Usually I have a hard time remembering how I paint something after the fact when someone asks, so I tried a little experiment with the Plaguebearer production line. Since there are multiples of the same model it lends itself pretty good to a step-by-step thing, so I took some notes and here's what I come up with .. in case you wanted to know how I got them nasty lookin' critters done.
They were primed with British Military Brown, then washed with Army Painter Quickshade (strong tone). After that was a quick drybrush with GW Rakarth Flesh and some Bleached Bone on some of the spots, I wanted better highlights like the bellies, elbows etc. I then washed the whole model with GW Althonian Camoshade- a favorite of mine for my Chaos army. After that, a quick drubrush on the highlighted areas with a mix of GW Rotting Flesh and Elf Flesh. One could probably paint the open wounds with the flesh colors and wash them brownish red and call it tabletop and be happy.....but I like to paint too much. That's where we start our merry journey.... the guy on the left in the picture below. We'll call him Step Zero (not counting how I did the rusty sword). Here's a tutorial I did a while back on a quick and easy way to do cool rusty stuff!
STEP 1: All of my remaining metal Plaguebearers are at Step Zero. So, from there I start to deepen the colors. To do this, I use a series of washes and (not to sound like a fanboy, but.....) GW shades are pretty damned awesome for this kind of thing, usually straight out of the pot or with a little watering down on the pallet. I use GW Druchii Violet as my first color to deepen recesses and add a richer color to the skin. You can also stipple a bit with the point of the brush on light areas to make a subtle mottled(or diseased/unhealthy) skin texture. Experiment with colors on your projects, its amazing what these shades can do to liven up colors. Next, we move on to some details....
STEP 2: The guy on the LEFT shows the first part, I guess we'll call him 2a. Mr. 2a has some drybrushing and detail colors put on. The tentacle-fingers, guts and edges of all the body openings are hit with GW Elf Flesh. The exposed bones on these guys I go after with Reaper Aged Bone, then a highlight of Polished Bone. I also added the first bit of shading- GW Baal Red around the guts, so you can see what it looks like without the addition of more Druchii Violet. You can stipple the red and it looks pretty good on its own. Again, the violet deepens it. I put the red over the guts and open skin areas, stipple it around the pustule/zits and along the edges of the open skin near the exposed bones. I deepen the reds with the violet, using it to shade. The exposed bone also gets a brown "bone wash" which is a mix of black,brown and chestnut inks... the formula for which is long lost, but it results in a nice decayed,weathered,flat brown undercolor. Something you might see on any roadside carcase. 2b is the end result of all this piddling around. But wait...there's more detailing....
STEP 3: 2b is on the left now. I have drybrushes of all sizes and I take small ones with GW Elf Flesh again to hit the skin edges, gently just to bring them out a bit. A small brush with the Reaper Polished Bone to catch the toes and exposed bone edged, even make thin line or two. Then a very light drybrush on the exposed skull. All those shadows that were deepened with Violet are hit again with GW Althonian Camoshade. The zit/pustule heads and the upper edges of the tentacle fingers are touched with Reaper Golden Flesh Highlight. GW Gloss Varnish on the open body cavities and stippled around some of the grosser areas for ewwwy goooeyness. I put in the sand color for the dry grassland bases, which will contrast nicely with the models. Its always nice if your model doesn't totally blend into your base, especially if you spent some time painting it.
STEP 4. The Warp Glowy Eye Thing. I use P3 Ioson Green, Necrtite Green and Cygnus Yellow. A little Ioson Green/Necrotite 50/50 mix for a base in the eye cavity. Then the Necrotite drybrushed around the areas I want to "glow". I mix that with a little Yellow, drybrush the areas I want brighter. Then mix with a little more straight Yellow and repeat. Note a little refection on the elbow. Finally, a touch up with straight yellow. A dot on the eye, some stippling on the eye brows and edges of the teeth. You'll never guess what's next.... OK, it was easy. GW Althonian Camoshade. A light wash or stipple along the edges to make it more subtle and bring out the definition. I paint my base edges black. Eventually, there will be some static grass and or dried leaves, maybe even some corruption where the feet touch, but for now that's done. Overall (including stopping to take pictures and take the dog out) it was a bit over 2 hours work to complete 2.
That's all for now. Hopefully, this unit will be done this week and I can move on to building something, which I'm itching to do.