Saturday, July 29, 2023

Heavy Metal: My Painted Coins for Board Games

 Heavy Metal for your games

Image credit: Amazon ( )

A good deal?

For once, Amazon Prime Day in Japan showed an item I was actually interested in - a set of metal coins for RPGs and board gaming. Called 'Dragon Gold Coins' in Japanese (ドラゴン金貨), or 'DND coins on Amazon US'. These usually cost around 2,700 yen ~3,500 yen, depending on the set and amount (with imported versions going much higher). With the discount, they came in at 1,600 yen for fifty, including a fake leather bag so I thought, 'Why not?' 
  • The price was right...
  • I preferred the dragon design here and the obverse to some of the others I had seen...
  • the large amount of coins included...
  • the coins have a rim of sorts on one side and this adds a touch of realism (some don't)

Reality vs. Expectation

Take a look at the image above. The coins in both the pile and the close up images look very gold. Unfortunately though the set I received was a much more 'coppery red'. Not quite to the level of actual copper, but a definite red tinge. 

I forgot to take a photo, but if you look at some of the review photos on Amazon (US) you can see what I mean (the two coins in the center of the image, just above the copper.)

Image source: A customer review image from

Take a closer look using another user review image:

Image source: review by Warrior Nomad

Compare those to the gold fantasy coins in the promo image at the top of this post and you get a sense of the colour - and how different it is from 'gold'! Also (and this was to be expected) they looked very 'flat' because there is no wear or tear.

So I thought - maybe I can make these more 'Gold' and add a bit of a used look to them too.

The End Result

I won't keep you hanging on, here they are after I worked on them:

Image 1.

Image 2

Image 3

What do you think?

The Process

I used three Games Workshop/ Citadel paints:
  1. Agrax Earthshade (a 'wash')
  2. Nuln Oil (a 'wash')
  3. Auric Armour Gold
Image 3 shows you three coins.

Top left: I think this was the most successful, so I did about half of them like this.
a.) Paint on Agrax Earthshade (leave to dry for a day and then do reverse).
b.) Drybrush with Auric Armour Gold.
c.) Spot paint specific areas with Nuln Oil.
e.g. The 'inner-ring' around the dragon, the areas in the wings etc.

The top right and bottom center coins are the result of a simple Agrax Earthshade wash only. I wasn't entirely sure which I preferred, so I've decided to have a mix of both to add visual variety.

I'm happy with the result. I wanted better definition with a more 'worn and used' look for relatively little time, and I think I achieved that (I guess the whole painting process took a couple of hours and I enjoyed myself.) 

Over time, the gold and wash may come off a bit as the coins are handled and moved around in the bag, but that isn't a big deal to me.

I feel rich!

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