The Great Goblin

Posted: Jun 22, 2013 in The Hobbit
Tags: , , , , ,

The Great Goblin

“Murders and elf-friends!” the Great Goblin shouted. “Slash them! Beat them! Bite them! Gnash them! Take them away to dark holes full of snakes, and never let them see the light again!” He was in such a rage that he jumped off his seat and himself rushed at Thorin with his mouth open.

Here is the latest denizen of Middle Earth to come off my painting table: the Great Goblin (apparently referred to as the ‘Goblin King’ in New Line’s merchandising). I loved the portrayal of the Great Goblin in the film (ably played by Barry Humphies) and GW’s model captures the character perfectly. It is a fantastic model which has some great textures considering the fact that it is plastic.

For the colour  scheme I tried to stick as closely as possible to the concept art for the character as seen in Brian Sibley’s excellent An Unexpected Journey Official Movie Guide (definitely recommended as a reference  for anyone painting Hobbit models). The only time we see the Great Goblin in the film is in scenes lit by torchlight and so the film stills weren’t a reliable guide to painting him. See below to find out how I went about painting him

The Great Goblin

The Great Goblin

The Great Goblin

The Great Goblin

Detail on the skull:

The Great Goblin

Gruesome severed heads adorn the scepter:

The Great Goblin

A close-up of the crown. Note the painted-on chips and scratches:

The Great Goblin

The Great Goblin with some of his minions:

The Great Goblin

Painting the Great Goblin

The skin was basecoated with Tallarn Flesh. Even though most of this stage would be completely painted over on the finished model it would give the skin tone an underlying warmth. This is because even though the Great Goblin is pallid and unhealthy he is not a zombie or Nurgle model and so should still look as though he is alive.

The skin was then painted with a 50/50 mix of Tallarn Flesh and Space Wolf Grey. This was washed with Ogryn Flesh mixed with Lahmian Medium and allowed to dry. This was followed by more targeted washes applied directly to the recesses using Ogryn Flesh and Agrax Earthshade. I then highlighted the skin with the original flesh mix with increasing amounts of white added.

The purple/red lesions on the skin were glazed using a mix of Leviathan Purple and Tallarn Flesh. The yellowish areas were glazed with Seraphim Sepia. At this stage the skin was looking a little too warm and so was glazed with thinned down Guilliman Blue in order to give it a slightly cooler tone.

The lesions on the skin were built up further by adding glazes of Leviathan Purple, Bloodletter, Ogryn Flesh and Seraphim Sepia. I tried to copy the look of real bruises.

In order to make the model look really disgusting (more so than he already was) and to add visual interest to such a large model I painted veins and texture on the areas of bruised and broken skin as can be seen in the close-ups below. This was done with a mix of Scab Red and Leviathan purple. Veins were also painted on the undamaged skin using Guilliman blue. The blue veins were then glazed over using Tallarn Flesh and then Pallid Wych Flesh. This was to tone the colour down and to make them appear to be beneath the surface of the skin.

Broken Skin  VeinsBroken Skin

The face was highlighted by adding Pallid Wych Flesh to Tallarn Flesh and working up to pure Wych Flesh. The eyes and mouth were then glazed blue and purple. The eyes were painted Pallid Wych Flesh and the irises were painted using Ballor Brown edged with Mournfang Brown. The pupils were painted in black.


All in all a suitably disgusting and grotesque paint job for such a foul character. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Now, on to the dwarves.


  1. Barks says:

    Love it! I’m going to be referring to this when I paint mine.

  2. Andrew King says:

    Let me know how it turns out. If you have any questions just ask.

  3. Joel says:

    Love it.
    Ive never seen vanes done soo superbly before 😀

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