Bugs vs Robots

Sounds a bit like a classic ‘B’ Movie line-up, but it is actually the final two teams from my DreadBall Season Two loot. With Season Three and the final wave of Kickstarter miniatures from Mantic rapidly approaching, I thought it would be a good idea to rattle through the last of the unpainted teams. For me, that was only the Robots and the Z’zor as I hadn’t pledged for either the Female Corporation or Judwan teams; opting instead to just stick with the free bonus figures that came with the Striker package. Those I simply plan to add into existing teams as ‘wildcard’ types, or in the case of the Female Corp as straight forward alts in my Human Corporation team.

Both teams were an exercise in speed painting to get them match ready, so the method in each case was chosen for efficiency as opposed to making them cabinet fodder. For both sets it was very much the airbrush doing the majority of the heavy lifting.

For the Z’Zor I began with a pre-shade of black acrylic ink and matt medium which was lightly jetted into joints and areas of natural shadow such as under arms and between chitin plates. The primer for the Z’zor was a neutral (Tamiya) light grey. The model was then completely base-coated with Vallejo Game Plague Brown, to which I added Bronzed Flesh and then Elf Flesh for the subsequent manual brush highlights. Finally two washes were applied; the first a thinned brown (GW Agrax Earth Shade) and the second a raw GW Gryphonne Sepia. Areas of black were blocked in by hand and highlighted by adding small amounts of German Grey. Other than eyes and a couple of contrast detail in Plague Brown + Yellow, I added the number decals wherever on the body they would fit. I figured for the bugs they would literally be stencilled onto their natural chitinous plates so they were applied to legs, backs or in the case of the Guards the weird nodule on their backs. A protective coat of Klear then satin varnish sealed it all in to finish them as game ready.

Unfortunately I ran out of bases part way through the Robot team, so until the Season Three shipment arrives they shall have to remain baseless for now. Currently on the workbench is Ludwig, the Z’zor MVP. But as he isn’t quite finished I shall leave him for another day.

The robot team was a totally different approach again. Although I quite liked the Mantic studio scheme for the Chargers, being entirely mechanical I really wanted these guys to visually stand out as different. For that reason I went down the metallic lacquer route and airbrushed them in a chrome Alclad. Being fragile it isn’t an ideal material for gaming pieces as it really isn’t resilient to handling to the degree acrylic is. For that reason it needed protecting with a decent coat of first gloss lacquer varnish and then acrylic varnish before manually adding the orange contrast colour. For the orange panels I used GW Jokaero Orange to which I added Elf Flesh for the highlight. Fuegan Orange Shade was then used to enrich the finish. Other than a light blue spot colour, that was all there was to it. I didn’t want to mess with the scheme much as it was all about the Alclad and how light naturally plays across its surface. One of those finishes that looks great at a distance, but doesn’t stand up to too much close scrutiny. Pretty much exactly what I was looking for against the polished black of the acrylic pitch.  Again, to protect the final finish and the decals yet another coat of Klear was airbrushed on and the miniatures mounted onto clear hex bases.

For contrast I also added in DB7 (aka “Firewall”) one of the Robot MVPs. This I painted using a more standard approach layering up grey through wolf grey to white to really make him stand out against the rest of the players. Again, orange and blue were used to tie him into the team in a uniform way, yet still show enough individuality to be ‘hired’ by another DreadBall franchise.

Both teams were completed very quickly using two totally different methods, but either I would be more than happy to field in a game. And in fact will be once I get the second half of the season going again. With the last of the teams now out of the way, my Season two pack unpainted pile is looking distinctly low, which has to me a good thing. All that remains now are four more MVPs, a couple of female Corp and Judwan players and some eye-candy addons in the form of coaches and cheerleaders. Pretty sure I can get the playable miniatures done before Season Three arrives, so it is safe to say I am winning the battle against the Dreadball plastic mountain, even if I can’t win on the pitch against Kev’s accursed Trontek.

Until next time, have a great week.


By |2017-02-10T14:25:39+00:00September 2nd, 2013|Categories: Mantic Games|Tags: , |3 Comments


  1. Dan September 14, 2013 at 4:49 am - Reply

    These look fantastic. I’m envious, as I’m still going through the laborious process of removing mold lines. Since you’ve done so many already, what have you found as the best way to deal with these? The Mantic resin-plastic material is really difficult to work with.

    • Carl Woodrow September 14, 2013 at 9:47 am - Reply

      Thanks for the kind words Dan, appreciated. The resin/plastic (or restic as it seems to be known these days) appears to be a PVC based plastic and like you I do have something of a love/hate relationship with it. I love the fact that it allows miniatures to be cast far cheaper than traditional hard plastic injection, but it is a pain to work with.

      You cannot use either a filing or scraping approach with it as it is too hard and will simply tear up leaving a really ugly finish. The best method I have found is to use a brand new scalpel blade and carefully ‘shave’ the flash away with gentle parallel strokes along the mold line. You can also use emery board to a degree of success to polish out the finish. Don’t use it to remove the flash, it will tear, but it works well to buff out the finish.

      It is time consuming I’m afraid, but it is the most effective approach.


  2. Dan September 14, 2013 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the advice; sounds fairly tricky but I’ll give it a try. I’ve been working on the Corp. team and using the scraping approach and spending copious amounts of time trying to get it right. I agree, it’s been great to get so many minis at cheap prices, but the labor involved it prepping for painting is something else! Keep up the good work. 🙂

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