How Not To Paint: An Otherworld Troglodyte Chieftain

This week’s “how not to” guide is an involved project. The pictures are at times a bit poor but this model was painted over two days and taking photos of every stage in perfect light is impossible as I often paint late into the night.

So with the disclaimer out of the way, lets look at turning this  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Into this…  P4160265So, as always I started with a black undercoat. Next I painted the eye, teeth and tongue to a finished state so that I could work on the skin without having to worry about getting “in” to do these small details. The eye was painted Sand with a vertical slit. That was washed over with Flesh wash ink and then rehighlighted with Sand. The teeth are Khaki, highlighted with Sand and the tongue was done Burgundy, Deep Red and then highlighted with Deep Red and White mix.

The rest of the model then undercoated. The skin was done with a mix of Dark Green, Deep Bronze Green and Black. The underbelly was Khaki. The belts and fins were done with Chocolate brown. BAseNext I added some more Dark Green to the base green colour to lighten the mix and then painted all the raised areas. In particular I paint attention to the lines around the eyes, across the nose and on the tail.  1stThis was then highlighted by adding Sand to the mix. Picking out the detail in this prominent colour will help distinguish the muscle blocks and skin folds later when I add the speckled effect. Ist SpecNext I started to add speckles. First in Dark Green, then in Leather Brown.  2nd Spec Then Chocolate Brown, Arctic Blue and finally a couple in Sand. I tried to stay out of the major recesses to keep the definition as true as possible. 1st WashNext I washed the skin in Deep Bronze Green. If I had wanted a more prominent speckled effect I would have skipped this step. Ink wash Finally I washed the flesh with Green Ink and left to dry. Note that I also worked on the limbs separately. Underbelly 1 The next stage was to work on the underbelly. I wanted to get it really milky white, so the first highlight was Sand.Underbelly 2Followed by a Sand and White mix. Underbelly 3Washed down with Sand.Underbelly 4 And rehighlighted with Sand and White mix.  Belts Next I painted the belts. These were highlighted with Leather Brown and then with Khaki. The rope-y bits were Dark Grey highlighted with Blue Grey. The metal bits were done with Old Gold, washed with Flesh Wash and Green Ink mix and later relighlighted with Old Gold and a dash of Silver. Once these were done I attached the arms. Note the way I highlighted the muscles… I love how they came out. ClubThat’s a terrible picture of the club, but that’s what I worked on next. The wood was painted with a mix of Chocolate Brown and Dark Grey and then rehighlighted by mixing in a small amount of Sand and painting the grain. The ropes were painted as above and the bone bits were done with Leather Brown, followed by Khaki, followed by Khaki and White. Club 2Until it looked like that. Next on the agenda was the shield.ShieldIt was first undercoated Burgundy, then the segments were highlighted in Orange, followed by an Orange and Sand mix. Shield 2I probably could have put more definition in here. The ropes were painted the same way as the rest.  Fin Then the fin… This was first highlighted with thin lines in leather brown. Then I added Orange (not in lines due to the consistency) to about half of the fin. Finally the outer edge was highlighted with Sand. Fin Ink Finally both the shield and the fin were washed with Flesh Wash Ink and that was it. The nails on both the hands and feet were Chocolate Brown highlighted with Leather Brown. The model was based with Gale Force 9 Earth and Javis Summer Mix static grass. All paints were Game Craft and all inks were Vallejo. P4160264P4160265P4160266Varying the base coat colours and speckles can result in many different shades of hide. TrogFrontThis Shaman was painted with a base coat of Deep Bronze Green, Khaki and Sand mix and then speckled with Khaki and Dark Brown, washed over with Khaki, speckled again and then washed over with Black Green Ink.

Hopefully this has been an enjoyable and helpful article. I will endeavour to take better WIP shots. Feel free to leave your comments and “thumbs up” below if you enjoyed this.

See you next week… with what? Who knows…


  1. Hey Duke!

    Love the trogs. I'm a fan of your how-to posts. One recurring theme seems to be that a well timed ink wash can work wonders. Keep up the good work.


  2. Thanks Jim.

    The posts are very specifically about how I paint, hence I don't say "you should..." etc. There are millions of ways to paint the same model so I don't want to preach and tell people "how to paint" hence the "not" in the title.

    I started using inks about a year ago and I'm not always keen on them but they work well in certain situations. I dont like the light inks reflect from the recesses so I wont use them heavily on a model I want to have a matt finish, for example Skeletons. However they are great for ageing weapons and armour or with models like the Trogs or beetles you want to give the impression of a shiny skin.

    I'm glad you are enjoying the series, the next model I'm painting is the Hook Horror but I just can't think of a scheme yet. He probably wont get a "how not to" post because I'll end up experimenting while I paint.

    Sorry for the long reply and thanks for commenting.

    Chris (The Duke)


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