Paint Spl’Attr – Shadow Caste Dragyri Skin

November 15, 2016 Hobby  No comments



After a recent chat with José Nuñez, the owner of Big Child Creatives (the wonderful team in Spain that sculpts and paints many of the Dark Age miniatures), he sent us through this great walkthrough of painting the Shadow Caste Dragyri skin tone. He also sent us details of the way the Big Child team painted the armor for the Shadow Caste, and some wonderful crystals for an Ice Caste base. We’ll present those to you soon.

In order to make the painting process simple and easy we won´t talk about specific colours of a pre-determined range. Instead of that, we’ll talk about hues (red, blue, yellow…) and tones. You won´t need to have the colors we actually used, but can substitute in those you have to match the ones we show in the mixing section of the photos.



As usual the preparation is very simple. Simply remove the mold lines with a sharp hobby knife or file and glue the pieces together. For the texture of the base, you can use pva glue to put on some random pieces of pine bark and spread some sand to fill the gaps between those “rocks”.

To prime the miniature we first sprayed a coat of black primer and then sprayed a coat of white primer, spraying directly from above. This created a perfect surface to start working on!

Painting the Shadow Caste Skin


As you can see, for the base skin tone we mixed red and blue (more red than blue) to obtain a purple. So do a test with your own selection, the will create your “base color” that we’ll reference again later. You can add a little bit of orange or yellow to a desaturated base skin tone or add more red if you wish some variations.

For the area of skulls on the shoulders of this Goliath, we used a mix of blue and yellow to obtain a green. To make a transition between the purple skin and these areas, we carefully blended the paints. We applied the green paint while the purple was still wet, and used the brush to bring them together them in the transition zone.

To apply the base coats use diluted paint. It´s better to use two or three thin coats than one thicker layer that could cover some detail. Also, you can start to see where the light and shadow will fall thanks to the transparency of the paint.

Highlighting the Skin


Now we start to bring the miniature to life by adding the first highlights to the skin.

Studying the shapes of the model is very important to help you know where the light will fall. If you have any doubts, you can see the structure of light in the priming photo, because the white prime is from above, like the light must be.

To create the highlights of the colored base, you must mix the base skin tone or a more saturated purple with a light skin colour or a light blue, much like the examples shown in the mixing reference photo. Use the first combination for the main surfaces (like the chest, head and the exposed leg) and the bluish mix for other parts with less importance and to give more depth of variety (see the biceps and the ribcage).

Apply the first layer of highlights by mixing a small amount of these colours (the pale skin and the light blue) at the begining. In the followings layers of highlights you must increase the amount bit by bit. In the final highlights points, we used those pure colours.

Shading the Skin


Now it’s time for the shading. Mixing purple (or the base skin colour) with some blue and some dark red will give us a deep purple, ideal for shading and outline the zones most in the shadows. This step will give the skin its highest definition.

The Skin is almost done!


To achieve a more smooth finish on the transitions we “glazed” them with very. very well diluted paint, applied over the highlights (using some of the previous mixes of the highlights), and/or in the shadows (using in this case the base skin colour or some of the previous shadow mixes).

If you want to give more vibrancy and colour variations you can use very high saturated tones (like the ones showed in the photo) in specific zones of interest like the face, ribs, arms, etc. Experiment and enjoy the most enjoyable part of this creative process.

After the cleaning/glazing part, we lost some of the definition of the highlight points, so we touched those up. Feel free to go back and correct areas by adding more highlights or shadows.

To finish it up, we only had to paint the little details like the reddish eyes, the mouth and the claws, nothing difficult.

With a dark color, we painted a basecoat on the horns and the armor to prepare these area for the nexts steps, but more on that in the next post!

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