Thursday, March 30, 2017

Painting Plague Marines


It's been ages since I won these guys at a local painting competition, and they have been sitting around in a box. I did magnetize them, but never got around to painting. Now I felt like painting Nurgle miniatures, so I decided to loosely follow this set of tutorials and have a go at them.


In black. 


I originally did an undercoat of brown, to offer a better color for the light greens to sit on. I forgot to take pictures, though.


Basecoat all the armor in Dead Flesh (which is a kind of light pale green).

Mixed Dead Flesh with bonewhite 1:1, thinned down with water and applied to the topmost parts to further lighten the color. The effect is barely visible, and could have been skipped.

Overall green wash (Athonian Camoshade).

Thin down purple wash (Druchii Violet) with medium and apply selectively to recesses and where the armor meets the trim and skin.

Thin down a more vivid green wash (Biel Tan Green) and apply selectively only to the center parts of the armor pieces.

The tutorial calls for another glazing with Dead Flesh, but I decided against it. The final green wash was light enough not to tint the surface too much.

Armor trim

The tutorial calls for red trims (for contrast with the green armor), but I found that way too strident for my taste. I went for a metallic trim, but applied rust effects to get some contrast with the greens (also for that nurgley look). Apply the same effect to the lower parts of the boltguns.

So gunmetal basecoat for all the armor trims.

Then apply a dark rust effect.

This is not a painting technique, simply a pigment I had (also lying around in a box).

When it dried, it was a kind of dark red/orange, so I decided to liven it up with a bright orange drybrush. This worked well on the pigment, as it presented a textured surface for the paint to snag on.

To complete the effect, I applied small strokes of gunmetal with a fine brush, to give the impression of the rust having been chipped off and the metal showing through.


I didn't want the whole bolters to be the same kind of rusted steel as the trims, so I went for corroded bronze instead. Apply the same effect to the blade handles.
Start with bronze basecoat.

Then apply an overall green wash (Biel Tan Green).

Apply oxide effect over 80% of the surface (Nihilakh Oxide).

Bronze drybrush to tone the corrosion down and let some of the metal shine through.


Gunmetal basecoat. Then apply 3 coats of brown wash (Agrax Earthshade). This will give it a putrid look.

Edge highlight with the original gunmetal. I also highlighted the raised edge on the surfaces of the blades.

Finally apply some poisonous goo (Nurgle's Rot) for good measure.

Plasma gun

I decided to go for a green plasma instead of blue, so as not to introduce a very different color. As such, I painted the coils dark green.

Then applied a successive highlight of light green, then white for the glowing effect.

Wooden boltgun handle

Brown basecoat, reddish brown drybrush, black wash.


The thinner tubes around the backpack were painted with the rusted metal effect, but the larger ones (that look like thick power cables) were not.
I basecoated them in black mixed with bonewhite (3:1).

Then a black wash to deepen the shadows.1

Finally a light grey highlight. I originally went for an edge highlight, but it looked poorly. I switched to a small drybrush and it went much better. The ridged surfaces of the tubes were perfect for such work.

Champion's loincloth

I had some bonewhite lying around after the above was done, so I mixed a bit of black in it (5:1, maybe?) to get a dirty looking whiteish color. I painted the loincloth with that.

But I didn't find that dirty enough, so I applied Agrax Earthshade.

Other details

The rest of the minis were going to get a fleshy or otherwise light color, so I basecoated everything in brown (fleshy overgrowths, bulging stomachs, bare heads etc).

The bone parts got a bonewhite base over that. The bare skin parts got bonewhite with a bit of grey mixed in for a dead flesh look.


Apply sepia wash (Seraphim Sepia).

Apply Agrax Earthshade selectively to the recesses.


Two minis have sacks and satchels. My usual color scheme for leather bags is: leather brown edge highlight over the brown basecoat; wash with Agrax Earthshade; leather brown edge highlight again.

Dead flesh

(Ironically different than the paint with the same name.)

Mix white with bonewhite (1:1) and highlight 80% of the fleshy areas.

Apply dark red wash (Carroburg Crimson) in the recesses.

White edge highlight completes the drowned, decayed look.

Fleshy overgrowths

This applies for all the stringy flesh overgrowing their faces, hands, legs, weapons.
Skintone basecoat.

Wash with Carroburg Crimson; edge highlight with skintone; then wash again with fleshtone wash (Reikland Fleshshade) for that wet, raw look.

Bolter shells

I didn't want the bullets to look corroded, so they got a simple gunmetal and bronze basecoat...

... then a black wash.

Exhaust ports

Basecoat black.

Gunmetal drybrush. Use an extra small drybrush.

Apply black pigments, giving the impression of traces of smoke.

More bone

One of the marines has half his face rotten off and bone showing through. I went through the same steps as for the other bone areas: bonewhite basecoat...

Then sepia wash overall and agrax earthshade in the recesses: eyesocket and where the bone transitions into the face.


I wanted the eyes to have the same effect as the helmet lenses, so I based them in gore red.

And just a tiny dot of fiery orange right in the middle for a flicker of malevolence.


Except for one marine, who wears some kind of gas mask with large, bulbous lenses. I basecoated them in black.

And then I went for a gem effect by drawing a grey crescent shape in the lower left corner.


I imagined my Plague Marines striding across a toxic swamp.

Apply home made putty to the base. Instead of the usual small hills, I went for a rather thin layer of putty, forming small hills and depressions. As it doesn't stick well to plastic (especially if it's this thin), I applied some super glue around the edge after it dried.

For two Marines I made some canals where I wanted pipes sticking out of the ground. I made the pipes from green stuff. I originally wanted to sculpt the pipes as semi-spherical and also with a hole in the middle, but found that very hard to do. I made due with the shapes below...

Once the green stuff hardened, I used my hobby knife to carve out the interior of the tubes. I used more green stuff where the tube touches the "wall" of putty, to preserve the hemispherical shape.

Basecoat the ground in reddish brown.

Drybrush brown.

Paint the pipes grey.

Paint the pools green.

At this point, the bases already look acceptable.
I took the ground further to a polluted, sooty look by applying black pigment as if drybrushing. I did a thick coat over the pipes, giving them a dirty, stained look.

Finally, apply two coats of Nurgle's Rot on the green pools. This really feels like a toxic swamp! Two coats enable the paint to sit thickly, shining as if it were a thick, slimy liquid.


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