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Painting a Death Guard Army (3) – Basecoating batches of models

Mahogany ‘Tesselation, Formerly Plateau One’


To basecoat the models, I used spray paint – white for the Poxwalkers, and green for the Plague Marines:

Before applying the spray paint, I used double-sided tape to attach the models onto a length of wood, and then balanced this on an old container (not the one pictured here) – which made it much easier to spray them:

This needs to be done outdoors, or at least in a well-ventilated area (e.g. a garage), as the solvents are quite potent.

As with most painting, several thin layers of paint are better than one heavy application:

Give the spray can a good shake – then spray the models from c. 30 cm distance. After this, turn the can upside down and spray the paint outside for a second, to clear the nozzle.

In order to paint multiple models, I used a piece of polystyrene – as well as some more double-sided tape – to create a simple holder:


Double-sided tape is very sticky – so if you put masking tape on first, then place the double-sided tape on top, it becomes easier to remove when you have finished:

Ready to paint:


Painting A Death Guard Army (2) – Assembly & Preparation

Air ‘Cherry Blossom Girl’

There is a helpful video on Warhammer TV, which demonstrates how to build the Dark Imperium Death Guard models. I thought I would demonstrate my own approach, though; which differs slightly.

Tools required – a craft knife, for removing the models from the sprues, and cleaning them up. Pin vices, for drilling holes in gun nozzles. Clippers, for cutting through thicker plastic. Also, blu-tack, and tea:

First, wash the plastic sprues in soap and water – then leave them to dry, on kitchen towel; as the moulding process can leave them with a grimy residue:

These sprues are fairly chaotic:

So, it’s important to follow the instruction manual – the numbers highlighted correlate to the sprues:

As you can see:

When you’ve removed the model, it will probably have unwanted bits of plastic-sprue still attached:

And mould lines:

These need to be cut off/scraped away with your craft knife. It’s a good idea to ensure that you cut away from your body, for safety reasons – but it’s more easily said than done; which is why I end up with lots of small cuts. It’s also pretty much impossible to clean mouldlines off entirely – and undercoating usually reveals additional ones you’ve missed.

After this, the model can then be glued together:

More delicate parts of the model can be difficult to remove from the sprues, without damaging them. So it’s helpful to remove the whole section before cutting them off with your knife: 

Once they’re all assembled, they’re ready to be painted:

The Death Guard models are more complex:

You can assemble them completely before painting them; but this is liable to obscure some of the details. For example, the backpacks cover much of the model’s rear aspect:

So, I leave these off before undercoating them. The same principle applies to the character models – assembling them in parts:

However, paint impairs the bond when using plastic glue. This is where blu-tack is helpful, as you can cover the parts which will be glued together; then spray-paint them:


This isn’t vital – you can use superglue, but the bond won’t be very powerful; and pinning it would probably be necessary. I’m too lazy for that, to be honest.

When using plastic glue, I would recommend leaving models overnight before painting them; as it takes an age to cure properly. Other than that, they should be ready to prime:


I will go through this stage in the next post.

Painting a Death Guard Army (1) – Introduction

Nine Inch Nails ‘She’s Gone Away’ 

Army-painting is not something that I enjoy, really; but it’s worthwhile taking a step out of your personal comfort-zone, now and then.

I decided to paint the Death Guard models from the Dark Imperium game, as a Christmas gift for someone; and given how long it takes me to finish anything – and how unreliable my health has been this past year – it seems a good idea to begin now.

However….I’ve read several blogposts recently, where people discussed the difficulties they’ve had when painting a collection of miniatures in one go. I’ve painted two armies, previously – chaos warriors, in 2012; and chaos space marines in 2015. They both proved to be quite unpleasant experiences.

What people generally seem to struggle with is the amount of time involved; whereas what I disliked about those two projects was the monotony of painting essentially the same basic model, multiple times – and the overall finish being mediocre.

I think the answer to these problems is much the same – a bit of planning, and time-management. So, I’m going to make a series of posts, (hopefully) demonstrating how to paint an army to a decent standard – without having to sacrifice every other commitment in your life.

When I was an undergraduate, time-management was something that a lot of students had issues with. For most people, it revolved around not devoting enough time to their studies; then having to rush things, and so making a less adequate job of something than they might have done. For others (including me) it was the opposite: spending far too much time on studying; and overworking to the point where you were exhausted – which is not especially healthy.

I’ve found that this holds true with painting, as well: it’s easy to become a bit directionless; or else to spend inordinate amounts of time and effort on rank and file models, which don’t really require it.

There isn’t a right or wrong approach to take, as such – just one that suits your own aims, and constraints. So it’s worth thinking about what you intend to achieve, before commencing. Plus, even the most carefully thought-through plans tend to need adjusting, at some point. Little and often is a good guideline.

If you really find that you can’t make time to paint, it may be helpful to keep a diary for a week – given that you’re the only person who will read it, you can be perfectly honest about how you’ve spent your day; and decide if and where there’s room for maneuver.

It may be the case that you have more free-time than you believe – or just that you need to balance your commitments slightly better. If you spend several hours watching television, you could do some painting during that, for instance – especially if you support rubbish sports teams; whose performances might make a reason to avert your eyes quite welcome. I cook quite a lot; and sometimes finish small tasks while waiting for something to bake in the oven, for instance.

Equally, if you find painting a large number of models daunting, this is where organisation is helpful: focusing on one unit at a time – and aiming to finish each one on a monthly basis – will make the overall task manageable. Motivation is often an overlooked factor, too – so dividing your painting into smaller jobs, and goals, can help maintain your dedication as well.

That’s what I aim to demonstrate over the next few weeks/months: from assembly and preparation, to painting schemes. Much of this may prove needless to most painters; but everybody has to begin somewhere – and practicing the basics is always worthwhile.



Helpful resources


How to paint poxwalkers (Warhammer TV)

How to Paint the Lord of Contagion (Warhammer TV)

Necromunda Diorama Revisited (3) – finished

MBV Arkestra

I’ve finished re-working the Necromunda diorama, originally created last year:



I was going to write the title in Spanish, but ‘última resistencia’ would have been a bit awkward to paint. Calligraphy isn’t my strongest point, either.

The Necromunda bridge was based on a fairly sinister one, which spans a track where I walk my dog:


Real-life can sometimes inspire your thought processes – even if it’s just a murky overpass in Hull.

I mentioned in a previous post that I was going to revise several of the other pieces I made last year; but I had an idea for something slightly different.


Necromunda Diorama Revisited (2) – painting slimy monsters

Vaughan Williams ‘fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis’


The first time I painted a Necromunda piece, the monster in it ended up looking cute and playful – which wasn’t the effect I had been going for:

So, this time, I made sure it would look disturbing; by painting it a nice, unpleasant colour:

Paints used:

Also, Tamiya clear yellow and Tamiya smoke (cunningly disguised as a pot of Devlan mud):

I used epoxy glue and Uhu stretchy glue, for the slime:


Basecoat – cadian fleshtone + rotting flesh:

Wash – a mix of liche purple + burnt cadmium red + black + smoke (equal parts):

Layer – cadian fleshtone + rotting flesh:

Highlight by adding increased amounts of rotting flesh, over successive layers:

Pure rotting flesh:

Paint the most extreme points with rotting flesh + white:

I glazed the whole flesh area with brown; but added some colour in the recesses, by glazing them purple:

Use the glues to make the slime effect:

Paint it with Tamiya yellow + Tamiya Smoke:

The red flesh areas were just painted with Khorne red, given a wash of black + brown; then re-highlighted with Khorne red; and finally glazed with Baal red, to make them look sticky.

Add slime to the surrounding water feature; and paint as before:



Necromunda diorama revisited (1)

Leftfield ‘Melt’

I wasn’t entirely happy with the Necromunda bridge which I made last year. I had wanted it to look like a lifeless wasteland – but after thinking about it, derelict areas tend to be the opposite: overgrown, as nature reclaims ground which no longer receives much human activity.

It also looked very grey, and a bit sterile:

So, I’ve begun reworking it a bit, to look more colourful:

The water effect was given some more saturation by painting over it with Tamiya clear paints.

I watch a lot of (fairly bad) horror movies; and carnivorous plants feature quite often – so I thought some sinister looking vines would look effective:

And I’ve re-done the signs – I thought Spanish would look more fitting for a wild-west style showdown:

Plus, although I’m not overly keen on blood and gore, I figure if you’re going to apply it, you may as well be hyperbolic:

The rest is just a case of adding more detail:

A fair bit to go yet; but I hope to make a couple of short tutorials over the next few weeks.

Make Khemri Great Again

Orbital ‘Halcyon and on’

I’ve finally finished this diorama:

The colours have come out slightly better without the background:

I was going to paint the pyramid blocks as sandstone, but noticed that numerous Tomb Kings pictures depict the stone as a kind of dark, volcanic rock – and thought that this looked suitably sinister:

The hieroglyphic pendant was made from oven-bake clay –  it should read ‘Khemri’ in hieroglyphics:

I’m going to revisit some of my previous models, as I think they would benefit from minor alterations. After that, hopefully I will start working on an Inquisitor-based project.