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Cultists – Painting Mansions of Madness

Ready for another Mansions of Madness painting tutorial? This week I have the Cultists adorned in their fancy robes.

Painting Tutorial for Mansions of Madness Cultists

While these guys are nearly worthless by themselves in the game, they have a habit of sacrificing each other to turn into monsters – which is awesome!

Painting the Cultists

When I started painting the cultists, I decided to mix them up a bit. While this messes with the game’s concept of each character having slightly different abilities, it does make them more interesting to look at.

So I split the six cultists models and painted half of the robes black with red trim and half red with black. They were then also divided into three different skin tones: light, ‘yellow’ and dark.

I started with painting all the base colors to block in each area.

Base colors on the cultits

You might notice I wasn’t too concerned about getting a perfect coverage on the robes as I will later add additional layers and washes. This is an excellent example of how to speed up some of your painting. Since I am going for more table top quality than a competition, I knew I could skimp a bit on the layers.

Base Colors:

  • Light Skin: Model Medium Fleshtone
  • Dark Skin: Model Color Mahogany Brown
  • Yellow Skin: Model Color Light Brown
  • Red Robes: Model Color Red
  • Black Robes: Model Air Grey
  • Grey Beard: Game Color Stonewall Grey
  • Brown Beard: Model Color Light Brown
  • Black Beard: Model Color Black
  • Arcane daggers: Game Color Gun Metal and Bight Bronze
  • Robes/belts: Game Color Gold Yellow

Painting the Skin

The three different skin tones were painted first because they were the lowest level of the model. I layered up each color before applying the Dark Brown wash over the whole model.

Dark Skin

Dark Skin Cultists from Mansion of Madness

The dark skin was kept relatively simple with three layers of brown: Mahogany (base coat), Parasite, and Light Brown for the extreme highlights. The Dark Brown Wash helped bring it all back together and darken the skin.


  • Model Color Mahogany Brown
  • Game Color Parasite Brown
  • Model Color Light Brown
  • Dark Brown Wash

Yellow Skin

Yellow Skin Cultists from Mansion of Madness

The yellow skin tones fall somewhere between the dark and light faces but add a bit more yellow to the shade. Light Brown was used as the base with Medium Fleshtone used as the highlight. This is where the yellow tone gets added in. Basic Skintone was used as the extreme highlight. Finally, the Dark Brown Wash was applied lightly over the skin to shade the recesses.


  • Model Color Light Brown
  • Model Color Medium Fleshtone
  • Model Color Basic Skintone
  • Dark Brown Wash

Light Skin

Light Skin Cultists from Mansion of Madness

For the light skin, I wanted to make them very pale. So while the first two layers match the top layers of the yellow skin, the addition of the pure white highlight make the skin very light. I had to be extra careful with the Dark Brown wash on this guy as the light skin colors wanted to take the brown. On a few areas, I needed to re-highlight with the Basic Skintone.


  • Model Color Medium Fleshtone
  • Model Color Basic Skintone
  • Model Color White
  • Dark Brown Wash

Red Robes

Next up, I painted the red and black robes. While I painted the layers before the wash, I figured you wouldn’t mind a bit of jumping around.

Painting the red robes of the cultists

While I wanted the robes to be dark, I was also going for some extreme highlighting in the pre-shade phase. So the clothes went from Model Color Red (a dark red shade) to Hot Orange. The Dark Brown Wash helped tone it back down and create the nice, rich robes I was hoping for.


  • Model Color Red
  • Model Color Vermillion
  • Game Color Hot Orange
  • Dark Brown Wash

Black Robes

With the black robes, I went with a higher contrast for the pre-highlights. This gets toned back by the extra layer of black wash on the robes.

Painting the black robes of the cultists

I relied on the extreme highlight and two layers of wash to get the look rather than multiple layers. By using Stonewall Grey as the highlight, it made for an almost awful looking model (middle picture above). After the whole-model Dark Brown Wash, it wasn’t toned down enough, so I hit all the black robes with a second layer of Black Wash which got it to where I wanted it.


  • Model Air Grey
  • Game Color Stonewall Grey
  • Dark Brown Wash
  • Black Wash

Bloody Blades

Now to give them a bit of gore to make them scary. I gave each a dash of blood to the blade and clenched fist as if they had just ripped the latest sacrifice’s heart. Or something epic like that as long as it summons a shoggoth.

Adding Blood to the Cultist Bloody Blades

The big trick to getting blood effects is two things: use different shades of red and use it sparingly. While on the Maniacs I went a bit overboard with the gore effects, I kept it limited on the Cultists to the blade and fist. Even then, I didn’t cover them, but rather added splotches of paint that still left areas of the original exposed.

The clear gloss adds that extra special touch at the end that makes the blood still look wet (see the showcase pictures at the bottom).


  • Model Color Red
  • Game Color Bloody Red
  • Matte clear to protect the model
  • Clear gloss over bloody areas


Finished Cultists Painted

With these guys done, I’m nearing the end – especially regarding model count. Let me know you think and if this tutorial was helpful in getting your own models completed.