Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I've tried this technique once before, on my Blood Bowl Orcs, with the idea that it would speed up the process of painting a whole team of very similar figures.

It didn't work our very well back then, but I've learned a couple of things in the intervening year and a half (and Dee King has posted a more recent, more detailed tutorial).

First, and most importantly, this technique shouldn't be approached as a speed painting method - not really. It saves some time, yes, but if you rush through it, you end up with a crappy result and have to go over the pre-shading with traditional base coat and highlights. If this happens, then the time you spent preshading, no matter how little, was wasted. But if, on the other hand, you take your time getting the undershading right, glazing and washing on the colors will be a breeze.

Second, I discovered that it is very important to select the right figures to paint this way. Since the undershading is achieved entirely by overbrushing and drybrushing, it will only look passable on figures with a decent amount of detail and relatively few smooth, empty surfaces (like those on, say, a plastic GW blood bowl orc). Any smooth surfaces (like flesh, most notably) will probably have to be tackled in the traditional manner.

Third and finally, I have gotten much better at drybrushing. I am now a lot more careful and selective, which results in better contrast and a better shading result. And here's an amateur tip: zenithal highlighting is a whole lot easier if you hold the figure so that you are looking at it from the top down. (Almost as if your eye were the sun...) I don't know how I missed that for so long. Live and learn...

So I selected from among my Megaminis fantasy figures the best candidates for the undershading treatment. Figures with lots of detail and texture.

Bob Olley Hunchymen are, of course, perfect for this.

So are furry things.

I have a lot of confidence this time around. The greyscale figures look convincing enough. Now I just need to see if my glazing technique has improved enough to make it work.

Let me know what you think below. Greyscale responses only, please.


  1. Just throw some wahses on those already ! Very noice models and very nice preshading job !

    For smooth models (or textured ones), if you want to preshade, you can always try to prime black and make a zenithal spray of grey or even some grey with an angle and white zenithal. It works really fine and it is VERY quick to apply

  2. Thanks! The washes are coming, I promise!

    That's a good tip about the zenithal sprays. I might have to give that a try...

    1. You may have already seen it but here's a good example of what can be achieved (although his priming seemed a little bit messy at first glance I have to say) Result at the end is marvellous anyway

    2. with link :

  3. That is a great article. Thanks so much for showing it to me, I had never seen the convertatorum before. I'm following it now, and now I REALLY want to try the spray method. Cheers!