Saturday, 16 April 2016

Mars Attacks Dreadball Team - An Experiment With Quickshade

After playing a game of Dreadball with Xacheriel at my weekly gaming club recently, I had so much fun I decided I would crack on with finishing up the teams I had languishing in the pile of shame, so I could play with as many fully painted teams as possible and get another gaming system fully completed.

I have been having dreadful luck with my Mars Attacks team. I just don't know how they are supposed to function in the game, they are pretty terrible at everything and their special rules are failry lacklustre and do not make up for the glaring weaknesses of the team.

However I am rather fond of the models and hopefully unpainted model syndrome is to blame for some of my bad fortune with them on the pitch. The casts themselves are usual Mantic fare (ie pretty poor). They have been made out of some cheap plastic like army men are made out of, which I thought would be an improvement on the terrible restiv they have been wont to use. Alas I was mistaken and it is just as awful. The mould lines were almost impossible to remove (you can still see some on the close ups of the minis below) and the ones I did manage to remove I had to carve a chunk out of the places they ran down just to remove them, thus obliterating some of the detail. The definition of the detail is ok but nowhere near the quality of GW's models. For a small company I suppose this can be excused somewhat, and the character of the sculpts themselves are nice, and the game is just so good I wanted to get them done.

I did not want to spend too much time on these, not only because of the sculpts but also because of the slightly large backlog of gaming systems needing models painting I have racking up on my shelves. Having used Army painters quickshade varnish on my Judwan Dreadball team in 2014 I decided I would go the same route. Basic painting, no shading or highlighting, just the block colours and hope the quickshade would do the work for me. Inused a white primer as the base colour, using a blue wash and glaze to get the body suit colour, followed by a red wash and glaze for the brains. The metals were just boltgun and gold, and the green dots and gems were just It was quite refreshing to be able to paint quickly and slightly messily and not really give a shit. I got the base colours done in about two hours for all 10. They looked horrendous by the time I had finished, and my initial enthusiasm sploshing paint around waned somewhat when I looked at my handiwork. I dearly hoped that the quickshade would be effective. I was going to use the dark tone shade, which as the name suggests gives a very dark shading to the models and dulls them down somewhat (which was desperately needed at this point). You can see the pre dipped models in this photo below.

Pretty garish right? Well I went on to dip and then matt varnish them all, and the end result is not too bad at all. The shading is pretty heavy, and I had to do a light drybrush to the brains to make them stand out a bit and add some interest to the models. For a tabletop standard paintjob quickshade is actually pretty effective. You don't have much control over the shading, which can be a little harsh and can pool in areas, and works better on areas with more detail. The flatter bits like the strikers trousers are slightly dodgy but the ridged trousers on the rest work well. Overall it has transformed the models from a garish nightmare to something quite moody and fairly decent (from a slight distance anyway). The basing was done with GW's Martian crackle paint because, well.... Martians innit. The final touches were adding the glass domes, which I greatly enjoyed and really finish the unit of nicely. Enjoy :)

Knocked down Martians




  1. The quick shade result is awesome. I do like the fact that it basically varnishes them at the same time, so it's a one step (though somewhat messy) process. I still think for nids, it is one of the absolute best ways to do a quicker table top force. I've seen some absolutely amazing nid armies done with the dip method.

    1. Thanks Greg :)

      Yeah it des save me a step or two by doing the varnishing and shading. I can see why it would be so effective for nids, with all their ridges and more organic feel. The shading would look very good on them.