How To Paint Pustules and Boils

Lovely title here to discuss a quick way of painting the featuring boils that adorne our models. It’s moments like this you begin to realise how bizarrely fantastic our hobby can be at times. Anyway on with the show and as always when looking at how best to paint something the easiest way is to observe how it looks in reality. Now you may have your own fine collection of scabby blisters or have child covered in the pox from which to draw inspiration but otherwise it may on reflection be a bit tricky to follow this rule in this situation. People tend to get quite upset if you stare at their scabby bits and i wouldnt advise you taking a stroll through your local infectious diseases ward. However inspiration is but a quick google search away and use of online resources like the wonderful DermnetNZ can provide for all your colourful pox picture needs (please don’t use to self diagnose or if of a hypercondriachal disposition!)  (lol Ed).

Your classic spot or pustule will have a central yellow or white area with a surrounding area of inflamed swollen and red skin. To replicate this on your minis I tend to start by painting a thin wash over the spot with Carroburg Crimson, it will naturally concentrate at the base of the spot which is what you want. Providing its thinned it wont leave a harsh transition with the underlying skin tone  but you may need a few coats to achieve a richly inflamed colour.

Next we want the central area of puss to shine through. This is done with a light glaze of Lamenters Yellow. Apply this to the top of the spot and allow the paint to run down slightly and naturally blend with the red rising up the side.

A glaze of yellow

A glaze of yellow

Now we have a central yellow area and our surrounding redness. However the glaze has left the top slightly dull and we need it look bright to give the illusion of the pressure under the surface. To do this add a bright yellow to the very top of the spot. This may be easier to do with the side of the brush swept in small circle.

A dot of yellow to highlight

A dot of yellow to highlight


Now spots come in all manner of shapes and sizes and you can vary the colours used or even add a bit of orange shading to the base and drip it down in a similar manner to the rust effect on the previous blog.


Mmmm tasty

Or you could add some varnish to create a shiny glistening cluster of vesicles or use some different colours to help contrast the variety of skin tones we see in the fantasy worlds.

And here is the pox encrusted final mini.

The finished boily product

The finished boily product

Thanks as always for reading and stay tuned for some more.



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