Painting Guides by Codex

Friday, August 4, 2017

Tutorial: U'zhul the Skulltaker - Skulls for the Skull Throne!

U'zhul the Skulltaker - appointed Sacred Executioner of Khorne. He seeks out the mightiest enemies on the battlefield so that he can slay them with his Hellblade. Here is a great painting tutorial that I used to paint this figure from a blog that is now no longer updated. 

I am saving the steps here to keep the tutorial alive and match it with today's GW paint range.

Note the end of the sword and the bit of silver from the metal undeneath. I have kids.... I can tell he has been in a few physical battles hitting him on other models. 

Skulltaker is a massive figure, and may even serve better on a 40mm base. A lava base with cork is the first step with the tutorial found here. (link) The whole model was based with black.


1st: Base the model in Mephiston Red.
2nd: Heavy drybrush of Evil Sunz Scarlet.
3rd: Light drybrush of Fire Dragon Bright.
4th: Heavy wash of Agrax Earthshade.

I love the scorched/charcoal look of the inner cloak.


5th: The cloth part of the cloak is painted in Stormvermin Fur.
6th: The cloth was washed with Nuln Oil.

Our goal here is to have the cloak be just a shade or two lighter than black.


7th: Basecoat all the gold in Runelord Brass.
8th: Drybrush the gold with Gehenna's Gold.
9th: Wash the gold with Agrax Earthshade.

There are many small gold spikes on the cloak of skulls. Be careful not to miss any.


10th: Basecoat all of the fire and skulls with Rakarth Flesh.
11th: Wash the skulls with Agrax Earthshade.
12th: Complete a heavy drybrush of Ushabti Bone.
13th: Complete a lighter drybrush of White Scar with a focus on the ridges of the eyes and nose.
14th: Wash the temples of the skulls (very targeted) with Seraphim Sepia.

That wraps up the skulls!

15th: Basecoat the flame with Dorn Yellow.
16th: Drybrush the fire with Averland Sunset.
17th: Drybrush/highlight with Fire Dragon Bright.
18th: Lighter drybrush or edge highlight of Evil Sunz Scarlet.
19th: Wrap up with a very light drybrush of Black. You could also do an edge highlight with a detail brush. It depends on your style of painting.

Edge Highlighting vs. Drybrushing

In batch painting, I often default to drybrushing over edge-highlighting to save time. For single models, I prefer to highlight as there is more control. If there are a few models, I often drybrush, then edge highlight 5-10 areas to give more depth.

The Hellblade:

20th: Base the sword with Jokaero Orange.
21st: Drybrush or edge highlight the entire sword with White Scar.
22nd: Water down Flash Gitz Yellow and place a thin coat all over the sword.
23rd: Wash the sword with Carroburg Crimson on the flats of the blade, not the edges or hilt.
24th: Complete the step above two more times. This should draw out yellow edges, but give a rich red on the flats of the sword.
25th: Wash the flats of the sword with two thin coats of Nuln Oil. Your end result should be blackish red flats of the sword with red leading to yellow on all of the edges. 

I love the sword. I may need to straighten out those spikes! Neat to see imperfections when you are blogging about a miniature.

The Tongue:

26th: Basecoat the tongue with Rakarth Flesh.
27th: Wash the tongue with Carroburg Crimson.
28th: Wash the base of the tongue with Druchii Violet.

The Eyes:

29th: I would paint the eyes in Yriel Yellow.

Sealing and finishing the model:

Seal the model with a clear coat, then paint the tongue with 'Ard Coat to give it a slimy feel. That should finish our model.

What do you think? For an 8-year old tutorial, I found that it really does the model well.


  1. This looks so good. I have a Skulltaker sitting in the "waiting" pile. I think I'm going to have to dig it out and give your method a go! Well done.

    1. Thanks for the compliment. He is a great (older) model and was a blast to paint. Good luck, and do not be afraid to ask questions.