New Plague Marine Template

Having read a bunch of new tutorials and having received my new brushes, I decided to take a crack at painting my favourite plague marines. That would be my OOP squad. In particular, I wanted to get started on the special weapons because I did such a bland job on them the last time.

The base coat was a very thin coat (diluted more than 50%) of chaos black, a very thin coat of graveyard earth, and a very thin coat of snakebite leather. That gave me a base of shadows so that I could see all the details.

Then, I used the zenithal light tutorial to decide where to place my shadows. In effect, you just position the light around the figurine in the way you want it to appear. So you can have top lighting, or side lighting, whatever you prefer.

I mixed enchanted blue and chaos black (again diluted more than 50%) to begin bringing out all the darkest shadows. That would be in the deepest nooks and crannies. Then I used a mix of shadow grey, chaos black, and blood red (again diluted more than 50%) to bring out the lighter shadows.

Now it was time to start blending a little more, so I used very diluted bubonic brown to brighten the lighter sections of the figurine, taking care to leave some of the original basecoat to the edges of the lightening effect.

Now it was time to do the strong highlights. For this I used rotting flesh (very diluted), being careful all the time to not make it too thick. This went on every part I wanted to jump out. The sections painted in rotting flesh would not pop on their own since the coat was very light. Instead, I used very thin traces of  bleach bone to highlight all the lines.

This method is different from my past efforts because I never tried painting blends before such as the three colour shadows. I also usually just dry brushed like crazy to bring out detail before, and the result was a bit bland. Now all the detail is crisp and easy to see with the naked eye. This is the biggest improvement, and it was made possible by my discovery of Kolinsky Tajmyr Brushes. I abused mine mercilessly, even using it for drybrushing (albeit very delicately but even so), and it still holds a beautiful point. I’ve used it now to paint three different models and even so, it continues to be  excellent for fine detail work. My old brushes would die after one figurine.

The figure took me 6 hours to complete, so it is feasible that I could paint my entire army over the course of 2-3 months. We’ll see how I feel after I complete at least a seven man squad.


2 responses to “New Plague Marine Template

  1. Super cool!! There’s a kind of dirty rawness that makes me think a little of a John Blanche concept sketch… The thing that would worry me though is how well the painting scheme will translate to an entire army. It looks great in close-up shots like you’ve posted, where you can really appreciate the subtlety in the shading… But once you get twenty or thirty models like that, I’d be concerned those subtelties will be easily lost, blending into a big stretch of rusty brown. Have you thought about how you’ll balance out the color scheme on an army-wide scale…? Or do you think it’s strong enough to be carried across your whole force like that?

  2. Thanks!

    Uniformity is usually a good thing with 40k armies. My problem is that I get bored so I keep trying new things. The result is my army has about seven generations of plague marines. My very first attempts had large glops of unmixed yellow paint on the eyes and really rough dégradations. I gradually evolved from using more then less bleached bone shading to adding shadows. My discovery of using brown washes as opposed to solid blacks really changed the appearance of my little bonhommes.

    To answer your question though, I think it will look great to have all my little dudes in these colours. I’ll also be happy if I can focus long enough to paint even a single squad in this scheme. My vehicles are using a slightly different scheme as well since they are larger and easier to work with. That will diversify things a bit.

    By the way, the shading pops a lot more in real life as you turn the figure in your hand. The yellow light in our kitchen kind of washes all the blending into a drab brown unfortunately.


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