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Beastlords faction for Bot War

Beastlords faction for Bot War

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Project Blog by rum8le Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

Hot on the heels of painting the Builders unit for Bot War as part of a 31 day painting challenge, it's now time to paint some of the latest resin pieces to come out from Traders Galaxy. Behold, THE BEASTLORDS!!!

This Project is On Hold

Time to get this project back on track

Tutoring 6
Skill 7
Idea 7
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Photo dump of the current WIPs

No idea where the last 5 1/2 months went. Will get this project back on track and add context to some of these photos very soon.



Working on Brontous

The next group

Laying the foundations

Tutoring 9
Skill 9
Idea 9
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First priming

Solid grey primer coatSolid grey primer coat

Once the models are cleaned (I always wash resin no matter how ready it looks, and do this after cleaning up flash or any mould lines to make sure any detritus is washed away) and assembled with superglue it was time to get some paint down.

I have seen miniatures being painted straight onto the surface material to prevent detail loss, this is usually for display/competition pieces though as it removes an extra layer of paint and provides crisper details, but as they are for tabletop use I want my paint to have some resilience to being handled, so a quick priming session was needed.

Badger Stynelrez is my primer of choice, grey and white for this projectBadger Stynelrez is my primer of choice, grey and white for this project

I like to do a 2-tone prime, I find it can help with establishing shadows and I’m usually unlucky and miss a really obvious spot with my first pass, especially when I use grey primer on grey models as I have done here, so the 2nd coat can make sure those areas can be covered.

My current primer of choice is Badger’s Stynelrez run through an airbrush. I find it covers really well, dries reasonably fast, and it’s self-levelling formula gets into all the nooks & crannies with a smooth even finish. Once it has dried its a pretty solid base to work from. I did my airbrush priming on a fairly warm day so used a bit of flow improver in my cup to lengthen the drying time to help prevent the nozzle blocking over the course of painting 7 models, and my usual priming settings of 45 psi on the compressor and a 0.2 needle on my H&S Infinity. These give me a nice flow of paint that doesn’t take too long to blast through the 7 models.

I chose to use grey as my basecoat as it gives me a good starting point for the colours I want to end up with. I usually use black for priming my display pieces as I find it really boosts the contrast right from the off, but for my Bot Wars I want to have a more saturated appearance that will rely upon black lining for pop, rather than gradually recessing shadows.

Lighten it up

Lateral priming with white over the grey creates natural shadows and highlightsLateral priming with white over the grey creates natural shadows and highlights

With the grey applied and dried, I then went in with another lateral pass of Stynelrez white. I mostly come at the model from a 75° angle with the white as it hits all of the top and forward facing points with a sufficient amount of paint whilst retaining the grey for the under areas and lower view point spots. This is again done with my 0.2 needle but I drop the pressure to about 20 psi and am more careful with the trigger to control the flow so I don’t go in too thick and cover too much detail.

Quick and dirty pre-shade

A loose wash allows pooling in deepest recesses for quick preshading A loose wash allows pooling in deepest recesses for quick preshading

With the 2-tone primer applied I now want to really find the shadows and dull some of the white. This part of my priming session may seem a bit pointless, and it can be, but I like to do it so I can then take reference photos for later.

What I do is I give the whole model a loose wash, allowing the paint to run and pool in all of the little cracks and recesses. On much larger models (tanks, gunpla, planes etc) you would generally airbrush in paint around panels or into shadows to create a variable base that your top coat get applied over, similar to how the 2-tone priming is done above. Whilst I could airbrush in the preshading the traditional way with my 0.15 needle, I don’t have the patience or hand-control to do it on this scale of model.

For the pre-shade, I used Secret Weapon Blue Black wash thinned with Painter’s Milk on a 2:3 ratio.  This medium is a new product from The Painter’s Bakery and Twitch streamer That Mr Shy which works really well with both washes and acrylic paints to increase flow and silky smooth application.  I chose Blue Black as all of the colours in my scheme have blue as part of their makeup so should help to harmonise them, and it is slightly darker than the Secret Weapon Storm Cloud wash I plan to use later on the teal parts.


Secret Weapon washes, diluted with medium from The Painter's BakerySecret Weapon washes, diluted with medium from The Painter's Bakery

Always preferring the baddies

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Skill 7
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This is it, this is my final scheme, this is what I am really motivated to paint and have spent quite a while looking at it building excitement.


I am one of those people who prefers the “bad guys”, and this scheme is my interpretation of what the Beastlords would look like if they were to become infected with Deceiver code.

Colour choices...

Top: Boxart.  Middle: Heroic.  Bottom: EvilTop: Boxart. Middle: Heroic. Bottom: Evil

This is going to be a huge generalisation but bare with me.

Evil factions tend to have a cooler pallette than heroic ones, usually a connotation of their cold-hearted nature, lurking in shadows and specialising in subterfuge.  These ideas to me are symbolic of night time (it’s colder and easier to hide) and the colours that come to mind are teal blue/greens, greys, and purples (which can also add warmth to a scheme).


These colours also loosely featured on a few of the Decepticons from the Gen1 Transformers cartoons (Wingspan & Pounce, Sixshot) which ticks my nostalgia box.


In the above image you can see a comparison of the 3 Beastlord schemes; the original Boxart, the “Heroic” looking cartoon style, and my “Evil” Deceivers Beastlords. One day I may take the plunge and buy another set to paint up in the red/gold colours as I think they would be fun.  Most of my paint jobs (aside from my Bot Wars it seems) are usually heavily desaturated and cold, which is probably why I have been so taken by the teal/purple scheme, but I have to say it would be fun to paint that much red and gold as they’re both colours I rarely ever use (so have plenty of paint in those colours just sitting on the shelf).

Speaking of paint…..

Paint choices

Using the Paint Rack app for Android (iOS version still coming soon apparently) I was able to use the colour tools to get out some colours from my collection that would be a good match for the 3 main colour blocks in my chosen scheme; teal, purple, grey


The Paint Rack app allows you to filter only the collections of paints you have (or want to use) and after being really impressed with the results from P3 last time I decided to see if this scheme could be solely done with a single range. I’ve not yet tested the scheme on a model but I think I will need to add in some more paints to bring it all together when glazing in the highlights, but this is my initial thoughts on paints….

The bases will follow the same brown tones and textures used on my other BotsThe bases will follow the same brown tones and textures used on my other Bots

Plan before you paint!

Tutoring 10
Skill 8
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OK I have really grown to love this stage of a project. This is where the hype builds and my motivation levels go through the roof.  Working out how I want to paint these bots is like a mini project in itself, as I research, I test colour schemes, I identify my paint brands and colours, and once all that is done I am just sooo pumped to get cracking. This is the stage I am at now!



….. but before I apply any paint to the models I want to walk you through my research!




The Beastlords are an ancient species of “bot”, with a raw nature-inspired look of claws, teeth, spikes, and wings. You’d be hard pressed not to see a resemblance to extinct giant reptiles, dinosaurs even. As a child of the 1980s (which the Bot War game is set in) my first thoughts of giant robotic dinosaurs goes straight to the Dinobots from the Transformers toy line and cartoon.  Its obvious these bots took some inspiration from them as well, however they have some very cool differences that make these characters unique and different enough to those toys to have their own identity. Plus there’s 7 of them whereas there were only 5 Dinobots in Transformers.

Dinobots from the Transformers universe Dinobots from the Transformers universe

My last Bot War project was heavily inspired by the original 1980s Transformers cartoon, as a big fan of the show and toys I couldn’t bring myself to not paint the Builder team and their combined form in a neon green paint job to match the toys I have in the attic.  So for these Beastlords I wanted to see if it would be possible to do the same thing again.


Fortunately as you will have seen in the 1st post of this project, there are individual drawings of each of the 7 bots that make up this faction on the Traders Galaxy website, so I was able to save to my iPad and have a play around with some recolouring tools to come up with some initial ideas on taking the original scheme from the toys/cartoon that I have known since my childhood and lay it over the fantastic sculpts that Traders Galaxy have put out.

My childhood inspired Beastlords

Whilst these are not direct copies of the original toy scheme I had to adapt it for a few reasons…..

  • I wanted coherency in the faction, so having them all the same colour was kind of key to this.  You will see I did actually recolour Dactylous (the one with wings) to be blue as well as a more unified red/gold than his box art, but this just didn’t look right
  • The original Transformers had too much steel/metal on the arms and legs which to me would detract from the overall aesthetic I wanted to achieve if I were to paint them in metallics
  • As with my Builders I did not want to paint these bots in metallic paints, I wanted them to be cartoon like than that (not a comic-book style though)

I actually liked the red and gold combo, it looks powerful and made them like they are “good guys”



…. I didnt want “good guys”

Who are the Beastlords?

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Skill 6
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The Beastlords are one of the latest factions for the Bot War game from Traders Galaxy and form part of their new resin range.  There’s a few words in this entry, but feel free to just look at the pictures and check out the Traders Galaxy site for more information about them and the game.

The miniatures

The Beastlord faction bundle, 1 of each of the different bots The Beastlord faction bundle, 1 of each of the different bots
The Beastlords in their component form, each with a 50mm baseThe Beastlords in their component form, each with a 50mm base

These miniatures are gorgeous!

Ok, with that out of the way let me quickly summarise these bots.

Each bot is cast is high quality resin and comes in 4 or 5 pieces with a 50mm base. These are great sculpts with lovely little details and very few mould lines or casting issues on the packs I received. This is always something I would be worried about as mould slip or air bubbles would really show up on the flat panels.  The artwork you can see above has been perfectly captured during the sculpting process and I saw very little change from the initial 3D renders which were presented early on in their product development.

This 7 bot faction comprises of 3 different sets, 2 containing 3 miniatures and the other containing the most powerful of the Beastlords:

  • Tyrannus, Arkynor, Dactylous
  • Stegarous, Parasolar, Tricerous
  • Brontous


This project is going to follow my progress in building and painting these bots, I hope you will enjoy it

A little bit of faction history

“Unlike all previous Bots, the Beastlords have been present on earth since the Dark Ages. They were originally sent by the One to protect humanity against rogue entities under the command of Galaxy. It was this act by Galaxy that started the series of events that led to his elevation to Tyrant status and his open rebellion against the One.  


The Beastlords themselves however are unlike Valiants or Deceivers in that they were created specifically for purpose, having no life prior to the physical bodies they currently have. As a result Beastlords are mortal in theory however as no one has ever destroyed a Beastlord it is hard to say for sure. It is speculated amongst the Valiants as to whether the One had foresight enough to know the Beastlords would be present during the Bot War.  


No one knows how many Beastlords really exist as they are hermits, mostly living in solitary locations across the Earth. In times of great need perhaps a few will gather to swat a bothersome pest but once the threat is over they each go their separate ways again.


What is known is that Beastlords are extremely strong and powerful. Even more powerful than other non Beastlord Bots larger than themselves. In addition, their bodies are made of an unknown metal much stronger than steel. This allows the Beastlords to easily crush any enemy without taking much damage in return. For example Tyrannous, one of the more powerful Beastlords barely has a single dint in his body even after thousands of years.


These traits all make Beastlords unique. Their creation by the One gives them an affinity with the Valiants and their purpose gives them an affinity with humans, however this also hasn’t stopped the Beastlords having run ins with both of these factions


Their presence on Earth harks back to the dark ages. Emissaries of the One, the Beastlords are the only mortal Bots. Beastlords were never on Earth in huge numbers however they were once more numerous than they are now.  


Now only 7 Beastlords are known and rarely do they come together. They are solitary hermets for the most part.


The Beastlords code is a mystery, indeed no Beastlord has been destroyed in modern times so it is very hard to tell what happens when a Beastlord falls. All that is known is that their code is totally incompatible with any other Bot code in existence. “


Please note that the above background information has been copied from the Bot War Miniatures Game Facebook group as it is the original post detailing the background of the Beastlords faction before their general release. What follows is an enriched background as part of the new approach being taken by Traders Galaxy to create a unique universe and story that these epic battles are being fought in and is available in the free-to-print faction cards that support their release…


“During the early years of the Earth, supernatural entities rose to challenge and rule humanity. Five primordial gods set themselves against the order of creation itself. Beings that embodied the very elements themselves. Rather than war against each other and risk destruction, these gods made a pact to divide the planet and its human population into 5 parts.  Soon into this hellish reign, the fifth god’s heart was softened, and he left humanity and disappeared. The greedy remaining gods then started to argue over who would inherit the departed gods portion. Cataclysmic battles between the gods raged and much of the Earth and humanity was destroyed.

One of the four gods was destroyed utterly in these battles. A third chose to flee, leaving the remaining two. The remaining two gods were evenly matched. They eventually decided on a truce and the Earth was split into two territories. The names of these two gods are still well known. Destroyer, god of earth and Leviathan, god of water.

These two gods inflicted much pain and suffering upon early humanity. So much so that the cries of the enslaved reached into other realms. These cries were
answered by the One, who sent 100 powerful new creations called Beastlords to defend humanity and destroy the two remaining gods.

The Beastlords were successful in part, managing to destroy the gargantuan physical bodies of the gods and banish them to the ether. The cost was high, however, as all but 7 of the Beastlords were destroyed or considered missing in action.

Unlike other Bots, the Beastlords are mortal creatures. Due to the robust construction of their bodies using unknown materials, they are extremely strong and long lived. It is estimated that the Beastlords are over 5000 years old. Each of them that remain have chosen to live a solitary existence, emerging from hiding only when man’s plight seems most dire. It is these rare sightings by humanity that have given rise to the stories and legends of dragons.”


Very cool!



In Game

I have not yet had a chance to field these on the table, but their start cards show them to be extremely powerful.  The following information has been copied from the Bot War Miniatures Game Facebook group as it is the most detailed post about the current playstyke of the Beastlords faction.

“Beastlords are the strongest of all factions and their faction is represented by the Bot War beast mask logo. They field the smallest numbers of Bots in any game with only 3 fitting into an 80point game as standard.  Toe to toe not even Megatyrant (Deceivers) or Duke (Valiants) could survive a Beastlord attack however Beastlords can really suffer when surrounded by many low point attackers and the combat bonuses start to stack up.  Its almost impossible to to play low risk against Beastlords because Ranged attack also has a low success rate.  Their shield/armour is some of the best in the game making their play style very different to Trashers.  Of all the factions, Beastlords crush everything that gets within 10” and their close range game is very hard to beat requiring good coordination of your activations.

Beastlords also can really struggle in certain scenarios because of their low numbers so in a tournament situation they can really lose big on certain games and win big on others. “

Games Workshop Primaris Reiver for scaleGames Workshop Primaris Reiver for scale

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