Sorastro’s Zombie Painting Guide Ep.1
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Sorastro’s Zombie Painting Guide Ep.1


Hello, and welcome to Sorastro’s
zombie painting video tutorial. This tutorial is aimed at a beginner painter but may also be of interest to the intermediate painter or anyone wishing to learn more about
how to use Army Painter’s Quickshade. I’m not a professional painter but hope to show you how we
can produce outstanding results, whilst saving a lot of time
by using the Quickshade method. We’re going to paint our zombies in four stages. Firstly, Prep & Spray. We’re going to be using a spray-on primer and
undercoat by Army Painter, called Necrotic Flesh. This will provide a great surface to paint on but also give us the perfect
base skin tone for our zombies. Secondly, we’re going to paint simple
flat base colours for clothes and hair. Thirdly, we’re going to apply the Quickshade, which comes in three shades,
and we’re using the Strong Tone shade. This will do all the hard work
of shading the miniature for us, producing a nice level of contrast, and resulting in a slightly weathered, dirty look, perfect for the recently undeceased. Finally, Finishing Touches. This will include adding some blood, glowing eyes, and I’ll be mounting my zombies
on some clear plastic bases. This tutorial will use figures from
the Zombicide board game, by CoolMiniOrNot, but the techniques should work equally
well on the Games Workshop or Mantic zombies or indeed other minis, such as these
Space Hulk Marines and Genestealers. Let’s get started. First, it’s always worth checking
the figures for any obvious mould lines and removing them with a file or by scraping
them off with the edge of craft knife. Next, we spray the figures with a primer. But first, I like to stick the figures
to some cardboard with White Tack, which makes them much
easier to rotate when spraying. This is especially useful
when spraying in large numbers. After giving the can a good shake
for at least 90 seconds, we spray the figures from no more than 20 cm away. We want to achieve good coverage, without over-spraying them to the point
that we begin to lose detail. Two or three blasts might be needed
to completely cover the miniature. Here, we can see that we’ve
achieved the coverage we wanted without losing any of the detail. Once the primer is dry, we’re ready to
apply our base colours to the clothes, hair, and basically anything that isn’t skin. I’m using Citadel paints and brushes by Rosemary & Co. These are from the series 33, pure Kolinsky range. I’m not a brush expert, but I think
they represent excellent value for money. If I had a bit more wallet, I’d also be
keen to try the Winsor & Newton brushes. I tend to use size 1 or 2 most of the time and maybe a size 0, 3/0, or 10/0 even
for the really fine details. One of the important things to bear
in mind about the Quickshade, which we’ll be applying in the next step,
is that it darkens the miniature. So it’s important to allow for that
when we choose our colours. So I will often use mid or light tones, as they turn up particularly well
once the Quickshade has been applied. It’s usually good practice to thin
the paint a little with some water, and we’re looking for nice, flat, neat, even coverage. Every paint range and every colour will be different, but colours with high pigmentation,
such as the Citadel base colours, may provide the coverage we want with just one coat. But often two, or sometimes
more coats, may be needed to get the solid, even tone we’re after. These are done, but where I have
chosen a very dark colour for the cloth, I’m going to add a quick, light drybrush
just to pick out a few highlights such as the crease of the trousers. To do that, I’m using a large, flat brush and a light tone. I get some paint on my brush,
then wipe most of it off. A quick brush on the back of my hand
shows me how much remains. Then I lightly dust the area I want to highlight. Drybrushing can result in
a slightly rough and chalky finish, but the Quickshade will do a nice job
of smoothing the highlights out. Now these zombies have a nice, clean, solid base coat, they’re ready for the Quickshade. Before applying the Quickshade, we need to ensure we have some white spirit ready
to clean our brush afterwards. There’s nothing wrong with keeping a jar to hand
and reusing it multiple times. It’s important to give the Quickshade
a good shake before applying as it tends to separate when left for a period of time becoming more thin and watery near the surface. Here, you can see how thick
and gloopy it normally looks. Some people literally dip
the miniature into the Quickshade, but I prefer to apply it with an old brush. All we’re looking for here initially is to ensure
that we achieve total coverage of the figure, as any untouched areas will look
very out of place once it’s dry. Straight away, we can see how
quickly it darkens the recesses, and how smoothly it shades
up to the lighter, raised areas. However, we can also see that
it pulls heavily in the recessed areas, smothering details wherever it does so. This is particularly noticeable
in places like the eye sockets. Furthermore, the Quickshade will
spend the next five minutes or so slowly sliding over the surface of the miniature, further collecting in pools wherever it can. What we need to do therefore,
is repeatedly mop up the Quickshade from any nooks or areas
where we don’t want it to collect. Although the Quickshade method
is a much faster way to work than shading all those shadows
and highlights ourselves, using layers, it isn’t something you can just slap on
and expect instant miracles from. We have to use a creative eye and tell it where we do and don’t want it to gather. I will typically spend far more time
removing excess Quickshade than it takes to actually apply. I might cover two or three figures initially, then go back to the first,
to remove any unwanted Quickshade. I will check the figure three or four times intermittently, mopping up unwanted Quickshade until I’m satisfied that it’s no longer
collecting where I don’t want it, and I’m happy with the overall look. These are all now shaded, but have
an unpleasantly glossy finish. We’re going to fix that with a matte
varnish spray once the quick shade is dry, which means we wait 24 hours. There are several brands of matte varnish spray, and I’m using Testors Dullcote. A quick blast front, back, and sides maybe… And once dry, we can see we’ve
lost that unnaturally glossy finish, and now we can really appreciate what a good
job the Quickshade has done shading our zombies. These are now ready for some finishing touches. The first thing I like to do at this stage,
is give the zombies some glowing eyes. I’m going to give my zombies very pale blue eyes so will be using white,
mixed with just a little light blue. Notice I’m using an old brush to mix the paints, so I don’t ruin the brushes I use to actually paint with. With my size 10/0 brush, and with both hands resting
on a surface to keep them steady, I carefully apply a small dab to pick out the eyes. Some figures have fairly prominent
eyes that are easy to highlight. Whilst others, you more or less have
to guess where they should be. Once painted though, the eyes really
help to give a focal point for the figure and I feel give the zombie much more presence. when things go wrong, like they do here, one way to correct the mistake
is to quickly grab a fresh brush and wash the paint off with some water
before it has a chance to dry. Another, even easier fix for a difficult eye, and for any other mistakes that may
have been made along the way, is to simply cover it with blood. And that’s, what we’re going to do next. There are many blood recipes out there. Here is my current favourite: I’m using this Tamiya Clear Red paint, which has a suitably thick
consistency and glossy finish. It is quite toxic however, so do make sure
you wash your hands after using it. A less toxic and easier alternative
might be to use Citadel’s new technical paint – Blood for the Blood God. I personally prefer the hue and
consistency of the Tamiya recipe, but the difference between them is perhaps one
that only the true blood connoisseur will notice. And I think the Citadel blood paint is a fine alternative
that most painters would be happy with. Out of the bottle, the Tamiya red is a little too bright, so I like to mix it with a little black
and some dark brown. As mentioned previously, it makes
sense to leave the blood till last as it’s a very convenient way to cover
up any mistakes made along the way. Here, for example, I noticed for some reason
I haven’t shaded the sleeve on this zombie’s left arm, so that’s the first place I’m going
to go to town with some blood. Likewise, I’m not too happy
with the eyes on this zombie, so I’m going to give him the Governor Treatment. Notice, I’m using an old brush,
as I’m applying it in a fairly rough manner. It’s easy to go over the top with the blood, so it’s worth remembering that sometimes less is more. In the end, it’s another great way to introduce variety, which is particularly important when you
have many of the same sculpts on the table. So I might go over the top on one zombie, but leave another without any blood on at all. Finally, we need to do something about the base. Usually, I would add some texture and paint them. And for Zombicide, a simple road
grey colour would probably be fine. But I prefer to remove the stand completely and replace them with these clear
bases by Litko Game Accessories. These are 1.5 mm thick and 25 mm in diameter. This not only looks classy, but allows the board that the game plays out on
to be seen beneath the stand. All we do, is take a sharp craft knife
and slice through the soles of the feet, always cutting downwards, away from our fingers. Then we just need to apply a small
dab of super glue to each foot and wipe away the excess, to ensure
we’re left with just a thin layer of glue. This will prevent it from misting
the clear plastic when it makes contact. I carefully lower the figure onto the stand
and hold it in place for a moment – and it’s done. Rebasing the figures in this way
might not be for everyone as the figures are more delicate as a result, and it doesn’t take too much mishandling,
or a drop, for them to come off the stand. For me however, it’s a price worth paying. And here is the finished result. Which means that these are
ready to join the rest of the horde. This brings our tutorial to an end. Thank you so much for watching. I hope it proves useful, especially
to those just starting out in the hobby. I would welcome any feedback or questions
in the comments section below. Happy painting!

68 Comments

  • Karl Hungus

    Hey Sorastro,
    i finally got all the things at home to start miniature painting. i chose the zombies to start out since there are plenty of undead in the base game.

    I just got one more question:
    You use the army painter primer in many of your videos. How long does it take to dry? I'm aware the it depends on how thick the layer of primer is but do you have some rule of thumb for this or do you simply judge it by the looks?

  • B Train

    I must say your videos gives me confidence in attempting these stuff myself. Looking forward to going into more of your videos.
    Why paint eyes after varnish?

  • Kyle Scott

    Great video! I am completely new to this, what Windsor and Newton brushes would you suggest instead of rosemary and co? I can't find that brand where I live.

  • MKN2

    Hi sorastro! I have a little problem and only you can give a good answer. I am painting berserk, toxic and normal zombies following your videos. The thing is that berserk zombies have abnormal body things (sorry for my poor english) that are meant to show that theese zombies have though skin ( hence you can't kill them with ranged weapons) and i really want to let theese details to be seen better.

    My question is: How do you think it't the best way possible to show that kind of thing? (Avoiding greens of course beacuse it is meant to be linked to toxic zombies)

    Thanks in advance!

  • Arthur Naugle

    Now I am not an expert but I have recently been testing all kinds of shades, inks and materials, but my question is why go with the thicker shader instead of a ink wash? I have been really liking the ink wash with the shorter dry time and being a thinner coat. But I am wondering if I am missing anything?

  • MarkGonzales1984

    Amazing tutorial! I'll be painting my first miniatures soon (Zombicide Season 1). Was curious though… Army Painter has steps to put the blood on before the Quickshade… in contrast, you put Quickshade on before blood. What difference does it make, if any?

  • Paul Todd

    Just a quick tip for cleaning up platic/hard resin minis.
    If you use a craft knife/file/sandpaper to clean any flash off, and are left with scratch marks, a simple, easy way to get rid of them is by a quick application of liquid polystyrene, which melts the surface slightly and smooths away the scratch marks at the same time.
    It's also useful for gluing parts of plastic figures together, as it melts the plastic together, making a much stronger bond.
    DON'T use it on clear plastic, if you want to base your figures on clear bases like in this video, as it will craze the base, leaving it milky white.
    Also, don't try and glue metal parts and plastic together with liquid poly, as it doesn't work, so use superglue instead 🙂
    I use white glue to fix minis to clear bases, which works well, but may not be suitable for gaming minis, as they could become easily detached again, due to the glues fragile nature.
    Use Plastic glue, but not super glue, as super glue makes the clear bases milky, too (talking from VAST experience here 🙂 ).
    All the best
    Paul 🙂

  • Paul Todd

    Seriously good tip about the blood mixture, as zombie blood would naturally be de-oxygenated, and therefore dark, almost black, and not bright red like arterial blood.
    Many people make the mistake of overdoing the gore, spoiling the finished effect when they first start painting blood.
    You show the right way to make a realistic look to the blood.
    Again, even your starter videos can show older modelers new tips and techniques than most others.
    All the very best
    Paul 🙂

  • Mario Köhler

    Could you elaborate on the difference between Quick Shade and a normal wash/shade like Citadels Nuln Oil? why and when would one use one over the other? thanks in advance!

  • Brian Saxon

    As a nervous first-time painter, these tutorials have taught me a lot. They have also taken a lot of the fear of screwing up my minis by showing each phase in simple, easy to understand steps. Thank you so much!

  • Jordan Antoski

    Unreal. Thank you for this. I was able to complete my set because of you and as my first set, I think they came out amazing. Thank you for this.

    I do have one question. I am moving to the players in the game, and using some of these skills I learned I am going to try and tackle them. Do you have a video for those or tips for shading? I was considering the nuln oil for clothing as I think the quickshade is way too thick!

    Also I plan on painting some doom figures as well starting with the space marines. I think using the nuln oil as well will do the trick for shading the cracks of the armor. Any tips there as well?

    Again, thank you for all the tips. 🙂

  • Synbious

    I've started using Strong Tone, I like it, but can make some mini's look dirty, it works on zombies etc, but not clean mini's, but clean mini's take so long to paint. Strong Tone is great as it gives a great definition between colours and blends in well if you make a mistake and it does make colours pop out quiet well.

  • Static Klingon

    Amazing tutorial! Quick question for anyone who's done this. Does the uncoated red have any problems coming off? In Zombicide there's a tray but what about in games like D&D where the minis just go thrown into the box?

  • Utterly Spineless

    I have about 100 mantic zombies to paint up for my new undead army. This video was absolutely perfect and exactly what i was looking for. As a fellow video maker i also appreciate the time and effort that has gone into making this video. Well done sir!! huge thank you

  • Bearsan Hatestrike

    Great tutorial! Have only heard good things so far about army painters range. Gonna pick some stuff up from them 🙂

  • B

    Any way you can do a tutorial for the survivors? I'm not sure what to use for them. Should I use a different primer other than the necrotic flesh? And also should I still use the quickshade strong tone for them?

  • EsThirt33n

    Thank you for your tutorial!!! Your methods of painting, and your video editing are absolutley GREAT!!!! I'm now subscribed!!! Keep these videos coming!!!!

  • Sean Parker

    Just painted my first zombies as descibed in this Video … and i am very happy with the result. thanks for this awesome guide!
    By the way: if you dont use transparent bases, you can cutt out paper pieces, stick them on the base and paint them like those pages you see on the zombicide game tiles, looks great

  • Bronka

    This is amazing. Have watched it several times and I always learn something with this video. Awesome. Just one question. What expansion are these walkers from?

  • Kerry Viens

    I wish I saw this video before I painted my Descent Journeys in the Dark monsters. I have a chalky finish to my miniatures. Should of dry brushed THEN hit them with the quickshade. 🙁

  • Clayton Traylor

    Are you going to do any more of the Zombicide figures? It seems like this was set up to be a series and never explored further.

  • Shock Advised! (Alex)

    big fan of zombicide, been inspired by my mate to paint mine, 1st time ive ever done this
    first question: i have the rue morgue season 3, what tone should i use for the zombies? ive primed with necrotic flesh 😉
    thanks again

  • TropicalBrick

    Starting painting my miniatures in a couple of weeks this video is awesome, showed me what i need to get and how to do it 🙂

  • Saren

    Amazing tutorials ! I've watched all of the Zombicide Guides after I bought the game and it really gave me the desire to start painting myself 🙂

    I should receive the Quickshade and other needed tools next week and I hope I'll get to your level of skill someday.

    I'd really love to see videos on Green Horde if you get your hands on it !

  • Leo Härdle

    Hi Sorastro,
    Your Tutorials are really excellent. It made me start painting my zombicide miniatures!!
    And I am or was a total beginner, and I am really amazed about the achievements you can get (and I got) in comparison to the effort.
    Great work!
    I would really love to see a tutorial about the abomination that can be seen briefly at 0:04!
    That would be super awesome. Or a brief comment would also be much appreciated, on which colors you used and if there are any specialties or differences to the other zombies.
    Keep up the excellent work!

  • Raccoon_ Judge

    Hi !
    What a great job !!
    I recently bought zombie dogz for season 1. Do you think you'll or would make a video about them and/or the wolves for Black Plague ?
    Thanks a lot !

  • Figures Of Perfection

    Great video I am a little late to the zombicide party, better late than never. I have a quick question! How do you go about rebasing the runners? Do I Keep the little elevator nubb? The one that would leave him on one foot if removed?
    I am a decent painter but I want to try this quick painting method since I have over 500 zombicide minis.. yea I can’t do competition quality on 500 mins if I want to play it painted before I am in the nursing home. I am taking the clear rebasing plunge and was curious as to what I am to do with runners? Also is your zombie skin just necrotic flesh and
    Quick shade ?

  • Felipe Gonzalez

    Great video. Thank you so much. Just a couple of question regarding human figures (such as the characters from zombicide). Do I use the same spray as with the zombies? (Necrotic Flesh) and then just paint the skin or do I use another spray that is more adequate to the predominant color in the figure? And Second: since hey are human and don't need to look "dirty" should I use a lighter shader? I'm really looking forward for your advice on painting humain figures. Thanks a lot!

  • Toby Webb

    Just came across your video again… great fast way to get through those hordes (pun intended) of enemy miniatures. Would you recommend Quickshade over normal washes (Agrax Earthshade for example)? I'm really torn between trying to do a speed job with basic wash/shade an no highlights, or taking time and doing highlights. Maybe I should save the wash and highlight for the heroes. Thanks again Sorastro – really enjoy all your videos, I've learnt a lot and its your videos that got me into model painting 🙂

  • Ryan Clubb

    hello, sorry to bug you but would a suitable substitute for the all over shade from army painter line work if I instead use games workshops Agrax earth shade??

  • Steve H

    I’m just getting into the hobby and want to pant zombies so this was super helpful. How does Army Painter Glistening Blood compare to Blood for the Blood God? I ordered the former as BFTBG was out of stock.

  • Johnny Rivera

    I am thinking about buying the board games and painting the miniatures, which means it'll be my first time. I'm a 14 year old that loves creative stuff and this is gonna be reay helpful. Any tips?

  • Figures Of Perfection

    Hey Sor, got a quick question.
    Did you also base the zombicide character on clear plastic bases as well? Or did you keep the colored plastic bases on the player characters
    Wish they made clear colored bases for the characters, I know they do but it wouldn’t be cost effective.

  • SNOOP U 2

    Thank you for sharing. I got a good understanding on how to start painting even though I will be using latex paints clean up. I'll just have to play with the paints.

  • Gory51 Gaming

    Excellent video. Been following your tutorials for a while and am always impressed with the professionalism. I have used this to paint my prison break zombies and i am about to start my berserkers. I am a little stumped there as it hard to see what is what. I see you have painted yours already. Is there any chance on some tips or close up pictures posted somewhere to help us as I know you have already completed this long ago, and therefor cant still make a video on them. Maybe if you could possibly post them on your facebook page, up close pics of all berserkers (prisoners, guards and the 2 abominations) Many thanks if you can.

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