When Vallejo sent me their new Xpress Colors, I was looking for a model I could try the new paints on. My choice was this Skeleton player from the Shambling Undead Blood Bowl team, as it has a nice amount of (in)organic detail and texture that is perfect for a Contrast painting style. I also tried to slapchop for the first time! Find out more in this post.

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I don’t play Blood Bowl, but I’m really fond of the board game version Blitz Bowl and just bought the Ultimate Edition (you also just have to paint only six models for a team, which is a plus for me :D).

Blood Bowl Shambling Undead Team Skeleton painted by Stahly

As you can see, I went for a classic red and scarlet Vampire Counts paint scheme, with green verdigris as a spot colour. For the red and black details I used some of the new Xpress Colors from Vallejo, check out my review here:

Not only did I try out the new Xpress Colors for the first time, but also the Slapchop technique. Slapchop is a technique that everyone is talking about right now and I thought I’d give it a try – but with a Stahly twist. Slapchop is about priming models in black and then drybrushing with grey and white to bring out all the details, and then using Contrast paints and washes for colour blocking. For the Skeleton, however, I used warmer brown and bone colours for the preshading, and I combined airbrushing and dry brushing to get a smoother result. Here is how I did it.

How to paint Blood Bowl Skeletons

I started by establishing a preshading by creating a zenithal basecoat from dark brown to light bone with my airbrush, then added a gentle drybrush to bring out all the details. Except for the metallics, I applied all the Xpress Colors, Contrast paints and washes directly over the zenithal basecoat.

Zenithal basecoat
Primer: The Army Painter Colour Primer Leather Brown (any medium colour primer is fine)
Basecoat: Warpaints Air Oak Brown
Zenithal highlight 45°: Warpaints Air Charred Bone
Zenithal highlight 90°: Warpaints Air Bleached Bone
Drybrush: Formula P3 Menoth White Highlight

Crimson armour
2x Wash: Vallejo Xpress Color Velvet Red
(mix Khorne Red with VXP Velvet Red and glaze it over any uneven areas)
Edge highlight: Warpaints Scar Tissue
Dot highlight: Warpaints Centaur Skin

Red cloth
Wash: Vallejo Xpress Color Plasma Red
Edge highlight: Wild Rider Red

Black leather
2x Wash: Vallejo Xpress Color Black Lotus
Highlight: Warpaints Uniform Grey

Back view of a Blood Bowl Shambling Undead Team Skeleton painted by Stahly

Brown leather
Wash: Wyldwood
Highlight: Gorthor Brown
Highlight: Formula P3 Beast Hide

Wash: Agrax Earthshade / Contrast Medium 1:1
Highlight: Two Thin Coats Ivory Tusk

Basecoat: Runelord Brass
Wash: Agrax Earthshade
Highlight: Canoptek Alloy

Basecoat: Vallejo Mecha Color Dark Steel
Wash: Nuln Oil
Highlight: Vallejo Mecha Color Steel

Recess shade: Kabalite Green
Recess shade: Vallejo Game Color Foul Green

The base was then drybrushed with various shade of greys and the trim painted black. The text is a custom decal I designed and printed myself on decal paper.

Cinematic shot of a Blood Bowl Skeleton with some dice on the Blitz Bowl gaming board

I want to close this post with a moody shot of my Skeleton player on the Blitz Bowl Ultimate Edition gameboard and some dice. I can’t wait to paint the rest of the team, but first, I need to get some other stuff from my backlog done (looking at you, pile of Horus Heresy kits).

Did you try the new Xpress Colors yet? Let me know in the comment section below, or head over to our friendly Discord server and share your experiences there. Don’t forget to leave a reaction, and happy hobbying!


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