Posts Tagged ‘Tutorials’

So ever since I did the post on How to paint World Eater Space Marines I have a lot of positive feed back, in fact its been a very popular post.  One question that I’ve continually had was “how did you paint the face?” So I thought I’d do a quick tutorial on how to paint faces to a good table top standard.  Believe it or not, its not that hard and with a little patience and practice you’ll dramatically improve the presentiment of any miniature where flesh tones are present.

So lets take a look at the process.


Step 1.

For the tutorial I’ll be using the old Citadel range of paints.  I do like the new range, however I’m buying to replace them with the new ones as I go so I’ve still got a fair few of the old range on hand.  But if you use the Citadel conversion chart if you don’t have any of the old paints you should be golden.

The paints & materials I’ve used are

  • Abaddon Black – Undercoat and detail
  • Tallarn Flesh – Base coat and component for highlights
  • Dwarf Flesh – For highlighting
  • Red Gore – A component colour for the lips
  • Ogryn Flesh – Base coat wash
  • Devlen Mud – Shading
  • White Scar – Eyes etc
  • W & N No 1 Brush
  • Marines Head – I like mounting pieces on tooth pics for ease of handling


Step 2.  Undercoat

I’ve used Abaddon Black applied with an Air Brush, or use a spray can.  This is important and many of the small details on the face can be erased or compromised if you don’t apply the paint thinly enough.  I’m not saying it can’t be done with a brush, but it just makes your job harder if you do.


Step 3.  Base coat

Again I’ve applied Tallarn Flesh with an air brush for the same reason that I applied Abaddon Black with an air brush, so as not to compromise any of the fine detail on the face.


Step 4.  Wash

Using my W & N no 1 brush I applied a liberal amount of wash.  Don’t be scared to do this as you’ll find that when the medium dries (evaporates) all that will be left is the pigment in the recesses.  You want that to create definition.
How to paint Space Marine Faces 5

Step 5.  Re-apply the base coat

This is where you need to be mindful of a few things.  The first one is paint viscosity, and the second one is your brush condition.  Let me explain.  Where a lot of people fall down when painting flesh is that the paint has already started to dry when its being applied.  This makes the paint lumpy and has an inconsistent appearance in its application.  In some climates where the air is dry (< 30% humidity) you may need to use a wet pallet.  Or just do what I do and take a blob of paint out of the bottle (I live in a humid climate), put it on my pallet and mix in a bit of paint thinner.  This is really important, especially for skin tones, the reason is that our skin is sort of translucent and when we paint it to re-create that effect, we need to simulate this and the best way to do that is to make the paint thin.  I’ll get into more detail on this later, but for now, just make sure that your paint it thinned down a little so it flows better.

The second point you need to be aware of is your brush condition.  There are two aspects of this, the first is that your brush is set up to facilitate capillary action, and the second one is that the tip of the brush is the right shape.  Many painters don’t use their brush the way its meant to be used, and that is having a nice amount of paint on the whole brush (bristles) and then shape the brush tip so that it makes a nice fine point for painting.  A lot of guys I see dip the tip of their brush in the paint and use only that part.  This seriously limits the full capability of the brush and you are doing yourself a big disservice.  To help your brush facilitate capillary action, just make sure that before you dip it in paint (thinned down I hope) that you first dip your paint brush in some clean paint thinners first.  Remove the excess with a tissue or something then dip the paint brush in your thinned paint, using the same tissue shape the bristles so that you have a nice point.

You can now pick out the raised areas of the face with the Tallarn Flesh.  Before you do this take a few moments to consider where you’d like the paint to go by studying the face and its contours.  By having a plan of where you’d like the paint to do will dramatically improve your results.


Step 6.  First Highlight

Mixing about 70% Tallarn Flesh with 30% Dwarf Flesh, begin highlighting the areas of the face that would naturally catch the light.  So areas like the ears, nose, chin, cheeks, brow.  Again, make sure you follow the points I make in Step 5 about paint viscosity and having your brush set up properly.  Paint viscosity is important for the next three stages.  As I mentioned before, skin is sort of translucent, so when you paint flesh tones, try and make your paint go on in very thin layers so that the edge of each layer of paint isn’t too contrasted against the previous one, and allows its colour to be blended with the previous colour that was applied.

How to paint Space Marine Faces 7

Step 7.  Second Highlight

Mixing about 30% Tallarn Flesh with 70% Dwarf Flesh, begin refining the highlighting of the previous areas of the face that you worked on in Step 6. Again, make sure you follow the points I make in Step 5 about paint viscosity and having your brush set up properly.


Step 8.  Final Highlight

With straight Dwarf Flesh go and pick out the final areas where you want attention to be drawn to.  Tip of the nose, ears, brow and top of the cheeks.

How to paint Space Marine Faces 9

Step 9.  Lips

With a a mixture of about 60% Tallarn Flesh, and 40% Red Gore, apply a small amount to the lower lip.  This is very subtle but crucial to achieving a more realistic effect.


Step 10.  Eye Shading

Place a small amount of Devlan Mud in each of the eye areas and a small amount under the bottom lip.  Again a subtle but crucial step.


Step 11.  Pick out Details

Paint the actual eyes black in readiness for the white to be applied, paint around the collar, neck brace etc and the small stud on his forehead.  Highlight the collar etc as you would normally.

Step 12.  Finished

Paint in the eyes with white, followed by a small dot of back.  This may take several attempts to get right.  Pick out the service stud with your choice of silver and finish up any other details you’d like attention paid to.

So there you have it.  It’s doubtful that you’ll win a Golden Daemon trophy with this scheme, but it will with any luck improve the quality of your table top miniatures.

A few points to remember about painting flesh.  The first is no matter what tone of flesh you are wanting to achieve, always start with a warm flesh tone.  For example, if you look at the picture below of my Iron Hands Librarian, you’ll see he’s quite pale.  I still used Tallarn Flesh as the base colour, I just used a mixture of grey and bone to dull down the warmth of Tallarn Flesh.  This is a convention to be mindful of when painting flesh tones.  It seems that our eye is programmed to see flesh tones in a certain way and we accept simulations of flesh tones better when they have a warm base to start with.

Iron Hands Librarian

Thats me for now.  Hope you’ve found this helpful, and until next time chat later.

John Sutton, Brisbane, Qld

Hello everyone!

Its been a while between posts and not a lot of painting since finishing the Reaver a few weeks ago.  However I’m still here, just taking a bit of a (well deserved)breather and planning my next project, but also working on a few other things too.  Like putting together a 4hr painting tutorial for people who want to learn how to paint tanks better….. let me explain..

For the past few years now, the Australian Defence Force Wargaming Association (ADFWGA) holds their annual wargaming Championships in December each year.  This is a Tri-Service wargaming event (Army, Navy & Airforce) for current and ex Defence members to participate in, the games on offer this year are 40k, WHFB, Flames of War, and Malifaux.  Apart from determining who is the best Wargamer in the ADF and spending a weekend talking hobby, smack & general laughs, its also an opportunity for the ADFWGA and members of the community to help raise funds for Legacy.

Legacy is a charity providing services to Australian families suffering financially and socially after the incapacitation or death of a spouse or parent, during or after their defence force service.  It is a charity that is close to the hearts of many service people and their families and does a lot of good both within the Defence community and the general community at large.

To make my (The Painting Bunker’s) contribution to not only the ADF Wargaming community, but to also assist in raising funds for Legacy, I have offered to the organisers of this years event, being held in Townsville, to do a 4hr intensive tank painting tutorial for 10 participants at $40 per head with all funds raised going directly to Legacy.  When the painting tutorial event was announced on the ADFWGA Facebook page, the places were quickly snapped up which was a great relief and testament to the communities willingness to not only improve their painting skills, but raise money for a very worthy cause.

The aim of the tutorial is to provide the participants with the principals they’ll need to paint tanks effectively, some of the topics that I’ll be covering will be Air Brushing, applying camouflage patterns, weathering with oils, weathering with pigments, stencilling & decal application, amongst other things.  Basically what I’m going to be doing is taking the participants through how to turn this…


into this….


Its been an interesting journey organising this as painting for 1 (me) is pretty straight forward, try organising it for 10 people… 10 brushes, 10 sets of tweezers, 10… well, you get the picture.  Luckily for me a few local Brisbane business have helped out in providing me with what I’ll need to do the tutorials.

When I asked Nathan Jurgs, the owner of Battlestation Ipswich (technically not Brisbane :-P) if he could help out, he has very generously supplied all the Citadel paints (over 36)  that we’ll need to paint our project.  I’ve only known Nathan for a few months now, however I’ve been thoroughly impressed firstly with his business, easily the best, and I mean BEST, independently owned games business I’ve ever seen, but also with his passion for gaming and the community as a whole.  When I asked if he could help out he didn’t hesitate and was quick to support the fund raising effort for Legacy.  Go check out his Facebook page too!

The other locally owned business that has been extremely generous and eager to support is Hobbyrama in Stafford, Brisbane.  Hobbyrama is easily the largest, longest running hobby shop in Brisbane and I’ve been shopping their for well over 10 years now.  When I discussed what I was doing for Legacy and ADFWGA, they were very eager to help out, and have provided 5 very high quality gravity feed, dual action air brushes (complete kits) and a mountain of finishing products to assist with the tutorials.  They even ordered in some items from their suppliers express especially so that I could make timings for my trip upto Townsville (a two day drive from where I live).

So this is shaping up to be a great weekend, and I’m keen to not only play (I’m taking the Carcharodons in the 40k event) but also to hopefully pass on some of my skills to others so that we can raise the standard of army presentation in the community.

So, if you’ve made it this far, thanks for taking the time to read this post.  I’d like to finish up and ask you if you could make a small donation to Legacy via the ADFWGA’s donation portal, everyday hero.   It take about 2 minutes, its painless and your contribution will make a difference.  To help put what your donation will do into perspective, have a look at this…

So take a few moments to help out, and if you live in the area then please visit Battlestation & Hobbyrama and show your support to these awesome local business by giving them your custom.

So, thats it for me thanks for stopping in and keep an eye out for the soon to follow posts on all of the fun and good times that will come out of the 2012 ADFWGA Championships.

Comments welcome


Ok, third post for the day look out!

Again, this is a very quick one to show you some pics of my completed squadron of Iron Hands Landspeeders.  I decided to do a video diary of this build for something different.  I’ve posted the last two tutorials on this pages YouTube channel if you’d like to have a look at them.  I fully magnetised these kits so that they can be put together in various configurations.  I’m a big fan of this now as its difficult to predict what will be a good or bad configuration until you’ve had a few opportunities to pay test them.  Also with all the kits now being plastic its pretty easy to do.

Ok, enough rant

Here are the pics

Thanks for look, comments welcome


So yesterday I had the bright idea to do a video post for a change… 12hrs later I had over an hr of edited footage and only half a clue on how to actually post it… so at about 1am this morning I gave up and went to bed… close to an answer but my caffeine addled, sleep deprived brain couldn’t quite put the last few pieces together… until now!

So I’ve now created a YouTube channel called… you guess it ThePaintingBunker 

This idea came from 3 Land Speeders I brought last week when I won Armies on Parade.  I thought that making a set of tutorials on everything from preparation, magnetisation, sub-assemblies, preparing for undercoating, undercoating, decals, weathering and other topics could be covered with this build and may help some modellers out there navigate their way through these process a bit more successfully.

So I spent most of last night stumbling through the editing process and trying to upload these first 5 tutorials.  It was an interesting experience.   Because I don’t have a self hosted site, to see the tutorial you’ll just have to go to my YouTube Channel and watch them from there, if I get enough views and positive feedback on the video and feel that its worth the expense to self host, I’ll make the upgrade then so you’ll be able to watch them from my page. I hope you enjoy the tutorials I have made and find it helpful.  I’m just going through uploading the other 4 so they’ll be featured in other posts shortly.