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"How Many Flesh Tones Do You Need?" Topic

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712 hits since 25 Oct 2021
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian25 Oct 2021 10:58 p.m. PST

How many different 'flesh tone' paints do you need for miniature wargaming?

* none
* one
* two

JimDuncanUK26 Oct 2021 1:48 a.m. PST

European, Asian and African, triads where available so that makes 6-9.

Then there's fantasy.

Sho Boki Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Oct 2021 2:11 a.m. PST

Five, for Europeans.

GurKhan26 Oct 2021 2:26 a.m. PST

Depends on your scale, too.

The Last Conformist26 Oct 2021 3:01 a.m. PST

A couple dozen, apparently, as that's what I've got.

Only really used the Contrast one for light skin lately, though, as other demands on my time has led me to prioritize speed over subtlety.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2021 3:04 a.m. PST

Three for 25mm.
One for 15mm and smaller.

cavcrazy26 Oct 2021 3:29 a.m. PST

Same as Big Red.

FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2021 3:31 a.m. PST

Three to four base colors, three shades and three highlights.

DrSkull26 Oct 2021 3:50 a.m. PST

A light for Europeans
A dark for Africans
A reddish-light brown for everyone else

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2021 4:32 a.m. PST

I am with Big Red and cavcrazy. Also use a flesh wash if that counts.

machinehead Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2021 4:51 a.m. PST

None, I only paint vehicles.

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2021 5:43 a.m. PST

I only use one, a basic Barbarian Flesh from Army Painter, but I made need another if I paint up some Native Americans for AWI skirmish. I do not get fancy with highlighting, etc. Not enough patience.

Patrick Sexton Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2021 7:57 a.m. PST

Jeez… Lots? Many? OK, counting fantasy and science fiction, fourteen.

huron72526 Oct 2021 8:16 a.m. PST

I'd say 3. You can always mix variations with other colors.

Grelber26 Oct 2021 8:35 a.m. PST

Well, (he said, carefully answering exactly the question asked), I have five: a light, rosy flesh for redheads, a darker flesh for most Europeans, an olive color for Egyptians, a very dark color for sub-Saharan African people, and and I got a greenish shade for draugr (Viking undead).

I suppose that if I ever get to doing a Chinese army, that will necessitate purchase of another shade.


Dagwood26 Oct 2021 8:57 a.m. PST

I use four schemes for human flesh,

North European – GW contrast Guliman Flesh on an ivory undercoat, a new thing for me.
Mediterranean – a mix of pink and brown – not particularly good, needs revision!
Indian – brown wash on a light brown undercoat
Zulu – Dark brown on a black undercoat.

Elf and dwarf flesh I use the same colours that I used to use for North European (GW elf and dwarf flesh !!). Orcs use a variety of red, grey and light green, on a black undercoat, but never the green used by most fantasy players.

T Corret Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2021 9:12 a.m. PST

Shep Paine's artist oils triad gives me an infinite variety.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2021 9:50 a.m. PST

Humans: 2 (light and dark).

Humanoids & Demi-humans: 5?

I paint for 3-feet range. I practice KISS: Keep It Super Simple. With The Dip wash applied, the final color varies from figure-to-figure, slightly. That is enough variation for me. Cheers!

Tgerritsen Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2021 11:31 a.m. PST

The correct answer is, of course, all of them.

Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2021 12:46 p.m. PST


Frederick Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2021 1:12 p.m. PST

Three with washes

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Oct 2021 1:17 p.m. PST


I try to use at least two tones per figure, not couting shading and highlighting.

When painting mulitple figures, I "migrate" the base colour. I start with some paint, add another similar colour, then mix a bit. Mix more for later figures. Maybe add another or more of one of the original tones sooner or later.

No two people have the same skin colour. No one person has one skin colour. Look at your own hands. Then your knees. Your ears and nose.

How many skin tones you need for what size representation is a research area in computer graphics. Skin tones have always been a point of interest in art; new tools bring new ways to look at the old challenges.

I have seven base human skin tone paints in my cart right now. That doesn't count other colours to add in from across the board.

JAFD2626 Oct 2021 2:57 p.m. PST

4 at present
Celts, Vikings, other NorthWestern Europeans Color Traditions 'Blush' made by Synta (This bottle is at least 17 years old, manufacturer seems to be out of business. Darn)

Folk from the Mediterranean shores and South Asia, or with serious suntans Apple Barrel 'Toffee' or 'Caramel Candy' ('Toffee' is a bit lighter)

For Chinese, etc, have mixed my own 'Orient Flesh'

Will be painting up some Sudanese, etc, next year, for Arab armies. Suggestions welcome

Panfilov26 Oct 2021 9:16 p.m. PST

Wow! The Dice Goods really do favor me, this is just the question I was searching for help with today.

"Classic" 15mm Painter mostly, "I was painting miniatures (25mm Ancients) before there Was Dungeons & Dragons" (and strip minifigs and…)

So One was enough, Old Ral Partha plus "Nubian" from Howard Hues and Troll Flesh Green (RP again) for Orcs & etc.

The RP Suntan gave out about ten years ago, switched to GW "Dwarf Flesh darkened up a bit.

That (GW Dwarf Flesh) gave out about four years ago, and I have not found a satisfactory replacement. Have learned to use a (the?) GW "Flesh Wash", but find the Valejo "Base Skin Tone" too pale.

I need one basic/base color for 15mm; Happy to wash them (Suggestion for when the GW gives out?); I recently started a batch of Gaesati and finally bought some of the Museum Nudes (14 going on 70 now…); Plus Early Germans and Viking Berserks with no shirts. The Valejo is to pale to work quite right, I bought some Coat d'Arms "Tanned Flesh, WAY to orange (nice paint to work with though!).

I live in a hobby wasteland, Hobby Lobby and Walmart are all that is available. Can probably find JAFD's suggested Apple barrel colors, Dwarf flesh was at least two GW cycles ago, and I don't want to fool around with more GW product. Note the "Dwarf Flesh" went "Bad" (Dried out in the paint pot, along with many others) UNLIKE the the old Ral Partha "Sun Tan" I just used up…

The local retailer (MTG and Games I am not interested in) assured me a year and a half (two years ago?) they were looking at the "Army Painter" system, and their night clerk game me the SAME line of BS Yesterday (10/25/21)!!

(Nothing but GW and No useful help on offer there)

(I also would like to find a match for an old RP "Lantern Light Yellow", just about gone; But still usable).

A base medium Flesh Tone suggestion? It's the little mail orders, the shipping adds up.

Green Tiger26 Oct 2021 10:30 p.m. PST


ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2021 1:07 a.m. PST

I have about 10-12

Rich Bliss27 Oct 2021 5:58 a.m. PST

I have an infinite number. I mix 2-3 different shades for every batch of figures.

JimSelzer27 Oct 2021 9:49 p.m. PST

pale white
tanned brown
African Brown

CeruLucifus29 Oct 2021 10:12 a.m. PST

None or one or as many as I need.

I use artist paints which don't have the handy pre-mixed flesh colors like the model paint lines do.

I figured out if I add white to orange (yes formula for pastel orange), I get suntan flesh. Actually apricot is almost the same as this.

To vary the tones: More white – pale flesh. Add a little red or blue for pink/purple skin tones. Usually though I use the base pale orange and wash with burnt sienna (red brown) or raw umber (mid brown) or magenta or purple to get different tones. And highlight back as needed.

For greenskin orc/goblin flesh I use olive washed with burnt umber or lime green washed with raw umber.

I haven't done a batch of oriental or negro figures since I switched to artist paints so I don't have a ready formula.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP29 Oct 2021 8:56 p.m. PST

None per se. I just mix up what I need whenever I have to paint skin.

There's usually not a lot of skin for me to paint, as most people are wearing powered armor or space suits, and even those who are not tend to wear large helmets, visors, goggles, breathing masks, long sleeves and pants, gloves, etc.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Nov 2021 4:41 p.m. PST

/yeah, but you gotta watch out for that guy who wades near nekkid into a laser fight. He's either rapidly going to become a piece of slippery terrain you need to avoid or slowly going to kill everything on the board.

whitphoto Supporting Member of TMP03 Nov 2021 4:53 p.m. PST

I have about 21 now if you count the colors I set aside specifically for flesh and washes. I'll let you know when I have enough…

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