Fabulous secret powers were revealed to me the day I held aloft my magic paintbrush and said, “I HAVE THE POWER”. Are you in for a treat today, this blog post is a round up of 4 weeks’ worth of work painting my Masters of the Universe Battleground Starter Set from Archon Studio. I’ve created painting guides for every model including the terrain pieces and photographed them in stunning scenes. So hold onto your furry underwear, this going to be a good one!
I reached out to the fine folks at Archon Studios to let them know I’m a huge He-Man and Masters of the Universe fan and that I love painting models and photographing them. This is the perfect partnership and they agreed to send me a copy of their game to check out.
I was pretty impressed with what you get in the box. A game board, cards, counters and a whole host of terrain but the star of the show are the detailed, hard plastic miniatures which come on sprues (not cheap rubbery 1 piece game pieces). This is a game that rivals industry juggernaut Games Workshop for quality.
I took my time and painted my set in around a month. The terrain alone took a week to finish. I’m old enough to have experienced He-Man and the Masters of the Universe when it first came out in 1982. I had so many of the toys including Castle Grayskull as a kid (I’ve actually recollected these action figures as an adult) so I knew exactly how I wanted to paint my models.
Masters of the Universe is a franchise that is celebrating its 40 year anniversary this year and there are lots of different versions of these colourful characters. The Masters of the Universe Battleground miniatures are actually based on the Masters of the Universe Classics figures, an adult collector range that ran from 2008 to 2020. There are details on the Classics action figures that aren’t on the 1980s vintage figures such as Trap Jaw has stitches, Skeletor now has wrist bracers, Man-at-Arms has fur trim on his armour and lots of other new additions. I didn’t let these stop my vision of vintage toy colour schemes and just painted the details as if they weren’t there. So Man-at-Arms fur trim is just orange like his armour.
As I painted each figure I shared my finished pictures on my social media profiles. It was a brand new game and there weren’t any painting guides and I was being asked by fellow MotU fans how I painted these models. It just made sense to make some easy to follow recipe cards for everyone to enjoy. Totally free and not hidden behind a paywall.
I stuck to my guns for a vintage toy inspired paint scheme and this included painting metal weapons like He-Man’s Power Sword to look like grey toy plastic. This got really confusing with Ram Man whose toy used metal paint and chrome foil, so I busted out the metal paints for him.
There is so much terrain in the game and it’s incredible. I couldn’t give the terrain the same painting attention and detail as the figures or I would be painting them for 6 months. Instead I used dry brushing to speed things up and they don’t look too bad really.
The factions included in the game are the Masters of the Universe and Evil Warriors. None of them have matching uniforms so I decided to give them uniformed bases. The Masters of the Universe got Castle Grayskull Green and the Evil Warriors got Snake Mountain Purple. There are more factions on the way from Archon Studios with the Evil Horde being released in December 2022. I’ll paint their bases like the Frightzone playset. Not sure how I’ll paint the Snakemen if they get a release.
Archon Studios have shared a release roadmap on their blog. This shows when the game and expansions will be available in different Countries. I’m seeing some independent stores in America offer it for sale to, not sure how they’re doing that so be sure to talk to your local independent stockist and see if they can get you a copy if you want one.
With my entire Masters of the Universe Battleground Starter Set painted, individual photos taken and painting guide recipe cards created and shared there was only one thing left to do. A big fancy photograph celebrating the completion of the product.
Everything you see in this photograph is real and caught in camera. It’s actually 6 photographs stacked on top of each other in Photoshop. The lightning power effect was created by cutting a lightning bolt into black card and adding a flash with yellow plastic gel sheet over it. I share a lot of the behind the scenes information on twitter so feel free to follow me.
As you can see from the above tweet, just off to the side is a miniature Castle Grayskull. I actually used an app and the forward facing depth camera on my iPhone to scan a copy of my vintage playset and 3D printed a smaller scale version which I painted up just for this photo. I was so happy with final outcome of the picture I had one printed and framed for my man cave.
Would you like to see me cover more Masters of the Universe Battleground models on the Tale of Painters blog? Let me know in the comments.
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