It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying table. This week we’re painting skeletons and rust.
Walking skeletons are a staple of fantasy, so knowing how to paint them will come in handy, even if you’re only painting a few for your roleplaying sessions. This method is super simple and very effective. If you haven’t already had a look at how I painted Yochlol, be sure to check it out. That tutorial goes into using Flesh Wash, which is the key ingredient in this recipe.
1. Basecoat White Then Flesh Wash
Basecoat your skeletons white, then wash with Flesh Wash, aka Ink Wash: Flesh.
2. Dry Brush Off White
For this step, I used a 1:1 mix of white and a brownish flesh tone. You’re looking for whatever looks the most like bone.
To dry brush, dip your brush in the paint, then wipe most of the paint off. Paint this residue over the raised edges of your model by flicking the brush back and forth. It takes a little practice, but the technique is very useful.
And that’s it, those bones are done. Let’s move on to the rust.
3. Paint Rusty Surfaces Orange
You can mix things up and have patches of different shades of orange, if you like. We’ll be adding plenty of visual variety still, so don’t worry too much if you don’t.
4. Sponge on Brown
Using a small bit of sponge and tweezers, sponge brown over the rusty surfaces. Like with dry brushing, you don’t want too much paint on the sponge here. The aim is to get a random pattern of dots.
5. Paint in Metal Edges
Now, here’s the magic part. Paint a metallic colour on the edges of the swords and shields, focusing on raised edges that would see wear in battle.
It’s a smoke and mirrors technique, but the metallic edges sell the rust and suggest that the weapons and shields are actually made of metal… actually.
6. Finishing Up
Lastly, put some Nuln Oil or a black wash over the rusty armaments, paint or base the bases as you wish, and seal off the miniature with two coats of matt varnish.
I was blown away by how easy and effective these techniques were. I’ve used the rust technique a bunch of times on my Warhammer 40,000 orks already, and painting these bones felt like cheating, it was that easy.
The Rising Phoenix Games dude.
Rodney is a writer and editor of tabletop RPGs and a painter of Orks. He is worryingly fond of mill decks in Magic: the Gathering and a self-confessed Japanophile.