Runewars: Daqan Army Finished!

Continuing on from my previous post, which showed the miniatures before dipping, last week I put the finishing touches on my Daqan army.


Usually I use a brush to apply the "dip", however for the first time ever I did the classic immersion dip. I dunked the entire figure into a tin of Minwax Polyshades Satin Antique Walnut that I had added just a bit of mineral spirits to. Then I shook it vigorously to remove excess dip. I set them on their base and after I had dipped each set of 8, I took a cheap brush and brushed off the obvious areas where the dip had collected, usually the bottom of the shields or the top of the heads.

I missed the globs at the bottom of one or two shields, but I've hid those figs in the back row.

Then it was just a matter of drybrushing tan on the bases and giving them a spray of Rustoleum 2x Matte Varnish to cut the shine from the dip. Aside from the bases, these figures received no drybrushing/highighting at all!

Oathsworn Cavalry

Treated the same as the Spearmen except that I brushed on the Polyshades.

Unlike the spearmen also went back and drybrushed just a bit of silver on the swords and the helmet streamers.


Same treatment as Cavalry.


Rune Golems

Same treatment as Kari and Cav, but they received an additional drybrush of Delta Ceramcoat "Bamboo" all over to soften up the dark dip and accent/highlight the hard edges of the model.

For some reason these pics came out much more contrasted than the models are in real life. The brown is much softer due to the bamboo drybrush. More like the group shots at the end of this post.

Notes on Bases and trays.

The bases on the minis had Sand Mix Cement glued to their bases with water thin superglue. Then they were painted with watered down Burnt Umber. They got dipped along with the figures (probably should have based after the dip), and after the matte spray they were drybrushed with tan.

The Trays were a bit different. I've been trying some of variations of technique with this army so for the trays I simply applied a thick layer of black gesso and sprinkled it with Sand Mix Concrete and then the Burnt Umber. The resulting base color was a bit different than the bases and they were not "dipped". As you can see in the Rune Golem above, after the drybrush they still matched quite well. The swirl marks in the tray cavity are explained below.

I topped the minis' bases and trays off with a bit of some green/yellow static grass again using superglue. I considered a few others, but a traditional green was too similar to the armor and the tan colored grass barely stood out against the base colors. Instead of PVA, I used superglue which worked fast and effectively.

For the raised scenic hero bases, I applied sand mix to hide the cast-on skulls (this isn't Warhammer after all!), and one of the sword hilts. On one of them I similarly hid a good deal of the rock detail. In this way the identical sculpts end up looking fairly different.


Base/Tray Size Problem???  

After finishing all the figs I realized that Kari, around half the soldiers and a few of the cavalry would not fit into the trays without some pressure applied. It was clear that this would very quickly scratch the paint off the sides of the bases. Interestingly, the Rune Golems fit just fine with not squishing.

If you're just going to play Runewars then this is not a big deal since you won't see the size of the figs' base often. However, if -like CSW members, and many other gamers- you use your figures across many games, of if you just like to display your figures separately it's just not acceptable to have scratched up base sides. My solution was to enlarge the tray cavities. I used a dremel with a pancake shaped sharpening bit to grind away the central peg and some plastic from the edges of every tray cavity. You can see the swirl marks from this process on the tray a couple pics up.

This was a bit tedious and should not be necessary, but I'd rather take the time than have scratched base edges. If I'd known I'd have to do this I would have done it before any basing.

Final Thoughts

It's been a while since I did up figures in such quantity. It turned out to be a great way to try some new technique variations including, silver paint markers, Rustoleum colored satin spray paint and Gesso and/or superglue for applying basing materials. Also, immersion dipping has been something of a revelation. Previously I would have said it's easier to brush dip, but immersion dipping is very fast and I'll probably do it again next time I've got batches of more than 15 miniatures.

Once again, Sand Mix shows it's value in creating realistic rocky soil and extensive use of superglue instead of PVA really sped up basing and application of static grass.

Overall I'm quite happy with the way the army looks.  I particularly love how fast these were converted, assembled and painted. When I purchase other Daqan units I've no doubt that following this same process I'll quickly have them painted and on the table!

Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for my next Runewars hobby article.  I'm building some easy terrain to replace the game's cardboard terrain templates.

-Karl Paulsen

5 responses to “Runewars: Daqan Army Finished!

  1. Avatar

    PatrickWR says:

    Looks great, Karl! I really like the unified look of the army now that it’s complete. And it’s nice to know that the classic "dip" method actually works.

    For me, the jury is still out on those click-together movement trays. Is it possible to play the game without them?

  2. Avatar

    timlillig says:

    Movement is tied to the shape of the bases, unfortunately. So, to work around the bases you would also have to adjust the movement templates.

  3. I think you could play the game without the official bases, but you’d have to come up with similarly shaped (aprox 2.5 inch square) bases/trays for each unit and you’d have to cut some new templates (easy enough to do) with a cuve that matches the curve without the depth of the puzzle trays.

    Of course for casual play it’d be easy enough to fudge it with the included templates, but you’d still have to make the activation dials and print some upgrade cards.

  4. Avatar

    timlillig says:

    At that point you are almost making your own game.

  5. That’s true. It’d be a fair bit of work.
    The rules are free to download, and enough of the cards and dials are shown various places, that if you bought the upcoming "essentials" pack which has templates, counters, dice, etc. You could play for a nominal fee.

    I actually like the locking trays for this game. They hold the units together and interact well with the templates to give very precise movement options. I don’t mind buying the figs with dials, though that might not be true for folks who arent’ interested in the avaialble factions. Luckily, for indie-style gaming I’ve still got Kings of War, Dragon Rampant and Song of Blades.

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