Published: Category:Dragonbond , Hobby , PaintWritten by: Gabriel Viveros

Chris Peach Paints a Draco Studios Maw Tyrant

We sent Chris Peach, (aka Peachy, of The Painting Phase), a War-Mother on Maw Tyrant. And in the video he created, he showed us how to paint dinosaur skin on miniatures. He picked out a variety of different organic textures that you can try, using minimal effort for maximum effect. 

So, for those of you who prefer a written guide to a video (or perhaps a combination of the two), we have created this how-to-paint guide.  

Although Peachy paints a Maw Tyrant in this article, you can use the same methods and techniques to apply to Thunderhorns, Scytherunners, or any other mini you have with reptilian skin.

Peachy uses a combination of paints from the AK Interactive and Citadel Paints ranges, but you could match to whichever system you prefer.

The Base Coats

1.- Start with a White undercoat.

2.- Apply Mortarion Grime all over. Thin it down to a 50-50 paint and water mix. Once it’s dry, you might want to add a second application for those deeper recesses.

3.- Apply a light dry brush of Ivory. Work your way around the mini and pick out the textures. 

Top tip: It doesn’t matter if you get on other areas that you’re not going to paint as an actual part of the dinosaur body it’s just there to get those highlights picked out.

The Skin

4.- Thin down Mantis Warriors Green with water in a 50-50 mix. Apply this on the top part of the body, leaving the white creamy undercoat for its underbelly.

How to paint miniature skin on dinosaur miniatures.
Top tip: Don’t worry if it looks like there’s a hard line between the underbelly and the actual green because we’ll sort that out later with a dry brush.

5.- Using a dry brush, apply some Ivory again to add some texture to the skin. You might need to work a little bit harder where the Mantis Warriors Green meets the underbelly to help it blend in.

6.- Using Ivory again we’re going to add more texture to the skin. We’ll show two ways to do this. The first way is to get a piece of sponge, and get some of that Ivory on it. Dab it off then dapple it onto the skin to give this leathery skin effect. If it looks quite bright at this point don’t worry we’ll sort that out later with a glaze.

7.- Option two takes more time but looks more effective. Again, get some Ivory and then just start adding little strokes to give it a rough leathery skin. Working in one direction using small strokes.

Top tip: It can be better to start off first doing a couple of ghost strokes, then move your brush further into the model and do a couple of little flicks and some dots to give a bit of added texture. 

8.- Next, get some Grass Green and add it to the upper parts of the body where you’d want a brighter skin tone. 

Top tip: It can be thinned down if you want.

9.- On the uppermost parts of the actual body, sponge on some Black Green. Adding this to the fins and the spikes around the face will give a nice roughness to the texture. Add some blotchy patterning here and there, too.

Top tip: If you do find that it looks a bit too much in places then use Grass Green to tidy it up. In some places that are hard to reach, you might want to stipple it on with a brush instead of using a sponge.

10.- Using thinned Mantis Warriors Green apply a glaze over the skin. This does two things. Firstly it will knock back the Ivory slightly so it’s not so white and pale. Secondly, it will add a bit more warmth to the Black Green sections that were stippled on so it’s not too dark. 

11.- Next, using a dry brush apply Grass Green to build up the areas on the edges. Alternatively, you could stipple it on and do some dabbled strokes on the edges with a brush just to give it some extra texture again.

12.- Now, we’re going to tidy the light underbelly. Using Ivory, relayer to hide any places that are blotchy from the wash. Also, focus on those areas where the Mantis Warriors Green is joining the edge of the belly to blend that in. 


13.- For the highlights, use White. Apply a couple of strokes using a fine brush and add some texture using dots. You can also use a sponge to get a good texture with minimal effort.


14.- Using Deep Orange apply a dappled effect, going down its spine and onto its head. It’s better to start with less and build up – you can always add more to the pattern if you need to. Start with one coat then add a second coat if you need to. You can use an old brush that can still maintain a decent point or for a faster method you can use the sponge effect again. In some places, you might need to use a stipple brush to stipple it on.

Top tip: Look online for some natural pattern references

15.- Once the Deep Orange is dry, use Light Orange to do the same thing. Apply some more splurges to the same pattern you did in the last stage, but make it a little smaller so you can still see some of that deeper orange on the outside of it. 

16.- For the final stage of the patterning, use Sunny Skin Tone to pick out some of those raised areas where there are natural highlights. Areas around the face, the creases in the legs (if you’ve added patterning on the legs), and parts around the spines. 

Top tip: The idea is to emphasize the edges of the actual skin rather than be part of a pattern so you know picking out rough bits on the face and around the eyelids.


17.- For the eyes get a nice point to your brush and just dab on some Deep Orange.

18.- Then finish off with a tiny dot of Ivory.

Bone, Claws, and Teeth

19.- Using Grimy Grey apply a base coat to any teeth, horns, and claws. You can also pick out the tongue in preparation for later.

20.- Once the basecoat is dry, apply Seraphim Sepia all over the horns and teeth.

21.- Once that’s dry, using Targor Rageshade apply it from the base of the horns and teeth to about halfway up – you still want some of that Seraphim Sepia showing at the tips.

22.- Next, apply Agrax Earthshade into the deeper recesses. 

Top tip: This will give a nice transition from the sepia tone on the tips to the reddish tones of the Targur Rageshade and the Agrax Earthshade in those deeper recesses.

23.- Now apply a highlight using Grimy Gray. Following the contours of the claws and bone, pick out some streaks. 

24.- Then, using White, pick out the extremities of things like the teeth.

25.- Next, apply a wash of Seraphim Sepia to knock the back of the highlights so they tie in nicely and look a little more yellowed. 

Tongue and Gums

26.- Apply Magos Purple to the tongue gums and the roof of the mouth.

27.- Once that’s dry, using Grimy Gray, tidy up where needed and highlight the wart details.

28.- Finally, apply a thinned-down Magos Purple over those areas to give a slight glaze effect.

And that completes the painting of the Maw Tyrant itself. 

How to paint dinosaur skin on miniatures result

The techniques Peachy uses to show us how to paint dinosaur skin in this tutorial are super useful and highly transferable to other miniatures from The Scourge Triumvirate as well as the many monsters of Valerna

We hope you found this tutorial useful. Let us know in the comments below if you’d like to see more of these how-to-paint articles.

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