Mordheim Cult of the Possessed – varnishing disaster recovery

Over the Christmas break the other figures I worked on was an old one that has been around ‘on my painting table’ for a long time. This was a group of figures most of which I’ve had for approx 14 years. These were a set of Mordheim cultist which I bought, based and undercoated (but did not progress more than that) when the game first came out. I also had bought another Reaper beast-man figure for the group, to go with the previous trial one I did when that line of figures first came out and is shown here. The ‘full gang’ I finished are in the group shot below.cultist gang

However, the reason this is being posted mid January not over the Christmas break is that after painting them I had a varnishing disaster! I gloss varnished these to seal the figs and left them for a few days. That was fine, but left them very shiny. Then on a very cold day I rushed the painting of the matte varnish coat. I use paint on varnish but I believe I put on too thick and also it was on a cold day in the house so between that the varnish it frosted when it dried. A disaster…the figs looked cloudy AND there were some small but obvious to me, clear white patches of varnish. See below for an example.
Varnish issues

So, I left them a while in disgust…

After a week or so to calm down/recover from this I tried a technique which I thought may work. I painted the figures with an olive oil/water mix (maybe 3:1 consistency) , let that soak and then wiped off the excess. Although not perfect this has done wonders to the figures and at least brings them to level that I am willing to show them in public (here and at the club). The finish is a more satin than I normally use, but comparing the before and after shot below, I hope you can see they are MUCH better.
After Varnish issue is resolved

So there we are. Varnishing frosting issues can be resolved with this technique. It’s not perfect but has made the figures better. I’m not going to try to varnish them any more. They’ll stay as they are now. I was going to do more with the bases but have decided that I have had enough of these so they’ll stay as they are, on rocky ground without any vegetation.

Now I can get to the the detailed shots after the repair. First the leader of the cult. I purposely went for washed out pinks and a general light tonal set of colours for the cultists. This is a different type colour set than I normally ever paint. In the end that seems to have come out giving them a little different look than most of the stuff I paint.
Cultist leader

Next 2 of the weirder members of the group – Darksouls I think they are called in Mordheim. They have face masks and all so are obvious badasses in the group.Cultist madmen
The possessed are a key element in the Cultist gang and so here is my version of that model. This one suffered the most frosting so I’m quite happy how it’s improved in the repair. The pink theme also carries through to this figure.
Cultist possessed
Next, we have the Reaper bones beast which I painted for the gang. I much prefer this figure than the next two which are the original two GW beastmen figures that came in the box set 14 years ago.Cultist beastmen I may use the GW beastmen as mutants if needed in the game.

Finally, I have some shots of the 6 ‘normal’ cult members. Three have spear etc and three have two handed weapons. Again the pain colours are washed out reds/browns and pinks. I tried a technique of using a blue wash on the metal blades which I think worked and has given the metal a slightly different lock than nomal as well.
Mordheim cultists 2

Mordheim cultists
Overall, I have to say I’m now happy with how the figs turned out. This is definitely a  recovery from a disaster on the varnishing side. It’s made them into a usable set of figs. So another vote for the olive oil recovery technique. Theses mini’s are old school these days, but I still like them and I tried to give them an interesting theme. I think that worked, but the moral story is always be careful when varnishing.


About mellis1644

A painter and gamer who has no illusions about being the best painter but likes to play with decently painted toys and have fun gaming
This entry was posted in 28mm, Bones, Techniques, Warhammer Fantasy. Bookmark the permalink.

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