Miniature Monday – Bugbear Warband


This week we present one of the “staple monsters” for many fantasy RPGs, the bugbear! And in this case, even a full warband, which might be too much to swallow for some low-level adventurers…

(posting by Antonia Vogel)

The bugbear minis are from the range of miniatures published within the Bones II Kickstarter, and overall the quality of detail and pose is really nice. There is some flashing (a bit annoying when it is visible on the head) and some parts of the weapons might be a bit warped – fortunately these are bugbear clubs and axes, not high elf spears, and work just fine even without much re-bending. Only the lack of detail on the weapons themselves is a bit strange, considered how otherwise well textured the rest of the miniatures is.


Let’s start with my rather unusual take:


I don’t know how the idea came into my head, but somehow I decided to paint the bugbears like big cats. Their bulky physique and fur made me think of a lion or tiger, but at the same time I wanted something different from the browns and beiges of mammalian coloring, so I went for, well… battle cat, I guess *lol* Most of the striping is, in fact, on their backs, but I think you get the idea. The range of colors was kind of reduced, greens, red and brown mostly, and I like the result – it gives a nice orkish/predator-like effect. After finishing the paintjob I wondered if I should add sculpted tails someday, that would definitely work with the “big cat” theme, but on the other hand I’m not sure where to fit them… would feline bugbears cut a hole in the back of their loincloth/armour skirts? Needs more research…! I won’t promise an update, though, because I know how well that worked last time.


Dirk painted his bugbears for a diorama he plans:


He painted four of them, one is from the first range of Bones, they tossed in a handful of them for free in the Bones II core set if I recall correctly. Dirk’s color scheme was inspired by D&D’s Monster Manual as well as by celtic traditions (they are part of a larger group of brigands which also feature tartan-wearing gnolls!): After some thought he settled for blue cloth, which works great as a contrast to the ochre skin and gives an overall “cool” feeling compared to Jim’s version below. I like the variation in metals, it really looks like they scavenged and stole most of their equipment.


Jim’s minis also look like they are right out of a Monster Manual:

jimBones Bugbears IMG_4095

Although Jim isn’t completely happy with the skin color (he thinks it’s too orange) I immediately got a “Wow, very classic” reaction when I saw the minis – for me they look like a RPG illustration, showing the strength of a reduced color palette for creating a well-rounded appearance. How many main colors did you use, Jim? One metal color, the skin tone, one or two browns mostly? Would you say it makes the whole painting process quicker? I wonder because I often try to reduce my number of colors (for harmony as well as speed reasons) but somehow my painting space always ends up with a lot more paints than I had planned.


Michael sent his pictures earlier, which is so cool, and shamefully I forgot about it *sighs*


Michael prepared a lot more than the suggested three, and they make a wonderfully diverse horde of baddies. Here is what he wrote: “As you can see, I had not only the three on the schedule, but four others that were probably one of those extra bonus sets they threw in so you could have a big horde of enemies. Each of the seven bugbears has a different skin and fur color; I found the deep relief on the muscles great for making a big color pop by doing a five-step process – base color, wash, base again on non-recessed areas, wash again, lightened base color on high elevations. I did the armor in the same style on each one. It does look a little too nice for bugbears, doesn’t it? This was actually a planned thing for the game I run, where the bugbears have cobbled together their armor from the uniforms of human army patrols they’ve killed. They did have some help in doing so, as my PCs are discovering!”

I like the highlights, especially on the blue surfaces, they work great for tabletop use, and I agree that the heavy muscles were really cool to paint (and somehow anatomically correct, which is not a given in many humanoid monsters).

This week’s gallery:


Coming next:

06/25/18 Bones III Let the dogs out: War Dog and/or Foo Dog (B3 Core)

Want to participate in the next post? Email the pictures of your minis until Friday 06/22/18 to  (It’s a .de domain, in case emails are bouncing)

–> Attention: The submission date for photos is about three days before publishing date, to give us a bit of time to actually write about your pictures  😀

This way you’ll have two weeks/one weekend to paint, and we have one weekend to write (which is the only time of the week where we have some open minutes).

You can of course send in pics later, but to take out a bit of the stress (most pics arrive here rather last minute) please consider the three day deadline. Later pics will still show up in an update  😉

(I added some of your suggestions already, I might shuffle them around a bit, but keep them coming! For some minis there are no pics in the online shop yet so I’ll add them later.

As you can see I prepared a lot of date entries but am still looking for mini ideas. Post your suggestions if you like! The ‘Type of mini’ placeholder is just that, if you want something else tell us!)


07/09/18 Eastern Encounter Part Two: Oni demon female and/or male (B3 Core)

07/23/18 Bones III Quinn, Iconic Investigator (B3 Core)

08/06/18  Catch-Up Monday – your pick from Bones 1 & 2 incl. extras. What about some demons (toad, wolf, slime…), a dragon or a giant?

08/20/18 Bones II Skeletons, as many as you like (like this or this or this one) Here you can find the Bones 2 Core Set picture, look for “Shambling Dead”. On you can search for “skeleton” and check the bones minis to find them. If you have other skeletons to paint just send us pics of those!

09/03/18 Bones III Ogres (guard, smasher, clubber) (B3 Core)

09/17/18 Unhooding woman/cleric (not yet available) (B3 Core)

10/01/18 Bones III Bregan, Valkyrie (B3 Core)

10/15/18 Bones II TBA

10/29/18 Bones III Hobageddon: Hobgoblin warriors (B3 Core)

11/12/18 Bones III Elven Blacksmith (B3 Core)

11/26/18 Bones II TBA

12/10/18 Bones III Animal/Monster TBA

12/24/18 Christmas break

12/31/18 New Year’s break

01/07/19 Bones III Humanoid TBA

01/21/19 Room for your suggestions!



This entry was posted by Antonia & Dirk Vogel.

5 thoughts on “Miniature Monday – Bugbear Warband

  1. Hey – did either of my emails get through? I sent pics in two weeks ago (I had finished these before they were on the schedule), and then I resent the email last night after I saw the post. It occurred to me that because there were several pictures, it may have caused an issue. If that’s the case, I’ll resend as separate messages.

  2. I think you’re right about Jim’s minis. They do look close to something you would see on an old module cover. Nice job!

  3. Antonia – I really like the battle cat bugbears. I thought these guys looked a bit feline/leonine, too, especially the hunter! The overall color scheme fits well, too.

    Dirk – You nailed the skin color! That’s much closer to what I intended. The mish-mash of equipment adds to the character.

    Michael – They all look a little different from each other, but still unified. Well done. I’m especially struck by the gray skinned leader. The paint work looks excellent, too. Without insulting any of the rest of us, I think yours came out best (or at least most interesting). I was going to do all seven, but didn’t get around to it.

    I don’t want to offend anyone, but these aren’t my favorite minis. Don’t get me wrong: Tre Manor’s sculpts are very well done with nice, deep detail and the casting came out well, too. My problem is stylistic. Why are their heads so flat? Why do their heads come straight out of their chests instead of up from their shoulders? When did bugbears start spending so much time in the gym? I’ll stop there before I embarrass myself!

    As Antonia noted, I used a severely reduced color palette, mostly to speed painting, but it did end up giving them a unified look. Other than a little highlighting, which is minimal, there are only a few colors used and they are identical on all three. I used one wood tone, two clothing/leather colors, one for the club and mace handle wraps and two colors for the skin/fur. Actually, bugbears were originally described as giant, hairy goblins and old school goblins are orangey, so it all works in the end. I like them much better now that they are painted!

  4. Not offended here, but I love these critters. So much wanted to paint these, but life got in the way. Ah well, there is still the catch up Monday in August.

    Jim’s have very nice sharp details and will look best on the gaming table, every detail pops out. Dirk’s and Michael’s are very classic. Indeed the gray leader is an interesting choice and has nice detail in the fur. My favourite this time around are Antonia’s -well cats was not what came to my mind. To me, they look more like some bear-troll crossbreed. I love how menacing they look. The light gold armor contrasts nicely with the dark skin. Now I think I will give mine a dark skin as well. Very inspiring.

  5. Pingback: Old Mini Monday 08 – SciFi-03 – Double Down Dice

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