Painting 1/9 scale bust facial skintone with Keigo Murakami

Painting 1/9 scale bust facial skintone – PRELUDE

Keigo Murakami is a figure painter from Aichi in Japan, he is regularly featured in the volumes of Scale Model Hand Book by Mr Black Publications. He usually works with military and historical projects and his works are very popular.

In this short SBS we will provide you with a gallery of the complete process he uses to paint a particular skintone. I will hand you over now to Keigo, enjoy!


Hello everyone!

First, I would like to thank Jason for giving me this opportunity. To enjoy the process of painting figures and to be asked to share my experience is a great honour. I am always happiest within the hobby, it is one of the happy times. I will introduce to you the process of my figure painting and it is very simple.


The kit I used is the Major Herbert George “Blondie” Hasler 1/9 Scale Bust from RP Models. The sculpt and cast is incredible with stunning levels of detail. The accuracy of the fit is also very and easy to assemble.

I paint with acrylics and brush only (Vallejo and Winsor & Newton series 7) and I ensure that my paints are suitably diluted with water, building up coverage with several layers to prevent obscuring details.


I prefer to use the black primer although that is just my personal choice. I think this will give a more dynamic finish with strong shadows. I begin applying thin layers of my shadow base, colours and names are not important, they will vary depending on the atmosphere, climate, ambience etc. however, for this piece I used and followed the sequence for the Vallejo flesh set. Do not worry about achieving a smooth finish this is not important.

With the flesh tone shadow coat applied as a base all over I can begin laying on brushstrokes of the midtone or what I consider the true base. This will provide us with the basic skinone. Again build up the opaqueness with tin coats and allow each stroke to dry before applying the next, otherwise you will affect the paint from before.

I then begin to sketch in the areas that will become my highlights and the areas that will remain in shadow.


Placement of the eye is important as it will capture the look but will also influence in this case the positioning of my lighting. I won’t go into any detail here but I use off white, black grey for the pupil and a mix od black grey andmedium blue for the iris.

With the skintone complete I want to introduce the hairline of the beard and eyebrows. The basic rue here is to use your basic skintone and add small amounts of blue and black grey, this will desaturate your colour and will result in a colour a little cool and green. Too much and you will need to add some more of the skintone to control this colour.

It may be necessary, even with super thin layers, to touch up the areas around the hairlines to achieve the result you want.

Continue to think about the direction of your light and remember to highlight and shade the stubble etc in the same way. I frequently zoom in on pictures to see mistakes and correct areas that I am not happy with.

I will continue to do the work of the rest of the kit. Thank you for reading to the end. See you next time ! Enjoy the gallery!

Best regards Keigo