of the figures in my collection. Well at least that’s half of them done, I hope to get the other five done at some point this year too. But for now “Fembruary” beckon’s, so expect some rather more feminine ladies over the next few weeks.

So till then, stay safe and cheers Roger.

This entry was posted in 28mm sci-fi, Dead Zone, sci-fi and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to “The Path Less Taken” (Paint what you got Challenge)

  1. Dave Stone says:

    You’ve done an excellent job on these Roger, especially as you didn’t like the sculpts, as that can be a major hurdle to overcome. The camo trousers looks really good, and the other colour choices have worked really well to give a very believable uniform, hope you get the other 5 finished and can finally get them off the edge of the painting table.

    • Thanks Dave, but I really haven’t, as you say it can be a real slog to paint stuff you aren’t enthused about. I will however get the other done soon (if it kills me, lets hope not though 😉).

      Cheers Roger.

  2. Hmmmm… I thought they looked quite good in the grey prime stage, but then remind me somewhat of Heroclix sculpts when you’re up close and personal in your colour photos. As Dave says though, you’ve really nailed the camo and palette choices. The detail just looks rather soft on them, especially in areas like the leg straps etc. Still, I’m pretty sure they’ll look the business on your previously painted Dead Zone tabletop 🙂

    • Thanks Simon (I think), so you thought they looked OK till I painted them? and I thought we were mates! 😁 I know what you mean though (I hope), the detail is pretty soft in places, and I don’t like the small heads they seem to have, the Forge fathers are definitely the best figs out of the lot in my books.

      Cheers Roger.

  3. It’s a pain painting figures you don’t have the love for so well done on having the discipline to do so and on making a damn good job of them too. 🙂

  4. I really like them Roger! 🙂 The camouflage looks spot on, a very “French Foreign Legion paratrooper” look (a good thing in my book)!

    • Thanks John, the camo is one of the few bit’s I quite like on these figures, Sci/Fi Foreign Legion figs could be a fun idea! 😀 (I seem to recall GZG did some in 25mm, but I think they sold all the 25mm stuff off to someone else, but no idea who).

      Cheers Roger.

  5. Alex says:

    I think you did a fine job with these mate, you can only paint what’s in front of you after all!

  6. Matt says:

    You’ve done a good job on these, Roger, the camo is effective and I do like the green on the torsos. But painting minis you’re not into is a bloody slog, so well done for sticking with them!

  7. Pete S/ SP says:

    Great work Roger.

    Nicely done.



  8. angrypiper says:

    Hmm…I like both the miniatures and the paint job, Roger. Maybe I’m just not seeing what you’re seeing. Mantic’s stuff can be a bit underwhelming at times. I painted a unit of Dwarf Ironwatch crossbowmen. They were fine; but some of the sculpts kind of felt half-assed. I’ve been waiting to paint an entire army (!) of Wargames Factory Shock Troopers, and they’ve languished for years because I can’t decide on a suitable paint scheme despite testing several out already. I feel your pain about painting things you’re not enthused about. I have three half-painted pack mules on my desk that have been there for two years now!

    • Thanks Keith, I really don’t know what it is about them that turned me off them, Like I said I’m not that keen on the “butch’ness” of the ladies, but they also suffer from that classic plastic figure malaise of details tapering off and disappearing completely in some areas. It’s a shame as the concept for them I really like, give them some helmets and they would’ve made great futuristic Vietnam style marines.

      Picking colour can be a nightmare! sometimes you can just over think it, go with your “gut” and a lot of the time you get it right, if in doubt I often end up starting with Deep bronze green, or German field blue (as you might have noticed😀) and work outward from there.

      God it can be a total slog, painting something you don’t like, while stuff you are enthused about can almost seem to paint itself, I often end up making little backstories in my head about figure I love while painting them, something I’m sure you can relate too! 😉

      Oh and you need to finish those mules you can’t leave them half’assed! (Sorry 😁)

      Cheers Roger.

  9. Well, at least you got to protect these with multiple coats of paint Roger! I see what you mean, but in the end they came out fine for gaming – and the sculpts are not Copplestones or Meiers so I think you accomplished what you could. Not being thrilled with them from the beginning turns a hobby project into a chore – and who really needs that? But for Dave’s challenge – you stood tall.

    • Thanks Mark, (great to see you back by the way), it’s funny you should comment on this post now, you’ll see why a bit later I hope. 😉

      Cheers Roger.

      • I’m glad to be catching up and hell, I don’t want to miss your posts and give you any excuse for another sabbatical from our group – that was a tough time for us without you – AND I’m looking forward to uncovering your little Easter egg now buddy!

      • Haha, thanks mate, I may go…if not dark at least a little “twilight” toward the middle of the year, due to work commitments, but I do hope to come back strongly toward the Autumn (if that makes sense 😁). Not really an Easter egg as such more a funny coincidence 😉.

        Cheers Roger

  10. Pingback: “(Path) Finders Keepers” | Rantings from under the Wargames table

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