Painting the Combat Zone Miniatures
As part of my Combat Zone project I needed to create two opposing
forces. For one side I had some plastic alien miniatures from the game
Heroscape (18 in total). With the other side consisting of Em4 Miniatures
plastic troopers (15 to be painted).
I had set the Combat Zone project as one needing to be finished by
a deadline, so I really couldn't spend too long painting the miniatures.
As it turned out I ended up leaving myself 33 miniatures to paint and
only had 5 evenings after work to do it!
The reality of the situation was about 10 hours painting time (including
Once both set of miniatures had been cleaned of mould lines (and the
plastic troopers stuck together) I decided I wanted to put a bit of
variety into the alien miniatures. The 18 alien miniatures were only
made up of five different poses. The conversions were easy to do. I
simply cut off a few heads and swaped them over so they looked in different
directions. I also cut a few torso's in half and re-glued then back
on having rotated them slightly. This was enough to get the variety
In order to get them painted quickly I applied a very basic paint job
(not that my professional paint job is that outstanding!). After spraying
them with a white undercoat I went through the following stages.
Alien - First up I painted the miniature with Dark Leather (534).
The idea was to try and keep with a similar colour scheme to the terrain
which was more desert than green grass.
Trooper - Being slightly boring I stuck with grey for the troopers
colour scheme. This would at least blend into the ruins I had made.
So the base coat used was Field Grey (227)
Alien - For the Alien I then did a heavy dry brush of Red Brown
Trooper - The trooper got an ink wash at this stage of Ink Wash
Alien - At this point I started to add some Buff (228) to the
Red Brown (520) to make a lighter shade and went over with another dry
brush. I did two such dry brushes the second slightly lighter than the
Trooper - I also dry brushed the trooper at this point with Uniform
Grey (525). This was a quick job so at this point the dry brushing was
done across the whole miniature.
Alien - I now turned to the Alien weapon and the eyes. For the
eyes I went mad and picked the the brightest green I had. In this case
Scorpion Green (152). For the gun I tried something unusual and started
with Italian Red Earth (532).
Trooper - Wanting to highlight the fact that the trooper was
wearing some armour I then painted the helmet and flak jacket with Iron
Grey (516). The gun and boots were simply painted black.
Alien - For the alien gun I then painted the globules Bilious
Brown (130) and when dry I dry brushed the whole gun with Buff (228).
Trooper - The trooper now received an all over dry brush (including
the helmet, armour and boots) with Light Grey (211). The Gun was heavily
dry brushed with Gun Metal (142) and the flesh with Dwarven Flesh (124).
Alien - For the basing I used the same technique as for the ruins so that they would match. The leader aliens had some armour so this I painted Khaki (225) and highlighted it with the Buff (228).
Trooper - Same basing technique for the troopers as the aliens.
I also applied a thin Ink Wash Brown (136) to the flesh and used Hideous
Blue (167) for the trooper visors. I did some final touches (painting
stripes on the leaders etc.) just to finish them off.
Here are a bunch of finished aliens on the first of the ruins I made. Considering how quickly (and crudely) I painted them the results weren't bad.
In a similar fashion I felt the troopers came out ok and the grey was
actually good camo for the scenery I had made. I hope this article has
been of some use, if only to demonstrate you can get wargame standard
paint jobs very quickly (which was the point) and cheaply. Details of
the Combat Zone game I played with these miniatures will be up soon
on my Sci-Fi Battles page.