Tutorial: how to paint creepy bases for Kingdom Death Monster

Hi Friends,

since i started posting pics of my current KDM commission, lot of people asked about the way i painted the creepy face-bases.

For those not familiar with the game, they are round bases portraying the “plain of faces” where the game’s prologue takes place, a desolated land where the floor is made of stone faces: the first survivors wake up here, helpless and clueless.

Here’s a couple images to show them.

When discussing the color scheme for this commission, the customer was kind enough to give me full creative freedom provided that i would paint the set in a dark and nightmarish theme.

There are artworks in the rulebook that for sure played a role in inspiring me (the illustration about the brain traumas is creepy as hell), and indeed another influence comes from Berserk, in particular the Eclipse.

So, i imagined the survivors walking in a plain of crimson faces, maybe stone-made, maybe alive and watching them!

I decided to paint the bases with this unsettling crimson color, leaving black in the zone of shadows and adding some glowing eyes here and there, to simulate a gloomy presence around the survivors.

I posted this tutorial on my other socials also, have a look if you’re there, but obviously here on my blog i can describe it more exhaustively:



So, here’s how it’s done.


over a white primer, wash 2-3 times with Carroburg Crimson until you have a good coverage.

Be sure to let every layer to completely dry.


wash 2-3 times with Nuln Oil to create a gradient for the shadow.

I usually put the shadow opposite to where the model is facing or looking, to create a sense of lumbering darkness behind him.

On the upper base, you can see i concentrated the shadow all around the model (that will be positioned in the center).

Both ways, you’ll obtain a sense of gloomy isolation.


use pure black to strenghten the zones of maximal shadow.

Best way is to use a damp brush or, better yet, to paint the black while the wash is still wet.

You should aim for a good blending.


Optional: use a red similar to Carroburg Crimson ( Vallejo Red isn’t a good match….) to add some color in the zone of max light, or to cover parts of the base where the crimson rubbed off.


use pure white to paint the eyesockets of some faces, they have closed eyelids but we will paint them as they were open.

I choose to paint the white in the zone of max shadow, so to boost the contrast and to give the idea of eyes glaring the poor survivors from the dark.


use a bright, saturated red to paint over the white.

If we’ve had painted the red directly over black, the result would’ve been a lifeless, desaturated color.

Side note: in the pic you can see i’ve used red from Vallejo Mecha Color; it’s a very liquid, high pigmented and gloss red that i’ve found perfect for simulating dripping blood from the survivor’s wounds.

It’s the first color i tried from this line, and in the future i will surely experiment with others (maybe gloss blue for alien blood and ichores 😀 ).


paint the eyeballs white, leaving red all around it. No need to be super-precise, but be sure to leave the red visible to give the glowing effect.

As simple as that !

Time permitting, in the future i will write more tutorials like this one.

If you liked this one, let me know in the comments!

Until next time,












Kingdom Death Monster 1.5 Commission – Part 5

Hello Friends,

in this fifth and final installment i’m gonna present the way i painted the last models of the core box.

While working on this set i was obviously free to decide the order of work but, to be honest, i followed the game progression: i started with the prologue survivors and finished with the Gold Smoke Knight!

So, before him i obviously painted the Watcher, a wonderful model in my opinion.

At first, i thought about incorporating lot of colors in the scheme: lilac, electric green, violets etc..

I did not found a solution that pleased me and so decided to stick with just dirty brown cape and electric blue for the lanterns and for the energy emanations.

In fact, the model is quite simple and the paintjob took me less time than other models. More frustrating was the assembly. 🙂

The cape was painted with a mix of VMC German Black Brown, black and greys; basecoat was washed with a lot of different colors including GW Nuln Oil, Druuchi Violet, Biel-tan Green etc.

Unfortunately, these hues are not visible from the pics but, looking at the model in real, they really add some pleasent tonal variations.

I then started stippling the surface with the base color, then adding neutral pale colors to the mix (buff,sand, ivory…).

I alternated washes and stippling until i was satisfied with the result, avoiding addig too much lights since i wanted the cape to look dull and old.

Second step was to coat white all the blue areas: on top of this coat, i painted the wonderful Liquitex Light Blue Permanent.

It’s another difficult color to use and needs a bright undercoat to kick, but the pigment is very powerful.

As you can see from the above picture, lanterns received only the base blue while the energy tentacles were blended with white towards the cape ad shaded with a bit of diluted GW Drakenhof Nighthade towards the tip.

Final touch was adding some pure white dots on the raised parts and near the tip.

Same procedure was used with the “face”: i painted the inside with white, but this time added gentle glazes with diluted light blue towards the edge, to simulate a strong energy coming from inside the Watcher.

Next i painted the ribbon adorned with faces.

They were basecoated with a bone color, then it received a wash of Seraphim Sepia and a second one with diluted Druuchi Violet.

I then brought back the original color painting lot of thin, transversal lines, adding VMC Pale Sand to the mix for the final lights and avoiding touching the recesses at all, where you can see the sepia and purple hues.

The faces on the ribbon were painted concentrating the light on the nose, forehead and cheekbones, as usual. Also, at the end, i painted a final edge highlight on the ribbon adding a bit of white to the mix.

At last i added the OSL from all the lanters and energy sources, and i admit it was quite difficult.

I started adding the light blue to the cape color and proceeded adding white and blue to the mix, painting it on the raised parts and the zones of the cape connecting to the tentacles.

This is hard to explain with words: looking at pictures, both of painted miniatures and of real life OSL situation is, in my opinion, the best way to understand the physic of light.

While painting the blue on the cape i also tried to stipple the color to mantain the original painted texture. Some parts resulted good, some less, but it was my first try at something like this.

The model was finished and i moved to the base, which was made with the usual earth/sand and addition of lanterns from the spare miniatures part. Also, some skulls.

The base received direct washes of GW Agrax Earthshade and diluted Drakenhof Nightshade. A couple of rough drybrush steps brought in the highlights, then i added very diluted light blue to the lanterns, to simulate dying light.

After the Watcher was the turn to paint the lantern set: lorewise, they are not crafted with parts of the monster, if we exclude the oxidization process introduced in the 1.5 version of the game, but the customer wanted me to use the same colors of of the Watcher for painting them.

Since i was going to paint the armor like steel, i decided to use dirty brown for the fur parts and electric blue for the details. Also, the blue lanters really look good on these models.

I won’t talk about the fleshtone since it’s the usual mix of skincolors.

The fur parts around the shoulders and around the waist were painted with the same colors and washes used for the Watcher’s cape, while the light blue was painted on the lanterns and all the “S” shaped symbols. Also, it was used for the eyes of the survivors wearing an helmet.

By the way, is it just me or the lantern helm looks very similar to Griffith’s helm from Berserk ?

The armor was painted in NMM but, since i couldn’t afford perfect blendings, i had to extremize the sketch of light positioning.

In the end it’s a bit rough, but i think it works.

I reduced the number of layers and went for pure black in the shadows and pure white for the lights, painting dots and stripe in the points of maximum reflection, especially the helms, the spiky shoulderpads and the round parts of the chest armor.

This process was also used on the weapons.

(The grumpy survivor also reminds me of Guts, another cameo from Berserk? : )  )

After the armor, i painted the bands, again using the color of the Watcher: so, a buff basecoat followed by a Seraphim Sephia and a Druuchi Violet Wash. Then, i added a quick edge highlight and some scratches.

Finishing touches were painting the ribbons on the helm with the light blue, but this time washed with Drakenhof Nightshade to make it look darker, and painting the blue OSL from the lanterns.

Before moving to the final boss i’m gonna speak about old survivor Joe:

Along with young Rachel (no pics of her, unfortunately), he’s quite a nice addition to the survivors; he fits in the “settlement” theme but still he’s different from usual survivors.

He’s also quite bigger, roughly 1,5 times the size of a standard miniature, so it takes a bit more to paint.

For him, the customer decided red/brown clothes, that i painted with a base of GW Doombull Brown, shaded with a wash of Agrax Earthshade+Nuln Oil and highlighted repeating the layer of Doombull Brown and adding VMC Pale Sand to it.

For the skin i tried to put some green into it, to contrast the clothes.

I basecoated with a mix of Nocturna Base Flesh and Nocturna “Nocturna Shadow”: the latter is an awesome dark green, formulated for painting skintones but in my opinion useful for others materials like plants-leaves, because it’s satin and its hue eavily reminds me of the greens you found in the nature.

However, since the miniature it’s big and with a lot of volumes i decided to avoid washing and instead i quickly painted layers of shadow adding this green and a bit of black to the mix.

Highlights were painted adding pure Base Flesh and a bit of VMC Buff for the last steps, but leaving and overall dark skintone.

I also added some tattoos (mainly to cover areas with visible seams…) adding some blue to the skintone.

Bandages were painted using the same procedure for the Watcher’s “scroll” while the bone mace received a coat of VMC Pale Sand and two washes of GW Seraphim Sephia. It was then highlighted with diluted Pale Sand, until i used it pure, and some spots were painted for last with pure white.

The blood splatter it’s the usual Tamiya X-27, applied randomly.

We now reached the final boss and let me tell you, this is a miniature worth painting!

The Gold Smoke Knight, apart from being a great sculpt, has this baroque look that tantalizes my painter’s taste.

Also, seems like a boss popped out from some Final Fantasy.

Beside that, it’s a hard model to paint.. but enough chitchat and let’s talk about colors.

As you can see, my version again draws eavily from the official art.

I slightly changed the colors of the armor – which in the artwork has a more yellowish hue – and the flames, which were originally orange-red but instead i decided to paint starting from the “gold” color and shifting towards a strong red.

First step was to apply all over the armor a basecoat of GW Averland Sunset + VMC Amarantha Red; the latter was added to strenghten the color, so it was a warm yellow-orange.

Then, the hard part: i tried to copy from the NMM of the great painters and draw reflections. It was my first time doing this. In certain areas i think the effect looks good, in others less good.

First parts i painted were the legs and feet, where i drew a strong contrast line on the kneecap and all over to the foot tip.

For the shadows i added Vallejo Model Air Mahogany and black, for the highlights VMC Buff and white.

So, after carefully painting the dark lines, i tried to placed a strong light near them to maximize contrast.

This was not possible everywhere: not on the round parts of armor, but i did on the “spiky ones”.

I carefully blacklined (but with a dark brown) the armor plaques to ehnance definition, see the feet for example.

I then moved to the belly, and here i think my attempt has not been so good. I tried to draw two large bands of lights near the center and a small, stronger one on the bottom; the blendings are good but i did not took into account the shape of the belly, which in reality would have deformed the reflections.

Also, with hindsight i should have added more contrast.

I then added some scratches and edgelighted all the carvings on the belly.

This approach worked a little better on the arms, where the tubular shapes were easier to tackle.

On the convex chestpiece i looked to some reference pics and tried to draw deformed reflections adding round lightspots. Not perfect but also my first attempt at it.

The metallic “bands” all over the model were all treated in the same way, drawing perpendicular reflections. Somewhere i used the max shadow color to draw a thin line, and the same i did with white in the points of strongest reflection.

On the chest piece, where two bands meet and a concave angle, i put max shadow in contact to max light.

I left the face for last and i admit at the time i was pretty unsure how to paint it in NMM, since it’s a very complex shape.

I remember i tried to paint every single volume as an indipendet shape, but in the end i sort of concentrated the highlights toward the center of the facial features, like you sometime do while painting normal faces.

I also added a reflection on the upper part(visible in the pic above) but avoiding using too much white in it.

As a final touch i very carefully added a thin brown line to separate some volumes.

Once completed the work on the armor, it was time to paint the flames.

I started basecoating them with the same yellow-orange color used for the metal, since i wanted to give the idea of armor trasnforming directly into flame.

So, with a patient work of multiple layers and glazes, i started adding VMC Flat Red to the mix until i came to use it pure.

At this point i was halway throught the lenght of the flames; i started adding VMC Black Glaze and, after LOT of layers, used it pure for the last part of the flames. If used correctly, the glaze dries very matte and really gives the idea of smoke.

The same process was used for the flames on the base.

Speaking about the base, i went for quite a fast method of painting: on the white primer i gave many washes with GW Agrax Earthshade and Druuchi Violet until i obtained a solid but dirty color, then highlighted the volumes with very diluted browns/buff/bone colors, using less diluted colors for the last layers and adding some stippling here and there.

Back to the Knight, the steel NMM was painted with the same recipe described in the previous articles.

The loincloth and fur parts were painted in neutral colors adding purples washes in the shadows, to contrast with the golden armor.

As a final touch, i added a fluo, orange color in the eyes of the knight to simulate a glowing energy coming from inside. Also, a tear in the same color since the knight’s expression is so sad.. look at the pics above to see it.

This concludes this series of articles about the painted core set.

As always, i want to thank you if you read this far and i hope you’ve been able to find some inspirational hints.

If you like my works and would like your models painted this way, feel free to contact me HERE.

These days i’m painting another core set and i regularly upload pics on my Instagram.

So stay tuned, maybe more tutorials and articles will come.

So long!


Kingdom Death Monster 1.5 Commission – Part 4

Hi Friends,

lot of things happened in my life (mainly i was busy for commission work, but also personal issues) and i was unable to update the blog.

I’m the meantime i’ve also started a commission on another core set, so, if you like the game, be sure to follow me on Instagram and on my Facebook page to see what’s coming out of the hat!


Now i’m happy to write part 4 where i will try to describe my version of the Phoenix: i hope it will be useful and inspirational for many of you.

The first thing i did when approaching this beast was to look at the original art: since the artist used my favourite color combination, purple-orange, i immediately decided to use this scheme.

Below you can see a comparison picture.

With hindsight i probably went too saturated, but i wanted the model to really stand out and look like a shiny and exotic animal.

Speaking of the paintjob, first step was to spray some base colors.

As you can see, colorwise the body can be divided roughly in three sections:  wings, upper body and lower body.

With the airbrush i basecoated the lower body with a desaturated purple-blue, the upper body using a mix of dark, gory reds, (coloring also the part of the wings) and i continued to the upper part of the wings with VMC Amarantha red and VMC Buff.

I tried to blend the different colors as much as possible to give an idea of skin shifting naturally.

Then, i started with the brush: i wanted the inner face to be focal point, so i started painting it with a mix of flesh colors and small quantities of blues and purples, to keep consistency with the blueish parts, like if this was an area of bleached, old skin.

It was difficult to give it some focus because the sculpt has lot of wrinkles and small details, so i tried to concentrate the light towards the nose and inner eyes.

Inside of the mouth was painted fleshy and worked with lot of red/purple washes to give it a gummy and wet look.

Same technique was used with the tongue, alternating washes with thin strokes of pink and fleshy colors, to add some texture.

The beak was painted at a later stage, blending the brown (can’t recall the recipe) with the blue flesh. I payed attention to the texture on it and added additional thin lines.

Also, i lightly added a black blending towards the tip using VMC Black Glaze.

IMPORTANT: from the pics you can see that dark red was used in the shadows: this was kept on every area of the miniature to give consistency and add contrast.

You can also see that horrible dust effect left by the sealer..

Beard and mustaches were painted white and then lightly washed with GW Seraphim Sephia, starting diluted and adding Druuchi Violet and Nuln Oil towards the tips. Then a careful edge highlight with a pale color.

Take note that mustaches were painted separately and glued at the end.

Let’s now talk about the lower body: base mix was VMC Oxford blue, greys, and GW Khantor Blue. First of all i washed the entire area with GW Druuchi Violet to give depth and to shift the color towards purple, but this made it difficult work on the highlights because i probably used too much wash and it dryed satin.

However, i added second was of GW Druuchi violet mixed with GW Nuln Oil in the lowest parts, like bottom of the belly and legs, to give a sense of general shadow. Also, i added the dark red in the recesses.

I started working the lower legs with base color, careful not to add too much light because i wanted them to be less illuminated than the rest: in fact, after the base color i only applied 1-2 highligts, mainly concentrating on the wrinkles.

I don’t have good pics of this area, but here you can see the difference in contrast and saturation beetween legs and arms.

As you can see, legs are like “shadowed”, while i added more flesh, white and VMC Buff towards the upper parts and the area surrounding the face.

Especially on the hands, i tried to work every single wrinkle and volume to add contrats and give the feeling of old, creepy hands.

The red flesh was painted in a similar way but i can’t really remember the recipe; probably a mix of dark reds, blue and purples.

Here i added more black in the shadows since, obviously, the red wasn’t all that visible: the muscles on the back/shoulders were highlighted in the same zenithal way while the feathery zones received a lesser precise treatment. Sometimes i alternated red/purple washes in the parts where i overdid the highlights.

Only exception is the fleshy comb, which was painted in a rosy color, then highlighted with a lot of stippling up to pure white, then darkened again with washes.. wax in-wax out until i was satisfied with the result.

After that i moved onto the wings and i will admit my big crime, they were painted almost entirely in drybrush!

The base sprayed with airbrush was a gory red shifting towards orange, blending into yellow to the tips.

First step was to “separate” the rows of feathers by giving a shadow on the junctions: on the bottom rows i used a diluted Druuchi Violet was, in the middle layers Fuegan Orange, then Fuegan Orange mixed with Seraphim Sepia, then very diluted Seraphim Sepia on the upper rows.

The washes were very gentle and controlled, to avoid stains on the feathers. I wanted everything to look soft and natural, like real plumes.

The drybrush was done with a big and flat syntethic brush that is perfect for that: i started with red-orange on the bottom wings, slowly adding VMC Amarantha Red towards the middle section, then using it pure.

VMC Buff was added to the mix, working to the top section. As a final highlight, pure white was drybrushed on the final rows: on top of that i painted VMC Lemon Yellow, which is a wonderful color but needs a bright underlayer to shine. The yellow was also painted as an “edge-highlight” on some of the outer and prominent feathers.

IMPORTANT: every drybrush i did was very careful, using undiluted paint but leaving very small quantities on the brush.

Drybrush is often despised as a bad technique but, in my opinion, can give good results.

As you can see from the above pic, the transitions are subtle: notice how the lower part of every row has a strong shadow and touches the strong light of the next row.

Final touches were:

  • fingers on the wings, painted in the same way of the body. Nails were also painted with the colors used for the beak.
  • Small hands on the wings, same as above.
  • Pustules and sphincter, painted in a light rosy color, damped with washes. On the Sphincter i added a green wash.
  • Adding droppings at the aforementioned parts: for this, i used the usual fishing line and some wood glue mixed with a unhealty brown, see below pictures. Same technique was used for the drool in the mouth, but without the fishing line: only sticking strings of glue to the teeth.


The trunk at the base was painted with natural colors: greens-browns-yellows, directly mixed on the surface to give a natural look, then washed several times with Nuln Oil and repainted with the base color for the highlight. Final drybrushes, adding buff to the mix. Very simple.

The base itself, as usual, it’s made of real soil with the addition of cork pieces to simulate rocks.

The orange grass it’s from Mininatur: tufts with an orange cover on the top, they have different colors in store. Very interesting for creating fantasy or alien landscapes.

I think this is all i can write about the Phoenix.

The survivors, as always, were painted using the same colors of the monster.

Not much to say here: since the miniatures are way smaller than the Phoenix, of course i was not able to perfectly recreate the blending in the feathers. However, the transition it’s there and gives the idea of armor crafted with parts of the monster.

The nmm metals were painted basically with VMC Dark Seagreen adding black/white for shadows and lights.

I went for a sketched paintjob, carefully positioning the reflections and avoiding perfect blendings.

In the fleshtone i tried to add some “golden” tones to give the idea of oriental skin, since this set somehow remembers of eastern countries.

Final models i will present in this article are the Intimacy Couple.

Now, imho they are quite unique in the core box since they represent probably the only happy characters in the game.

Kingdom Death is a terrible and nightmarish world and the birth of a new life is one of the few, if not the only, serene moment in the story.

I wanted these two miniatures to be different from the others, painted in bright colors.

I looked at the artbook and took inspiration from the art where green dressed, smiling survivors cheers a newborn(unfortunately can’t find a link), and decided for green clothes and reddish hairs.


The skin was to be very soft and pale, to depict young people, so i used Nocturna Models Fairy Flesh, gently washed with Reikland Fleshshade and reworked all the way up to Nocturna Highlight skin. In the deepest shadow i remember adding some Druuchi Violet to the wash.

The clothes were painted with some mixture of green but there’s no way i can remember the recipe.

I really need to purchase some greens since i’m lacking them, so i think i mixed primary yellow with some bright green from VMC and maybe added something else.

Whatever, they were painted more in a GW-style, concentrating the highlights on the raised parts of the folds.

One of the hardest things in painting these models is their complex shape, with fabrics running around the body.

The hairs were painted adding some black and red to a basic brown and then pushing more red in the lights and more black in the shadows, adding the usual VMC Buff for the stronger lights.

Final details were the jewels, painted with turquoise and lilac, and then adding some tattoos to the girl.

Also, in the process i lost the feather adorning the girl’s hairs so i hade to create a new one melting some plastic stripes in shape.

It’s easy and can be used for a lot of interesting techniques, for example creating strucutures for water/slime/lava. Try it!

This time the basing was done using Mininatur flowers, again to give an idea of happiness.


Very well, we reached the end of the article and next time i will conclude my speaking about the core set.

As always, if you’ve read this far i hope it’s been an interesting read.

Leave a comment if you have additional questions and don’t forget to follow me on my other media.

Until next time!


Kingdom Death Monster 1.5 Commission – Part 3

Hello Friends,

this third part of the article will focus on the decisions and painting of the 3 nemesis from the core set: Butcher, King’s Man and The Hand.

I will try go into detail as much as possible and post big sized pictures to help better see the paintjob.

These three miniatures are very important (and annoying) in the game, plus the sculpts are ultra clean and detailed: i think they deserv some carefully planning before starting the paintjob and i talked extensively with the customer to decide bases and color scheme.

Another important thing is the assembly: i have the (bad) habit of assembling everything before starting to paint but sometimes it’s necessary to paint the pieces separately. Otherwise, it could -and will- be difficult to reach certain parts of the miniature.

This is the case, for example, of The Hand: if you glue everything, the sword and right arm will make it hard to paint the inside of the cloack.

Think carefully about it before starting the job: some prefer to assemble everything anyway, some doesn’t.

Let’s now begin talking about The Butcher.

Customer requested him to be painted in dark colors with extra care for the armor: the armor itself had to be painted like an heavy and dull mass of iron.

So, no shiny nmm for him.

I started by taking inspiration from the official art and immediately my favourite couple of colors, purple and orange, came to mind.

In the specific, these three colors from VMC were used extensively through the paintjob: Amarantha Red, Royal Purple and Ofxord Blue(a greyish purple).

The armor was basecoated with a purpleish grey (mix of black, purples and grey), and i decided to avoid a reflecting look to keep the dull look: i simply highlited adding tons of thin scratches in a controlled way, concentrating the final lightspost on the shoulder and on the left part of the breastplate.

One of the tricks used when painting a miniature in a nocturnal setting is putting pale blue in the lights, and so, for the highlights i used a VMC Pale Greyblue: this color was used to highlight every part, it has a strong azure component in it and helps giving a “night” feel to the paintjob.

Armor was shaded with glazes of diluted black and i added rust simply mixing an orange pigment with water, diluted in the recesses and stippled here and there.

Weapons received almost the same treatment, but avoiding the purple in the basecoat and going a little further with the lights: i wanted them to look old, but also somewhat still sharp, so i added very small lightspots as a final touch.Bronze parts like helm and pauldron where basecoated with an orangish brown, then washed several times with Agrax eartshade and diluted VMC Amarantha Red(beware cause this stuff is very tinting), than scratched like the armor.

At this point i painted the fur on the arms: basecoat was a mix of brown and buff shaded many times with Agrax and Druuchi Violet, than carefully stippled up to VMC Pale Greyblue.

The leather straps were basecoated with a mix of VMC Dark Yellow and purple, then simply edge highlighted two times adding the usual VMC Pale Greyblue: some thin scratches here and there and they’re done!

The fur cape was basecoated with some eerie mix of purple, orange and brown and shaded many times with Druuchi Violet, concentrating it towards the bottom.

Here also was used carefully stippling to bring back the color first, than to raise the lights to the upper parts of the sculpt, concentrating on the hunchback: adding a pale color around the lanterns would have helped me later with the osl, which i’m really no good at painting on dark surfaces.

Speaking about it, i think i could have done better with the osl and will surely push it more next time i will paint a Butcher: anyway, first of all i painted every lantern white and then used diluted yellow fluo pigment( i spoke about them in part 2) to paint over it. The same method was used to paint the eyes of the Butcher, and the result is a very powerful color that contrast a lot with the dark overall scheme.

Finally i painted the base, a mix of rocks(to raise the butcher height),sand, some dying lanterns, an evil root and a stone face from Scibor

Everything was painted in pale brown, than worked with the “wax in, wax off” method: washes of diluted VMC Amarantha red and Druuchi Violet alternated to drybrush with orange and buff until i reached VMC Pale Greyblue.

The root itself was given more orange and. As a  final touch, a bit of blood was added on the cleavers and ground using Tamiya Clear Red mixed with some black.

All in all the model resulted a bit too much dark, it can be appreciated more if looked at under daylight.

I think this is all regarding the Butcher, and i can move on to the next nemesis: King’s Man.

The request for this guy was: absolutely no red cloack, an overall regal look and shining armor.

So, i took a look at this illustration and decided to went with polished steel armor and purple cape, a no brainer if you ask me.

Basically the paintjob was NMM on all the steel parts, a simple dark grey shaded with black and highligthed with white and a bit of yellow to give it a warmer tone: unfortunately, the yellow in the mix was not enough and isn’t visible in picture neither in real life.

While painting the armor i made sure to respect the “rule of contrast” and tried as much as possible to place a shadow zone near an highlight zone, as you can see on the breastplate and on the knees.
Lights placement is very important when you paint metal, be it NMM or true metal, in my opinion more than a perfect blending: flawless blendings are also necessary to reach “perfect” look but, if you put lights in an inconsistent way, the paintjob simply won’t work.

The only “steel” part where i changed the basecoat mix was the halberd:

As you can see i added more blue to the mix but the rest of the work is the same. On the blade i went for the sharp look and tried to simulate the reflections of true metal, while on the lantern i used again the fluo yellow painted on the Butcher’s lanters and eyes: this time i avoided painting the osl all over the armor, i really couldn’t afford it since i was working on time schedule, but i’d like to try it on my next King’s Man.

On the black parts you can also spot some stains: this is thanks to the sealer i had to spray on the models before shipping them to the customer; i’ve never been able to avoid that (in fact i spray the sealer only under precise request from the clients), and feel free to comment about it if you have some good suggestions.

Ok, so the purple parts were simply basecoated with VMC Royal Purple, adding black to the shadows and white-yellow to the lights. Here the important thing was to paint them as smooth as possibile and respect the volumes in a realistic way. The guy’s wearing a quality cape, so no rough blending for him.

In fact, i repainted the mantle twice until i was satisfied with it. There are dots on it also. Ugh.

Plumes where painted the same way, just adding more black towards the shadow and trying also to place max light near max shadow.

The fur was basecoated buff and washed with Druuchi Violet a couple of times before adding volume again with buff and adding white little by little, this time avoiding stippling, and concentrating on the upper parts.

Inside of the cloack was painted with a mix of grey, blue and purple, shaded and highligted in the same way.

This part is very difficult to paint if you assemble everything in one go, like i did.

The scabbard was painted with a mix of grey, red and purple and also shaded adding black while highlighted with small quantities of white towards the upper part, and a final edge highlight to give it more contrast.
I added a very simple freehand on its side, barely visible on the pic.

The gold NMM decorations were painted first with a mix of GW Averland Sunset and little VMC Royal Purple.

After that i worked in the same way of the armor, adding more purple and a small amount of black in the shadows and adding white-yellow in the highlights.

I have to say i’m not completely happy with it: with hindsight i should have added more contrast and maybe look more at reference pictures of ornate armor to copy the reflections of metal. This is because it was difficult to paint NMM on shapes like hands and faces, and they look duller when compared to the steel armor.

Also, the final color looks a bit too similar to the fur decorating the cape, something i will definitely change in future paintjobs.

Final parts i painted were the crown, made with a mix of brown-purple and then usually painted in NMM style, and the goth-helm that i basecoated with a mix of purple and buff, shaded with purple and highlighted up to pure white.

The eyes were first carefully washed with diluted magenta and then i painted the pupil with pure white: this gives the idea of evil, glowing energy around them.

Base was created adding crushed pieces of the “face” inserts and adding real soil and sand, then painted with a mix of browns shaded with violet washes and highlighted with drybrush of orange and buff.

For The Hand i received a totally different request: the customer left me freedom on the color scheme but wanted him colorful, because he envisioned this miniature like an evil jester. After a little thinking i decided to take inspiration from the showdown itself and paint him using only red,green and blue: the colours of his auras.

Again, i stupidly glued everything before starting the paintjob, and this gave me problems painting legs and other internal parts.

However, i started painting the sabaton where i followed the same technique used on the King’s Man armor: this goes the same for every armor part, so i won’t cover it anymore.

The trousers and sleeves were given a coat from VMC Flat Blue: sometimes this color is very shiny, in that case i add Tamiya x-21 Flat base, a very useful medium if you have to paint flat surfaces like fabrics and your colors tends to satin.

The blue was simply shaded with black and highlighted with small quantities of white, and i kept this trend to all the parts to avoid adding other colors to the RGB scheme.

I then started the chainmal that, unfortunately, in the pics looks just grey: in real it’s more greenish, and in fact was basecoated with a mix of black and VMC Flat Green, washed several times with GW Biel-tan Green and Nuln Oil before bringing back the color with addition of green and white.

After that i painted the belt and the red tassels: when painting red it’s always best to avoid(or keeping to the minimum) adding white or other colors in the highlights.

Some reds are very powerful but quickly lose intensity if you add other colors to the mix, so many painters shade the red parts normally and leave the pure red for the highlights.

Here the tassels are very small, however i painted them with Molotow Red (this colors are worth a try), carefully shading with black in the recesses and leaving pure red on the upper parts.

At this point most of the torso and legs were painted, so i moved to the cape: both sides received a mix of VMC Flat Green + Black + a small drop of VMC Flat Blue.

I started painting the inside, adding shadows and lights with the usual black/white addition, concentrating on the folds and trying to give zenithal light.

As you can see, the inside received a small freehand made of squares and lines but, due to having glued everything together, i wasn’t able to be very precise. Think about it if you want to decorate the cape of your Hand.

The backside also received a small pattern on the bottom; at first i wanted to draw a check pattern on it, but i quickly dismissed this idea because the risk to turn the miniature from “jester” to “buffoon” was too high.

I resorted to use the check pattern on the small plates adorning the armor.

In the above pictures you can see a close up: it was the first time i tried this kind of drawing and you can see some parts are not perfect, but the overall look is fine, especially at medium distance.

They where painted using black and white with a small green mixed in both; after that, i shaded the plates with VMC Black Glaze, a transparent black.

The same black was used to shade the scabbard, painted with red and decorated with a simple freehand.

Take care when using this glaze, it has to be well diluted, otherwise you risk leaving stripes and/or dots.

So, final details where the armor’s “organic” decorations and the brain.

The latter was painted pink, washed a couple times with red in the recesses, than painted back pink with the addition of some pure white dots to simulate the wet look; i’ve also added a coat of gloss medium to reinforce this.

Decorations where painted with a grey-green and gently washed with GW Biel-tan Green before highlighting adding white. I love their look, the design of this miniature is genial.

To give quantity contrast, i painted red in the eyes and beetween the phalanges. This way the red pops extremely well against the greenish “background” of the decorations.

Now, as you can see from the pics, the base is has some strange details: i decided to add some sort of “energy wave” to represent the three auras radiating from the Hand.

The base itself is very simple, cork pieces glued in 4 concentric layers to give height to the guy, sand, and a rough paintjob consisting in neutral grey, brown washes and some gentle grey/khaki drybrush.

Than i drilled holes in the cork to put the “auras”.

To create the arcs i used thin fishing pole cut to pieces and VERY carefully glued into the holes. This stuff it’s small and transparent, easy to lost the pieces, so i suggest working with hobby pliers and a lot of patience.

To create the “auras” i paid attention to leave circa 120° between them, to divide the base in equal sections, then i painted them in primary RGB and put some pure white dots here and there. Done!

I think this is all about the three nemesis and i wrote more than i thought at first.

I hope this long reading has been useful and interesting but, if you have question, do not hesitate to contact me HERE or comment this post.

If you like my works you can also follow them on my Facebook Page.

See you for part 4: Phoenix and her friends!


Kingdom Death Monster 1.5 Commission – Part 2

Hello Friends,

in this second part of the post dedicated to the KDM core set i’m gonna talk about some armor sets, the Screaming Antelope and its own Screaming Fur set.

The stuff in the core box it’s a LOT;

i perfectly remember the decisions and composition behind every set/quarry/nemesis, but sometimes i have difficulties remembering color recipes since i stupidly never took WIP photos, so i’ll will give you general color indications to work with.

Anyway, let’s see one of the most used set in the game, Rawhide:

Now, for the color scheme i took inspiration from the armor set cards but, during the painting, i realized i went too bright: anyway, the customer was happy and i kept the scheme.

The painting process was very simple yet effective.

The skin was basecoated with a mix of basetones from Vallejo Model Color, washed with Agrax Eartshade from GW and then highlighted with pale colors(probably buff and sand), adding more lights on the faces.

The cloth parts color were a mix of khaki and brown, shaded with Agrax Earhshade and again highlighted with the same pale colors: when painting a miniature, if possible i try to use the same color to highlight all the different parts, this give consistency and atmosphere to the job.

Leather was again basecoated then shaded with Agrax Earthshade, then highlighted with stippling technique, to give it a texture, first adding some yellowish brown to the mix and then with pure buff/sand for the final lights.

Bone parts were also shades with Agrax Earthshade and roughly highlighted with diluted bone color, until i used it pure for edge-highlights.

As you can see i applied simple techniques that, if used correctly and with precision, can give very good loooking miniatures!

For the Leather armor set i wanted to achieve a darker, grisly overall look:

In this case, for the skin i wanted a bright and saturated tone to contrast with the dark armor.

I tried using Medium Flesh from the paint set i got from Nocturna Models: it’s a strange, orangish colors at first but gives a very bright finish. I mixed in Fairy Flesh from the same set for the highlights, while the shadows where again a simple but controlled wash of Agrax Earthshade.

Unfortunately, since i am inept at photographing, the pics can’t show the real hue of the skin which is WAY brighter and interesting than you can see here.

Now, for the leather parts i wanted to give some texture.

One of the thing i like the most about painting miniatures it’s differentiating every material: i don’t like to simply put colors and blendings, i prefer to paint materials adn reflective properties as they would look in real life.

Since it’s very difficult to create textures on such small minis, for the leather i went with a dark brown basecoat shaded with lot of Druuchi Violet, then painted a lot of thin scratches in two applications.

The final effect is a very worn armor and the contrast is high enough to be seen on the playing field.

The yellow parts also received a similar treatment: basecoat was brown + Dark Yellow from VMC, again adding thin scratches on the edges.

The tunic was instead basecoated with some mix of Khaki and browns and received a gentle stippling as highlight, adding VMC Pale Sand to the mix.

Metal parts were quickly painted in NMM with a dark bluegrey mix: on the armor sets i couldn’t afford perfect blendings NMM since i was working on a budget and with a timeframe, so i went for a “sketch” approach.

It’s my opinion that careful positioning of lights and shadows does half the work in painting NMM.

Considering they’re gaming miniatures, i like the result; but please, feel free to let me know what you think.

And it’s now the time to talk about the Screaming Antelope and its set. First, a group picture.

My goal here was to paint the beast in a style opposed to the White Lion: while the latter is pale and noble, i wanted the former to be dark and  filthy.

Me and the customer agreed to copy the color scheme from the artbook, where we found a very grim representation of the antelope.

Every KDM player knows about this artwork, yet i’ve never seen used these colours, which is strange because i really think they fits the antelope.

Here is my take.

I have to be honest: i think this sculpt isn’t on par with the rest of the models.

Some parts are not bad, others really lack details, e.g. the face and nose and hooves.

Speaking about the paintjob, i basecoated the flesh with a really dark brown( i think a mix of 80% VMC German Cam Black Brown and 20% black) highlighted adding small amounts of pinkish fleshtones and, for the last lights, VMC Pale Sand.

One thing i’ve learnt over the years is to avoid highlighting black(in this case, black-brown) with only white, except for certain materials: white gives a really chalky and uninteresting finish.

Adding other colors to the mix, like fleshtones or off-whites, helps the blendings and gives “life” to the black.

From the pic you can see the last lights were stippled with small dots. I aldo added some purple washes here and there to, again, add some life to this dark color scheme.

Fur was painted from a base of dark grey, also washed with Druuchi Violet and Drakenhof Nightshade, while lights were simply painted adding buff and VMC Pale Sand and concentrating on the top of the back and on the top of the tail.

Horns and hooves were wet blended from black to a bone color towards the end, then i added edge highlights on the horns and fine lines on the hooves, to give a bit of texture.

The gooey dropping on the horns (like artwork suggest) enhance the idea of a dirty animal and were done glueing fishing line and using UHU glue mixed with black to create volume.

Follow this useful tutorial from Massive Voodoo: Blood Drops.

Now, a fun part was painting the scars on the body. I own a set of fluo pigments from Forged Monkey, now sadly out of production:

They are perfect to create glows, pools of lava or slime, fiery eyes and whatever your imagination suggests.

I used Lazer Red, a very powerful pigment, for the scars.

First step was to paint white lines beetween the muscles, and some dots: this step is very important!

To obtain the max power from these pigments, but also colors like reds or yellow, i find easier to paint them over a white basecoat.

After that i simply diluted in a resin medium some pigment and repainted over the white. If you try this, be careful not to add too much pigment, otherwise the resulting color could be way too chalky.

Eyes were painted the same way.

The mouth was painted with a fleshy color, then washed red and purple multiple times, then the protruding parts highlighted with the flesh color, adding buff for the final coats. A bit of gloss was added to give the idea of wet tissue.

The area around the mound was glazed a lot with purple and a reddish flesh color until i reached an “inflammated” look, then all the hands were picked with a purple-flesh mix and all the teeth painted with a bone-yellow mix first, then roughly highlighted with bone.

The slimy strings are done with the same Uhu glue used before, mixed and mashed until it became stringy and then, VERY carefully, applied to the teeth with a toothpick.

Disgusting, isn’t it ?

Base was done with cork to simulate rocks and add height to the antelope: otherwise, the work on the mouth would have been barely visible.

The soil is real earth  and plants are from a Christmas decoration pack, thay should simulate the dried achanthus presents in the showdown. I also added some stone faces, hardly visible in the pics.

I don’t have much to say on the Screaming Fur set, it’s painted exactly like the antelope.

This time i added contrast on the NMM starting from black-blue and adding sharp highlights with white.

The survivors wearing skull helms got orange fluo eyes like the antelope.

This fella above is my favorite survivor from the set: he’s got two cleavers from the Butcher, has fiery eyes and is ready to rampage.

Part 2 ends here!

Again, If you liked my work and you’re interested in commissioning your own KDM core set, or other miniatures, feel invited to contact me HERE for a quote!

Also, don’t forget to follow my Facebook Page and be ready for part 3, where i will talk about The Butcher, The Hand and King’s Man!

Hope you enjoyed the reading!


Kingdom Death Monster 1.5 Commission – Part 1

Hello Friends,

i’d like to inaugurate this blog by showcasing a commission that meant a lot to me.

Some time ago a customer contacted me for painting the whole core set from Kingdom Death Monster 1.5: he wanted all the miniatures painted at a high standard, especially the monsters where he wanted more of an “artistic” approach and so, after a little talk and decisions, work began.

Here you can see the final result.

If you like my work and you’re interested in commissioning your own KDM core set, please feel free to contact me HERE for a quote: i guarantee you won’t be disappointed! 🙂

In this multi-part article i will try to explain the choices behind each paintjob.

Let’s start with the prologue survivors.

They were a simple paintjob given that the miniatures basically consists of skin and clothes, so i gave extra love to the bodies and added the OSL from the lantern.

They are painted like depicted in the book: two of them with pale skin, the other couple darkskinned.

Fleshtones are from the Nocturna Models Fairy Flesh Set: i suggest you to try them since they are really good, in fact i’m gonna review them soon.

However, i don’t remember exactly the recipes but the tanned survivors were simply painted with a reddish fleshtone, while the pale ones adding blues to the basic skintone:

In this case, the final result is a bit too grey, but i’m happy anyway( and so was the customer).

As you can see, the OSL from the lantern is quite simple: on the light parts(ground, clothes) it’s almost a drybrush, first with a pale orange and then adding saturation to the zones near the source of light.

On the skin, i’ve added yellow and orange to the fleshtone until i’ve used pure orange.

Very simple, but it works!

Overall, i think the sculpt for these four miniatures is far better than the other, customizable sets, probably because they are all individual, more characterized sculpts.


Along with the survivors comes the White Lion, which i tried to paint like a fierce, yet noble, animal.


For the skin i’ve used Titanium White from Liquitex Heavy Body: it’s a difficult color to work with, because it’s very pasty and does not cover well compared to the whites we usually use in miniatures painting.

However, here lies its strenght: being somewhat transparent you have to use multiple layers that automatically grants smoother blendings and, most important in this case, does not cover completely the tonal variations previously applied.

Also, it has a satin finish which is good when painting skin.

Speaking of colors in the fur: probably the pics can’t capture it, however i’ve used purples, greens and blues to make the white more interesting, leaving the pure white only for the final highlights, painting many many diluted layers as said before.

The mane is golden, like depicted in the equipment cards, and to do so i started with a mix of yellow and orange from Vallejo, again shading with purple, orange and sepia washes from GW.
For the highlights i added buff and various yellows.

I did the “wax in, wax out” technique, applying highlights and shadows/washes until i was satisfied with the result.

The extreme lightspots were painted with pure white and, on top of that, TAN GLAZE from Vallejo Model Color: it’s a transparent color that kicks a lot, if used correctly.

The face was the focal point of the beast and i spent extra time on it. The lion has a very “human” and sad gaze and i wanted to capture it in the paintjob.

Here you can see the tonal variations added in the shadows. I’ve also added pinkish glazes in the ears, around the eyes, the nose and mouth.

Gloss was added inside the mouth and also on the tip of the nose.

The eyes were painted with diluted red on top of pure white, and a simple osl was added.
The blood is Tamiya Clear Red randomly sprinkled around, while a “string” of gooey color mixed with glue was carefully applied in the mouth, to give the idea of a meal recently consumed (possibly a survivor).

Blood was splattered on the front arm also, as you can see from the previous pictures.

The base it’s a simple savanna setting made with real soil and real sand: i’ve added some resin skulls and real bones from a dead animal to display previous victims of the lion, while the bush is dried posidonia.

Everything was quickly painted with various browns and completed with heavy application of red, yellow and brown pigments, to give the look of dusty and dried soil.


After the lion i had to paint his armor set; the customer decided from the start that every quarry should have had its armor set painted with the same colors of the monster itself, and that makes sense cause it’s unlikely to kill a White Lion and craft green tinted armor from its fur!

Personally i like this approach, it gives me and idea of consistency through the game.

For these survivors i wanted to mantain the “savanna” mood and so i painted them with dark skin, Basic Fleshtone from Nocturna Models, shaded with purple and brown wash and highlighted with the usual buff and yellow.

The NMM is a mix of greys and browns, to mantain the warm color scheme.

The remaining colors are painted exactly like on the lion: also the base is made with real soil, pigments etc adding dried grass tufts from Mininatur.

As a side note, i did not use the female armor heads since they were very masculine and unappealing, insted i went for regular female survivors heads and painted the hairs with strong colors (it’s a fantasy game after all).


This concludes part 1 of this article, i hope you enjoyed the reading and found some inspirational tips!

Feel free to comment or contact me if there’s something not covered here that you’d like to know, and keep an eye out for part 2.