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How to Paint the Blood Bowl Troll – A Broken Paintbrush Tutorial

I started painting the Blood Bowl Troll as a way to show different painting techniques but found it was going to work better as a general tutorial instead. Check out the tutorial below for tips on how to paint the Troll as well as some general tips on painting with washes and blending.

How to Paint the Blood Bowl Troll

Orc and Goblin teams can take the Troll for some extra muscle and even toss a (somewhat) willing volunteer across the field. As I build up each of my Blood Bowl teams, I want to add some of the special team players to add some fun to the games. I had fun painting him to a higher standard than the Orc players and testing a few techniques.

Building and Prep

This model was probably the craziest I have done regarding odd pieces for a single character model. This does create a pose that is detailed and dynamic but provides only a single pose. For those who like to leave pieces separate, the only one part that made sense was the shoulder pad. The left arm would have been the most helpful but would have been a pain to re-join later.

Because this is a new mold, there was hardly any mold lines, and most of the glue joints were cleverly done along easy-to-hide lines.There was a good deal of Liquid Green Stuff work along the seams though.

Priming and Base Coat

Priming the Blood Bowl Troll WhiteI started by priming the troll white, primarily so that I could later use washes to paint his skin. A zenithal prime would have provided better shading as you prime the model black/gray and then white from a high angle. But the white made it easier for clean up as you will see in a moment.

I started with my typical rattle can white primer, but once it dried, I also brushed on Vallejo’s white primer. This provided a way to color match when I needed to do some cleanup.

Brushing on the primer also filled in the areas where the spray didn’t get to. There are so many overlapping parts on this figure that brush priming was needed just to get good coverage.

Blocking in the base colors on the Troll

As typical with my style of painting, I blocked in all the main colors, except the skin this time. Painting all the base colors makes it easy to see where everything goes and is easy to touch up areas that I accidentally hit with paint. And since this Troll is awkward with that hand, there were plenty of mistakes.

Applying the Magic Brown Wash to the Troll

I then applied the magic brown wash all over the troll. I applied two coats of the brown wash, each thinned down with some Flow-Aid medium. This provided the subtle shadows throughout the model, including its skin. By using the Flow-Aid and doing two coats, it prevented most of the pooling issue washes can have.

Base Coat Paints:

  • Game Color Hexed Lichen
  • Game Color Orange Fire
  • Game Color Gunmetal
  • Game Color Leather Brown
  • Game Color Bonewhite
  • Model Color Red
  • Game Color White Primer
  • Game Color Cold Gray
  • Model Wash Dark Brown

Dry Brushing Orange

Drybrushing the Orange Details

As dry brushing is a messy process, I hit the orange bill board first. The dry brush catches the edges, such as the wood grain and leaves the lighter color behind. The slightly dusty look works well for the wooden board.

Orange Colors

  • Game Color Dwarf Flesh
  • Game Color Bonewhite

Painting the Troll’s Skin with Washes

The next part was really exciting because not only did it bring the troll to life, but it was so quick and easy to do. Painting with washes has some things to look out for, but can provide an excellent result.

Adding a yellow wash to the troll's skin

I first saw the idea to use a yellow wash on Orks from Greg (@3dgreg) and had to take the idea for the Troll. The yellow provides some warmth that straight washes of green won’t provide. By not using the green wash on certain areas, like the ears and belly, it also adds some color variation.

Applying a wash of green to the troll

The first layer of the green wash was Games Workshop’s Thraka Green. You can see where the yellow is still showing through, providing that warmth.

Applying a second wash of green to the troll

The second layer of green was Vallejo’s Model Wash Dark Green as I had run out of the Thraka. Both colors are nearly identical, and either would have worked. By adding the second layer of wash, it helped to darken the skin and add more depth to the green. This is most noticeable on the belly where I avoided adding any green on the second pass.
Adding brown and yellow glazes to the troll's belly

To give the troll’s large belly some contrast, I used mixes of a light brown and the yellow wash. I mixed this with Vallejo’s Glaze Medium and applied it to the belly, ears, and face of the troll.

I added additional layers with Bonewhite as well which was followed up with a yellow wash to bring it back together.

Adding some green and brown washes towards the edges helped smooth the transition and provide additional shading.

Purple Wash applied to troll's skin

To add some color and bruising, I added a purple wash to the eye sockets, around the bear trap, and lower lip. I also painted in the eye with Red followed by WarColours’ Fluorescent Pink for some pop.

Painting the troll's scales jade green

The final step of the Troll’s body was to paint the scales a Jade Green. I used a bit of the Glaze Medium here so that it kept some of the highlights. The darker jade provided a nice contrast to the skin while maintaining the color tone consistent.

Paints for the Skin

  • GW Casandora Yellow
  • GW Thraka Green / Model Wash Dark Green
  • Game Color Filthy Brown
  • Game Color Bonewhite
  • Game Color Jade Green
  • Game Color Purple Wash
  • WarColours Fluorescent Pink

Blending Purple

Blending a purple cloak

As the Troll is meant to be part of my Orc Blood Bowl team, I want the main colors to be purple. But I also wanted to work on my blending as I don’t often do it. So on my wet palette, I stuck four dots of color from dark purple through white.

You can see the exact colors below, but the idea is to find colors that are in the same tone, but lighter colors. So the three purples are all on the blue side. Thus the Vallejo Squid Pink and Warlord Purple weren’t used but would be perfect for a blend towards the red side of purple.

Blending the purple cloth

The WarColours paint sets make selecting similar colors easy, but I wanted the purple to match the Orcs. So the first layers were a blend between the Hex Purple and Genestealer Purple. I then moved into blending lightest color of the WarColours’ purple range and the Game Air White.

With each mix, I added a bit of the Glaze Medium to reduce the opacity slightly. This is also why I used the Game Air version of the white as it is already thin. Some final texture was added with the white to simulate the worn cloth.

Purple Colors

  • Game Colors Hexed Purple
  • GW Genestealer Purple
  • WarColours Purple 1
  • Game Air White

Painting the Details

With the majority of the troll now finished, it was just a matter of finishing the details.

Painting the Bones and Claws on the Troll

The first detail was all the bones, claws, spine and teeth. I started with Bonewhite and with a minor highlight of pure White. I then went back in with the Dark Brown Wash and provided additional shading.

Highlighting the Leather

I then highlighted the leather areas such as the glove and strap. I started with the base color of Leather Brown and added Bonewhite to provide the highlights and wear marks. Notice on the strap that some texture was added to the leather with small lines. This makes it look like a worn leather belt.

Highlighting the black leather

For the black leather and straps, I used WarColours’ Cool Gray 1. The texture was also applied to these straps, in the same way, to make them look like leather.

Finishing the Base and Details

The final details included adding the team number and the base. I gave the Troll number 8, so he could remember his number by looking down at it! For the large front billboard, I used the 0s from the 10 and attached them. This made it fill in the slot a bit better.

I then reapplied the Dwarf Skin and Bonewhite highlights over the decal to give it a worn look.

For the base, you can check out the tutorial on Stepping Between Games.

And then a few more layers of matte varnish to protect the paint and static grass during gaming.

Blood Bowl Troll Showcase

And here are the final results of the Blood Bowl Troll.

While the baseball throwing pose is a bit odd, I do think the Troll is a nice addition to the team. I have heard from Thor that Trolls are rather difficult to play with due to their stupidity. But that should be fun to deal with in friendly games.

Let me know what you think of this tutorial or the Troll in the comments below!