Have you ever seen a body that has been dead for a while? I have. More times than I care to think about. I'm thinking about it now, so that last sentence was probably counterproductive. It is the stuff of nightmares. One of the last ones I saw sticks in my memory very, very clearly. I didn't eat a baked potato for about two years afterwards. Now I still can't face a baked potato with cheese. I always expect the cheese to start wriggling. Maybe you catch my drift, maybe not. No more details on that score but you are bright people so I guess you can work it out.
My early zombie cinematic experiences are of Romero films. These low budget epics used simple ideas. Most zombies were usually had light green makeup unless they were African American, then you got a kind of pale blue makeover instead. Feature zombies had a bit more gore, but if you were in the long shot you were green or blue. For the most part I still stick with this colour scheme. I use a number of shades of green to give each model a bit of variation. There is always a bit of shading but it is mostly ink and blood that I use for zombie effects. There are usually several tones of ink in there to give the skin a bit of variety.
As time as gone on, brown, especially baked potato brown, has come in, for obvious reasons. When I use green paint, I vary it with a little light grey or brown paint and mix it poorly. Red and black ink usually still feature highly and whilst I use sepia-ish inks in the main, the green and often red creep in there too.
One of the things I keep meaning to do is some fresher zombies. Ones with either healthy or healthy ish skin tones. The thought had occured to have some unarmed civilian types that I can initially use as a crowd. Then, well the players have got used to the idea of having them around, use them as zombies.
Zombies should look pretty badly hammered for the most part. I like Tamiya Clear Red for this. When it isn't varnished it looks like fairly fresh blood. Older blood should be much darker. Too much really doesn't work. When choosing where to put the blood I think in terms of where it would probably end up. Anything on the hands would probably wear off quite quickly but there would always be some there. Around the face is another good place. It follows that most of the blood is going to be on the front with probably more on the chest than on the legs. Rather than paint the whole front side red, I think it would be more splatter and drips. Little bits here and there across the front on the body, none or almost none on the back and some on the floor.
To give them a really shabby appearance, I use a lot of inks. Mostly I do a base wash in the right colour for the paint colour below. Browns help to make them look dirty, especially brown over black ink. Green give a real sense of decay but maybe not use too much of it or the skin will look wrong. High traffic areas are probably a good bet, ower arms, knees and backside are good place for green. A mix of reds, ruddy skin tone, purples but mainly green make a good range for skin tones but experiment a little. Red ink is good on facial features and around wounds done with Tamiya Clear Red. I am not a fan of the GW paint, Blood For The Blood God, for this kind of work.
The best advice is go and watch your inspiration, later Romero and The Walking Dead for me. Look at what they do for their make-up. Emulate that in a more simple form as you will have a lot of zombies to do. Get on with it and don't be afraid to experiment, because with zombies you can usually cover up anything you hate quite easily.
Zomtober must bring out the worst in me.