Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Painting a zombie in twelve minutes - an easy 'how to paint 28mm minis quickly' guide

Hello all,
So, everyone who has bought the Zombicide game will have discovered that a) there is a ton of zombies in the game (even more so if you were part of the Kickstarter and got double the minis), and b) that the game is alot more fun with painted zombies to slaughter.
This means that you will have to paint roughly a million zombies and this can be quite a daunting task.
In order to alleviate some of the distress this might cuase you, I've put together this post to illustrate how you can paint a zombie in just over ten minutes each, while still getting fairly good results, at least adequate for a  boardgame - I originally posted this on my other blog (Zombicide.blogspot.com), but seeing as this site is a bit stale at the moment I figured you guys might be interested in this post as well.

There are five steps and the object is to paint fast, cleaning up mistakes later, and painting some areas while others dry. I normally paint in batches of 3-5 zombies which will even further speed up the process but I figured if I did so I might forget to snap pictures of each stage.The trick is to paint continously and the more minis in a batch the easier this is - but painting five, seven or even ten at a time can really break your spirit so start with two or three at first.

In the following I've used Vallejo paint (although any paint will do the trick) to paint two walkers, and while these are amongst the easiest of the lot, the method works for all the Zombies in the game - hell, it works for any miniature you might wish to paint.

Step 1:
Zombicide zombie paint quickly good result walker easy how to paint blood 28mm
On a primed mini (I use white, always - black might be quicker but white is a lot easier for all colours) apply the skin colour of your choice, and afterwards paint the shoes. Do not fret if some of the paint goes elsewhere - we'll clean that up later. Time spent: 1 minute.

Step 2:
Zombicide zombie paint quickly good result walker easy how to paint blood 28mm
Time to paint the main clothes, in this case it is a suit, so I've decided it will be black. I've applied a hefty layer of black wash. This will provide a good colour and also allow us to skip any high-lighting later as the shade will do this automatically. While you have the wash on the brush, apply some in between the fingers and to the eyes/mouth area. This will, along with the following flesh wash create a face that has a lot of depth and looks suitable deceased. And it is quick and fun.
I've also mixed a base colour from grey and black and applied this to the base.
Total time spent: 5 minutes.

Step 3:
Zombicide zombie paint quickly good result walker easy how to paint blood 28mm
Apply another coat of black shade and while the black shade is drying, apply a wash to the flesh. 
This is my favorite stage - the mini really comes to life with the flesh wash.
Total time spent: 7 minutes.

Step 4:
Zombicide zombie paint quickly good result walker easy how to paint blood 28mm
Have a cigarette or browse your favorite blogs for a few minutes while the washes dry. Back when I was competing in speedpainting competitions we would blow on them and hold them near lamps. This will take anywhere from 1-10 minutes. I've allowed for 3 minutes, as the washes do not need to be completely dry, just be careful not to paint over anything too wet.
Then it is time to do some details - the shirt gets a fresh coat of white, the tie gets a suitably drab colour (grey). Then a small dab of white in each eye and across the teeth - the black shade will provide the contrast (this is where it really pays of to be careful, but any mistakes can quickly be painted over with black and you can have another go at the details in another minute or so).
Total time spent: 10 minutes

Step 5:
Zombicide zombie paint quickly good result walker easy how to paint blood 28mm
Congratulations, you are done. But why not smear some blood over your fine paint job? This will make the mini look gruesome, will cover any glaring mistakes and is bloody (!) fun to do. I use the version from Tamiya Colors, as it stays shining and looks like fresh blood for ever. If you need older blood, just add a bit of brown or black ink to the blood.
Zombicide zombie paint quickly good result walker easy how to paint blood 28mm
I normally add some to the fingers (because they are sculpted poorly in the Zombicide game) and at least some to the face. This is where it helps painting in batches, becuase even though you have painted three figures identically, the distribution of blood can really help make them different. So a heavy layer of blood on one and a small dab here and there on another.
Total time spent: 12 minutes.
So, in twelve minutes you've painted a couple of zombies (you can do three in ca. 15 minutes) in a short time and it was even fun, at least I find it to be. The only stage where you really should be careful is when applying the eye-dot, and as everyone always focuses on the face it pays of to be a bit careful when applying that dot.
Anyways, thanks for reading - any comments or tips are greatly appreciated - stay safe and prepare to slaughter Zombies! 

All the best,


  1. Bravo! and to think I used to be afraid of zombies- or at least painting them
    Thanks for this!

  2. Hello Foss1066, really glad you liked the post. I'll be bookmarking your blogs and checking up on whether or not you get some zombies painted - so you better get started :-).
    All the best,


You might also find this interesting:

Related Posts with Thumbnails