Sunday, 4 March 2012

Descent - Painting the Tomb of Ice

The Tomb of Ice is the last expansion with models for Descent (At least until Descent 2.... the REVENGE comes out)

Tomb did a good job of handing some power back to the players. After Altar and Well, the players were getting hammered by evil curses, tough missions, a good variety of beasts and treachery. In order to claw some of that back Tomb of Ice introduced feats for players, and they are a real help.

The Monsters are a real mixed bag, but the big problem is they just don't hit the table enough. We are playing a road to legend campaign, and these guys rarely see the light of day, which is a pity.

First up is the Shades. A simple paint job as they are all black ghostly things. A little dark gray dry brushing and they were mostly done. Probably the best monster in the expansion, they are fast, hard to hit and have piercing magical attacks. Shades are also a classic fantasy monster and a welcome addition to any army of the undead.

The lava beetles were fun to paint, I did a very quick colour highlight from dark red to yellow and it worked out all right. The faces were done with a leather base coat followed up with bleached bone.

In game, these guys are a bit annoying. So very very slow and blast is great on certain levels, but mostly they haven't been too effective.

The Medusas are pretty cool models and the first time I pulle done out and placed it on the board I got a solid "What the F is that" from my players.
Painting was real simple, base coat dark green, dark green ink, and then a light green drybrush.
The medusa stun in combat, and the master has quick shot. With a rage card you could conceivably stun the whole hero party with one model, I must try that.

On to the Wendigo. Honestly, i'm yet to use these guys in anger which is a bit of a waste as they are both amusing and scary at the same time. Scary if you contemplate them chewing on your legs, funny if you imagine them singing back up for a mo-town act.

Easiest paint job in the land. Spray white, use dark ink, then paint the mouth.Ok, the mouth was a little tricky.

Finally, the Ice Wyrm. It annoys me they haven't hit the table for one very good reason. THE STOMACH TILE! Yes, Fantasy flight games added in a separate location tile for people who get swallowed alive by these things.... how over the top is that? Anyways, this paint job probably looks a lot more complicated than it was. The blue and blue gray scales are just base coats of enchanted blue and space wolf gray washed with blue ink. Nothing more than that.

The moral of the story is this. You don't need to paint like a games workshop studio member to have models that look ok and are fun to play with. Just use the following steps

1.) Spray black
2.) Paint big areas with slightly watered down acrylic paint the colour you want them.
3.) Use an ink to fill in the shadows on the model.
4.) Use drybrushing to create some highlights.

These are very easy techniques and don't require you to be artistically gifted (Cause I am not... I can barely draw a stick figure). But I know how to cheat at painting.


  1. You really love your Descent don't you? I think it's great that you put so much effort into your boardgames. I find it inspiring myself!

  2. Yeah, having a good group of old friends to play with makes the game. Honestly, we could play anything though. It's my old RPG group, but with work writing complicated games for roleplaying isnt happening. the Descent campaign is good, gives us somethign to do that takes a lot of time but doesnt require much work up front.

    Also, painted boardgames look so much better than plain ones.


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