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Category Archives: Chaos Space Marines

Typhus (4) – painting death guard armour

Green colours tend to be either warm (highlighted by adding yellow) or cold (add white).

I used a cold shade on Typhus – partly so it would remain consistent with the other death guard army models; but also because it would act as a contrast for weathering.


Paints used:


Basecoat – Loren Forest:


Shade – wash with black + smoke:


Layer – Loren Forest + a small amount of the black /smoke mix:

Adding black/smoke doesn’t make a huge difference – but it creates a smoother transition between layers.


Layer – Loren Forest + Death Guard Green:


Layer – pure Death Guard Green:


Wash – I used a thin layer of smoke to redefine the armour here. It’s not strictly necessary, but I find it helpful:


Layer: Death Guard Green + Nurgling Green:


Because Nurgling Green contains a fair amount of white, it leads to a slightly chalky effect – as can be seen on the underside of the arm:

But this is helpful – as the splotches and marks will serve as a guide for painting damage.


Paint scratches/chips with black+ smoke:


Highlight the edges of the armour and the damage with Nurgling Green. On the largest chips, use Nurgling Green + White:


Glaze over all the armour with Olive Green:


Glaze around the recesses with a dark purple (black + burnt cadmium red + xereus purple + smoke), and inside the recesses with a lighter version of the mix (i.e. omit black):

I thought this added a bruising effect.


Apply a final glaze over all of the armour with a yellow-ochre colour – I used leather brown, as I didn’t want the armour to look too warm:

If you find that glazing results in unwanted patches, stipple over these gently with Death Guard Green – which will blend them into the surrounding area.

If the edges lose their definition, re-highlight with Nurgling Green.


When glazing, I used a gel medium:

This is not vital, but it does make the paint easier to control on a model which is as curved and heavily recessed as Typhus. 


Typhus (3) – basecoating!

New Order – Procession 


Basecoating is not the most enjoyable stage of painting; but it’s the foundation of the finished miniature. So it’s worth being thorough.

Rather than use this post to go through paint recipes, I thought it would be more helpful to discuss some general guidelines for painting complex miniatures.

Before you begin, I would recommend investing in a notebook, to keep a record of any paints used – because it’s easy to forget. You can also use the pad to sketch out freehand designs; or jot down ideas for bases.

It’s also worth using different kinds of brushes, for various painting tasks:

From top to bottom:

  • Old brushes, with splayed bristles – used for stippling or drybrushing.
  • New Winsor & Newton Series 7 brushes, which are used for fine detail.
  • Cheap brushes, which are used for painting larger areas; or applying washes and glazes.
  • Another cheap brush, with flat bristles – which is used to paint large, flat areas/ drybrushing. I mainly use this for painting textured areas on bases.


And as a final preparatory stage…planning your colour scheme. This is not vital – because if something ends up looking wrong, you can always paint over it. But it is worthwhile giving some thought to it, before you begin painting.

A bit of research – or even the colour schemes suggested by Games Workshop – are good places to start, if you’re stuck for inspiration.

These were the colours I used, but I will go through them in more detail at a later date:



As always, the golden rule is to thin your paints: several diluted layers of paint are usually better than one heavy application.

But how thin? There isn’t really a definitive answer. Paints themselves vary in density – and sometimes don’t need to be thinned down: for example, when drybrushing.

As a rough guide though, I recommend a paint-to-water ratio of at least 2 parts paint to 1 part water. I mainly use paint of that thickness when applying the first layer – but then thin it slightly for successive layers; so it has a ratio of 2:2.

It needs to be watered-down further for washes (c. 1 part paint to 4 parts water), and at its thinnest for glazes (c. 1:8).

I can’t make diagrams, but I’ve demonstrated this below:

From left to bottom-right (ignore the top-right splotch of paint):

  • Undiluted paint
  • Paint thinned with water (2:1)
  • Paint thinned with water (2:2)
  • Wash (1: 4)
  • Glaze (1: 8)

Ultimately, it requires trial and error: if paint is too thick, it obscures details, and looks rough. If it’s too thin, it runs uncontrollably – and will require inordinate layers, if you want to create a solid coat.


When applying basecoats, I start with the largest area; which was the armour here:

It usually takes 3-4 thin layers of paint, before it looks opaque.

I find it best to complete sections one at a time (e.g. an arm) rather than trying to finish the whole of the armour at once – otherwise it feels like you’re getting nowhere.

I would also recommend viewing the model from multiple angles, to make sure you haven’t missed any parts:

As you can see, the underside of the model’s right arm looks a bit patchy, and required more layers of paint.

When the bascoat colours are done, you can get a clear picture of what the finished model will be like (I know it looks as if Typhus is wearing brown shoes here – bear with me):

As before, really, it’s best to double-check/tidy-up the model at this stage.

Once you’re happy with it, apply an all-over wash of black+brown, in several thin layers:

This adds shading – but for present purposes, it brings out details; which makes it much easier to paint them later.



Ensure each wash has dried before adding another layer, though – otherwise it will remove any paint which is still wet. Extra attention is sometimes required for deeper recesses (like underneath the shoulder plates).

You may get a pooling effect in places – if so, just leave these to dry; as they can be painted over during subsequent stages.


Once all of this is complete, you can focus on the individual aspects of a model – I will go through these in the upcoming posts.

Painting Character Models – Typhus: Herald of Nurgle

CoastDream – Soft Moon

This series of posts will go through the steps of painting character models – building on the methods and techniques used to paint the death guard army, last year.

Because special characters tend to be centerpiece miniatures, they benefit from more detail and attention than rank and file figures require.

It also aids their characterization to create thematic bases.

So, over the next few posts, I will cover these aspects. From prepping models, to more advanced painting skills – like blending, weathering, and using spot colours.

I will also try to make a tutorial on basing – but I haven’t figured out a design yet.


Helpful stuff


  • Plastic cutters, for removing bits from sprues.
  • Super glue & plastic glue
  • Pin vice
  • Precision tweezers – mainly for attaching fiddly bits and bobs
  • Craft knife
  • Metal wire
  • File – for removing mould lines

Although this model is plastic, and shouldn’t need any pinning – it can be helpful if you’re going to undertake conversions.

Chaos Space Marine Army

Groop Dogdrill ‘Jackie O’

I have mixed feelings about this, as a project, really. I started painting the models almost exactly a year ago – and it started out enjoyable, became work, and ultimately a hard slog towards the end. I was expecting to be left with something which I was proud of – but once the figures were altogether, it looked a bit paltry; and I felt a bit burned-out, the same way I did when I finished my degree (long time ago, now).



A few snapshots: 013













I’m going to take a short break and recharge, before starting out on something new. I won’t say what, but if you want a cryptic clue – I often sketch out ideas in a notebook, as a kind of memory aid (I can’t always read my own writing, admittedly. The theme will be ‘Hunter & Hunted’; not ‘Hamster & Hampstead’):


Chaos Tank Revisited

The dbs ‘black and white’

I wasn’t entirely happy with the tank that I painted last year; so decided to repaint some of it – mainly just toning-down the brighter areas, improving the contrast via spot-colours, and replacing the freehand designs with some which were a bit more fitting:






This was the final model of the Chaos Space Marine army, which I began a year ago. I will hopefully upload some photos of this soon.



A Step-By-Step Guide To Painting Basic Freehand Designs On Banners

 American Music Club ‘Western Sky’

Freehand designs can be a bit daunting, especially on banners. Not everybody has an artistic talent – God knows I don’t – but they become easier, and more straightforward, when you plan them out beforehand, and break them down into small steps.The key is to keep refining and sharpening-up the lines until you are happy with the effect.

First, because this was going to be a Black Legion standard-bearer, I made some sketches of basic designs from GW artwork:


To begin painting, plot the outline with dots:


Then connect the dots:


Thicken the lines:


Again, plot the next stage with dots (you may notice how the mistakes were painted over during this stage):


Connect the dots:


Use the same technique to create the arrows:


It can be difficult to paint symmetrical angles; so, because I wanted to make a pointed effect, I painted a line down the centre of each arrow:


Then created the tips:


Before painting over the superfluous part to create the sharp angles:


Again, thicken the lines:


At this point the design looked a bit top-heavy; so, to balance it out, I painted a ribbon underneath the icon – again, plot this out first:


Then fill this in:


Add colour by glazing the design with thin layers (in this case Vallejo Smoke); while adding texture via painting on cracks and chips. I also painted thin layers of dark red (GW Rhinox Hide) around the design to give it a bit of depth:


Finish by painting in the eye, and adding roman numerals. I also painted on some tears in the space between the icon and the ribbon:


So, it’s not too difficult to paint effective freehand designs, as long as you approach them step-by-step.

Quick Method For Painting Dark Red

Grenadine ‘Steely Daniel’

Red is sometimes tricky to shade and highlight effectively – there are lots of different methods available, but for a straightforward red colour-scheme I use the following colours:



Step by step 

1. Basecoat: Rhinox Hide (GW)

2. Layer: Burnt Cadmium Red (VMC)

3. Edge Highlight: i) Red (VMC) ii) Red + Goldbrown (VMC)

4. Glaze: Baal Red (GW) 002