Thursday, 14 July 2011

Scooby Doo Undead

Naff grainy shots but this is what I'm currently working on with the old paintbrush. Mantic Games plastic undead painted, not as corporeal "solid bone" undead in the usual style, but as insubstantial ethereal ghosts.

The plan is to produce an entire army done in this paint scheme with no exceptions. Everything in the army is a ghost and painted in this otherworldly green glow. I'm taking inspiration from things like the Deadmen of Dunharrow in LotR and a Russ Nicholson illustration of a host of ghosts in an FF book (exactly which one I forget).

This is unbelievably quick and simple to paint - black undercoat, top one third in Citadel Codex Grey, the bottom two thirds drybrushed lightly with the same paint. Then the area around the face is drybrushed white (as if the face is a light source) and the face filled in solid white. One good wash with Citadel Thraka Green Wash (the stuff that smells like cheap cider).

Still to do the bases, which will be done in a "Welsh Slate Quarry" style with dark grey rock and gravel, dotted with static grass. But I chuck the quick pics up because I know a couple of my gaming mates who read the blog were keen to see what the final effect looks like.

For me at least, this yields better results than the approach the GW Studio took for their Army of the Dead figures which just look like stone statutes to me. I feel that this approach works because the ghost "fades out" towards it's feet and the stark white of the face underneath the wash makes the evil face pop out and this draws the eye.

I didn't come with the technique myself, it's an adaption of one I found here -


  1. I think you're spot on there. The Evil Empire's lot look like statues, while yours look like eerie glowing shadows.

  2. The Russ Nicholson pix you're thinking of is maybe from Masks of Mayhem, which features a host of ghosts floating above the surface of Lake Nekros (apt name!)



  3. Spooky stuff! The glowing faces are particularly effective and suggest that the 'person' in them hasn't quite died yet, which is pretty awesome.

    However, the drybrush of Codex Grey on the feet isn't really visible at the moment and makes them look unfinished; it might just be that almost-black feet get lost on black bases and that the clumps of grass and gravel on the bases will provide some contrast. The only issue that might be encountered there is too much contrast and resultant clashes with the miniature, as happens to me now and again with a similar dark-stuff-plus-grass basing policy. I have faith that you'll do better than me, though.

  4. Would Citadel's 'Rotting Flesh' - a very light green - be useful?

  5. Cheers Owen. They look really good and doing the whole army in the same style will look really effective I'm sure. In fact I might steal the idea for *my* Mantic undead army for Hordes of the Things. It just looks really different.

  6. To the brushes! That looks great.

  7. A whole army of crooked property developers dressed up as ghosts to scare the locals away from the abandoned fairground? GENIUS.

    Hasslefree do a nice set of not-Scooby Gang...

  8. Spellchecking FAIL - statues, not statutes.

    I used to use Rotting Flesh for my etherals many years ago with a white drybrush on top but never felt it worked as well as it did in my minds eye. It was accidentally a really good ceramic effect which might work on Necrons if glossed up. (Mental note made to resist new project).

    It is indeed Masks of Mayhem.

    The photos are poor and in reality the feet aren't invisible, although I wouldn't be too unhappy with invisible feet as it seems quite "ghostly" to have no apparent sign of anything attached to the ground. I'm sure when the base drybrushing and static flock is on it will look different. Just don't have any superglue in the flat at the moment, waiting for the next time I pass a Poundland.

  9. Very nice. I think I'll do up some of my undead in a similar fashion. Thanks for the inspiration!