Into the Darkness – Painting the Heroquest Box Set (Part 1)

SDT Crude Daubings

I’ve recently been working on painting up the contents of the classic Heroquest boxed game. I actually never owned the original game in my youth, and began my painting and playing days with Advanced Heroquest instead…but more on that another day.

The first job was to take the models off the built-in plastic stands that they come on. I’m not a huge fan of the look of these, they make them look a bit too much like game pieces and not enough like miniatures, to my mind. I also had a plan for the basing that I wanted to implement, so they had to come off! The job is made trickier though by the fact that some of the models are a little bit ‘sunken’ into their stands, meaning you can’t just chop them off at the foot, as it will lead to some decidedly odd results. Instead, I clipped around the feet of each model and then tidied them up with a modelling knife. The picture below shows the work-in-progress orcs and goblins. At this stage I also sorted out the mould lines and injection points that some of the minis suffer from.

20180218_153421The next job was to glue the models to temporary bases for painting. I did this because it allowed me to paint the bases I would eventually attach them to in a separate batch, which was much easier and quicker. I could also be a bit messier painting the minis, which is always good!

20180215_201952 To make the bases, I glued some 20mm square plastic bases that I sourced cheaply from eBay to sheets of Wills York Stone Paving. Once dried, I cut these out and glued on a few details like some mould (sand), rubble (slate) and toadstools (made from green stuff). The assembled bases were then blu-tacked to a sheet of card so I could paint them up in a batch. A swift bit of drybrushing and a little detailing later and they were ready for action!

The first few finished monsters are shown in the pic below. I tried to follow the colour scheme depicted on the box cover art, including a very dark and sinister Chaos Warrior!


And here are the heroes…again following the box art for inspiration. These were quite a challenge in places, especially getting a skin tone I was happy with on the Barbarian, and working out exactly what was going on with the Dwarf’s armour…it’s more complicated than you’d think! The Elf is my favourite of the four…I like the contrast between the white, red and yellow.


I’m also going to replace all of the furniture that comes in the boxed set with scratch-built pieces, which offer the opportunity for a bit of personalisation and also avoids having too much cardboard on show during games! Here are the first few finished items.

There’s still plenty to finish off, but I feel like I’m making good progress with these, and with some determined painting will hope to have the full set finished and ready for a game or two by the end of April. More to follow soon!

8 thoughts on “Into the Darkness – Painting the Heroquest Box Set (Part 1)

  1. Looks like you’re saving the Bloodthirster for last as a treat! Glad you’ve rebased these, the original bases always annoyed me because of their slighly indistinct shape. Did you find any problems with limbs and the like shearing off due to the plastic’s age and brittleness? I have rebased all the Chaos Warriors and they split suddenly and unexpectedly when their bases are chopped away.

    1. Agreed! I have had that in the past, but I think I must have got a good batch with these as there were no such disasters…just one snapped scythe, which was easy to pin 🙂

  2. I’ve been working on an orc unit made entirely of board game pieces – HeroQuest, Dark World, Battle Masters and Warhammer Quest so far. The last two are stretching the definition a little but they are all fun minis 🙂
    Trimming off the bases is the worst. WORST. You did a nice clean job of it though, well done! And your painting brings out the best in these gluggy minis, a fine effort 😀

  3. These are looking really good. That’s some heroic rebasing effort, but the results speak for themselves. Marvellous work!

  4. Wow! I really like what you’ve done here. You’ve taken something relatively campy and really elevated it. I’m watching with great interest.

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