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Space Hulk Diorama (10) – Painting Genestealers

Jale ‘Despite’ 

It took a fair amount of trial and error to create a colour-scheme I liked, and one which would fit the backdrop of the Space Hulk panels; so the photos are a bit out of sync.

However, the basic colours were purple, and blue-grey for the main body; and a pale flesh colour for the skin. I usually basecoat all areas of models, and give them a generic shading wash, before painting each aspect up individually. This is purely down to personal preference – lots of people take a completely different approach; for example, the Ork on SproketsSmallWorld is being finished one element at a time; it’s really just a question of what you find easiest.

Painting skin

These were the colours I used:



Basecoat – Cadian Fleshtone:


Shade – wash with a mix of Liche Purple + Smoke + Burnt Cadmium Red + Black in equal parts:


Layer – paint the raised areas with Cadian Fleshtone; and then with Cadian Fleshtone + Ushabti bone (2:1 ratio).


Highlight – first, a layer of Cadian Fleshtone + Ushabti bone (1:1 ratio); then a layer of Cadian Fleshtone + Ushabti bone (1:2 ratio).

Finish with a final highlight of pure Ushabti bone:


It looked a bit plain at this point, so I used a colour-fade technique on the head – shading it using several glazes of purple. This was watered down until it was very thin:


I used these colours:018

Starting with a layer of dark red, then adding purple, then adding a small amount of blue, in successive glazes:


The carapace itself was basecoated with USA Olive Brown, and layered with Celestra Grey. It was then shaded with smoke, along with black in the recesses. This was highlighted by layering Celestra Grey on the raised areas, then Celestra Grey + white, and then final edge highlights of pure white.


The purple area was a bit more tricky – as the usual method I use, highlighting with Warlock purple, looked too garish; and the second attempt I made using Fenrisian grey as the highlight was a bit dull. I think I eventually managed to get the balance right though.

These were the colours used:



Basecoat – Liche purple.

Wash the recesses with black; then wash the entire purple area with smoke.


Layer Liche purple on the raised areas. Edge highlight with Liche purple + Cadian Fleshtone (1:1); then a final highlight of the same mix of Cadian fleshtone/ Liche purple + Ushabti bone. This last highlight was restricted to the wrists and elbows, otherwise it tends to make the overall effect look very bitty.

I then glazed the whole of the purple area with Baal Red + Asurmen Blue – normally I would just use Leviathan Purple, but it was running a bit low.



To paint the tongue – basecoat: warlock Purple.

Wash: black + smoke + burnt cadmium red + liche purple.

Layer: warlock purple.

Highlight: warlock purple + Cadian fleshtone.

Edge highlight: 1) Cadian fleshtone 2) Cadian fleshtone + Ushabti bone. 3) Ushabti bone

Finish with a glaze of Baal red (several thin coats are better than one undiluted).




As you can see, the genestealer’s base and the surrounding door need blending together with putty; but otherwise, done.


2 responses »

  1. Looking bloody lovely bud, that ‘stealer is gorgeous!


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