RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: October 2016

Redemptionists (8) – painting a Scaly & how to use basic colour-theory.

Wire ‘map ref. 41 n 93 w’

Rather than create a step-by-step tutorial on how to paint the Scaly, I thought it might be helpful to demonstrate the actual mechanics of painting it.

Colour theory can be very useful when planning-out paint schemes. Particularly for dioramas or complex models, it’s extremely helpful in order to achieve a good balance of visual interest and consistency. If you have too many colours contrasting with each other, it can look disordered – whereas if there are too many colours which complement one another, it can look very dull.

So, how can you plan out a series of contrasting and complementary colours? You can use a colour wheel as a guide:


Image result for color wheel

Colours adjacent to each other on the wheel are complementary – while the ones opposite one another are contrasts.

It isn’t really necessary to use a colour wheel though. There are three primary colours – red, blue, and yellow. Then there are the secondary colours – green, purple, orange. Any secondary colour will contrast with the primary colour it doesn’t contain. So, for instance, orange complements red or yellow, as it contains these colours; but contrasts with blue.

There’s more to colour theory than this, such as the difference between warm and cold hues – and as with all rules, you can learn them first in order to subvert them later; but the basic theory is a good place to start. It was something I put to use when painting the Empire general, a few years ago:


What’s also important is tying the various different colours of a scheme together, in order to keep it synchronized. The technical term for this is colour harmony. To achieve that, I tend to use a neutral colour for highlighting and for shading all parts of a model. The obvious ones here would be white, and black. In this case, I used khaki to create highlights; and dark brown to shade.

Finally, using a spot colour helps balance the overall model out – this is a colour which contrasts with the main colours you use; applied to select areas. For this model as an individual, the predominant colours were green and brown; and I used red as the spot colour, as it contrasts with green.

However, the Scaly is also meant to be part of a diorama; so I used yellow as a subsidiary spot colour, which will tie the overall collection of models together. This all sounds more complex than it actually is – it’s really just a case of planning it out beforehand.

Anyway these were the colours I used to paint the Scaly:


The skin was painted green:


I wanted it to have a dual tone, to avoid it resembling an ork – so I used Khaki with a small amount of green added to it; and painted the lower part of the face, and the underside of the tail:


Painted the rest of the base colours:


Then washed the entire model with smoke + black:


I used khaki to highlight both shades of the skin – mixing a small amount with the green, then adding more for successive layers to highlight the dark area. Pure khaki was used to highlight the paler area – adding a bit of ushabti bone, and then white for the final highlights:


The scales were made darker than the skin, but shaded and highlighted with the same colours as the other two areas:


Finally, I glazed all three areas of skin with several thin layers of Thraka green + smoke, which tied it all together.






Redemptionists (7) – Work In Progress

Jerry Cantrell ‘Dickeye’

A fairly cursory work-in-progress update, but I’ve finished the base now:


I couldn’t really face painting another skull and crossbones graphic on the sign, and they tend to be a bit clichéd anyway; so I opted for something different:


I’m going to paint the various miniatures in the same colour-scheme as the original models released alongside the Necromunda game, back in the late ’90s; but with a more contemporary approach. If that makes sense.


Worth a look

Interview with Marcel Ackle, who makes lots of cinematic dioramas (Massive Voodoo)

Black Templars – a useful way of painting black (Stockholm Warpaint)

Painting Meteorites – a useful way of painting, well, meteorites (Rob Hawkins Hobby)

Desert Wanderer – incorporating Islamic geometrical design, as part of the Rainbow Brush contest’s artistic protest against the current political climate in the USA. Oddly enough, I’ve thought about doing something similar, for an Araby model: (Althai Paints)

Imperial High Executioner (Forge Mechanicus)

Redemptionists (6) – Painting Rust Effects & Plague Zombies

Bowery Electric ‘Fear Of Flying’ 

I’ve nearly finished painting the base. A slight mishap when using the water effect means it will have to be done the hard way, painting it in layers – which will take several days; but that’s no big deal.

I wanted to finish the base in a time-frame of about a week. The last time I made anything like this was the base for the Hunter & Hunted diorama, which dragged on for just under two months, and became extremely unenjoyable.

So, I wanted to employ dry-brushing and washes, to provide a quick but effective scheme.


I thought it might be useful demonstrate how to paint the rust effect.

The undercoated pipe:


I created texture by using red-oxide paste:


It was then painted dark brown, along with all of the other metal parts:


These were painted with a thinned-down enamel rust-wash – specifically this one (the lid on mine broke, and had to be stored in a Kilner jar):

Image result for humbrol rust wash

Humbrol have a video on how to use these.


Enamels tend to give a subtle effect; so to add a bit more colour in places, I then used several thin washes of orange/ochre paints:


When these had dried:


Finished by dabbing on some pigments; and bonding these with white spirit (I made a previous tutorial on this):




How to paint plague zombies.

These were the colours used:


These were just used to create a flesh-wash:


Basecoat: Mephiston Red on the intestines, Cadian fleshtone on the skin, and Rakarth flesh on the bone areas.


The whole model was given a wash with Smoke; then the skin/intestines were given a wash of Liche Purple + Smoke + Burnt Cadmium Red + Black (equal parts):


Drybrush the bones with khaki:


Add a small amount of rakarth flesh to the khaki, and continue drybrushing:


Drybrush with pure Rakarth flesh:


The bones were then given a thin glaze of smoke, to smooth out the effect.

The skin was drybrushed with Cadian fleshtone + Rotting flesh (2:1 ratio):


Add more Rotting flesh for the second layer; and finish with pure Rotting flesh. Again, drybrushing:


As you can see, this de-saturated the skin, and left it looking slightly chalky; so to smooth this out and add some colour, I glazed over the entire model with several thin layers of Thraka Green, and used Baal Red around the mouth/eyes:


The intestines weren’t drybrushed – instead, paint a layer of Mephiston red; then a highlight layer by adding some Bugman’s glow to this; and finish by glazing with Baal red.