Gloomhaven minis with contrast paints – part 1

[UPDATE: check out all painted gloomhaven results in their full glory here (of course contains spoilers because I also painted the unlockable heroes]

In the previous post I explained how I embraced game figurine painting using the Citadel contrast paint. After my HeroQuest paint-job, it was now time for the epic Gloomhaven. From the start, I really liked the minis this game provides. They are very detailed and some of them are extremely big while other heroes are tiny rat-like figurines. Each hero has a very handy hero portrait which was essential to discover what each tiny detail on the mini actually was meant to be.

The first five minis have now been painted, so allow me too (quite proudly) present them to you in full technicolor!


Little Crag commanding an army of Heroquest mummies. The 21th century really digs franchise crossovers!

I started with my own hero, the ever-lovable Cragheart. For contrast paints, this hero is a must: the rock-like skin is perfect for the paint to do its work without any extra help. Additionally, except for the belt, Cragheart is a pretty straightforward mini without a lot of tiny details.


Just like Cragheart, the Elementalist is a very forgiving mini to paint with contrast paints. The two most notable details are the “elemental colours” on his chest (those of a Cragheart were ripped out, hence the hole) which actually came out pretty okay. The other detail is the rocky base he is standing out. The base itself was flat and only a small pile of rocks was right underneath his feet. I added a thick layer of wraithbone base surrounding those rocks on the base, I then let it dry for a few minutes. With a little knife I then ‘carved’ lines in the still wet paint. When I then painted the whole base with basilicanum grey, it appears like the rock formation continues over the whole base.


After the Elementalist, things became a bit more difficult. The next three minis had a lot of details (F.U. Quartermaster!) and so I needed to fix a lot of small mistakes because of my not-yet-very-steady hand. The Scoundrel however is the figure, at the moment, I’m the most proud of. I really like how the colours and details came out (look at that small bag!).


The Scoundrel was pain, the Soothsinger was hell. The mini is about 33% smaller than the previous ones and contains many layers of clothing. I’m not the biggest fan of the colour I chose for the breastplate, so I might change that sometime, but I was afraid that all those bright colours would result in a clownlike mini and not an epic hero.I had to repaint the hand and lute several times before I had enough contrast.


And then the Quartermaster entered. What a nasty, detailed mini this was. I’m not very fond of how he turned out, but to be honest, it’s the best I can do at the moment. I tried to add some new details, such as the gold ribbons on the shoulder pads, that came out ok I guess. Overall however I’m not very satisfied with the colours and the unsteady hand I had to paint all those damn small details.

And now?

The next 4 Gloomhaven have already been primed and are ready to get painted. We currently only play with the 5 heroes mentioned here, so there’s no real pressure to get the new ones done. I other words, I might first start with the HeroQuest “Wizards of Morcar” expansion. We’ll see.


4 gedachten over “Gloomhaven minis with contrast paints – part 1

  1. A start to mini painting is always going to turn out ‘not like you want it , to be honest’, but this is way better then my first attempt at painting minis

    PS. Are you using a wet palette?


    1. Hey MAarten, thanks for the reply. I’ve fallen in love with the citadel contrast paints and I paint “straight out of the pot”, and don’t use a wet palette. When I quickly need a less strong color I tone it down with medium in a plastic dish, and rapidly apply it before it dries out.


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