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,

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

My Precious! Chaos Spawn by Tony Hough

Hello all,
So I went and did something that some will perhaps find foolish.
Others will immediately understand why.
And my guess is that if you are part of the demographic that can understand the following then you've read the old Realm of Chaos books and they have become part of your subconscious.

I was recently made aware that a chap named Tony Hough was selling some of his old artwork.
Rant on: Now some of you may not know Tony Hough by name, but if you grew up with Games Workshop back when they were the best games developers out there, you will definitely have seen his artwork. For me he is among the top three most important of the talented people how developed the Warhammer universe, and Tony Hough did some of the most descriptive works on the Space Orks, Genestealers and, his best IMO, on capturing the essence of the chaos, the warp and its utter weirdness. This is perhaps difficult to explain to modern gamers, for whom Chaos is all about large axes and guns and who will gladly field Tzeentch and Nurgle troops in the same army.
For me, inspired by the Realm of Chaos books (my two mint copies, safely hidden in the basement, are still my most precious game books), Chaos was more than this - Chaos was blood yes, but it was also purple fish falling from the skies, champions getting acute hearing or the face of a sea otter, and other random things. Chaos was precisely utter randomness. And always (or mostly) with a bit of British humour thrown into the mix).
Rant off

Anyways, and sorry for the digress, Tony Hough drew some of the most important stuff that showed some of this randomness, and his best piece was the Chaos Spawn that featured in the Realm of Chaos books, White Dwarfs and countless other places, precisely because it is such a brilliant drawing.

And I now own it :-). Yes, I went ahead and bought a (scary) piece of my childhood, even convinced the wife, and it is now mine. All mine!
Tony Hough Tony Hough Paint Painting Chaos Spawn Purchase Realm Of Chaos Warhammer

This drawing is just unbelievable - the details are amazing. I had a couple of my friends, who illustrate books for a living, look at it (non-gamers) and they were blown away by the amount of detail.
Below are a couple of closer shots, but the entire piece is simply amazing, and I do not regret the purchase for one second. This piece is, in my opinion, perhaps the most central image from the part of my childhood 'under the influence' of the Realm of Chaos books and similar stuff.

Tony Hough Tony Hough Paint Painting Chaos Spawn Purchase Realm Of Chaos Warhammer
The black Ninja-Skeleton-Champion in front of the spawn is some of what makes this unique. there is no need for the figure (it could actually be argued to reduce the impact of the Spawn) but it adds narrative and mystique - is he fighting the Spawn or is he its guide?
Tony Hough Tony Hough Paint Painting Chaos Spawn Purchase Realm Of Chaos Warhammer

Apart from all that Tony Hough turned out to be a fine chap and the purchase went without any problems whatsoever. He even wrote me this letter:

Tony Hough Tony Hough Paint Painting Chaos Spawn Purchase Realm Of Chaos Warhammer

Oh dear, this became a lenghtier post than anticipated, but I am a pretty happy Dane at the moment and I really wanted to share my happiness with all of you.

All the best,

Monday, 15 April 2013

Experimenting with Washes to paint different skin colours

Hello all,
So I realized there was something wrong with the assortment of Zombies I've painted so far for Zombicide. They were all of a Caucasian 'white' skin colour. Hence in order to satisfy the demography of the states, I really need to have some variance in skin colour.
I've never tried painting anything but pale skin (due to my historic armies based in the 10-15th centuries, and the general tendency of Skavens to have fur all over) so I've thought long and hard on how to go about this. And trust me, there are not many tutorials on this subject on the net.
So, to begin with I've tried with the different Washes I had available, most of which are from Lavado.

Painting ethinic skin black negro mexican zombies wash miniatures
The best results came from the Sepia, the Umber and the black washes. The Sepia is not that useful, but I think the umber might be representative of some ethnic groups, if used on a darker base coat. The dark wash on the other hand seems be a quick solution to the darkest 'African' skin tones.

Painting ethinic skin black negro mexican zombies wash miniatures
This is the result with two applications of the wash - although this might be too dark a tone to represent most modern 'african-americans'. I do think this works better than simply painting the skin black but I would appreciate comments and suggestions.
I will try a thinned down black wash with a thin layer of umber on top to get a better 'mixed' skin colour result.

All the best,

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