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Blog > Miniatures > Miniature Hobby > Ironskull’s Boyz Are Painted – Warhammer Underworlds (Showcase)

Ironskull’s Boyz Are Painted – Warhammer Underworlds (Showcase)

    God. I’ve been working on the Ironskull’s Boyz for Shadespire for months now, since April. Between limited painting times, and a difficult color to work with (I hate you orange!), the process has been very slow.

    That being said, as I keep saying, a draw of Shadespire for me is the few models that need painting. I’ve reached a point where I’d rather produce quality over quantity and Shadespire is perfect for that. I get to play with techniques, and just generally enjoy the painting process without a looming backlog of projects needing completion.

    Anyway, enough rambling. I present to you the Ironskull’s Boyz.

    Click to enlarge any pictures.

    Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. The commission earned helps maintain this site.

    Ironskull’s Boyz





    Painting Thoughts

    First off, I’m very happy with how these guys came out. Before I started painting them I had done some searching for inspiration. I stumbled on someone who did an orange and black scheme and I knew I had to do it. It just looked awesome.

    Man, I had no idea the nightmare it was going to be working with that orange. I know I’ve complained a lot about it, but it’s for good reason. To get a solid orange, blending up, took a solid 6-8 coats. I can’t tell you how excited I was to finish painting orange. Ug!

    Still, orange and black is a classic color scheme, and against the green skin of the Orruks it just works well. I’m glad I did it, but you won’t see me painting orange on that scale again.

    I’m also really happy with the skin. I haven’t painted an Ork/Orc/Orruk in years, not since starting 40K back in 2006. I’ve always liked doing Ork skin, so I had fun playing with that again.

    The battle damage and weathering was new for me too, this style at least. The person I got inspiration from had a great tutorial on how he painted his Ironskull’s Boyz. I liked his so much that I just went with it and I’m very happy with the result.

    I did do a little freehand work on the shoulders for the flames. The design wasn’t my idea, I saw it on the GW site, but I liked it and ran with it. It’s a nice little touch I think.

    Lastly, Gurzag’s cloak was a lot of fun to work on. I haven’t tried a textured and worn look like that for leather before. I’ve seen it done a lot and always loved the result. I think the cloak came out great if I’m being honest.

    Oh, I’ve also put together a tutorial on painting worn leather if you’re interested.

    Painting Recipes

    Just as much for my own records as it is anything else, here’s the painting recipes I used for the Ironskull’s Boyz.

    Orange Armor

    1. Base coat with Terracotta (Vallejo).
    2. Deepest shadows are Rhinox Hide (GW).
    3. Layer/blend with Hot Orange (Vallejo).
    4. Highlight with Fire Dragon Bright (GW).
    5. Extreme highlights with Fire Dragon Bright and Screaming Skull (GW) mixed about 50/50.

    I also have a tutorial on layering and blending showing how I did it.

    Battle Damage/Weathering
    • Scratches – The dark color used in the deep scratches was a 50/50 mix of Abaddon Black and Rhinox Hide. The surface scratches were done with the 50/50 mix of Fire Dragon Bright and Screaming Skull and done very lightly and thinned out. I used the non-thinned version for the highlights on the deeper scratches.
    • Exposed Metal – This was done with the same 50/50 mix of Abaddon Black and Rhinox Hide to create the depth and then layered with Leadbelcher (GW).

    Black Armor

    1. Base coat with Abaddon Black (GW).
    2. Layer/blend with Dark Reaper (GW).
    3. Layer/blend with Thunderhawk Blue (GW).
    4. Highlights with Fenrisian Grey (GW).
    5. Extreme highlights with Ghost Grey (Vallejo).

    The surface scratches were done with thinned out Fenrisian Grey.

    I also have a guide on painting black if you’re interested.

    Orruk Skin

    There’s two methods I used for the Orruk skin. The first is for Hakka, Basha, and Bonekutta, and the last is for Gurzag.

    Method #1
    1. Base coat with Waaagh! Flesh (GW).
    2. Layer/blend with Sick Green (Vallejo).
    3. Wash with Athonian Camoshade (GW).
    4. Layer/blend with Sick Green.
    5. Highlight with Goblin Green (Vallejo).
    6. Light wash with Athonian Camoshade.
    7. Extreme highlight with Goblin Green.
    Method #2
    1. Base coat with Castellan Green (GW).
    2. Wash with Athonian Camoshade.
    3. Layer/blend with Castellan Green.
    4. Highlights with Death World Forest(GW).
    5. Wash with Athonian Camoshade.
    6. Extreme highlights with Death World Forest.


    1. Base coat with Leadbelcher.
    2. Wash with Nuln Oil (GW).
    3. Layer/blend with Leadbelcher.
    4. The brown areas are then washed with Agrax Earthshade.
    5. Highlight with Ironbreaker (GW).
    6. Extreme highlights with Runefang Steel.

    Gurzag’s Cloak

    I want to do a proper tutorial on this in the near future, but for now here’s the recipe.

    1. Base coat with Rhinox Hide.
    2. Wash with Nuln Oil.
    3. Sponge on Steel Legion Drab.
    4. Light brush strokes with Steel Legion Drab to create the hatching.
    5. Sponge on XV-88 for highlights.
    6. Light brush strokes with XV-88 for more hatching.
    7. Glaze with Rhinox Hide.
    8. Sponge with XV-88 for final highlights.


    With the warband all painted, I use the Feldherr Shadespire tray I bought for them. It’s cool because it has places for all your tokens and stuff. Makes getting ready for games, and picking up, a whole lot quicker.

    Ourruks Shadespire Tray

    I definitely recommend picking one of these up. They make them for each warband and the price is great.

    Da End

    There you have it. Months of work for painting 4 models. While I wish it didn’t take so long (damn you life!), I’m very happy with the result.

    Up next is Steelheart’s Champions and I’ve got a different approach I’m going to take with them. Hopefully I’ll have some WIP shots of them some time next week.

    While I’m no pro with Ironskull’s Boyz, I do have some thoughts and advice on using them.

    I’ve also got some other Warhammer Underworlds warbands all painted up if you want to take a look: Garrek’s ReaversSteelheart’s Champions, and Magore’s Fiends.

    Lastly, if you’re curious about Shadespire, and whether it’s a game for you, then definitely check out my review.

    Thor’s Warhammer Underworlds Warbands


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    5 years ago

    Those look fantastic! From this end, it looks like all that work paid off. I’ve actually got a beat to hell leather jacket hanging off my coat rack here, and the wear patterns on Gurzag’s cape look essentially the same, except that the jacket was originally black leather, not brown. I’ve always liked the touch of giving Orcs/Orks/Orruks having darker skin for more formidable members, too.

    There’s a reason I not only don’t use orange often, but when I do, I use much simpler oranges, with little blending, with just a couple of layers and a wash. I salute your determination to do orange properly!

    5 years ago
    Reply to  Westrider

    Thank you. Pretty happy with the cloak, especially for a first attempt.

    Yeah, the darker skin just “makes sense”. Grots are bright green and weedy. Then you get darker and tougher.

    I’m all for simple orange in the future!

    Dave Weston
    5 years ago

    These are brilliant. As I have a crack at Shadespire miniature myself, just as an alternative to 40k I’m slightly more convinced to look at the Orruks. Previously no interest but they look fun [obviously apart from your many coats of orange ;) ].

    5 years ago
    Reply to  Dave Weston


    I enjoy playing them. I haven’t had the best of luck with them, but they’re fun anyway.

    It’s a great game too. Fun, fast, and affordable.

    Rory (Stepping Between Games)

    Lovely work chief, they look really well now. The effort really payed off, hope they do well in matches.

    Also thanks for sharing your progress and techniques on them.

    5 years ago

    Thanks. Pretty proud of these. It’s fun trying something new and pushing myself.

    5 years ago

    Slaanesh have mercy, they look lush mate!
    You must be so happy how they’ve turned out? Wonderful stuff!

    5 years ago
    Reply to  Castigator

    Thank you.

    I’m very happy with them. I’d say they’re the best squad sized unit I’ve painted for anything. Learned a ton doing it too.

    Benito Senence
    5 years ago

    Wow! Thor they are fantastic seeing them as a whole. Gurzag is amazing. The effects are outstanding and perfect. Well well done. The battle to paint orange was a pain but in the end you got a stand out collection to show off that are breath taking to see. I want to say that the capping off the article with the colors and technique is a nice touch. Gives us average painters some quick pointers to learn from you! Well done again!

    5 years ago
    Reply to  Benito Senence

    Much appreciated.

    I’ll be working on a tutorial shortly for the leather. There’s a few things I want to test out first.