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Reaper Cave Troll (77004/02416)

So my players travelled North from Baldur’s Gate and came through the Troll Claws, a group of hills infamously known for their … trolls. During one night’s rest, the caravan was attacked by several hill trolls. Surprise!

Trolls are another D&D classic monster, and I love them! Evil, mutated, regenerating and fire-hating monsters with sharp claws. They changed a bit over the editions, but all iterations used feral, green skinned monsters with long noses/snouts. To give players and DMs some variety, there are specific trolls for different climates. So you have your ice trolls, marsh trolls, cave trolls, mountain trolls, forest trolls and so on. My Reaper cave trolls (I bought the metal version 12 years ago and received the bones version as part of the first Bones kickstarter) would become regular trolls, green and all that. Having a metal and a bones version of the same miniature also allows for some nice comparisions of miniature quality, so I’ll talk a little about that at the end.

The Reaper Bones cave troll (SKU 77004) only looks a little bit different and fits very well. The miniature is clearly popular, there are many very good paint jobs for it. My favorite is the green version by StudioSFS, which very much looks like the D&D troll. But often, the folks over at the Reaper Boards don’t paint them green at all. And the also look great: The grey version by aurates, the colorful blue version by David Araya, or the black version by briggart.

Basing and Priming

As usual, I based the figures on plastic bases (here: 50 mm) and glued some small rocks, sand and little twigs on them. The whole mini then was airbrushed with black primer and then dusted with withe primer so achieve some shading.


I wanted both trolls to like similar, but not like clones. Somewhere in the Reaper boards somebody posted a picture of a troll with a slightly lighter flesh color on one arm. The explanation for this is really great: The troll just lost the limb and regrew it recently, so it is still fresh and light colored. Excellent idea! One of the trolls would use a cold color palette with blueish greens. He also would have a brand new hand in a lighter, warmer palette. The other troll would use a warmer color palette with yellow greens. He also would have a new limb, let’s make it a leg. Maybe he didn’t grow the leg himself: Trolls in D&D are able to reattach lost limbs, even if they’re not their own. So maybe he snatched up a fallen friends leg. The cold-green troll is the metal version of the miniature, the warm-green troll is the bones version.

I started with the base and painted/drybrushed it in muddy brown colors. This would become a swampy base, so I used a lot green and dark brown washes for these.

Next, I basecoated both trolls with two different greens (Vallejo Model Color US Dark Green and German Uniform), ivory for the belly and ears and chocolate brown for their loincloth. I tried put darker and lighter shades in layers to contrast the minis. You can spot the foreign body parts easily in the images above. After the basecoat, I washed the figures with a mix of black ink and dark green wash and reworked the shading.

Next, I added some details. I used glazes of blue on the metal and a glaze of yellow on the bones mini. The countless warts were blacklined and then painted in two different, but very colorful tones: For the cold-green troll I used violet and blue, for the warm-green troll I used yellow and fire orange. There also are many scars on their bodies, and I added some more. For that, the scar was first painted a little darker (I even used black on most instances) and than highlighted with a brighter version of the color of the surrounding skin. This way, the scars are not very subtle and stand out even at a distance. They both got some hair, white glowing eyes. In D&D, trolls often have red glowing eyes, but I really do not like red glowing eyes on my minis.

Differences between the metal and the bones version were very subtle. As you can see in the images below, only the back of the cold-green troll (metal) seems a little bit more defined in comparison to the warm-green troll (bones). As the trolls are rather big minis, not much detail is lost in bonesium. In smaller miniatures, this is often the case. Other than that, both trolls could be painted the same way, and the final result basically looks the same. The bones material is really great for big miniatures without too much detail.

This is the final version of the bones miniature version:

And here is the final version of the metal miniature version:

Together, they instill fear in the toughest party of low-level adventurers!