Painting Zombie Flesh - Quick and Dirty Tutorial

I have a distaste for painting zombies, and as a Vampire Counts player this is something of a handicap when it comes to painting an army.

A while ago I found a good recipe for painting zombies, and painted two up, with a more speeded up technique. I posted a picture of these two zombies on a Sunday Photo Page, but never got around to doing the tutorial. Until now that is. What follows is very much theory rather than hard guidelines, and I'll be playing about and altering things as I work through a regiment to add variation and see if there are good and bad combinations. 

Step 1 - Undercoat and Basecoat - White

This step sets up everything that comes after in a more fundamental way than most undercoats. We've going to wash right over the top of this for the final effect, so any zombie flesh needs to be solid white. I was brush painting the model below and used two thin coats of Ceraamite White to really get a base I was happy with. Note that I've ignored the areas that aren't flesh on the second pass to speed things up. For the sake of this tutorial I've also not done anything more than the flesh, but I'd want to get bone and organs painted in before the third stage, so as not to have to revist the flesh stage due to careless brush strokes.

Step 2 - Shade - Elf Flesh (Old GW range)

This makes the model look a bit odd, but bare with me. We need a bit of contrast to the model in order to make the wash work with more of an impact. To this end I've blocked in all those parts of the model that would be in shadow, in a very crude way (we're speed painting here). You may want to go for something a little dark to get more of a contrast, or leave this stage out entirely if you're really going for a record.

Step 3 - Ogryn Flesh Wash (Old GW range)

This stage brings the first two steps together, and does all the work for you. Simply hit the model with a soaking of your preferred red/brown wash. This doesn't have to be perfect (see both models below, as both have issues), as you can either tidy up with a second pass (adding more shadow or enhancing details etc) or hide mistakes under dirt and blood splatter. The picture below has things much darker than they are (photoshop just made things worse though) The models are much less strongly coloured than this in reality, with the top picture being more accurate.

 And that's pretty much it. The models way at the top of the post show the effect that can be achieved when taking your time, and not seeing how fast you can paint a pair of zombies. This is a decidedly tabletop standard method, but one that takes the pain out of zombies for me, and should prove a fast way to raise a horde. Variation in the base colour and shade should give some nice variation in a unit, as well as the number of passes of wash.

Now it's just a question of adding the details, and the blood splatter.