Miniature Painting 101: Using Games Workshop’s New Ghost Paints

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Five years ago or so, Games Workshop released a paint called Nihilakh Oxide. It’s basically an ink or wash, just with more pigment and a cool blue color. The original intent was for it to be used to model verdigris and corrosion on metals, a purpose which it fulfilled beautifully.

But a weird thing happened shortly after its release: both Games Workshop and hobbyists figured out that it made a really cool ghostly effect when layered over white. The extra pigment keeps it from blotching, which is a risk you run with most washes, and the white would come through just a bit. Soon, it seemed like the standard wraiths, specters, and ghosts you find in undead armies were being painted with Nihilakh Oxide as standard.

Fast forward to the  Age of Sigmar: Soul Wars release and the  Nighthaunt army. To make for ease of painting, and to allow greater variety for those drawn to the spectral Nighthaunt, Games Workshop released two more paints like Nihilakh Oxide, this time geared primarily as ghost paints.

Two of them came out in tandem with Nighthaunt release day: the slate grey-blue Nighthaunt Gloom and the bright snot green Hexwraith Flame. Just like Nihilakh Oxide, they’re really cool paints which combine simplicity with great outcomes at your workstation.

He Slimed Me

The way they work is simple. You want to use a white background, with none of the underlying material peeking through. This may mean going back over some spots you miss on the initial spray priming; no joke, these paint/ink hybrids will not look good over bare plastic or metal. Paint them on like you would a paint, rather than trying to concentrate on recesses like you would a normal ink.

They don’t need to be thinned out or anything. Just use them right out of the pot, maybe even a little more thickly than you’d ordinarily go with. You’ll get coverage, but not so much that the white is completely covered. Then you have your ectoplasm.


One other cool thing, as Games Workshop’s Nighthaunt painting guides have pointed out, is that both paints work well with the same light white-grey highlight. This allows you to combine both and smooth out the transitions with a simple drybrushing. It makes for one of the easiest techniques for table ready miniatures out there.

There’s also some room to play with the color of your undercoat. Anything darker than a light yellow or green probably won’t fly, but there’s some potential for cool effects with layering Hexwraith Flame over those colors. Nighthaunt Gloom might be a bigger ask, as the darker shade seems to rely on more pigment than either Nihilakh Oxide or Hexwraith Flame, meaning you won’t get the same effect.

Taken together, these two paints make something very difficult—getting ghostly effects on your miniatures—passingly easy. What paints you use can be a heated discussion in the painting world, but Hexwraith Flame and Nighthaunt Gloom should have a welcome place on your rack, no matter your preference.

Ghost Reapers

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Image credits: Ian Williams

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