Hobby Corner: Dead/Bruised Skin Tutorial


I like to be a special snowflake when it comes to paint schemes. I hardly ever do anything with the default scheme, and I like to make my army stand out. 

That being said, when I decided to try this effect late at night a few days ago, I didn't think I'd be able to make the model work as a whole.


What I wanted to convey was the nightmare flesh of the Skin and Moans covered in human skin, and so I decided to at least give the skin a try before scrapping the project and trying something completely different. The base coat was not promising. 


Fortunately, I am a prideful fellow and one of my buddies told me he wasn't sold on it, so I set out to prove him wrong and spent a solid hour screwing around and ended up with this:


If it makes you a little uncomfortable to look at that picture, you're not alone. It definitely creeps me out a bit. 

Anyway, I got a lot of requests to do a tutorial on this effect so here we go! You're going to need the following paints to do this:

p3 Ryn Flesh
p3 Cryx Bane Highlight
p3 Piggy Purple Ink
Vallejo Air Red
p3 Coal Black
p3 Sickly Skin

A wet pallet will also make your life way easier. 

If you want sweet Grymkin bases like these, you can find them at www.figurepainters.com - Tyson will hook you up. 

You'll notice that two of those colors are from the upcoming Grymkin paint box release. You can simulate the Sickly Skin color by mixing a bit (very small amount) of p3 Wurm Green into p3 Menoth White Highlight. 

I'm going to be using a lot of two brush blending in this tutorial. If you've never seen it done or heard of it before, I recommend going to Youtube and looking up Redmodeling Paint Studio - he has some great video tutorials on the subject. 

Here we go!

Step 1: Basecoat

This is going to be thinned down Ryn Flesh, and it will take 2-3 coats of paint to get this uniform. It's important, despite the ragged end goal, to make the base coat nice and consistent. If it's not the same everywhere, you don't get to control where the shadows and bruises go as well. 



Step 2: Make it look Dead

For this step, I mix a small amount of the Ryn Flesh in with Cryx Bane Highlight and start blending it in like I would for a shadow, along the lower edges of everything. 

You might take two passes at this, since properly thinning down your paint for two brush blending gets it a little translucent. 

Ignore the orange sleeve skin, I got bored waiting for paint to dry and started base coating other parts of the model. 


Step 3: Ewwwww

Take your Cryx Bane Highlight and add some Piggy Purple Ink to it until it's a super dull purple. 

This is going to go above the grey/green of the Cryx Highlight, not necessarily in the darkest cracks, but where bruising is likely to have happened. 

Again, this is two brush blending here. There should be fairly little of the Ryn Flesh left showing through at this point - you're going to go back and bring that up in the end steps. 


Step 4: Even MOAR Ewww

Add some of the Vallejo Air Red to your dull purple, just enough to tint it. You can also probably use Murderous Magenta from p3 to do this. 

This is going to go in the areas where the purple is most concentrated. It takes a bit of a leap to not think about it as a shade tone, because that's what you naturally want to do, but it goes basically anywhere that bruises would be the worst, not in the cracks necessarily (although it certainly can).


Step 5: Bring it back up.

Before we do our final shade, it's time to go and re-establish where the light parts of the skin are. Take your Ryn Flesh and tighten up the high points and reclaim some of the space that's been overtaken by all of the shadows and bruises. 

Compare the face on his left side and the stretched out skin from the previous picture to this one to see what I mean. These are going to be the foundations for the final highlights in step 7. 


Step 6: The Darkest Shadows

Hehe, the melodrama. 

Anyway, take your red/purple/cryx mix and add some Coal Black to it. This is going to go in the darkest crevices and also to make the bruises seem really bad. 

Use this sparingly, it doesn't take much. 


Step 7: The Brightest Lights

Take pure Sickly Skin and just touch on the edges of the bright spots. This step is maybe slightly optional, but I think it adds a lot in person. 

Skin is actually highly reflective in light, so it's important to get it highlighted a bit to look authentic. 




There you go! I think this has some sweet applications in lots of different factions and armies, not just for the Skin and Moans. 

If you give this a try, shoot me a picture on Facebook or email (loswarmahordes@gmail.com) or Twitter (@LoS_Jaden) because I'd love to see it!

Final model: