Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

A "New" Skintone Receipe

As happens frequently on my blog I can go off on tangents when working on something else. I have been working with my ScaleColor paints from Scale 75. However, I have found that they can be frustrating to work with at times. The regular line is just a bit thicker than a lot of other paints out there (including Vallejo Model Color) and thinning them properly can be vexing. When I have sat and worked with them exclusively for a while I find things coming together much better and their Fantasy Colors are much thinner and easier to work with.

One of the things that I have learned from Scale 75 is how to get a better variance in the skintones themselves (okay I knew this but I didn't really know how to put it in to practice). When you buy a set there is a little card in there with a couple examples on how to use their colors to achieve different effects. While the Spanish to English translation is poor (at best) they are usually simple enough to piece together what they are trying to say. It doesn't help that frequently the instructions are written from the point of view of someone using an airbrush. Its just impractical to use an airbrush to paint the face on a 25/28mm mini.

I decided that I would like to try and replicate the tones in the instructions with Reaper paints. Reaper makes up the bulk of my paints and I use them more frequently than any of the paints that I own. To match colors I went through an exercise that I have done before. On one sheet of paper I drew half inch squares with some space in between them. On another sheet I drew a much larger square and I cut the center out. The center being a 1/2"x1/2" square. The outer edges of these squares were painted with the flesh colors from Reaper and Scale75. I painted the different colors (and labeled them) on the 1/2" grid as well. With the center cut out I can slide the square with the color I'm trying to match with my smaller swatches of color. You can see a detailed example of this process in my post from June 9. 2014:Color Matching Brand to Brand

From this exercise I can see that Scale75's SC-22 Arabic Shadow is almost a dead ringer for 9220 Olive Shadow from Reaper. Using this method I was able to pick out 8 Reaper paints that are a pretty good match to the Scale75 Flesh set.

Here is the list:
SC-17 Pale Flesh  - 9048 Fair Highlight
SC-18 Light Skin  - 9234 Bright Skin Highlight
SC-19 Golden Skin - 9233 Bright Skin
SC-20 Basic Skin - 9044 Tanned Skin or 29822 Suntan Flesh
SC-21 Pink Flesh - 9140 Blushing Rose (I'll  have to find another equivelent for this if I run out of Blushing Rose, its a color that has been discontinued by Reaper).
SC-22 Arabic Shadow - 9220 Olive Shadow
SC-23 Indian Shadow - 29801 Crimson Red
SC-24 African Shadow - 9025 Burgandy Wine (probably with a drop of 9164 Dark Elf Skin to grey it down a bit)

I would then use these colors like this:
Base coat 1:1 Blushing Rose and Tanned Skin OR Suntan Flesh
Apply an overall highlight of 1:1 Tanned Skin OR Suntan Flesh and Bright Skin
Apply a shadow (working from underneath) of 1:1 Crimson Red and Blushing Rose
Apply a highlight of Bright Skin Highlight
Outline the eyes and the upper lip with 1:1 Crimson Red & Burgandy Wine
Apply a glaze to the cheeks of 1:1 Blushing Red and Crimson Red
Final highlight with 1:1 Bright Skin Highlight and Fair Highlight

The charts and some examples:
Color Swatches with product numbers and names. Don't forget this step!

You can see and maybe even be able to read some of my notes on the right

That's the Scalecolor colors on the top, everything else are Reaper Triads

Ultimately I will cut these out so I identified them on the back rather than the front.

The base coat of Blushing Rose + Tanned Skin

Here he is pretty much complete, probably still needs a few touchups


  1. Replies
    1. They are certainly obsessive, I'm not sure about good yet!

  2. Wow! Superb work - and great information!!! Thanx!!!

  3. Fantastic idea.

    Thank you for the post.

    I'm sure I will be using this in the future.


    1. Definitely give it a try Tony! I'm going to pull out my Vallejo skin colors as well and go through the same process. Part of it is an effort to reduce the amount of paint I lug around all the time when I go out to paint.

  4. Just saw this. Great idea. I'm going to have to go back and mine the information from your other leveling up posts.

  5. Go for it Sean, its always good to know when somebody has found something useful in the blog.