Painting the Bonelords’ Armor

I’ve been asked by a couple of people how I paint the bone armor of the Bonelords. This is not going to be a complete how-to on painting the Bonelords. I’m not happy with any of the ideas I have been working on, so none of them are actually done.

First, I use Vallejo Surface Primer Grey to prime the model. Once I have an even coat of primer on the model, I set it aside and allow the primer to cure. Even though the primer is dry to the touch soon after application, it’s not fully cured and adhered to the plastic so I let it sit for a while. This typically doesn’t extend the amount of time I’m spending on a project since I work on multiple models at a time, so it usually takes plenty of time to get back to the first model.


After the primer has dried, I add a layer of Menoth White Highlight over the entire model. This gives the base color for the bone effect. This can be done with a brush, but I use my airbrush so I can power through groups of models at a time.



Once everything is dry, I apply a heavy layer of Army Painter Soft Tone Wash from their Warpaints dropper bottle line of paints. I use my brush to make sure that no large pools of wash accumulate on the model. I don’t worry about smaller pools of wash because I like the uneven result. It feels like a more natural look to me. It’s amazing how much of a difference the wash makes in the overall color of the miniature. Then I let the wash dry for a good hour or so.


After the wash has dried, I drybrush over the whole model with Menoth White Highlight. When I drybrush I make sure to wipe the paint off the brush with a paper towel until no paint comes off the brush at all. This means the paint is almost completely gone and almost completely dry. The drybrush brings all of the sharp edges of the armor back to their original color so they stand out against the washed armor.


For the final drybrush I use Vallejo Model Ivory and prepare it for drybrushing in the same manner as the first layer of drybrushing. Then I apply it only to the upper most edges of the model. I also make sure to only hit the edges on the downstroke. That way the final highlight only hits the top of the edges and not the underside.


And that’s it! The armor sections of the model are painted.

I especially like the very slight streaking that the drybrush creates on the armor. It gives additional texture to the armor, almost like a grain along the bone so it’s not clean looking. I make sure to thoroughly dry the paint on the brush because if it’s not dry enough the streaks will be thick and chalky looking.

I’ll make another post covering each step of the paintjob as soon as I’m happy with the final version. Right now I’m still debating on the colors of the metals, and the skin.


  1. JeffM

    Wow, great color theme. I was thinking of doing something similar and discovered your “proof of concept” while doing research. Great job. Any chance of showing us some more pics once the details have been painted?


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