Oi Nutter! Painting up some Worms minis


Fully painted Ironclad Grubs and MJ Figures Scream worm

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I have been sitting on a set of rules for a 'Worms' style wargame for years now... more than a decade in fact now I think about it... oh gods I'm old... sigh.

Anyway... in all that time, I've never actually played a game using these rules. Soo I got some friends over and cracked them out (along with a couple of games of Test of Honour! More in another post no doubt).

I was spurred into this by also having starting to paint up many of the worms minis that I had bought back then (and more recently to build out the collection). The worms miniatures can be found at Ironclad miniatures’ Grubs line and also MJ Figures’ Worms range

So I thought I would write up a quick post on how I painted these chaps up.

Array of unpainted worms minis

The minis are older sculpts and it shows in the casting - they needed quite a lot of cleaning, particularly to smooth off the base. So much so that I am waiting to get access to a belt sander before doing them.

The original minis - the MJ Figures line - are on sort of sculpted bases but the Ironclad minis (which are also a little bigger) are not. I ended up deciding to base all the minis to make them a little more consistent.

Because I didn't sand down the cast bases too enthusiastically, I knew I needed to do something to the bases to obscure the cast bases. My initial plan was some milliput to make a gradual hill... this worked fairly well but left a rather bland texture. To improve on this I opted to try out something I'd been meaning to test for a while: basing with Baking Powder!

Baking Powder basing

I'd always been a bit scared of attempting baking powder bases as I could see horrible superglue frosting or weird bubbling being possibilities if I screwed up... as it turns out though it works remarkably well for small, fine texture on basing. There are a couple of things I have learnt as a result of this experiment:
  • Use very little superglue. If you have a pool of superglue (aka CyanoAcrylate glue or CA glue) then the baking powder can form a ripple like effect as it dries rather than a flat even texture on the base.
  • Sprinkle the baking powder over the base rather than dipping the base in the baking powder. If you dip it into the powder there is a tendency to add lumps onto the base.
  • Superglue can dry really damn fast when it's applied in thin layers.
  • Paint over the base soon after applying the basing material. This is not from experience but I suspect that you may get weird reactions if you leave the powder exposed to the atmosphere (esp humid). A thorough coating of paint should limit this and help reduce the likelihood of weird color shifts.

Hot pink

Everyone knows that Worms are a popping hot pink color and I didn't want mine to miss out on this effect. After priming I hit them from below with Reaper HD Maroon red and from above with a couple of coats of Reaper Monster Maw:

First batch of worms minis basecoated.

Black lining

I wanted a really cartoon aesthetic and so needed to exaggerate the segments which are not particularly deeply carved. I had initially hoped to be able to just wash the model to get the effect (you can see one attempt on the Mummy Worm above). The result of these was disappointing. The wash tinted the pink pretty heavily without really defining the segments. In the end I opted for ScaleColor Inktensity Black to freehand in the rings:

Finished minis - happy with how they came out.

Having got a few of these chaps painted up - it was time to have them face off in a three way battle royale! Given it's Worms - it felt entirely appropriate to ad-lib the scenery and we opted for some deck boxes and bags of card sleeves. It was a little too sparse for a really interesting game but worked well enough for a test game:

Photo of Worms mid game

German worm in cover mid-game

I have since gone back and revised the rules slightly. They are not mine and I am not sure how to reach the original creator (Mark Jenkins) for permission to further distribute. If anyone can put me in touch with him I'd appreciate.

- Raggy, signing out

Disclaimer: All work listed above is intended as Parody of Team17's Worms per The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Quotation and Parody) Regulations 2014 Section 30A. Nothing is endorsed by Team17.