How to paint Zombies step by step
There are as many ways to paint Zombies as there are painters, i'd encourage you to find a style that works for you. However, what follows is my guide to how I paint them.
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Step 1: Preparation.
Trim any flash off the model, especially those vertical mould lines as they really show up once the model is painted. Dragging a craft knife along the seam with the edge facing away from the direction of travel works very well, just be careful not to obscure any detail. The miniatures i'm doing here are Mantic Zombies, they're cheap and work well for Dungeons & Dragons, Call of Cthulhu, Modern and Weird Wars. There isn't much in the way of flash on plastic models but you do have to trim where the parts were attached to the sprue. Don't be impatient and break them off, use a craft knife.
Once thats done, glue it to the base and cover with fine gravel. Spray prime the models you'll b e painting and allow to dry properly. Its better to spray several light coats that to try and cover the model in one pass which will fill some of the detail with excess paint.
Step 2: Base Coats
Base coat everything. Water down the paint if its too thick. I use white primer so the colours I choose show up really strongly and look exactly as I expect them to. Once you've put on the basic colours you'll have a really good idea of the details on the miniature for later. For Zombie flesh I use Citadel Rotting Flesh mixed with Eldar Eldar Flesh (about 50:50). For the muscle and intestines showing through I base coat with Citadel Scab Red.
Step 3: Wash
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Over the last few years a product from Army Painter has become popular which you dip your miniatures into. Its a great product but not something I use. I prefer to wash the model with a very watered down black acrylic. It runs into the creases of the model, blacklines everything and brings out the detail. It also tones down the brighter colours and give a nice grittyness to the figure.
Step 3: Drybrushing
Take a small amount of paint onto an older brush (drybrushing ruins good brushes) wipe off the excess on a tissue or newspaper and run the bush lightly across the model. This will leave paint on the raised areas. Its easier to run against the line of the detail. So if you have a series of ribs its best to drybrush at a right angle across them all at once. Repeat until your happy with the amount of paint you have highlighting the detail. Be very careful when drybrushing faces, thats where most people look when they see your figures an blobs of paint will be very noticeable.
Step 4: Detailing
First Pick out the raised ridges on the face, the orbits of the eyes, upper cheeks,ears, lips and jawline with either directly applied paint or with a careful dry brushing. I use the same mix I use for the base coat, as i've washed the figure the base coat will be quite a bit darker and the base coat will pick up the detail nicely. I also drybrush scab red onto the hands and chin.
You can also pick out the very edges of any tears in the skin with the base coat, this will make the scab red look even more putrid.
The same applies to any cloth worn by the Zombies. In this case i've used Citadel Bestial Brown as a base coat, washed with black and highlighted with Citadel Snakebite Leather
Step 5: Bases
I'm pretty lazy with my bases. I used to spend a lot of time on bases, scuplting craters, rocks and weird plants but ass these models will be used in indoor and outdoor settings on battlemaps and on flocked war games mats I don't want them to look out of place. I find just a dab of static grass works well. I also paint the edge of
the base in black. When I have more time i'll do some display models
with proper bases.
And that's it. You can paint a lot of figures at once this way and i'm really pleased with how the models came out. I hope you have found this useful and and remember, when it comes to Zombies you don't have to outrun them, you just have to outrun who ever's with you!