• Twilit Skeleton Guide

    Alrighty now. Here we go. First article I've made for any site, hopefully you all find it useful in some way so please please please comment on it once you finish going through it.
    Here's the concept. The undead march at night. Not in the morning. Not at noon. Not at tea time. At night. At least that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. So my goal was to create a paintjob that really reflected this idea.  At night the cells in your eyes responsible for colour vision (cones) just don't function, so you're left with pretty much black and white vision (rods), but that's kind of boring, so instead I tried to stay away from bright colours, and stuck to neutral and desaturated tones as much as I could.

    This guide is broken down into sections and goes layer by layer through the process. I mostly used layering and washing/glazing through out the entire project. If you don't know how to do that, then please look them up in the articles section as I won't be explaining them as I go. I suppose this is enough talking so I suppose I'll get on with it.
    >>


    Page 1: Concept and Painting the Bones
    Page 2: Painting the Leather Straps and Cloth
    Page 3: Painting the Metals
    Page 4: Painting the Shield
    Page 5: Painting the Base
    Page 6: Finished

    Please assemble and prime your model before you begin, I've used black primer and I can't guarantee the same results if you use a different colour. I've used citadel paints, including some foundation paints, so again if you are using different paints use a conversion table or something like that or just your best guess.>>


    I. Bones>>


    Step 1: Basecoat the bones of the skeleton in a 1:1 mixture of Adeptus Battlegrey and Dheneb Stone (both foundation paints). Try to get a nice solid colour to start with. I find if you've watered the paint down two layers is probably enough. You don't need to be too neat, just make sure you get all the bones.
    >>


    Step 2: Apply a wash made of a 1:1:1 mixture of Chaos Black, Codex Grey, and Graveyard Earth over the entire model. This wash mixture will get used throughout the entire process so if you plan on doing this a lot you may want to mix up a pot of it, or just find a way to keep it from drying out.


    Step 3: Once the wash is dry mix up a 1:1 mixture of Codex Grey and Graveyard Earth and layer it onto the bones, being careful to highlight only the upper surfaces of the bones, and leaving the recesses and lower surfaces darker. Apply a bit more of the mix to the back of the model, as for this one I've chosen the light to be coming from above and behind, you can use any direction you want, just keep it constant through your painting.
    >>


    Step 4: Apply another wash made of a 1:1:1 mixture of Chaos Black, Codex Grey, and Ultramarines Blue over the bones. Just apply it fairly thin and let it get into the recesses of the bones, and do its own thing. If you apply it too thick you'll tone down your last high light a lot so try not to be too liberal with it.
    >>


    Step 5: When the wash is dry apply a 1:1 mixture of Graveyard Earth and Ice Blue to the upper surfaces and much like in Step 3, but just try to make the highlights thinner, and leave more dark showing. Again add a bit more highlighting to the back, or whichever direction you have chosen for your light source.
    >>


    Step 6: Apply a 1:1:1 mixture of Graveyard Earth, Ice Blue, and Space Wolves Grey to the upper most surfaces like before. This time don't highlight all the same places as before, but try to only highlight where the moonlight would be hitting, this may take a while to figure out, but just go with what feels right and it'll turn out fine.
    >>


    Step 7: Now finally apply a highlight of Space Wolves Grey to only the top surfaces of the bones, and as before only do the bones that would be most lit by the moon.

    *I have also at this stage cleaned up the model by painting Chaos Black over any areas that got paint on them that weren't bone.
    >>


    Ok so we're done the bones, let's move on to the leather straps and cloth.


    [pagebreak]


    II. Straps/Leather


    Step 1: Basecoat all the straps and leather bits with a 1:1 mixture of Adeptus Battlegrey and Khemri Brown (both foundation paints). Again aim for a nice solid colour, but now remember to be careful so you don't have to repaint any of the bone.
    >>


    Step 2: Apply a wash made of 1:1:1 Chaos Black, Codex Grey, and Graveyard Earth. Try not to get it on the bones too much, but remember the same wash was used early on in the bones, so if you get it where the bones and leather meet it shouldn't really change the colours too much.
    >>


    Step 3: Ok, I'm sorry. I missed taking this picture, but it's pretty simple step so it shouldn't affect you too much. Apply a highlight of a 1:1 mix of Codex Grey and Graveyard Earth. Try to only highlight the tops and upper portions to leave some shading from the other steps. >>


    Step 4: Apply a wash made of a mix of 1:1:1 Chaos Black, Codex Grey and Ultramarines Blue. Apply it more or less like Step 2, just make sure it's not too thick that it tones down the highlights from Step 3 too much.
    >>


    Step 5: Apply a final highlight of 1:1:1 Codex Grey, Space Wolves Grey, and Bleached Bone. Apply this to only the very top of the straps much like the last highlight for the bones.
    >>


    III. Cloth


    Step 1: Apply a basecoat of Liche Purple. Like always a solid colour is the goal, do as many layers as needed.
    >>


    Step 2: Apply a pretty liberal wash of 1:1:1 Chaos Black, Codex Grey, and Graveyard Earth. Try not to be too messy at this stage. You might have to do a couple separate washes for this step, just make sure they are dry before you apply the second coat of it.
    >>


    Step 3: Apply a highlight of 1:1 Liche Purple and Scab Red. Try to leave some of the darker dirtier purple showing, but it's not vital at this stage to leave a lot.
    >>


    Step 4: Do a highlight of 1:1:1 Liche Purple, Scab Red and Ice Blue. The colour transition is a little harsh so try not to apply it too heavily. Do your best to leave the reddy purple showing in some places.
    >>


    Step 5: Apply a final highlight of 1:1 Liche Purple and Space Wolves Grey. Put this only on the edges of the cloth, it should be pretty bright, and you don't want to make it too bright overall.
    >>


    Step 6: Do a careful wash of 1:1 Chaos Black and Liche Purple only in the recesses and lower surfaces of the cloth. Try not to get it on the final highlights if possible. You really only want to clean up the shadows and where the purples meet other colours.
    >>


    Just a little bit more and we're done this part, so let's move on to the metals.


    [pagebreak]
    >>


    IV. Metals


    *Ok, I'm going to apologize in advance for these pictures... They were the best I could do under the circumstances. Try to focus on the helmet or the random plates over the sword. When I get to the shield there are better pictures of the process. >>


    Step 1: Apply a basecoat of Boltgun Metal to the metal bits. Again be careful and aim for a solid colour.
    >>


    Step 2: Apply a wash of 1:1:1 Chaos Black, Codex Grey, and Graveyard earth over the metals. Cover them completely, but don't let it pool too much. Two successive washes may be needed.
    >>


    Step 3: When the first wash is dry apply a wash of 1:1:1 Chaos Black, Codex Grey, and Scorched Brown. Again cover them completely, but try to get it to enhance the shading from the first wash more than anything else.
    >>


    Step 4: Mix up a 1:1 Chaos Black and Boltgun Metal mixture and highlight the edges of the metals. Try to leave the dirty shaded metal showing as much as possible, you really only trying to high light the very edges. You may want to also highlight the lower sides of any pits in the metals.
    >>


    Step 5: Apply a wash of 1:1 Chaos Black and Scorched brown to the metals, but in particular try get the pits/damage, and anywhere you think should be darker. It helps to think of this as NMM in some sense, apply this wash where the black/darkest greys would be.
    >>


    Step 6: Apply another highlight of 1:1 Chaos Black and Boltgun Metal more or less as you did before.
    >>


    Step 7: Do a wash of Chaos Black (or Black Ink, but I don't like the shine...) to only the areas of the metal that need it. In particular this would go around bolts, joints, and the upper part of the pits/damaged parts. It also would form a line alone the blade of the sword, but it's hard to see in the pictures.
    >>


    Step 8: Apply a highlight of Boltgun metal on the edges of the metals only, try to leave a bit of the previous highlights showing.
    >>


    Step 9: Apply a highlight of Mithril Silver very carefully on the very edges of the metals where they would be catching the light, you can probably figure this out just from looking where the metals are reflecting most.
    >>


    Done this part, lets get the shield done and we'll be on the homestretch.


    [pagebreak]>>


    V. Wood


    Step 1: Basecoat the edges of the boards with a 1:1 mix of Adeptus Battlegrey and Khemri Brown (both foundation paints). Make sure you get a nice solid colour.


    Step 2: Apply a wash of 1:1:1 Chaos Black, Codex Grey, and Graveyard Earth over the painted parts of the wood. Get a nice coverage, don't worry about blotches, in fact they kind of help.


    Step 3: Mix 1:1 Scorched Brown and Codex Grey and apply it in streaks to the wood. Try to leave some of the darker colour between your streaks.
    >>


    Step 4: Add some streaks with a 1:1 mix of Codex Grey and Graveyard Earth. These should be thinner and more numerous than the first streaks, but applied in sort of the same manner. Try to leave the both lines of the darkest brown, and dark brown showing.


    Step 5: Apply another wash of 1:1:1 Chaos Black, Codex Grey, and Graveyard Earth over the painted parts of the wood. This shouldn't dull down the highlights too much, but it should darken up the areas between them.
    >>


    Step 6: The final highlight is a 1:1:1 mix of Graveyard Earth, Ice Blue, and Bleached Bone. Apply it in really thin streaks nearest the tops of the boards. Don't worry about having really defined texture lines, at this scale the lines on wood wouldn't be fully defined either.
    >>


    VI. Purple Field


    Step 1: Apply a basecoat of Liche Purple to half of the shield. Like always a solid colour is the goal, do as many layers as needed. Leave the wood at the tops showing, and try to make the edges of the purple kind of ragged and chipped.
    >>


    Step 2: Apply a pretty liberal wash of 1:1:1 Chaos Black, Codex Grey, and Graveyard Earth. Try not to be too messy at this stage, try not to get too much of the wood when you do this. You might have to do a couple separate washes for this step, just make sure they are dry before you apply the second coat of it.
    >>


    Step 3: Apply a highlight of 1:1 Liche Purple and Scab Red. Try to leave some of the darker dirtier purple showing, but it's not vital at this stage to leave a lot.
    >>


    Step 4: Do a highlight of 1:1:1 Liche Purple, Scab Red and Ice Blue. The colour transition is a little harsh so try not to apply it too heavily. Do your best to leave the reddy purple showing in some places. Try to underline the wood with this colour, being carefully to still leave a thin line of darker colour between it.
    >>


    Step 5: Apply a final highlight of 1:1 Liche Purple and Space Wolves Grey. Put this only on the very edges of the paint chips and boards, it should be pretty bright, and you don't want to make it too bright overall.
    >>


    Step 6: Do a careful wash of 1:1 Chaos Black and Liche Purple only in the recesses and lower surfaces of the purple field. Try not to get it on the final highlights if possible. You really only want to clean up the shadows and where the purples meet other colours.
    >>


    VII. White Field


    Step 1: Mix 1:1 Adeptus Battlegrey and Dheneb Stone (both foundation paints) for the basecoat. Apply this to the other half of the shield the same way you did the purple.
    >>


    Step 2: Apply a wash of 1:1:1 Chaos Black, Codex Grey, and Graveyard Earth. Apply this pretty thin, you don't want the transition to be too much too fast. Let the wash dry so that there is some random pooling of darker colours.
    >>


    Step 3: When the wash is dry apply a new wash of 1:1 Codex Grey and Graveyard Earth. Apply this thin too, you want a bit of random pooling, but mostly just enhance the shading of the first wash.
    >>


    Step 4: When that wash is dry apply yet another wash, this time 1:1 Codex Grey and Scorched brown. Don't let this form any new pools, only enhance what is already there for shading.
    >>


    Step 5: When the wash dries apply a final highlight mix of 1:1 Space Wolves Grey and Bleached Bone on the edges of the paint and boards, and in some spots on the field that are brighter already.
    >>


    VIII. Shield Metals


    Step 1: Apply a basecoat of Boltgun Metal to the metal bits. Again be careful and aim for a solid colour.
    >>


    Step 2: Apply a wash of 1:1:1 Chaos Black, Codex Grey, and Graveyard earth over the metals. Cover them completely, but don't let it pool too much. Two successive washes may be needed.
    >>


    Step 3: When the first wash is dry apply a wash of 1:1:1 Chaos Black, Codex Grey, and Scorched Brown. Again cover them completely, but try to get it to enhance the shading from the first wash more than anything else.
    >>


    Step 4: Mix up a 1:1 Chaos Black and Boltgun Metal mixture and highlight the edges of the metals. Try to leave the dirty shaded metal showing as much as possible, you really only trying to high light the very edges. You may want to also highlight the lower sides of any pits in the metals.
    >>


    Step 5: Apply a wash of 1:1 Chaos Black and Scorched brown to the metals, but in particular try get the pits/damage, and anywhere you think should be darker. Like before it helps to think of this as NMM in some sense, apply this wash where the black/darkest greys would be.
    >>


    Step 6: Apply another highlight of 1:1 Chaos Black and Boltgun Metal more or less as you did before.
    >>


    Step 7: Apply a highlight of Boltgun metal on the edges of the metals and tops of the bolts only, try to leave a bit of the previous highlights showing.
    >>


    Step 8: Apply a highlight of Mithril Silver very carefully on the very edges of the rim where it would be catching the light, you can probably figure this out just from looking where the metals are reflecting most.
    >>



    Now that the shield is done you can attach it to the model and get ready to move on. Don't worry, we're almost there now.


    [pagebreak]>>


    What's left? A base!

    Nothing is going to stop this guy from marching into combat. Not even the slightest of incline from the rocky battlefield. >>


    IX. Ground


    Step 1: Apply a basecoat of 1:1 Adeptus Battlegrey and Khemri Brown (both foundation paints) to the sand. Get a nice even coat and move on.
    >>


    Step 2: Apply a wash of 1:1:1 Chaos Black, Codex Grey and Graveyard Earth.
    >>


    Step 3: After the wash as dried, apply a second wash of 1:1:1 Chaos Black, Scorched Brown and Regal Blue.
    >>


    Step 4: When the wash is dry, apply a fairly heavy drybrushing of a 1:1:1 mix of Codex Grey, Scorched Brown, and Ice Blue. You can drybrush this in any direction you want, just get it all fairly well covered.
     >>


    Step 5: Drybrush a mix of 1:1:1 Space Wolves Grey, Graveyard Earth, and Ice Blue. Try not to drybrush this as heavily as the first mix, and only drybrush from the back of the base to the front. This is to simulate the light coming from behind the model, so if you've painted yours with light coming from a different direction, then make sure your drybrush from that direction for this and the next step.
    >>


    Step 6: Lightly drybrush Space Wolves Grey from the back of the base to the front.
     >>


    X. Stone 


    Step 1: Apply a basecoat of 1:1 Adeptus Battlegrey (foundation paint) and Regal Blue. Try not to get any on the ground.
    >>


    Step 2: Apply a wash of 1:1:1 Chaos Black, Codex Grey and Graveyard Earth. Make sure you get all the surfaces of the stone, top, side, etc. This wash can go over the ground a bit, it won't really matter in the end.
    >>


    Step 3: After the wash is dry apply a new wash of 1:1:1 Chaos Black, Scorched Brown, and Regal Blue. Same as before, make sure all the stone is covered.
     >>


    Step 4: Give the stone a fairly heavy drybrush of a mix of 1:1:1 Codex Grey, Scorched Brown and Space Wolves Grey. This can be done in any direction for the top, but for the sides, try to only go from top down.
    >>


    Step 5: Apply a drybrush of 1:1 Codex Grey and Space Wolves Grey to the stone, from back to front for the top, like the ground before. Light drybrush from top down for the sides.
    >>


    Step 6: Apply a wash of 1:1:1 Chaos Black, Codex Grey and Graveyard Earth to the sides and where the top meets the ground.
    >>


    Step 7: When the wash is dry apply a light drybrushing of Space Wolves Grey to the top of the stone from the back of the base to the front only.
     >>


    XI. Grass 


    Step 1: Affix the grass in a small patch to the base. I used super glue, as I will apply washes to the grass. White glue will work as long as it isn't water soluble after its dried.
    >>


    Step 2: When the glue holding the grass is dry apply a wash of 1:1:1 Chaos Black, Codex Grey and Graveyard Earth. Do your best to get this all over the blades of grass, it's tough but it can be done with a bit of work.
    >>


    Step 3: After the wash is dry apply another wash of 1:1:1 Chaos Black, Scorched Brown and Regal Blue. Same as before do the best to get it to cover all the grass.
    >>


    Step 4: Finally, after the last wash dries apply a light drybrushing of Space Wolves Grey to the grass. You can try to do it from back to front, but it won't make a big difference in the end so just drybrush it in a couple directions.
    >>


    Glue the skeleton to the base and move on to the next step. >>


    XII. Shadows 


    *This is something I like to include when I paint something with a light source, or to enhance the mood of a piece. You can definitely skip this step if you want. >>


    Step 1: Arrange for a lamp to provide light in the direction you painted your light source. Make a mental note of where the shadows fall, or take a picture. You could also leave the model and lamp where they are as you do the next steps.
    >>


    Step 2: Apply a wash of 1:1:1 Chaos Black, Scorched Brown and Regal Blue to where the shadows fell. You might have to do this in a couple successive washes. It's ok if it spreads a little outside the shadows, just be sure to get all the shadows painted. Don't forget about the sides of the stone, and in front of the grass.
    >>


    Step 3: Apply a wash of 1:1 Chaos Black and Regal Blue to the shadows. It's best if you actually only apply this to the middle of the shadows, that way if it spreads out it won't go outside where the shadows fell. Again don't forget about the little details.
    >>


    And now you are done! Yay! Go to the next page to see the finished result.


    [pagebreak]
    >>


    Tada! >>


    >>


    Don't forget to comment and vote! Here's the link:>>


    http://www.coolminiornot.com/188442>>

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. secretpaintgeek's Avatar
      secretpaintgeek -
      Thanks for this article. Another forum member pointed me in its direction and its just what I was looking for. Great article.
    1. Helliwell's Avatar
      Helliwell -
      Nicely done, they are painful to paint and you have made this a top class model.
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