• Matt

The Lizardmen of Lustria

Updated: Jul 13, 2020

It's strange how you suddenly get enthused for something again. For my old Lizardmen, it started off with playing Mordheim, reading up on the rules for Tilean marksmen, digging out my old Dogs of war army (Lustrian themed), deciding that with the best will in the world my collection of regiments of renown isn't a viable army, imagining the jungles of Lustria these mercenaries would attempt to loot and finally dusting off my Saurus warriors...


I've mentioned before that my all time favourite 40k force was and is, the Thousand Sons. Collecting countless variants of them, reading up on all the lore as well as hunting down third party figures to add to the army. Well for Warhammer Fantasy Battle, my favorite is undoubtedly the Lizardmen of Lustria.


I've collected all versions of their army books over the years and added models from each era to the army.


These books date, from left to right; 1997, 2003, 2008 & 2012.

Before getting onto the figures, I wanted to touch on the current "cannon" version of the Lizardmen, or as they're now known "Seraphon"...


Now for context, I started collecting this army when I was 10, back in 97. in the following 20 plus years the Lizardmen were the ancient guardians of the jungle domain of Lustria. They spawned in jungle temples built by the "old ones" and are heavily influenced by the Aztec's/Inca's. I read novels about human explorers delving deep into the jungles in search of great mountains of Lustrian gold. I converted jungle diorama's, painted models and drew countless crude doodles of Lizardman in my childhood.

As a result the change to the Lizardman lore, to which they are now (in Age of Sigmar) space deamons summoned into existence by the Slaan mage priests from their lofty starships is a bitter pill to swallow.


It is in fact this exact contempt Games Workshop shows for veteran players which gives us the "jaded" status. When I worked for the company there was always a "eye rolling" attitude about "those jaded vets". Hobbyists that would never be happy and should be kept at arms length. Although I appreciate there are players exactly like that stereotype, I am a little more sympathetic for them now.


You see, I would not have taken any issue with Age of Sigmar, if it's creation didn't defecate all over the hobby, story-line and miniature range I grew up with. In fact I think its quite amazing Games Workshop rolled out the replacement to Warhammer Fantasy Battle in this way.


You're never off to a good start with a new game if you've simultaneously annoyed the older player base. Especially by telling them (at least in the lore) all your warriors are dead, the planet is destroyed, every story you ever read ultimately ended here, every character you ever followed perished, every battle you ever fought was for nothing and the army's theme you've followed for decades has been poorly rewritten...


So yeah, I don't consider the current version of the Lizardmen cannon.


Anyway, I think you get my point and rant over... for now.


You want to skip to the models, here we are!


At some point in my collection I resprayed the army black. It must have been in my early 20's as at this point my painting was definitely better than what I churned out as a kid. Most of the army is still undercoated, others (the newer models) are still on sprue.


About 7 years ago I started painting them again and a significant part are finished. Over the next few weeks and months i'll aim to keep this blog updated with new units as and when they are finished. For now this is what's tabletop ready;


Classic Saurus Warriors

There is a special place in childhood memory for these basic Saurus warriors. Yes they're not very detailed and yes they're all in the same pose but that's what makes them classic!


The unit Champion was converted using the old undead Saurus warrior from the Cursed Company regiment.



Current Saurus Warriors

Despite being released in 2003, I still consider these new models and I would have liked to see an update by now. Not that I have an issue with the sculpt but they have a terrible habit of grabbing each other when you try and remove one from the unit. All those sticky out limbs and tails!


Skink Skirmishers

Like those Saurus above, I still think of these guys as new models but they're also 2003 releases.


Chameleon Skinks

Now the little orange fella at the front is a classic special character named Oxayotl from 1997. He was the inspiration no doubt for the release of the rest of the models in 03.


Salamanders and Skink Handlers

Also from 2003, these metal Salamanders spit fire at their foes. Although models from my mid teenage years, they had been more recently re-based with the old Lustrian basing kit.



That's it for now unfortunately, although i'm very nearly finished with a unit of Terradons.


Other than those above, I've got the following in my paint queue;

  • Classic Skink archers

  • Classic Kroxigor

  • Old metal Kroxigor

  • Original Saurus cavalry

  • Plastic Saurus cavaly

  • Classic Stegadon

  • Newer plastic Stegadon

  • A Bastiladon

  • Various Skink priests

  • Classic Skink horned one riders


As well as getting hold of a decent Lord choice like a Saurus lord on Carnasaur.


Lot's to do!



13th of December, 2019


So the Terradons are finished, most of the paint job here was started all those years ago, so there was little for me to do to complete them. Well other than needing to paint the Skinks and bases, so effectively I had already painted the Terradons themselves.






I've also started the first unit of Saurus cavalry. On a personal note, I hate painting cavalry. It doesn't matter what army, it's always my least favourite bit. Not sure if it's to do with the hard to reach places under the mount, the backs of the shields you can't get to or all those reins to paint but I've never enjoyed it.


So when I was in my local GW and the guy there gave me his best Contrast paint sales pitch, I was all ears. Up until now I have been steering clear of them as they seemed a bit cheaty, but if I can save myself a few nights in just one coat on a regiment I just want table top ready? done!


On another paint related note, I've stumbled across the company that used to make Citadel paints from way back when. That means I can get my hands on actual Goblin Green paint!


Just think of all those base edges to re-paint! (Generally looking forward to this).


8th of Jan, 2020


Looks like I've been a bit slow on the old updates, as I've managed to complete three units since the last post.


Firstly I finished off my plastic cold one riders, but I won't be using those contrast paints again! All throughout the painting process the contrast paints rubbed off as I touched the models. I know during the painting stage, models are in the most danger of breakages (they get handled far more at this stage compared to when they're on the tabletop), but the rate in which I had to repaint flanks, fingers or snouts got tiresome to say the least.


I used the correct grey seer undercoat bought from Games Workshop and the store assistant said nothing about needing to varnish these new paints. I even went back to the store to buy some matt varnish and asked the guy there that 'Ardcoat is definitely the matt one. As I know they also sell a gloss varnish...


'Ardcoat is the gloss varnish...


Having found this out at home, and being so worried about the paint job that had consumed my evenings just flaking away (like a Berocca in the rain), I ended up using the gloss varnish to seal my models rather than being bothered to head back to Games Workshop.


Had these figures been anything else I doubt I would have polished them up like this, however Lizards who live in the tropics can get away with a little gloss, right?


That's what I've been telling my self anyway.


Without further ado, here they are;




Up next is the classic Stagadon, well with 2003 Skink crew.


This was a model I had as a kid and the paint job was definitely showing it's age. I wanted to bring it up to speed but not just give it a new paint job, so I set about re-positioning the rather static 90's pose.


As strange as it sounds, Chip Foose came to mind as I worked on this model. For those of you not familiar with his work, he restores classic cars, well they're unique custom rides at the end. However he always aims to keep his custom work inline with the period or style of the vehicle he's working on, as if it rolled off the factory line like this...


With a similar aim, I wanted to convert this model without loosing it's original charm, so I settled for a bit of movement in the neck and tail. Both joints were heavily pinned in a new pose and green stuff'd to finish it off.


I also used a bit of milliput and a stick to add a little interest to the otherwise flat base.


As for the howdah, a Lizardman tablet was added to the floor. Most of it is now hidden with the Skink crew pinned in place but enough of it shows through to add a little more detail.


Then after a paint job inspired by the World of Warcraft Direhorn, the model holds it's own against much newer casts and sculpts.






Lastly in this update, we have the classic Skink cohort. This was a unit which got nerfed back in 03. With the release of the newer plastic Skink boxset, armed with javelins or blowpipes, rules for short bows were taken away from the little guys. Banished to a life of tabletop battles as a proxy...


With that being said, one of the things i'm looking forward to the most about fielding this army via the 9th age rules, is that Lizardmen Skinks get their bows back!


The units Kroxigor was also painted to match, as they do spawn together after all.




As of typing this, i'm painting the old metal Saurus cold one riders and a plastic Carnosaur model just turned up. I should have all I need now to complete the army. Well until I play my first game, get wrecked and decide to take different units.


8th of February 2020


So it's been a month again and it doesn't feel like I've made much progress, however I've assembled and primed the Bastiladon, new Stegadon and Plastic Skink Mage. I've also built scenic bases for large Dino's, including the Plastic Carnosaur which I'm painting at the moment.


To start this post off, I've finished the other unit of Saurus Cold One riders. To keep things interesting, I changed up the usual shield colour scheme by blending red through to yellow.


I think i'll end up using this old metal unit more than the newer plastic ones. As annoying metal models are (arms falling off), the newer plastic cold ones look a little derpy.



More importantly this month, i've finished the Bastiladon. Spent a lot more time on this model than the smaller cavalry or infantry models. You kind of have to with focal points on the table top.



There are a couple painting techniques I've used here which I haven't done frequently, so I wanted to explain the process for anyone interested.


Black armour


The technique I used for the black carapace was something taught to me while I worked at Games Workshop many moons ago and It will require black ink. In fact I learnt this during the Black Templar release, ideal for black armour.


For those old enough to remember Games Workshop's ink range, they're like washes, kinda. Well they have a very heavy pigment and pretty much blot out any existing colours on the model. In fact this technique was the only reason I had a use for inks.


For those who don't still have a pot left over, the original company who made Citadel paints still have it in their range;

www.blackhat.co.uk/product/154-ink-wash-black


Starts off with a really simply black undercoat, then with a heavy coat of Shadow Grey over top.


Once dry apply a Black Ink wash, I tend to find it's best to water it down some.


The next step is very time consuming. Paint a fine line around the edge of every black panel using Shadow Grey, in this case it was around each of the scales. Once this is done pick out the corners of each panel with white. This can also be dents or points on the soon to be black panels.


Finally apply another watered down Black Ink wash. This technique will also leave the black area's with a slightly satin finish, which I think is what black armour needs.



The yellow crystal


This technique was made up as I went along. However I think it worked so for my benefit as well as anyone reading, this is how I did it;


It's starts off with a white undercoat which shouldn't come as a surprise. Once dry cover it in a pastel yellow, I used Dorn Yellow.


Next up I edged the crystal with white as well as painting diagonal lines with white across each facet.


Then wash the crystal with Casandora Yellow. Importantly hold the model upside down while painting as well as letting the wash dry upside down. The solar engine wasn't glued to the Bastiladon until it was all finished which made leaving the crystal upside down easier. If it helps the solar engine fits in a shot glass really nicely.


Edge with white and apply a Casandora Yellow wash once again, keeping it upside down while washing and drying. You can make the white lines a little shorter than the first stage too.


Then paint even shorter white lines, focusing on the corners and points. This time apply a Lamenters Yellow wash. Letting it dry upside down once again.


Lastly add some white dots and apply a gloss varnish.


That's it for now, hopefully the Carnosaur will be finished by the end of Feb.


29th of February 2020


For the most of February I've been working on my Carnosaur and I'm pretty happy with the final outcome.


This model was an ebay find and the Saurus hero was already painted to a high standard, so I've left it pretty much alone. Well aside from painting the gems on the spear.


The purple used was Vallejo's Alien Purple. It's a shade of purple that Citadel do not have in their range and i'm always thinking of times to use it.




A bipedal dino gave me an opportunity to really make the base a focal point. Stegadons and the Bastiladons fill their bases quite nicely what with them being quite low to the ground, there is scope for base details but not much. For the Carosaur, the empty space at the front of the base allowed me to reinforce the fact they are in a jungle. The tree that's being pushed aside is just a garden stick, snapped in half and pinned together. The vines were sculpted on using green stuff and the floor was decorated using different colours of grass flock.

I did set out to start painting the Ancient Stegadon, however I can't quite decide on a colour scheme. I briefly experimented with a heavy contrast scheme (right) but ultimately decided against it, I just don't think it would work on a whole model.


Instead I've been painting the Stegadons Skink crew and a Skink priest model. Hopefully by the time I've finished i'll have inspiration for the Steggy.



12th of April, 2020


So I find myself writing something I wouldn't have considered possible at the start of the year, but here we all are confined to our homes in the midst of a global pandemic. During the forced time at home you would think i'd be getting loads of mini's finished. However my actual job during the outbreak has definitely ramped up, leaving me pretty tired come the evenings.


With that being said, I have finally finished the last (currently) models for this army in the form of the Skink Priest and Ancient Stegadon.


For the Priest, I settled for a purple skin tone. To me the colour is associated with magic and that's probably in no small part due to Warcraft's Kirin Tor.




As for Mr Stegadon, it felt like the largest painting project I've undertaken in quite awhile. There was a lot of umming and ahhing about the colour of the hide and when I finally settled on an idea, I did my self no favours.


The idea was a dino, who was slowly turning into jade due to years of carrying the magical Solar Engine. A revered beast indeed, resplendent with a jewel encrusted hide.


The idea was great in theory, but in practise I soon got sick of painting all the tiny scales using my gem technique.


The Skinks where also painted to match the Skink Priest, perhaps these magically attuned amphibians spawned together. As for the Stegadons many horns, this was an experiment as I knew I didn't want the usual ivory. With a black base, I layered up several coats of bright lime green with heavy dark green washes. Ending with a couple of layers of Black Wash (Nuln Oil) and a layer of gloss varnish.


It was pretty satisfying when the last piece was painted. All I had to do was stick it together and this was apparently going to be fraught with danger. As I left the room for a moment, having just stuck the howdah base to the dino, my two year old (who was no doubt trying to help) bolted to my hobby station, grabbed the poly-cement and squeezed the tube above it. She was evidently watching my every move.


As I walked back into the room, my heart skipped a beat. Thinking of all that corrosive plastic glue eating away at the model and paint. Luckily she must have spotted that the Solar engine was meant to fit in the empty space on the howdah, as that's where the majority of the glue landed. With a small amount of tissue and repainting, the damage is all hidden under the Solar Engine. Whew!








I'm now painting one of these new Realmshaper engines, which one for a better description is a Lizardman pyramid Games Workshop felt was a suitable substitute for any new models this recent release.


The guy in the store tried enticing me with the updated army book or codex, whatever they're now called but I didn't spot any square bases so left the heresy well enough alone.


Once that's done my aim is to take some photos of the army all together and I also want some of the (newer) plastic Terradons. Would be handy to have a unit equipped with the Fire Leach Bola's as a back up addition.


23rd of April, 2020


So they're done. Some 20 years after I started my Lizardman army, I finally have a fully painted (to a decent standard) army to field.


I joked on Instagram, that some of the models in the collection date back to when I was about 12. Could you imaging going back in time and telling my younger self that you'll be 32 when you finally finished this army. Oh and Warhammer Fantasy Battle won't be about any more!


With all that said, I am looking forward to heading down my local gaming club and playing some 9th age once this lock down is over.


Not that it's something i'll use (other than a bit of scenery) but the Age of Sigmar Realm Shaper engine was finished too. What? technically it has a square base.


So for the time being, here is the finished army:









As for what's next? I've got another couple of Thousand Sons Rhinos to paint up and then start work on the Fallout Wasteland Warfare mini's. I've also finally got round to buying extra shelves for my glass IKEA cabinet, all that extra space for figures! But for now, i'll take a break from the jungles of Lustria.


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