So you want to paint some space vampires? Red is my favourite colour to paint with, so when a Warhammer 40k: Leviathan box arrived on my doorstep I instantly knew I wanted to paint the Space Marine half as the mighty Blood Angels. I wasn’t aiming for Golden Demon-quality paint jobs, instead I tried to find a satisfying balance between them looking good and being relatively quick to paint. Obviously you’re free to tweak my recipes as you see fit, by doing more or less highlights and shading. Here’s my guide to how I painted them (using Citadel paints unless specified otherwise):
Firstly, I used a can of Mephiston Red primer to spray all of my models, which gave me a headstart and made batch painting my army a lot quicker. If you don’t have a red primer, a neutral grey or bone would work as well, you’d just need to basecoat the models with a couple of coats of Mephiston Red base paint or perhaps a Contrast Paint like Blood Angels Red (hey! That’s the name of the minis we’re painting!)
All About That Base
During the basecoating stage, I blocked in all the sections of the miniatures that weren’t going to be red. For the gun casings, chest symbols, and joints of the armour (elbows & knees) I used Abaddon Black. Any lenses and wax seals I painted Warpstone Glow (the seals are traditionally a deep red, however, I wanted them to stand out from the armour rather than get lost in it so I chose a contrasting colour and matched them to the lenses). I painted any pouches, straps, and belts using Dryad Bark. Then I basecoated the pieces of parchment with Morghast Bone. For the areas of silver, I used Iron Warriors, and for the gold, I used Retributor Gold.
Hey, Wash It
I used a few specialised Shade paints after basecoating, in order to add more depth to the colours. For the red armour, I used Carroburg Crimson, focusing mainly on the recesses. I applied Agrax Earthshade to any pieces of parchment or leather on the miniature. On the metallic areas, I used Nuln Oil for the silver parts and Reikland Fleshshade for the gold.
Highs And Lows
After all of the different colours were blocked in, I went ahead and tidied up any areas of the red armour that needed it with Mephiston Red to match the initial spray primer. For the first highlight, I used Evil Sunz Scarlet, blending this into the previous stage and concentrating more on the upper parts of each section that would catch more of the light. I then applied an edge highlight of Wild Rider Red around all the panels, before finally adding a spot highlight (for the highest points and corners) of Fire Dragon Bright.
For the gun casings, chest symbols, and armour joints, I highlighted with Mechanicus Standard Grey and then added Dawnstone to the highest parts. On the lenses and wax, I used Moot Green, before popping a tiny bit of White Scar on the lenses for a reflective dot. I highlighted the parchment using Ushabti Bone and then moved on to the leather areas, using Mournfang Brown, XV-88, and finally some tiny dashes of Balor Brown to imitate scratches where the leather would have been marked and worn away with age.
Mini… C’est Fini
So there you have it. Following all the steps above should have led you to a fully painted Space Marine miniature, ready to bravely charge into battle for the Blood Angels. As a finishing touch, I grabbed the sheet of transfers that was provided with the Warhammer: Leviathan box and cut out some of the Blood Angels chapter markings. I then applied these to the models’ shoulder pads using the super-useful combo of Micro Sol and Micro Set. I dabbed a bit of the technical matte varnish Stormshield on the glossy transfers to dull them down so they blended in better with the rest of the model, and used a spot of Ardcoat gloss varnish on the lenses to make them shine.
I hope you’ll join me again for another painting guide in the future. You can message us on social media @ZatuGames if you’d like to show us your painted Space Marines. We’d love to see what you’ve been working on!