How to paint Fallout:Wasteland Warfare Institute Synths and Konrad Kellogg

Modiphius wargames developer Giles Nevill guides you through how to paint the upcoming Institute miniatures released on December 6th.

The Institute has been one of my favourite factions to playtest as the miniatures are fantastic with intricate detail and subtle variation amongst the troop types.  In this painting tutorial, I’ll be focussing on showing you how to paint two Gen 1 Synths and Konrad Kellog! These will be available in the core and the Covert Operations boxes respectively from the 6th of December here and in your local gaming stores.

The Gen 1 Synth

Due to their skeletal Terminator vibe, I wanted to go beyond layering them in silver paint with a quick wash and calling it a done job, although if you absolutely positively need to get your miniatures painted in time for a game then this is still a viable option! All the miniatures were lightly primed with a Bone/off white colour spray primer. This was done a while ago as a sort of faction colour coding while playtesting. 

To start with I built up a couple of layers of dull chainmail colour. In fact, I used this as my base metallic colour on all the models as this is my go-to metallic paint nowadays.  This was followed by a wash of Nuln oil to shade and fill in any recessed. To brighten the exoskeleton up, I applied highlights of a brighter pure silver metallic paint. Small details were picked out to highlight their Synth’s “organs”. For this, I used deep reds as a base then added further orange highlights to bring out a little bit of colour and detail amidst all that metal.  

With the metal done I needed to brighten up the model. After pouring over concept art I applied a bone colour scheme also using a sepia colour wash for more depth. Finally, I applied a yellow glaze which added some warmth to the models and makes them stand out on the battlefield.

For the finishing touches, I spent a little bit of time on the bases, especially the one with the bisected Radroach. Fallouts scenic bases are excellent for trying out new techniques due to the crazy amount of detail.  I decided on a worn concrete look for all three building layers of grey for the concrete and muddy browns for the debris.  The rad roach was given a base coat of a rich reddish-brown and generous highlights of a light tan brown to pick out the legs and antenna. For the roach goo, I went for the most radioactive greens I had in my box!

Dark green was used as a starting point so the bright, more opaque colours would apply smoothly. This was followed by progressively lighter and louder greens for extra brightness.  I would say that this was one of my favourite parts to paint as it adds a lot of character to this mini.

Konrad Kellogg

Finally, we get to the star of the show, one of the wastelands most dangerous characters. Kellogg himself. Despite the apparent simplicity of the model I really wanted to make him stand out as much as possible and try out some new techniques that I had recently learned: 5 colour shading as taught by our Head of Department, the one and only Mr Jon Webb.

The jacket was the first thing to get blocked in using a matte black. Next, progressively lighter greys to give the jacket more depth and a sense of movement. The metal armour and his infamous pistol were painted in the same manner as the Synths exoskeleton. Kellogg’s fatigues were given khaki greens and brown washes for the base colours. The darker areas were shaded with stronger greens and the highlight points light greens bordering on flesh colours usually reserved for undead miniatures. Once I was happy with where the shadow and natural highlights were, I blended the each these dark and light tones with the mid-tone of the starter base green colour to create a smoother transition between the more extreme colours. In the process, it also creates a nice contrast with the leather jacket.  A similar process was used on the skin areas with an emphasis on progressing the flesh colours ranging from tan to a paler tones which hopefully create some natural definition rather than just drenching the skin areas in a flesh wash I small application of crimson mixed in with some of the flesh colours was applied to indicate some scaring on the side of his face.

When I came to the scenic base, I applied a similar colour scheme for the sake of consistency, I was mindful to keep it neater than the synths. A special detail on Konrad’s scenic base is the inclusion of a cigar in an ashtray as if Konrad is on some gangway above the battlefield enjoying a smoke before suddenly springing into action.  I tried to make the cigar appear lit and used lighter browns to make it stand out against the rusted metal


Although there is never a set way to paint your miniatures, I hope this blog post has given you some ideas about how you can approach The Institute. Please note that the paints I used are a matter of preference and what I feel comfortable with and you should do the same, there is no one way to do your hobby! In my next painting tutorial, I will showcase some of the more elite Institute miniatures such as the Troopers, Scientists and 2018 firing a large missile launcher which will add some extra punch to your army. 

By Giles Nevill 

The Institute will be launching on the 6th of December and you'll be able to pick them up online at the Modiphius Store here as well as in your local gaming stores.

Fallout: wasteland warfare