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  1. #1
    Member ^raven^'s Avatar
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    Mar 2005
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    I'm in the midst of purchasing, assembling, converting, and painting a 1,000 Army of Sylvania Vampire Counts army that will grow to 1,500 and hopefully 2,000 pts. As Skeletons are a core to any VC army, but in particular to AoS, I thought I'd share my method for painting them quickly and easily in a manner that produces good results. I'm hoping we can share ideas on how to paint skeletons and learn from each other.

    My method employs Vallejo paints extensively as I have a growing collection of Model Colors and I find them superior to GW paints. As such I will be using the Vallejo Model Color names, which don't exactly line up to GW paints. Naturally, it is possible to find the GW comparison to what I mention and use that instead if you like my method.

    I gathered my skellies into groups of 5, or roughly 1 rank in my case, and primed them with GW Chaos Black Spray. While the first group dried I went on to prime the next 5 and so forth until I had primed roughly 30 or 33 skellies.

    Next, I took Vallejo Flat White and drybrushed it onto the bone areas of the skellies. This is basically their entire body such as arms, legs, head, torso, hands, feet, teeth, and etc. Try to get more white on the large bones and in concentration so the bones don't look like they have gaps. Also ensure to paint the bone icons on the shields with this method. Don't worry if you get white on the shields because that'll be cleaned up in the next step. But, don't be too fussy and don't normal paint. This is drybrushing after all.

    After that I moved on to wooden areas. Before priming the models I took care to ensure that shields were not assembled. This makes the step of painting wooden areas much easier. All spear shafts, shields and other wooden areas are in this step. Take Vallejo Flat Brown and paint the wooden areas. Let the models dry but they shouldn't take long. If you do assembly line painting as I do by the time you finish the first 5 or 10 skellies you'd actually be able to move on to the next step. So, by the time you finish painting your batch they should be dry.

    Now you can paint the metallic areas. This'll be spear heads, helmets, any armor on their bodies and so forth. Use Vallejo Natural Steel, or a color like Natural Steel, and paint a coat on the metallic areas. For most of the skellies this'll mainly be their spear points. After the steel color has dried take Vallejo Smoke. Dillute Smoke in water to roughly a 30/70 or 50/50 consistency of Smoke to water. Then paint that over the metallic areas. You'll notice this gives the metal a nice almost rusty bronze/gold look yet also allows the steel color to show through in various areas.

    Before you handle the bases you likely have headstones to paint. You should have primed them with GW Chaos Black spray when you did the skellies. Take a gray such as Vallejo Medium Gray or Light Gray. Paint the tombstone. If you want a gray in between mix the two roughly 50/50. After that dries take Vallejo Flat White and paint the edges of the tombstone. This is the edges of the top, the sides, even the front if there are crossbones, skulls, cracks or other areas you can do edging. If there's a skull you can drybrush it instead.

    Now you are ready to do the bases. They should be black either because they're black plastic or because of the priming you did. They may have splotches of paint but don't worry about that. Depending on where your army is from and how much work you wish to do the base can be handled in a variety of ways. The simplest way is to take Vallejo Flat Green or GW Goblin Green and paint the base. If you have more time you can dress the base up by applying watered down PVA glue and then dipping the base in flock. If the army is from a desert area paint the base a tan, sand, or khaki instead and use brown flock for the extra touch. One thing to note about the flock is don't put any on the sides. Only the top of the base should have flock. The sides should show whatever color you used, green or khaki/sand/tan, and not the flock.

    I hope to have photos to share when my unit of Sylvanian Militia is finished. I have roughly half the unit to go including bases. Remember, skellies are common rank and file troops that you'll likely have a lot of, definately more than when you started the game, so you needn't be too fussy on them. You have vampires and spirits to paint too and you can spend more time on them.

    Playing: BFG, Starship Troopers, GMC1, B5: ACTA, WFB, LoTR, Warmachine, FoW, Pirates of the Spanish Main, Heroclix, M:TG, and YGO.

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  3. #2
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    Aug 2005
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    Nice paint scheme. I will use this for the non-rank and file models in my Tomb Kings army. For R&F models in my army, I use the base and dip approach. I prime them white and then base their weapons, leather, metal and wood with single coats of very bright colors. In particular I use these (GW colors)

    wood - blood red
    leather (soft such as straps) - vermin brown
    leather (hard such as armor and helmet) - bestial brown
    metal - chainmail
    gold - dwarf bronze followed by burnished gold (only layered color)
    non-animated bones - bleached bone
    bandages - desert yellow

    After they dry, I dip them in Minwax water-based wood stain, American Walnut, mixed about 1:1 with water. This darkens the colors and stains the low areas quite dark. It is sometimes necessary to touch up their eye sockets as sometimes bubbles form. I do this with the same dip but applied with a fine brush.

    After that dries, base to taste and seal with the Minwax Polycrylic sealer Satin finish.

    Homer Out

  4. #3
    Thread Killer! slorak's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Long Beach, CA
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    If you don't mind spending a little more time on them here is what I would do:

    Prime them any way you like - black or white - doesn't matter

    Spray them with GW bone spray (It's quicker than brushing on the paint) or if you want to stick with vallejo brush on vallejo game color bonewhite.

    Wash the area with vallejo smoke. It is a brownish glaze that will darken the bone and leave the recesses dark for a good contrast.

    start highlighting the bone with first - bonewhite

    follow up with Vallejo Model Color Ivory

    finally white to the lightest highlights. (Not too much or they will be too white).

    You should be left with some fairly dirty earthen looking skeletons with not too much more work.



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