I recently picked up the Warhammer Underworlds: Gnarlwood box and have been slowly working my way through the Sons of Velmorn. So far people have seemed to love the bright scheme I came up with for them, so I decided to document the scheme as a guide, so you can try something similar on some models of your own – whether that’s the Sons of Velmorn, other Deathrattle Skeletons or even something completely different.
I considered a few ideas for this scheme, but I knew that I wanted to feature a blue or purple armour and a yellow orange fabric. After toying with a few potential schemes I settled on a double-split complimentary palette, featuring greens and blues, as well as being able to lean into both orange and red. Being able to plan this out in advance was a helpful way of checking the scheme would work well in theory.
There are two themes you’ll notice throughout this guide. Firstly, we’re aiming for a slightly green tint to the shadows rather than black, which we’ll achieve with Incubi Darkness and Coelia Greenshade. Secondly, this scheme uses ‘trios’ of colours – three colours used for the blue, three colours used for the orange, and three colours used for the red. This is what’s going to help us get vibrant and deep colours.
Let’s get started.
To start, basecoat the model with Wraithbone. Usually I’d suggest a deeper starting colour, but we’re going to use this pale bone colour as a base for – you guessed it – the bones.
The base coat for all of the fabrics is going to be Tuskgor Fur, which has a nice burnt tone, while staying fairly saturated. It doesn’t matter if you’re a little messy with this step, as long as you try to be careful not to touch any of the bone areas.
The blue armour will be base coated with Incubi Darkness, a nice deep blue-green. Note that I’ve left any buckles and blades for now, as I’m going to come back in with a metallic paint for those in a moment.
I’ve opted to use a lighter brown for the furs and wood. You can use any light brown, but I opted for Gorthor Brown.
Any leather straps and belts can be picked out with a slightly darker brown. Thondia Brown is ideal.
As mentioned earlier, I wanted to pick out the blades and buckles with a metallic paint, so I’ve opted for Runelord Brass. While there’s a slight hint of gold, it’s not going to be stealing the limelight from the other bold colours, and it will receive a nice tint from the wash we’ll do in a moment
Note: When painting this model I specifically avoided gluing it to the base so that the base can be painted separately. If your model is already stuck on to the base, then it’s probably easiest to base it with Khorne Red now. Otherwise, I’ll circle back to the base later.
This is probably my favourite step – shading everything. Coelia Greenshade is an interesting colour to use here. It matches fairly closely with the armour colour, gives the fabrics a black shading, and gives the bones and blades an eerie green tint.
Painting the fabrics
At the start I mentioned we would be using some trios of paints. For the fabric, those three paints are Tuskgor Fur (the base tone), Jokaero Orange (the mid tone) and Kislev Flesh (the highlight tone). For our first layer we’re going to use a 50/50 mix of the base tone and mid tones. I aim to cover around 75% of the fabric with this colour, leaving the dark recesses, or parts of the fabric which would remain shadowed.
Then we’re going to come back and do the same thing with just our mid tone, Jokaero Orange. With this layer you just want to cover around 40% of the surface area, targeting areas that would catch the light a little more.
At this step, we’re starting to highlight, targeting some of the lighter extremes. We’ll be using a mix of our mid tone and highlight tone for this step. You probably only need to cover about 20% of the fabric with this one, aiming mainly for upper facing edges and folds.
For the final step of the fabric, we’re just going to add a few dots and lines with out highlight tone, Kislev Flesh. The end result is a very fiery feeling orange with a lot of depth.
Painting the armour
Next we’re going to take a look at the armour. Again we’re going to use three colours, this time working with Incubi Darkness (the base tone), Caledor Sky (the mid tone) and Fenrisian Grey (the highlight tone). For our first layer we’re going to use a 50/50 mix of the base tone and mid tones, again, covering most of the surface area. When painting the armour you want to try and focus more on the upper facing panels, and parts which would reflect the light, trying to emulate a basic NMM (Non-Metallic Metal) style.
Now we want to highlight a slightly smaller area with Caledor Sky.
We’re then going to come back in with a mix of our mid tone and highlight tone, and do the same again. This time, I treat it almost more like an edge highlight in places, picking out any sharp edges as well as the undersides of any dents and scrapes.
Finally our highlight colour of Fenrisian Grey is used just to push the extremes where there would be the most shine. We only really need to add a couple of small dots to sell this effect. I also use this colour to just dot any rivets and bolts sticking out of the armour, as you can see on the front of the shield.
At this stage you’re mostly done on the model, so this is a perfect time to come back in and clean up any areas that need it, or highlight the other areas. I added a few subtle highlights to the bones with a clean white paint, and then highlighted the metals and leathers with their original colours.
Now for the base
As mentioned earlier, I’ve kept the base separate to make painting it easier, but if your base can’t be separated then you may have decided to do this step already. Again I’m using a series of 3 colours that are all rich and saturated, but we don’t need to spend as much time on the base as the rest of the model. Khorne Red is going to be our base tone for this, so start by covering the entire base.
I decided to pick out the items on the base in Runelord Brass – the same colour as the blades and buckles on the model. If you have any other items other than the tiles, then now’s the time to paint them in.
Just like when we painted the model, we’re now going to cover the entire base in Coelia Greenshade. You’ll notice that just like the fabrics we painted earlier the red on the base darkens down to almost black in some areas, thanks to the contrast of the red and green. This should settle into all of the small bumps and cracks and make our tiles look really realistic.
This step isn’t always going to be necessary, but I decided to darken the cracks between the tiles even more with some carefully applied Incubi Darkness.
Now for the fun step – come back in with some Mephiston Red and brighten those tiles up. I like to start this by edge highlighting each tile, and then coming back in to colour some raised sections of each tile. If you work with the existing textures of the tile then you can keep some really organic looking variation to the patterns.
And the final step to finish off the base is just to add some further vibrancy with Evil Sunz Scarlet. Just a few subtle highlights on each tile, and a dot on some of the more prominent corners is enough to really make this stand out.
The end result
And then we’re done. Attach the model once again and paint the base rim black, and you’re good to go.
If you give it a go, let me know! Leave a comment here or tag me on Instagram at @ajb_minis. Alternatively, feel free to browse our other painting guides.
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