Runewars: Painting Daqan Part 2- Spears and Cav Ready for Dipping.

I made some strong progress this week on the Runewars "Daqan" faction that I'm painting up. As I mentioned in the post about assembly , Tim and I traded the armies from two boxed sets so I have a double portion, including the 32 Spearmen, and 8 Oathsworn Cavalry featured in this post.

The point of this project is to get all 44 miniatures painted as quickly and cheaply as possible to an acceptable tabletop standard that will look great from 3 feet away, aprox the distance from the figs to the eyes of someone standing next to the table.

First, all the Cavalry and Spearmen were spray painted with "Rustoleum 2x Ultra Cover Satin Leafy Green". Normally I like to use flat camouflage colors as they have no shine and have better "tooth" for the adhesion of paint. However, I wanted a brighter color of green for these guys and I wanted it fast so I went with the Rustoleum 2x Satin. Credit for the idea of green Daqan comes from a fellow named Ben over at Beasts of War.

The color came out a bit more Army-Man-Greenstuff'ish than I expected, but a brighter color is always better under a dip so I think it will turn out well. Hardware store paints often come out of the can fast, so always start with the spray pointed away from the model and use light, quick coats.

I then moved to trying a technique that was new to me. I painted all the metallic elements with a silver paint pen. There are some mistakes, but most are in areas that would get another color.  For the others, after these pics were taken I just took a cut-down brush and some rubbing alcohol and brushed them away.

I wish to heck I'd bought a finer point paint pen (I was working from a pack of 10 bought at Michaels for $8), but even with some cleanup time figured in, it's a ridiculously fast method of putting down paint. There were only a few spots I would later have to add silver with a brush where the marker couldn't reach.

With a pile of silver and green on the table top, it was time for the basic block colors.

I have 2 basic guidelines for these kind of "Tabletop" paintjobs:

  1. If it won't be noticed from 3 feet away (about the distance from the figures to the eyes of someone standing at the edge of the table) then don't paint it. You'll notice that I didn't bother with boot straps, buckles and soldier's eyes.
  2. If you're find yourself often using a brush smaller than size 1 (I use a Two 95% time) you're probably painting too much detail.

Then on to the basing.  I have come to really love "Sand Topping Mix" for any sort of basing or terrain project where I want the look of rocky soil. It's a mix of sand, concrete and small gravel.  I don't recall the brand, but IIRC, I bought a 40 pound bag for 6 bucks at Menards, which is only a bit more than what it will cost you to buy the plastic bucket to store it in!   Here's what it looks like in the bucket.

It's not germaine to this project, but I also took two different dollar store kitchen seives and sifted some of the mix (not pictured). This gave me a huge quantiy of very small gravel, small gravel and fine sand/cement.

For applying to bases I used water thin superglue which I spread evenly over the base with a toothpick and then dipped the base into the bucket of mix. PVA (elmers, tacky glue, wood glue, etc) is cheaper, but super-glue is so darn fast. You can almost immediately blow on the bases to see any missed spots and fill them.

For dry desert, you might just leave the mix as-is and unpainted, but for soil or mud I paint the bases with Dark Umber (Delta Ceramcoat) craft paint that is been mixed with water and just a bit of Pledge/Future Liquid Floor Polish to break the surface tension.

Note that the figs' bases above and below don't have any drybrushing! The wash naturally gets sucked into the basing and leaves the top (especially the gravel) a bit lighter. I will probably drybrush after the dip (which darkens everything), but had I done my basing post-dip, I might not have too do any drybrushing at all.

After the block colors were on I added decals. Decals are a fast, easy way to make a tabletop paintjob look much more professional. I headed to my stack of decals, mostly old GW sheets. I didn't want something roman, latin or GW-looking so I used the "Salamanders" chapter shoulder emblems from the "Space Marine Decal Sheet". I rotated them a few degrees clockwise (compared to the way they are used on marines) to be roughly oriented parallel to the the jaw line.

The size is perfect. From side to side it's just a bit shorter than the distance between the reinforced sides of the shields.

If you know someone who plays Space Marines, they probably have a bunch of these decals they'd be willing to give you.

At this point there is fairly little information available about the Daqan faction's heraldry. The box art shows a tri-pointed crown which is pretty cool looking, but fast and free Salamander decals won out over official emblems that would have to be freehanded or had decals custom made.

And there you have it, 40 figures quickly painted and ready for the dip!


After the dip it will just be a bit of drybrushing on the bases and maybe a few other places an application of matte varnish and finished. I have not yet decided what to do about the sides of the bases. I'm leaning toward painting them Dark Umber, but some of the figs are already a bit of a tight fit in the movement trays so we'll see.

Hopefully, I'll be back in a few days with finished pics of the Spearmen and Cavalry and then again shortly therafter with the remaining 4 figures and movement trays.


3 responses to “Runewars: Painting Daqan Part 2- Spears and Cav Ready for Dipping.

  1. So many troops, that would take me eons. Looking good so far. That sand mix does come out nice. The brand of floor finish I use is Holloway House Quick Shine floor finish, since I can’t seem to find future near me, it’s cheap. Works great as a wash, but leaves things glossy. (I believe it’s just an acrylic medium anyway.) I matte varnish as an endpoint so it doesn’t matter much.

    For metal paints, I swear by these:

    I think when I bought mine they were on clearance for $5, but I was pretty amazed. Their airbrush application is pretty magical, and they work well on a brush. Two words: USEABLE GOLD! :)

  2. Thanks,
    These guys are coming out even faster than usual, because I know if I slow down I’ll lose enthusiasm for the project. Dipped the whole army this weekend. Will have another blog up soon when they are all done.

    Cool paints. A nice gold does sound intriguing. As for future, I think it’s now called "Pledge" with "with future clear" in smaller letters or something like that. I’ll keep an eye out for Holloway though I’ve got a long way to go before I’ll use up the bottle I have.

    Let me know if you want some sand mix and I’ll bring it to the next game you attend. Still got quite a few pounds of the stuff.

  3. These are looking really good, Karl.

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