Painting a Shieldwolf Goblin Wartoad Rider

Hi! Remy77077 here again with another Shieldwolf related nugget for you.

Having recently finished a major painting goal of mine – my first whole miniatures army which you can read all about over on my site if you’d like to, I was actually feeling a bit confused about what to do next, as I had just so many miniatures I’d like to paint and so many options! Thankfully I was alerted on twitter and the Kings of War Forum that the Swordmasters’ “Path of an Outcast” site was running a painting challenge called ‘Monster March’. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to join in at first when I heard about it though, as I didn’t have all the modelling materials I needed to make up the model I wanted to do, and I didn’t want to make a rush-job of anything I did, even if it was for a fun web challenge. I also wasn’t sure if this model was really big enough to classify as a “monster” or not, but it seemed to be ok from what Swordmaster had shown on his site anyway…

So I was intrigued by the idea to see if I could get one of the lovely new Shieldwolf Wartoads (& Forest Goblin Rider) that I covered in detail in my review of them here, painted this month…

Wartoad Cavalry WIP
As of a couple of weeks ago, only the wartoad had been spray-primed and the model wasn’t even glued yet

Fortunately I was able to find and buy what I wanted to finish the model off before even starting to paint him. The idea I had was to try to make some rope for the rider to hold onto to make him look more like he was ‘riding’ on the wartoad, and also to make it look like he had something to hang onto if it hopped about too wildly πŸ˜‰

If you want to copy my technique, I’ve used the ‘horn left arm’ from the command parts sprue for the Forest Goblin rider, but chopped the horn-ends off. I’ve then used some thin wire wound together using a drill, following this video guide I found on youtube, which for once, really was as easy as it looked in the video. I bought a few different sizes of wire to try out, and played around with a few different sizes and amounts of ‘twist’ on the rope before I found something I was pretty happy with. Bending & wrapping it around the models arm was by far the trickiest toughest part of all of this, whilst trying to make sure everything was cut to the right length to ‘join’ onto the ‘seat’ on the back of the toad when the rider was positioned where I wanted him. Not to mention working out at the same time exactly how to glue his head and arms onto the body to make sure all the geometry of this was as good as I could get it…

Strap yourselves in boys!

Next it was onto priming the rider. I didn’t actually want to glue him down onto the toad yet because I knew he would be much easier to paint separately, and then glue and touch up afterwards.

Going into action!
The rider got some base coats of paint first..

As you can see, due to the flimsy nature of the join where the right side of the rope was, without it being glued at both ends, it fell off whilst I was priming him. Thankfully I didn’t drop it on the floor though. I have a bad habit of doing that with tiny model parts – and then I end up scrabbling about under my paint desk trying to find them again for seemingly ever.

In case you were wondering where the paint scheme inspiration came from… I was trying to paint the toad to look like my friend’s pet frog. As well as a fun thing we’d been talking about since the Shieldwolf Kickstarter was announced, it also really helped me to have a great example of how to make this look at least somewhat like a realistic amphibian. This gave me some ideas of what colours and markings to go for, and it also completely matches the overall painting style of the rest of my models where I try to make anything ‘real’ as realistic looking as I can, despite them being fantasy races. (So for example, my wolves and wolf-pelts etc I really work hard to try to make them look as realistic as I can too).

Obviously the model didn’t exactly match the real-life frog, so I had to vary a fair bit from his real markings. If I attempt this again (and I have even more of these lovely models on the way to me right now) – I might try to remodel parts of it to match real life even more closely.

For the Forest Goblin rider, as this was a “character” model I didn’t go with my usual base, wash, one highlight method I use normally, instead I went with the much more time consuming technique of layering it all up from a dark base layer to the finest highlight. I’d never tried that before with my new Forest Goblin skintone though (based on GW’s Straken Green I eventually settled on!) so this would be a bit of a test run for that too.

Also, for my Forest Goblin characters I decided they would generally get a lot more gold ornaments, which is something I do across my whole army to signify the more important models. On top of that, leaders would get the most colourful feather details of any of my Forest Goblins, somewhat based on the kind of plumage colours you see on jungle birds.

Finally, after the best part of a weekend, I can present to you:

Jodri, Forest Goblin Chieftain, riding his trusty wartoad Blubber-Nugget

Jodri Forest Goblin Chieftain riding Blubber-Nugget: Front right

Jodri is one of the leaders of his Forest Goblin tribe. The Forest Goblins are friends to all the creatures of the forest, especially the many spiders, snakes, amphibians & reptilians that also share their forest homeland. Jodri is especially close to the giant toads that live nearby to the Forest Goblin dens, befriending some of them, and even going so far as to share food & hunting alongside the toads at times. Some outside observers have suggested this is maybe partly to prevent the giant toads from hunting the Goblins themselves, but it is actually true that the Forest Goblins seem to have developed quite a symbiotic relationship with their environment.

Jodri Forest Goblin Chieftain riding Blubber-Nugget: Back Right

Whenever the forest is threatened by outsiders, Jodri calls upon his most trusted friend amongst the toads Blubber-Nugget to repel any invaders to their lands, and lives the dream of many a Forest Goblin by being able to ride his toad into battle! Truly earning the title of ‘Wartoad’.

Jodri Forest Goblin Chieftain riding Blubber-Nugget: Front

As I noted in the previous review, I intend to use this model for The Ninth Age, usually as a Goblin Chief or King on a ‘Cave Gnasher’, but alternatively I could use him as a cool unit filler for Forest Goblin infantry. For Kings of War, I have quite a few options he could work for, although I will need to paint more up wartoad riders really for KoW to use this model effectively. Once I’ve got more ready though, I might use them as themed Fleabag Riders, Mawbeast Packs, Fleabag Chariots or β€˜proxy’ Trolls.

Jodri Forest Goblin Chieftain riding Blubber-Nugget: Side


  1. This miniature is simply wow!!! And very good job painting it!! The rope is dope. Really realistic. Totally enjoined the explanation and the concept. The idea to copy a real frog really payd. Was def a smart one.
    One day I will definetively ask you something, about paint wood parts. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad you like the rope since that was by far the toughest part of this model for me, trying to bend & glue that to get it all positioned correctly, whilst also painting the model.

      I always recommend looking at real-life inspiration & photos when painting things, I think it’s something that not enough miniatures painters think about to be honest, but it really helps me.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s