Thursday 8 May 2014

A Warhammer Bestiary: Hobgoblin

I am really pleased with the way my hobgoblin has turned out. After a period of not being able to paint I felt that my technique were slipping slightly and I wasn't entirely happy with what I was producing. This hobgoblin makes me feel like I have returned to form. 

Hobgoblins are another one of those lost races that I have been painting and writing about recently. Though they survived the great cull of 4th Edition, their background saw some revision and the hobgoblins were aligned with the chaos dwarfs, who  ended up with an armylist all of their own after WFB3! 

In Third Edition Warhammer, the hobgoblins were heavily based on the Mongol empire with lots of jokes based on that premise. Instead of Mongol, it was Mourngul and they were lead by the Hobgobla Khan. Indeed, this Khan is said to rule the largest empire in the Warhammer World, ranging from the edge of the Old World across the steppes to far Cathay. If you read my post about half-orcs, you will know a thing or two about goblinoids and hair. As you will have no doubt spotted, this hobgoblin sports a rather fetching hairdo, signifying that he is indeed a half-hobgoblin! 

With this in mind I set about thinking about how to paint him. The figure shown here is the commander of the hobgoblin rocket team. A cracking set of models. Now, probing the background a little more, I found out that these crews were recruited from vassal tribes that dwell nearby the Cathay boarder. With this in mind, and with the hair on the model, I'd imagined that this unfortunate was the product of another one of those forced breeding sessions with human captives.

I had a pot of paint from the Creature Paint Set called Hobgoblin Orange and had always thought that the creatures were orange in colour. Flicking through the WFB3 rulebook I was disappointed to find that the Bestiary suggests that they should be painted in a similar way to other goblinoids. In the end, I opted for an orange skin tone to reflect the creature's human origins because, well, I can. I seriously doubt any of my readers are going to take the haughty tone with me and tell me that I have painted my miniatures wrong. And I suspect that I am far from the first to do this with my hobgoblins...

There was nothing particularly new about my painting with this model. Skin tone aside, I used tried and tested colours for the armour, equipment and hair and I feel it all melded quite well together. The whip was the only problem and in the end I used an almost off white to finish and create some contrast to the bronze armour. 

Additionally, if you have a spare rocket launcher and stand (illustrated below) please do get in touch with me as I would love to finish off this little group of models. I have all the crew but no actual rocket to fire and I would really appreciate the chance to use them in a game at some point! 




  1. Good to see you back on a roll and glad to hear you are feeling better!

    Hope to see some of that inspiration light your rouge trader fire again as well. I was reading your RT dioramas post last night on my way to dreamland and thought I would drop you a line!


  2. Lovely (correct) skin colour IMO! Can you give a recipe for the skin please - I'd love to replicate it.

  3. Great painting there, well done. Although my interest is more in pre-slotta figures, my eye was caught by the rather nice foam boulders in the background. Can you tell me where they came from? Much better than risking a real rock toppling onto your figures.

  4. Never nice to be in a run of bad form. Happens to us all; suffering from it myself presently. I always thought like you on the hobgoblin orange thing too; as a kid could never work why they weren't painted that way.
    The fig looks nice though and the skin suits him well. Have a similar problem with the rocket set as I'm missing the rocket stand.

  5. Nice work as always. I too like the skin tone, I'm torn in different directions at the moment on what colour to paint the hobgoblins I'm (hoping one day soon to getting around to) painting for Whiskey Priests "How to Oldhammer" thing so it's good to see some different approaches. It seems that no one goes for the official green colour :)

    I have a feeling that back in the day at least some of my hobgoblins were a horrible orange colour thanks to the paint pot you mention, this time I'm tempted to go with a deep brown along the lines of Christos Achilleos' Ravening Hordes cover (although I'm pretty sure that's just there as a cool fantasy warfare painting rather than being anyway connected to the Warhammer world).

    A good spot on the "orcs with hair are half-orcs" thing in your previous post, I'd not really thought through that aspect of the bestiary entry before. I'm not sure the same applies to hobgoblins though, it seems to me that pretty much all the hobgoblin sculpts in the 2nd and 3rd edition eras had hair.

  6. To quote 1988's Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay pg 221 "Their leathery, blemished skin is usually a deep yellowish brown and , unlike most goblinoids, they have a full head of black hair".

    Even later 4th/5th edition Hobgoblins have locks of hair rolling out from underneath their phrygian caps.