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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Skin and bones

While Jeff, that lucky sonofabitch, and thousands of others are enjoying GenCon this weekend, I'm stuck with a 60-hour work week. Still, I manage to find time to paint minis late, late at night. But I don't have many of my own right now (still a few Zombicide figures, though,) so I finished up a small, diverse group of Bones figures for Jeff. Nothing of note here. I kept things simple. The goblins were painted in the different bright colors for easy identification in the battlefield; this is a standing order from Jeff on all the minion figures I paint for him.

(Note: I speak about Jeff every once in a while on this blog; for those who don't know who Jeff is, he is essentially my patron, paying me lots of money to paint up his mountain of figures. He also keeps me supplied with plenty of flock, bases, paints and greenstuff. So, even though he is off enjoying the nerd paradise in Indiana, I don't mind painting some of his figures this week. He's also a good friend.)

Flesh Tones

Left arm done in "rose" colors.
Right arm is done in light browns
with flesh tone highlights.
So, as I transition away from the Foundry paints, I find myself looking for a new caucasian flesh triad/recipe. The Foundry colors are still my favorite (Flesh No. 5.) It gives a nice warm, almost comic-book bright skin tone. I love it; it looks great on the table.

Still, I would like to transition to something a tiny bit more muted and more realistic. So I'm trying to find a good combo using Valljo Model color, and it's proving to be difficult. Vallejo has some decent lighter skin tones, but lacks a decent base color to start them off.

There are also some of the "rose" colors -- Rose Brown, Salmon Rose and Light Flesh, which seems to have a tiny bit of rose in it. These colors work well together but seem much to pink to work as a flesh triad. The result reminds me of old GW Slaneesh skin tones. So the rose colors are out of the running.

Some of the flesh colors I'm using, but over a base of
Orange-brown, which seems to work OK for a more
dramatic lighted effect. The colors look fantastic at distance.
Here are the colors I'm using for now. The pairings are not mixes, they're just a couple colors that work as a base shade or the highlight. They are listed from base shades to highlights:
Brown Sand/Beige Red, Medium Flesh Tone/Flat Flesh, Sunny Skin Tone/Basic Skin Tone.

I'll keep working with them. I don't think I'll find a definitive triad that will be my standard, but it's probably better this way, resulting in a bunch of variations of skin tone.


  1. Fantastic colors, beautiful minis!

  2. I'm not a fan of the Bones plastic models but you've painted those up nicely.

    On the flesh tone issue, I find VMC Tan Earth gives a very muted and realistic colour. I tend to add a little VGC Beasty Brown for a slightly darker base coat then use pure Tan Earth for an initial highlight followed by adding VGC Bonewhite (and maybe a little white as well) for further highlights. For a slightly pinker flesh VMC Beige Red works well (same recipe as before just sub the Tan Earth for the Beige Red).

  3. I know Games Workshop and to a lesser extent Citadel have something of a rep online these days but...

    I can heartily recommend their flesh paints. I start at Cadian Fleshtone, wash with Reikland Fleshshade and highlight back up with Cadian Fleshtone, Kislev Flesh and finish with Flayed One Flesh (the edge paint) mixed into the Kislev. Creates a lovely Caucasian. The Bugman's Glow base paint I find too pink unless you want a ruddy tone (dwarfs etc) but is the *perfect* colour for lips, nipples etc.

    Like I say, the citadel paints have their rough spots but the flesh is bang on.

  4. Any particular reason why you are transitioning from Foundry paints? Is it an availability issue?

    1. Sorry for the long response; I made sure to do a tiny bit of research before making the big switch :)

      It's availability, price and somewhat the quality.
      -- It's difficult to find a consistent supplier in the U.S. Last I checked (last year), I could only get them in the U.S at The Warstore (though, mostly by special order). I'm lucky to have a Hobby Lobby six blocks away and my FLGS two blocks away, both of which sell Vallejo. So Vallejo wins on availability.

      -- Vallejo is cheaper. Foundry costs $5.25 per 20ml jar (not including shipping charges.) Or $4 each if bought as a triad. I can get Vallejo for $3.29 for 17ml and no shipping charges.
      I'm terrible at math, but I think that works out to 25 cents per ml for Foundry (at $5 per jar,) and 20 cents per ml for Vallejo (at $3.30 per jar.)

      -- As for quality, Foundry's good paints are great; they have excellent coverage and nice colors. But the bad colors, sometimes even after laborious shaking, paint on like clear water (not all of them are THIS bad). But the quality is inconsistent with even some of the good colors.

      For example, my favorite triad was Spearshaft. The colors worked well together and they were creamy and painted on smoothly and opaque. I got a new set of Spearshaft when my first ran out. The second set was thin and watery. Not as bad as I previously mentioned, but enough for me to go looking for alternatives.

      I still love Foundry colors. I will probably keep re-buying a few of their colors that I just can't recreate with other ranges (Storm Blue, Storm Green, the Yellow,) I think they still have the best Yellow on the market (which is actually their Ochre No. 4). But for all my basic browns and grays, metallics and primaries, I'll be switching to other brands -- mostly the Vallejo and Reaper Master HDs. (My friend Jeff bought me a full set of the Reaper HD paint to use on his Bones figures. Also a great paint, but a limited color range, and I have to get replacements online (no local supplier.)

  5. Hi Carmen, if you haven't already seen them go check out Loki's flesh pentads (?) using Vallejo.