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Adam Paints Some Vendel Hill Trolls

Hill Trolls (4)
Product #
Suggested Retail Price
£5.00 GBP

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Revision Log
9 May 2006page first published

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©1994-2024 Bill Armintrout
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Adam of Pro Painted Miniatures writes:

I know I'm guilty of having preconceptions about models, but when I got a commission to paint some "hill trolls," I very much imagined something big, hulking, gangly, ugly, etc. These trolls failed to meet my trollish ideal, on first inspection. I don't think I've seen anything they do bear a similarity to... unless maybe a 70's Doctor Who monster.

That said, they are nice models, and all I needed to do was figure out a suitable colour scheme for them. Ummmm. Errrrrr.

Well, they're called Hill Trolls.

But they're covered in scales!

Aha! Blue!

Throwing caution (and my reputation) to the wind, I decided to impose a more "Sea Troll" role upon them, and paint the scales and most of their bodies bright blue. I've always liked a strong blue - and as a figure painter, I'm aware that it looks striking and highlights easily. Especially when balanced against white or a lighter neutral brown. With this in mind, I went for a light brown/bone for the chests, faces and hands.

It actually took quite a while to arrive at this decision, but I always believe it's important to have a strong visual image of how you intend the model to look before you put brush to model. (Plus it's immensely satisfying when your visualisation is realised...)

Before painting, I made sure that the models were suitably based. I had no particular brief for basing these figures, so decided to pop them on 25mm slottabases. I greenstuffed around the models' metal bases to get them to blend in (and not stand on a little hillock).

Hill Troll is based

The hammers and shields come separately on the trolls. I glued the hammers on, but left the shields off to paint later.

All the paints I used for these models are from Games Workshop's Citadel Colours range of acrylics.

The trolls are undercoated in black spray-primer. This never does the full job, though, so I needed to give them a thinned coat of Chaos Black to fully undercoat the models.

Sometimes, a figure will need three or four coats of watered-down black to cover all the little recesses. Don't shirk though. It's extremely necessary!

The blue is a basecoat of Midnight Blue (or weird blue/purple), which is then mixed with a bit of Enchanted Blue for a first-stage highlight. Then more Enchanted Blue is added for the next stage, Ice Blue is introduced into the mix, with more Ice Blue for the lightest shade.

Now, the tricky thing about these figures is that they are almost covered in itty-bitty scales and blobs. No fun! I made this easier on myself by ignoring them for the first couple of highlight stages, and just bringing up the contours of the trolls' muscles - only concentrating on the individual scales once the Ice Blue was added.

Painting the blue

The scales and blobs only cover the trolls' backs and limbs. The chest, face, hands, feet and knees are largely blob-free. These are the areas I chose to paint brown.

I started with a basecoat of Scorched Brown, then highlighted through Bestial Brown, Bleached Bone, and finally Skull White. These areas received about 10 layers of varying shades of colour to give a smooth transition. I was fairly chuffed with the result, and I think it makes the model.

Painting the brown

Details, details. Very easy on these models. It's not like they're lugging around huge amounts of bits and bobs! The hammers I painted with Dwarf Bronze, then gave a wash of slightly thinned Chestnut Ink mixed equally with Brown Ink. I was intending to highlight this with some gold, but it looked cool so I left it as it was.

The teeth and fingernails got painted Snakebite Leather, highlighted with Bleached Bone, then Skull White.

The eyes were given a thin coat of Red Gore, then Blood Red on the eyeball. Finally, a tiny dot of Skull White in the centre of the eyeballs, to bring them to life.


The Mohawk-like hair running down the trolls' backs was painted Dark Flesh, then two or three highlights of Dark Flesh with increasing amounts of Blazing Orange mixed in.

Redheaded trolls
I forget why I chose to make these trolls redheads. It just seemed like a good idea.

At this point, I thought I'd finished. D'oh! Shields!

I sprayed the shields black, then painted them in the same way as the hammers - only this time, I highlighted the centre with Shining Gold, then Shining Gold mixed with Mithril Silver.

The bases I did with sand interspersed with little stones. The sand was painted black, and drybrushed in successively lighter browns. I picked out the larger stones again with black, and highlighted them with a mix of Chaos Black and Codex Grey. Finally, little patches of static grass finish off the model.

Completed Hill Trolls

I hope you like the finished models. If you do, or even if you don't, then check out some of my other work at, where you can witness the cause of my bleeding fingers!

To get these models painted by me would cost £8.00 GBP each. (Well, they do have lots of bobbles....)