HAFS Goblin

Article Index
HAFS Goblin
Chapter 1 - Goblin Build Diary
Chapter 2 - Goblin Build Diary
Chapter 3 - Goblin Build Diary
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The HAFS Goblin is a Mercenary Heavy Armored Fighting Suit developed on the HAFS Jerry chassis. A new torso/hull was developed which incorporated the armor protection and indirect sighting advantages of the SAFS. 2x three tube missile launchers in armored housings are located on either side of the hull. There is no additional armament.


This scene depicts a Goblin in the Rocky Mountain region during the Mercenary counterattacks against SDR bases on the North American continent. The first fields test for the Goblin occur on December 31, 2885. So this diorama depicts a mechanic making adjustments to the hydraulics in a field shop shortly after the initial production makes its combat debut .   

The Goblin in this diorama is a repaint of a scratchbuild I finished a number of years ago but was never happy with the finish. The figure is from the Hasegawa 1/20 Mechanic Figure Set #1. The complete build diary can be found here: HAFS Redux







This is the build diary for the HAFS Goblin. I need a new project like another hole in my head, but this one has been gnawing at me ever since I finished it the first time in 2006.



Getting Started

This HAFS Goblin is an original scratch build based off a HAFS Jerry and SAFS with a bit of putty and styrene work. I was never that thrilled with the finished model, but at the time I just wanted to call it done. I've learned quite a few new weathering tricks since 2006 so it seems like a good time to visit an old friend.

The most challenging part so far was to get the terrain off the bottom of the feet. The model was glued to Celluclay groundwork with white glue. The Celluclay popped off the acrylic base easy enough but I had to soak the feet an a dish of warm water for a couple of hours to soften the glue and strip the stuff off the bottom.  A model pedicure. The patches of Mr Surfacer 500 are attempts to re-texture the areas where I sanded off the decals. Later on, I was to find out that an X-Acto blade did the job quicker and easier with less damage. A crack also developed along a scribed panel line, I'm not sure why, and it may prove to be more challenging that one might think to correct.

This Goblin suffered stress cracks in the plastic at the "knee" joint just above the shock mount. I used CA to fix the joints and had to putty and sand the cracks. Both shocks also had a stress cracks but the cracks is along a detail and won't easily be seen. These wer fixed with water thin CA. I'll find out with primer if they need to be cleaned up.

I started to map out a Mickey Mouse camo pattern, but I'm not sure I want to go this route. It might end up with a worn white wash over green but I'm not sure yet.



The model has been screwed to the wooden base for ease of handling and will stay there through out the painting and weathering process.



The HAFS Goblin has recieved a base coat of paint. It is airbrushed with Tamiya JA Green and lightened with Yellow Green. A little Tamiya Clear was added to the mixtures to improve blending. Certain details were picked out and highlighted by hand painting. They are kinda difficult to tell with this lighting.  Minor touch ups are needed before filters and washes.



He fits pretty well right out of the box but is going to require some minor surgery and putty to get him to fit properly.

I still haven't applied any markings to the Goblin yet, I think the blue tack is a good color blue for the markings though and will fit nicely with the whitewash. This model will have a winter theme which is perfect because for the next few days, it will be too cold for me to do any further airbrushing.

This guy's left hand is way bigger than his right and his hands are bigger than the seated "mechanic" with the coffee mug. The fingers will need some re-work anyway.


Mechanic Mods

Green putty is Green Stuff
Yellow Putty is Miliput Standard
Putty that you can't see. Aves Apoxie Sculpt Natural

This was my first time working with Green Stuff in a very long time 20+ years. Horrible stuff to work with but good results and I can see why people put up with it. It wanted to stick to everything but the model; fingers, knives, sculpting tools. I tried baby powder, saliva, water, and petroleum jelly all with the same results of suck. But, I was able to get some nice soft details. Compare that to the sharp details of the Miliput which got too wet while working with it. These will require a bit of smoothing.

So, if you are familiar with the figure, I replaced the pockets which suffered detail loss because of the requirements for molding. These were easy, aside for the whole sticking issue.  I applied  a couple of unit patches, but I thought they were a bit thick, so I  easily popped them off, and will probably replace them with lead foil. I still need to add a bit of smaller details like buttons and a proper zipper pull.





Decals and Markings

Decals and markings have been applied. Kow seems to have established Blue as the id band color of choice for Mercs. (Orange/yellow-orange has been standardized for SDR equipment) The exact blue varies a bit, especially on the decal sheets so it is difficult to match things up from different releases.

I airbrushed a custom mix of Sky Blue, Medium Blue and Clear Blue Tamiya Acrylics for the base color. I then went back and shaded the sides and undersides of the missile pods with a mix of Medium Blue and Clear Blue to match some of the shading on the green. The blue “K” on the nose is airbrushed with a stencil cut from low tack frisket. Right now it does not have enough contrast with the green but once the white wash is applied, I think this blue will pop better, but it may need some touch ups. The white “K” on the side is a dry transfer over the ID band.

The other markings are from miscellaneous decal sheets. The nose art egg is from the Hasegawa Figure set. I’m not entirely sure why it was included for the Falke as this nose art has been previously used for SAFS. It felt more suitable for the Goblin than a flying machine. I didn’t go crazy with the decals since most will be covered by the white wash effect, but I did want some markings to peek through when the white wash is worn off.

The model has been top coated with Polly Scale Clear Satin.




The model was first sprayed with two coats of TRESemme Ultra Fine Mist Hair Spray from an aerosol can. After these two coats had dried for a little bit, I airbrushed very thin Tamiya Flat White mixed with a drop of Medium Gray. The coat was very mottled; trying to replicate a hasty field applied white wash. I went heavy in some areas, lighter in others and skipped the underside altogether. I then airbrushed thinned Tamiya Flat White on the upper surfaces on a few areas for highlights. I don't know how effective this was.

When the paint had dried to the touch, I started working at the white paint with an old paint brush dipped in water. As the water soaks through the paint it softens the hairspray and the paint lifts right off with it. It's a very realistic looking technique. Most of the green color modulation was lost with the white, but you can still see the effect in some areas like the engine deck.


Further White Wash Effects

The worn white wash looked pretty good, but it needed some pop. I "mapped" thin white paint over the airbrushed Tamiya to add some opacity variations to the white. For the first stage of mapping I used Vallejo Panzer Aces Stencil, a white with just a hint of warm gray. I mixed the paint with Vallejo #597 Slow Dry and Tamiya Flat Base and thinned with water. The Slow Dry allowed a greater working time in the pallet and also allowed enough time for a little blending on the surface of the model and the Tamiya Flat Base eliminated any of the sheen Vallejo has when dry. Over this, I mapped an additional layer of Vallejo Flat White mixed with Slow Dry and Flat Base and thinned with water. This white was applied to the upper surfaces like the hatch and tops of the missile pods to help add some additional depth to the finish.


After the acrylic had dried overnight, I applied washes, filters, and straight oil paints to accent the panel lines, add some shading and color variations. I first used SIN Filters Grey for Dark Yellow and Grey for Bright Green. Both of these hep to tone down the contrast slightly. Unfortunately, they also attacked the knee joint on the right leg and split the plastic. The Jerry kit has a known problem of the knee joint cracking and this particular model had this same spot fixed twice before. I had to glue the crack, fill the gap and re paint the area. Strong solvents can attack some manufacturers injection molded plastic and MIG/SIN products use a solvent a little stronger than the Turpenoid I normally use as a thinner for oil paints.

So, I fixed the crack and then proceeded with additional weathering. I created a thin wash with 502 Abt. Shadow Brown mixed with Turpoenoid and accented the panel lines. MIG Dark Wash was used around some of the moving mechanical bits to represent oil/grease/dirt buildup.

To add some color variations, I selectively applied SIN Filter Blue for Panzer Grey to a couple of the panels. As a final step, I used Windsor and Newton oil paints straight from the tube around the feet, leg details and upper portions of the torso to add some dimensionality and further interest to the white.

This will probably the last step on the Goblin for a while. I need to focus on the vignette and figure.

Display Base

The frame for the base is 1/2inch  MDF cut on the table saw, primed with automotive primer and sprayed with Krylon Ultra Flat Black with a top coat of Krylon Clear. A thin slab of pink insulation foam has been used to build up the groundwork.


The figure has most of the base colors applied. All colors are Vallejo. The jacket is painted like a US WWII Tankers jacket. I mixed Vallejo US Tanker Base and Highlight 50/50 for the base khaki like color.  Items like the cap, boots, and gloves have been painted with highlights and shadows. The camo pants were inspired by a German WWII camo pattern. The base color is Olive Green with Dark Yellow and Flat Brown splotches.

The miscellaneous items around the scene are various bits from the spares box used as place holders to help rough out the scene.

Tools and Equipment

I'm working on the gear for the vignette. I found some dims for a 55gal drum on Wiki and fashioned a 1/20 fuel drum from .005" Pewter foil and styrene with some Wave bits. The ammo crates are from basswood and the draped tarp is again .005" pewter foil, a little stiff but it "sculpted" easily.

I improved the tool box with the Hasegawa figure set with a new handle from solder and brass hinges. The copper chain and brass bolts had a good soak in Blacken It and were then rusted with pigments. The torch is painted medium gray and buffed with graphite and SNJ powdered Alum and given a wash.

The detailing on the crates was as follows:

Sprayed a good coat of Gunze Matte Lacqure to seal the surface
Clean off any fuzz with a tooth brush
Applied filters and washes with oil paints to accent individual boards
Lightly sanded with 600 grit to remove any last fuzz and wear down some of the finish


Ground Work

I spent Sunday afternoon with the model crew and applied the ground work for the Goblin. The mixture is Textured Acrylic Gel Medium mixed with sand, sifted dirt, MIG Pigments and eleven herbs and spices. The textured gel dried with a slight sheen which normally is not desirable but will work, with some dry patches, considering the sloggy ground I am planning for the scene. The ammo crates and fuel drum have been pressed into the groundwork so they don’t float. I sprinkled some dry pigments and sand around the scene but decided to hold off anything further until the gel dried and I have a better understanding of the color of the ground work.

The figure is mostly complete, except I had to repaint the face so I popped it off and a quick bath in rubbing alcohol took the old acrylic right off. The head is still in progress. The missing head was bothering me a little so I added a place holder for the time being.




The mud is a mix of Acrylic Gel, MIG Pigments, sand, fine dirt, and drywall mud. The stuff is mixed to a dry crumbly paste and applied with an old brush and small putty tool. There are two different mixtures shown. The first application was a darker mix with more MIG Dark Mud and over that was applied a mix that had more Dried Mud. The mud splats are European Dust and Dried Mud mixed with Turpenoid and flicked on with an old brush.

The chain, I can’t explain what happened there. I used Matte Gel Medium thinned with water to fix the chain. The water activated something in the brass and it leeched. I’m going to have to touch this up with paint and washes. Not thrilled it happened but fixable.

And as soon as these photos were taken, I picked up the Goblin and the ankle sheered right off. This is the fourth time I have had to fix some broken piece of plastic on this kit. I can’t imagine how reliable a real Goblin would be.



Final Touches

In the home stretch now. Tall grasses are roots from annuals pulled out for the season. They were cut, glued to the base and airbrushed with Tamiya acrylics. The snow is a mixture of Woodland Scenics Snow (which is finely shredded plastic) and Acrylic Gel. The paste was applied with a spatula, smoothed out with an brush dipped in water, and built up in several layers. Through static electricity, the plastic wanted to stick to everything and required several blasts with an air compressor. The muddy snow was achieved by applying oil washes around the border between the snow and mud.