Thursday, 15 November 2012

Starkiron Tony: Painting Mantic's Dreadball Player

Excitement is reaching fever-pitch both in gaming stores and across the internet this month at the imminent arrival of Mantic Games' latest release, the mighty 'Dreadball'.

When Mantic ran their Pre-Release Party at Tabletop Nation, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go along and try it out, and I can honestly say that IT IS AWESOME! It's a very fast game which manages to satisfy the Holy Grail of gaming - to be extremely quick and simple to play, yet with a tremendous amount of strategic options available to make every game a unique adrenaline-fuelled roller-coaster ride.

And did I mention that it's rather inexpensive to boot?

I'm very much looking forward to getting hold of a copy of the game when it's officially released as anyone who followed the Dreadball Kickstarter project will know that there are some great new miniatures coming over the next couple of years.

But anyway, back on topic - what have I been painting recently?

Yes, you guessed it. Dreadball!

I was very excited recently to get my hands on a resin cast of one of the Corporation players whose plastic counterparts will be included in the boxed game and set to work straight away on painting him.

Now, I'm a little bit of a Marvel Comics fan and the minute I saw this miniature, I knew exactly what colour scheme I wanted to use. There is no escaping from it. I can't talk my way around it.

He is Ironman!

So now that all that is out of the way, here's how I went about painting him:

This really was a lovely miniature. Being resin, good quality resin, there were no bubbles or distortions and the mould lines and flash were kept to an absolute minimum. There were a great many different panels and armour sections on him, meaning that the options for painting him in different team colours is almost limitless.

I wanted to make sure that when I came to painting the many different panels and armour sections on this chap, I didn't get confused as to what would be yellow and what would be red, so I decided that once I had undercoated the miniature white, I would glaze the areas with their respective colour to make it a bit easier when it came to the actual application of the paint.

I am hoping to mimic the effect I used for the armour of Mantic's orc Flagger, which mixed metallic and colour paint to create quite a striking effect. This will be slightly more interesting if it works however as I will be using two very bright and vibrant colours, rather than greys and dark blues.


Here is the almost-complete basecoat on the red armour. I mixed Boltgun Metal and Red Gore and thinned the whole lot down with Winsor & Newton Flow Improver.

The main benefit of this over using water will hopefully be slightly more vivid colours on the finished mini - though this is an experiment in its use, I'd never tried it before.

On the plus-side, the Flow Improver simply refuses to dry on the palette and the mix sat there at room temperature for over three hours and did not even thicken, let alone dry out.

Of course, the downside is that the same applies to the paint on the miniature, so painting everything over the course of many very thin coats takes about twice as long!

Having finished the basecoat, the next job was to shade the red plate armour. I took the basecoat (Boltgun Metal / Red Gore) and added Necron Abyss and virtually washed it over several coats into the deepest areas of the armour.

I wanted this miniature to look like it was lit from floodlights in a Dreadball arena, so I also made sure to paint the bottom of the armour plates in shadow and concentrate the highlights on the top parts.

For the final shading, I added Chaos Black to the mix and painted it into the very deepest areas.

At the moment, the miniature looks like it has been dipped in mud, but eventually - once the highlights are added - the areas should look pretty good.

The next stage was to add the highlights to the armour.

I began by applying a mix of Boltgun Metal and Blood Red to the highest parts of the armour.

Once this was finished, I added more Blood Red to the mix, continuing to work it up towards the lightest areas.

Finally, I highlighted the edges of the armour with pure Blood Red.

As you can see in the photo to the right, the armour isn't really finished yet. It quickly became obvious that an extra highlight of Blood Red / Blazing Orange was needed to bring up the red a little before the Skull White 'hot-spots' - the points where the reflection is strongest - were added.

So here is the red armour 'finished' (to a point), ready to have some directional lighting effects from the Arc Reactor (geeks will know...), the eyes and the ports in the hands when the whole miniature is completed.

After neatening up the white highlights a little, I glazed the right side of Starkiron (his right) with Hawk Turquoise and the left with Regal Blue before strengthening the white once more.

It was nice to finish this stage as the red armour formed the bulk of the miniature, so I knew that it would all hopefully be downhill from here-on-in.


The yellow armour was begun with a 2:1 mix of Shining Gold and Snakebite Leather.

Once I had a smooth basecoat, I began to shade it by adding a small amount of Chaos Black to the base. I had to be particularly careful because the pigment is so strong that any more that half a drop and the entire mix would have been too dark to use. Once the first shading pass was completed, I added a touch more black and painted down into the darkest areas.

After the shading was completed, I took the original basecoat of Shining Gold and Snakebite Leather and began to highlight it up, simply by adding small amounts of Skull White over about five stages.

I then added the same Skull White hot-spots to the gold areas before once more glazing with Hawk Turquoise and Regal Blue. As with the red armour, I then re-painted the pure white highlights to take them back up to their original brightness.

After this, it was simply a case of painting the grey metallics, which were basecoated with Codex Grey and then shaded and highlighted by adding Chaos Black and Skull White respectively.

Finally, the miniature was finished by adding the eyes, palm-ports and Ark Reactor on his chest. These were all painted using a mix of Ice Blue with a heavy amount of Skull White added, before building up the colours to pure Skull White. The 'glow' of these lights was added to the metals by lightly glazing the Ice Blue / Skull White basecoat onto the armour in the places which it would naturally fall.

With only four blocks of colour, this miniature turned out to be a relatively simple one to get to grips with.

Of course, were there time, I would certainly love to go back and paint the metallics much more smoothly, and better, but this project was only ever intended to be a relaxing break before the gruelling task of painting an entire orc army in a matter of weeks - and it certainly did the job!

And in case you're wondering, here are the images of the model completely finished:

That's it for now, but as always, if you want to see any more miniatures from Flare Miniature Painting don't forget to...


  1. Fantastic job and I'm now thinking that I'll consider a Marvel theme for all my teams.

  2. Thanks! I really wanted to do the Hulk for the Orx, but I think there's too much armour to make it work.

    Question is, when I get my Dreadball set, am I going to paint my entire Corp team in these colours, or go for a more mixed 'superheroes' approach?

  3. Looking great, really helpful tutorial on painting a metallic red, Thanks


  4. Great tutorial for a great fig - thanks!

  5. I said it on every update but this is fantastic work mate! I am so glad you compiled all the steps I wouldn't do it for a team but for a star player maybe!

    And this is awkward but in an act of shameless self promotion…

    I have a wee competition on my blog…sadly not many uptakes if anyone's interested in weaning a wee hobby related craft item please drop me a line here:

    I'll answer my favourite 6 questions and the best one judged by my wife (controller of the hobby budget!) will win!

    Cheers Minitrol