Sunday 11 June 2017

Painting Guide - Kingdom Death: Monster (Survivors)

Last week I published a simple guide for painting the monsters from Kingdom Death: Monster to look like carved bone. After sharing the guide on Board Game Geek, someone asked about the technique I used for painting the survivors to look like stone statues. Never one to answer a question succinctly, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to rustle up another guide. This, ladies and gentlemen, is that guide...

Kingdom Death: Monster painted survivors

The Foreword After the Foreword

It's worth noting that I could have painted these statues in a very similar way to how I paint the walls in one of my previous painting guides. The reason I didn't is because Kingdom Death: Monster has a very specific palette and artistic style, and I didn't want flat, grey-coloured models moving around in that world. I wanted characters hewn from stone that has its own character: nuanced colours and subtle changes in tone. In a sense, I wanted the stone to feel alive. I'm not entirely convinced how well I achieved that goal, but I am happy with the result, none-the-less.

What I used:

Games Workshop Chaos Black spray primer
Army Painter Uniform Grey
Games Workshop Devlan Mud
Games Workshop Thraka Green
Games Workshop Chestnut Ink
Army Painter Red Tone
Army Painter Dark Tone
Army Painter Ash Grey
Army Painter Matt White
Army Painter Daemonic Yellow
Army Painter Lava Orange
Army Painter Insane Detail Brush
Army Painter Small Drybrush
Large drybrush

Stage 1:

If you want to, you can spray the models with Army Painter Uniform Grey primer. I went for a slightly different option, I sprayed with Chaos Black, as this gives the model a slightly darker tone overall, helping to ensure the recesses are well defined. I then got a large brush and "stippled" on a coat of Uniform Grey. By applying the paint (making sure it isn't too thick) in a haphazard way with a stabbing motion, it breaks up the uniformity of the coat and gives a very small amount of texture to the piece. You will also notice that I wasn't worried about streaks, or small areas of black showing through in the detailing: That's purposeful. It's not because I'm a terrible painter.


Close up photograph showing a female survivor from Kingdom Death: Monster with Uniform Grey basecoat.

Stage 2:

Once you have your base coat, it's time to slosh on some colours. I used brown, green, and red washes. Note that I used Devlan Mud, Chestnut Ink, and Thraka Green, which are Games Workshop products that are no longer available. (That was helpful of me, wasn't it?) You can use any brown and green washes you have to hand; it really doesn't matter. Don't apply the washes to the whole model. Instead, apply small amounts to different areas. When you're done, it's going to look bloody awful. Look, I'll show you:

Kingdom Death: Monster female survivor, washed with various brown and green tones.

Once, all those washes are dry, apply a single coat of Dark Tone over the whole model. Dark Tone uses black pigment, which is good for redefining some of the detail that all those crazy colours are hiding. It also tones down the colours without obscuring them completely, and helps to disguise the points where two colours transition. Interestingly, at this point the models start to look a little bit like weathered bronze.

Stage 3:

It's good old drybrushing time, folks. Squirt some Uniform Grey onto a palette, load up a good sized drybrush, and then wipe off almost all of the paint onto a piece of kitchen towel. When you drag the brush across your fingernail, you should get a light dusting of colour. If you get a smear of paint, you've still got too much paint on your brush and you need to wipe off a bit more.

Once you are ready, start flicking the brush over the surface of the model. Paint should catch on all the raised surfaces. Remember to do the flat surface of the base, and to catch the top edge of the base rim, Oh, and bear in mind, drybrushing kills brushes, so use a dedicated drybrush.

A femeal survivor from Kingdom Death: Monster with details highlighted by drybrushing.

Stage 4:

Are you getting good at drybrushing? Good. Do it again. This time, use Ash Grey, and don't be quite so heavy-handed. You want to be focus on the very edges, so you get some good highlighting on the model.

A female survivor from Kingdom Death: Monster, painted to look like stone.

Stage 5:

Okay, you're basically done. This final stage is optional. First you want to do a very, very light drybrush with Matt White. You want hardly anything, or else you will make the model look chalky. Just get a little bit on the most exposed areas, like the hands, face, and hair.

Finally, you can give the lantern a nice glow. To do this, get yourself a very fine detail brush, and paint in a thin line of Matt White in the middle of each of the lantern's panels. Once that's dry, fill each panel with some Daemonic Yellow. The yellow paint doesn't have good coverage, so it will look very light over the white base paint, and will be more like a translucent wash over the darker paint surrounding it. Once that's thoroughly dry, get a small amount of Lava Orange on a small drybrush and stipple it around the edges of the yellow, making sure to go up over the sides of the lantern housing and a little bit over the top part of each of the yellow sections. This creates a glowing effect.

A female survivor from Kingdom Death: Monster painted to look like a stone state with a glowing lantern.

And there you have it. To be honest, you could probably skip a lot of the washes, but I do like the subtle nuance on the paint when you look at the models up close (some of the nuance is lost in these photographs).

I hope you've found this guide useful. If you have requests for painting guides, I am happy to consider them; just drop a comment below and I'll see what I can do. And if you do like what you see here, please consider visiting my Patreon page and becoming a backer. For as little as $1 you get to help me out, get access to some exclusive content, and make it easier for me to handle requests and put out more content for painting guides and game reviews. If you back for at least $3, you also get PDF versions of my painting guides.

Oh, and one final thing: If you do want to make a request, please remember that my guides are intended for beginner painters, to show simple ways to get models that look decent for the tabletop. I am not a pro painter. If you want to know how to do non-metallic metal or object source lighting, then you need to speak to someone like spiralingcadaver over on Board Game Geek. That guy's a legend.

All of the paints and materials used in this painting guide are available online and from all good hobby stores, unless stated otherwise within the text. 


  1. Dang.
    I'm in the middle of painting the starting survivors ,the antelope and the lion. It works so damn well.

    1. Glad you've found the technique useful. Sorry it took so long for your comment to appear (it was caught in the spam filter somehow).


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