So, I've been happily painting away on my Arcworlde models, especially the Zombie Pirates of the Black Coast. After showing off one or two on Arcworlde's Facebook page, I got a few tutorial requests for the skin. So here goes!
The Pirates of the Black Coast are evil, Undead corsairs who pillage the world of Arcworlde. This lent itself, to me, to the idea of a more "watery" undead: not dried and decayed, but bluish from exposure, with some soft tissue still resembling flesh. (Spoiler: I'm a firm believer that more layers/steps leads to a more realistic finish, so this isn't a "dip and done" paint guide.)
We start with an Arcworlde pirate. Any will do, but I picked Cyclops here so I could demonstrate bone as well for you. (Freebie!) The model had been primed black to allow for deeper contrasts.
The next step was a base coast of Army Painter Necrotic Flesh. I like the AP better than Valejo or GW for this because it is a little more blue/green, which suits the composition. Depending on of/how much you thin your paints, this may take two or three coats. It's well worth the time spent.
Next up is a 50/50 mix of Army Painter Uniform Grey and Necrotic Flesh. No specific reason for the Uniform Grey aside from it being handy. Dry brush the blend over the skin areas to begin a mottling effect.
On to a quick drybrush mix. 1 part Uniform Grey, 2 parts Flesh, and 1 part Vallejo light flesh. This color is a staple for me in mixing. It's not a true white so it never bleaches out color, but is very light and allows for excellent shade control. While I'm not a big fan of dry brushing because it can give a gravelly texture, it's not going to matter soon, and the details Alex sculpted into these models are more than deep enough to carry it.
So, apparently I forgot to take a picture, so bear with me. Wash the entire model with your sepia wash of choice, or a blend of sepia and flesh. I used Army Painter Soft Tone for just that reason- it's a nice midway point between a true sepia and a flesh wash. Do something constructive while that dries. Next, we're going to spot color points of the model in purple tone to give it that submerged bloated look. Aim for soft tissue like around the eyes and mouth, any areas of major damage, hands, and feet.
Now is where the rubber hit the road. Mix a 50/50 blend of Vallejo basic skintone and Uniform Grey to apply as a highlight layer on the skin. This is an "apply to taste" kinda thing. The more you put on, the "fresher" the old One-eyed William is going to look. Personally, I go for just the highlight areas that really rise above the rest. The thinner the paint the better, as it will transition more cleanly.
On to a final highlight layer of the Basic Skintone. You want to take about a third of whatever you just highlighted in the last step, and bring it up a little more. Less is more at this point, you really just want to add high pinpoints of light.
Bonus time!!! This is really the best, easiest way to make bone I've come up with yet. A 50/50 mix of Vallejo light flesh and Army Painter Necrotic Flesh, and basecoat the bone area. Follow with a black wash of your choice, although you might want to thin it just a little bit. Follow that with an edge highlight of your original mix (see it in the next photo) and you're done!
Want some unnatural glowing eyes, just in case somehow someone thought walking bloated corpses were "too natural"? Tough, you're getting them anyway. A small drop of white, which is then covered with Vallejo Yellow Flourescent. When doing so, make sure you don't come all of the way out of the eye socket... leaving the edge blackened will give it that glowing look.
So, that's the hard work of bones and flesh. Follow that up with whatever ideas you had for clothing and weaponry. I painted the barnacles a blend of pink tones...mostly because I had no clue what to do with them, but felt it would stand out nicely from the semi-blue of the skin tone.
After that, you're only a well painted base away from done! Head Wound Harry here is going to be decorating a Bayou Boardwalk base from Firebucket Games. That's how he's done, start to finish. Here he is standing with two of his mates from the ship, the Harpooner and the Old Man of the Sea.
If you've never seen these models before, it's not terribly surprising- you only missed a kickstarter. They'll be available very soon from Warploque's Website. I highly recommend the entire line, they're a lot of fun to paint, and every model is dripping with character. Here's hoping the rules for the game are as entertaining as the sculpts!
See you on the other side of the table,
The Second Class Elitist