how to paint muddy dirty undead ?
Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: how to paint muddy dirty undead ?

  1. #1

    Default how to paint muddy dirty undead ?

    Dear people,

    I am busy with a project. in that I have some nighthaunt chainrasp models coming out of the ground/graves. but I want them to look really muddy and dirty like the ones from Poltergeist. I really have no idea how to do this. I have very little understanding of painting, glazing, washes etc etc imho, just consider me as a noob so to speak. so could someone please explain to me how to do this properly ? like what primer color, which colors to use, which ones as washes, glazes, what techniques to use etc. thanks a ton for thinking along !

    here is what I want the undead to look like color wise. :

    Name:  Poltergeist_Skeletons_8_15_12.jpg
Views: 186
Size:  305.5 KB

    and these are the colors I have at my disposal, I also have AK grime effects and oil paints from AK as well. Name:  paints.jpg
Views: 105
Size:  906.7 KB

    the models Name:  20200911_011141.jpg
Views: 103
Size:  1.83 MB
    Last edited by Toxicant; 09-10-2020 at 07:21 PM.

  2. #2


    Not really sure how to do this either and could be way off on offering up this suggestion, but maybe something like Green Stuff Worlds UV resin tinted brown with some ink. apply thinly over skeleton and shine UV light on it to harden it. SHould give you the brown glossy look and if done right will have some running of the resin to give you the droplet effect. Otherwise, I would say paint like a normal skeleton, glaze some browns over that paint, and then hit it with either GW Agrax Earthshade Gloss or maybe the new Cyrptek Armourshade Gloss (although I would probably lean towards the Agrax). So all you might need to buy is either the GSW UV Resin or Agrax Earthshade/Cryptek Armourshade Gloss

  3. #3


    Heya Eki, thank you for the response and explanation. I have GW agrax earthshade gloss, I will try it on a testmodel first. do I have to add a glazemedium to it or just pure ? so not thinning or anything ? should I paint the clothing in the same way since I want to get that mudeffect ? weapons probably should be rusty as a basecolor and then the same treatment as the skeleton and the cloth ? and should I paint the skeleton white, beige or sepia ?

  4. #4


    I would probably paint them a bone type color, so beige, off-white, so maybe the SC75 burch or Thar Brown depending on what you decide. Then glaze some darker brown paint over that, or select certain areas if you don't want the figures all the same color or use some different shades on brown on different figures to give them a slightly different look. the glazes would just be to give a base layer of the muddy water look so maybe use your tank brown, khaki brown or pale brown for the glaze or glazes and remember if glazing you will probably start to get some gloss effect as a bunch of layers of glaze start to make it glossy anyway. Then wash the figure in the Agrax gloss (don't dilute it but don't necessarily go over board with it) to give it that wet look. The only thing you won't get out of doing it this way is that streaking/dripping water effect like some of the skeletons in the movie image have

    Also, there are some much more talented people in these forums so maybe one will pop in and give you a better tip to get that effect, but yeah, doing it on a test figure is a good idea.

  5. #5


    similar idea from me too, first some bone-y color, then hit them with brown inks.

    From your collection
    - woodgrain, tank brown are generally good colors for something like this
    - VGC sepia and brown ink are great for wet dirt (they should be glossy/satin)
    - GW Agrax, Seraphim and the Vallejo wash is also useful for dirt and grime
    - aaand you have the VMC smoke. As far as I remember it's not only a brown ink, but has some particles in it, so using that can give you an uneven surface too, which is great for mud (I'm not sure, that the VMC variant has it, as there is a VGC smoke too ), if it doesn't than the GW Typhus corrosion(I think that's the name of the brown gritty one) could be a good replacement
    Forgot, that it works again.

  6. #6


    Dear Max and Eki, thank you for the kind replies and great explanation.

    when I apply the glazes , do I need to use vallejo glaze medium or lahmian medium ? ( I noticed that vallejo is slighlty milky in appearance and clouds inks , and GW's lahmian medium is clear and doesnt cloud the inks) what would be a good ratio for the glazes ? and what would be a good ratio for washes, or do I use the washes pure out of the pot ? since vallejo's inks can be really strong in tone I noticed.

    I probably will have to create different groups so to speak to give a variety of colors? so let's say group 1 ; base color - beige. glaze-tank brown, washes- agrax gloss. group 2 ; base color - beige. glaze-khaki brown, washes- agrax gloss. something like that or am I understanding it wrong ?

    Max yes the smoke has particles in it, I also have a dark rust color which also has that . so I should use those to texture the surface ? would it be smart to do this before priming or after priming and reprime ? or am I overthinking things ? and should I use that as a wash or glaze and or thin it ? because the rust one really has a strong dark brown tone and stains.

    also the teeth ; ivory white and highlight with white ?
    and for the wood handles of the weapons?
    and for the metal parts ?
    and would the clothing also be painted in the same color as the skin, or everything besides the teeth ? since it seems from the picture they have an overall all muddy look or tone ?

    also I tend to use an oil wash in the end; gloss coat the model, wash it in a mix of burnt umber and black oil wash, and remove most of it with q tips and mineral spirits. would that also help or over complicate things and make everything too dark?

    I also have streaking grimes from AK and oil paints. I could try to do streaking in the end to create the streaking weathering effect or use the dot effect with oil paints to create the weathering streaking effect?
    Last edited by Toxicant; 09-11-2020 at 10:01 AM.

  7. #7


    no need for the mediums, water can be used. That said using them makes some things easier. Doesn't matter which one as both dry clear. The difference is:
    - Lahmian Medium is simply matt medium
    - glaze medium is a mix of matt medium, some gloss (meking the end more satin), flow improver(about 5%) and dry retarder (about 5%)

    how much is hard to tell. Some (for example the gw or vallejo washes) you could use undiluted or at 1:1. VGC Inks may need more as they are more pigment dense. On the amount : no idea. It really depends how you can control the paint, how strong an effect you want.
    On the safe side you could do a 1:6 or 1:10 dilution. Worst case it will take forever to take effect.

    smoke: as mud is gritty I'd use it for that effect, but as everything in this hobby it's a choice you want. After priming is enough, no need to overthink.

    teeth: as the mud is mostly a red brown, I'd go with a yellow-brown base as a contrast and a bit darker than the ivory (vmc dark yellow, khaki brown or AK desert uniform from your shown collection), then you can go up to ivory and maybe white.

    wood/metal: I'd use the same colors as for the skin, as mud is mud. Btw there lies the danger, loosing the details and making a brown blob at the end. So maybe instead of a fully muddy figure it would be better to use it sparingly. Maybe even just stippling some on the leg area (more toward the feet) or just flicking from the brush with your fingers to make mud splatters.

    oil wash : if you go fully muddy you'd probably get a brown blob at the end, so I'd not do it, but if you go for the "less is more" approach, then use it as usual.
    Forgot, that it works again.

  8. #8


    Dear Naz, thank you again for your time and explaining things, I really appreciate it tons, and things are getting a bit more clear.

    I still have some questions though, I am embarased to even ask, but if I don't I will mess up;

    so I have all my undead in an ivory bone color now. then apply smoke all over the model ? thinned ? then wash with glazes of inks and paints. just one ink color or several all over the model?

    I sawed the models in half, so they dont have legs, I did this to make them come out of the ground in the diorama.

    I could perhaps do the metals in a rusted orange metal ? to avoid the brown blob effect ?

  9. #9


    I don’t think I could do better than the suggestions you already have for the paint jobs so I’ll try to leave that alone. For the basing you could build pigments, something like AK interactives Corrosion texture or coffee grounds around the Base of the figures to depict them coming out of the ground. You don’t need to slap it all over the figures and occlude details. Just a minimal amount on horizontal surfaces like the top of the skull would look good. Water or rain would have begun to clean off vertical surfaces. Odd touches of the Scale75 paints can give spots like the teeth that are not as porous as bone a lighter colour. Mix a bit of ivory in if they are too dark when dry.
    Some of the dirt/soil coloured oils could work well to over the base acrylics. If you have any enamel washes they could do a similar job. Dot a few different coloured oils all over the mini, let them sit for 20 minutes then drag a brush with a touch of thinners on it vertically over the mini. This will give the streaking effect of wet soil and water running down the figure. Keep moving the oils around until you are happy with the result. You could always use oils diluted with thinner as a wash instead and slap it all over the figure. Wait nearly half an hour and remove what you don’t want with a brush or cotton bud just moistened with thinner. This will leave the wash more prominent in the recesses like old dirt that has become lodged.

  10. #10


    heya Bullfrog, thanks a lot for the reply ! those are really good tips, thank you .

    that corrosion texture is perfect for what I need !

    I am wondering how to make them from the graves indeed. I will post a pic of the diorama they will be in. I was wondering to do it with AK mud or earth or a combination of both. so a bare spot on the foam, put the earth around that spot carefull, than glue the undead in and pull the wet dirt and earth around the base of the undead. or wouldnt this work? and with coffee ground? is that like coffee from a package of coffee? do I glue that with pva and then paint it or ? wouldnt that start to mold in time or ?

    Name:  20200909_171835.jpg
Views: 54
Size:  690.8 KB

  11. #11


    well it has begun ! thanks again everyone for all the help and tips, really appreciate it tons ! so, thank you !Name:  20200923_172730.jpg
Views: 44
Size:  1.57 MB

  12. #12


    The skeletons are looking if they have spent centuries underground and are now just awakening. The coffee grounds are just from ground coffee beans, not the instant stuff. It’s only worthwhile using to save money if you are already using it to brew your coffee. I wouldn’t go out and buy it just for diorama work. If you use any natural product like soil you can stop mould and nasty stuff from growing by putting it on a baking tray and heating it in the oven to kill mould spores and bacteria. If you use small pieces of vegetation you can do the same but you won’t be able to heat the oven as high. AK Interactive sell a solution you can put fresh plant material in and after the plant draws the solution up it becomes preserved. Don’t ask me what it’s called because I can’t remember but I imagine it wouldn’t be too hard to find on the AK Interactive website.
    What you have described doing in regards to placing the skeletons down then building the wet soil around them sounds good. You can cut down on some of the cost of diorama products by building the ground up with air drying clay or similar then place the Mud product you suggested to cover just the top. You can also add paint and/or pigments to plaster of Paris for your dirt. Both Mig and AK make a thick resin you can use to bind pigments together. Add some gloss varnish if you want wet mud. If you are unsure of how you are going to tackle it always do a small test first.
    For free diorama ideas YouTube can be your best friend. LukesAPS and Luke Towan are two of my favourites. Don’t dismiss military dioramas can take so many techniques away from them. If you decide that dioramas are your thing and don’t mind spending a few more dollars the FAQ Dioramas and FAQ snow and ice dioramas books are complete bibles and give you step by step photos of almost anything you’d ever want to know. They are not cheap by any means but the original Dioramas is over 500 pages from memory. I’ve found that even the other FAQ books on Extreme Weathered models and dioramas are good too. All the FAQ books are from AK Interactive. Vignettes A How To Guide by Joaquin Garcia Gazquez is often used by me too. Again, it deals mainly with military dioramas but it has a lot of information regarding correct and incorrect placement of the elements contained in a diorama. Dioramag is a decent military diorama magazine. The 3 Landscapes Of War books rate an honourable mention.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Privacy Policy  |   Terms and Conditions  |   Contact Us  |   The Legion

Copyright © 2001-2018 CMON Inc.