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Contrast Paints: Zenithals on Grots

Continuing my foray into Contrast Paints last week, I wanted to see how contrast paints worked with zenithal highlighting.


Here are the models primed. You can see the basecoat of black, followed by the zenithal of white.

I’m focusing on these two so you can see a comparison between identical models. On the right is the basic zenithal, and on the left, I followed the ‘sketch style’ of blocking in values in black (in this case dark brown) and white. The idea is to provide additional detail, such that after applying contrast paints (or thin glazes), the value will still show through, giving good detail.


I only used 3 contrast paints here; Warboss Green for the flesh, gore grunta fur for the brown (ground, leather and metals), and Talassar blue for the cloth.

I accidentally swapped the models around after putting on the contrast paints. The one on the right is the one that’s sketched in now, and the one on the left only Zenithal. You can see the value difference of the two models here. The one sketched with white and brown has much more detail showing out.

Both versions are very splotchy though. That’s the contrast paint. The models are still relatively smooth (especially around the back/skin area), so there was weird pooling there. More textured areas like the skirt and feet bandages are fine though.

I ended up layering back up for the skin (with goblin green and flesh tone), while painting the metals with boltgun and drybrushing the ground. Painting the skin fixed most of the splotchiness, and gave it more detail, but it did cover up most of the sketching in I did.


In the end, I think the zenithals are still useful, but I’m not sure if the additional step of sketching in values made that much of a difference. Maybe in other miniatures, but not these.

Again, I want to say that contrast paints is NOT all that I did. There was still a lot more work to get the detail. This was mainly done in the skin in those shown above, but also the teeth and nails, the goggles, the skulls on some of them, etc to get them to the level you see above.

Still, considering I did all of these in less than a week (I think only a few nights of work). I do think that Contrast paints do help here and there. They’re especially useful if you have some detail set down (with Zenithals and going in with value painting), and just want tabletop ready models.

I still have to work on the paint pooling though.


Singapore’s resident Press Ganger, that is, the man to go to for Privateer Press’ WARMACHINE, and HORDES. Kakita also dabbles in Games Workshop’s WARHAMMER FANTASY and WARHAMMER 40K lines.

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