How to: Paint Death Guard
As you can probably tell, the focus of most of my posts recently has been the Death Guard that were released in the Dark Imperium box. I love them, and they’ve taken over my painting desk to the point where currently, the only other model is Horus the Warmaster. I have doubles of a lot of them to make up squad numbers, and, I’ll probably never use them all. Regardless, I’ll get more. I can feel it in my bones.
I decided on a weathered 30k type colour scheme for my Death Guard, as I find the olive green type colour a little too drab, and if you’ve read any of the previous posts, or follow us on Instagram (here), you’ll have seen an abundance of pics of the miniatures I’ve been working on. In this post, I’ll be showing the start to finish of one such Death Guard plague marine. To start with, the miniature has been undercoated with Citadel Corax White spray (remember, well ventilated room, or in my case, back yard) and the armour washed with Citadel Seraphim Sepia.
From there mixed Vallejo White with Citadel Ushabti Bone and a little water to thin it down, and I used this to go over the armour plates, being sure to leave an area of Sepia around the joints. I used Vallejo’s Flames of War Russian Uniform WWII to paint the cloak, pauldrons and knees. I then washed them with Seraphim Sepia.
I used Vallejo Model Air Chrome on the chainmail, blade, tubing and parts of the backpack. The great thing about this colour is you can paint it directly onto white paint, and it will cover it and look the same as if you painted it on black. It’s such a great paint! I also added Vallejo Light Green onto the eye lens on the helm.
Next was Vallejo Model Air Rust, which similarly covers white paint no bother.
I then washed the Chrome with Citadel Nuln Oil, and the Rust with Seraphim Sepia – pretty sure it’s the most versatile shade ever. The tentacles were painted Citadel Nurgling Green at their base, nearest the armour, while the rest of the tentacle was painted using Citadel Xereus Purple. The inside of his mouth was painted with Vallejo Flat Red. The horns and bony protrusions were painted Citadel Rakarth Flesh and washed with Seraphim Sepia.
I roughly blended the two tentacle colours together by starting with Nurgling Green, and adding increasing amounts of Xereus Purple to it until it blended with the lower sections of the tentacles. I highlighted the purple using Xereus Purple with increasing amounts of white the higher the highlight.
I also started to give the Nurgle face on his pauldron some attention, using Russian Uniform WWII to bring out the colour on the raised areas.
It looks like a whole lot has been added in the next picture, but it’s actually not that much. I used Citadel Agrax Earthshade Shade, Seraphim Sepia and Vallejo Black Shade to add corrosion and streaks to the armour plates, using the techniques shown in the video we posted here. I also used the Sepia to give the metal areas a look of rusting discolouration.
The Nurgle face on the pauldron I highlighted with Nurgling Green, gave its eye a spot of Flat Red, and highlighted the teeth Ushabti Bone, before washing them wth Citadel Lamenters Yellow Glaze.
I painted the tubes on the backpack Flat Red, and used Citadel Guilliman Blue Glaze on the Plasma Gun, but they both drew the eye from the miniature’s head.
The bones and horns were all highlighted with Rakarth Flesh, then Ushabti Bone, then a mix of Ushabti Bone and white, adding a little more of each layer to any ridges on the horns, as you can see on his left foot.
Mixing increasing amounts of Citadel Emperor’s Children to the Xereus Purple, I highlighted the purple ridge that runs through the cracked area of his blade. I also added spots of Citadel Technical Nihilakh Oxide to areas of the Vallejo Rust, such as around the bolts, ends of handles, ridges, etc, to give it an oxidised look.
After chatting with a few pals about the blue of the plasma gun and the red of the tubes, I decided to take their advice and dumb the colours down a bit, which worked a treat. I went over the tubes with Vallejo Black Red, and used Citadel Carroburg Crimson Shade on the glowing area of the plasma gun. Around the areas I’d added Seraphim Sepia to discolour the Chrome, I lightly stippled Citadel Dry Ryza Rust.
I also painted up the lens using the technique shown here.
Finally, Carroburg Crimson was added around the edges of the cracks in the armour where tentacles are coming out, or flesh is protruding, and I did this because I’d expect the rough edges of the armour to cut into the flesh as it’s squeezing through the gap. The boils, o the armour and skin, I painted with a mix of white and Citadel Yriel Yellow, then washed around them with Carroburg Crimson.
Finally, I quickly painted up one of the 32mm bases from the Sector Imperialis bases packs – Each section is a layer, a wash, a highlight, then some shades of green, red and Agrax Earthshade to add a bit of colour to it. I also did a small splatter of Citadel Blood for the Blood God behind his left foot, as there was a small area begging for something to be added.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you’ve enjoyed the post. Some related links and videos below may also be of interest:
Death Guard Painting Techniques 1
Death Guard Painting Techniques 2
Video ‘How to: Paint Death Guard’
Video ‘Death Guard Weathering and Corrosion’
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10 thoughts on “How to: Paint Death Guard”
I love the idea of using the Sepia shade on top of a white undercoat. The results are really great. In your Youtube video you are using a very nice looking miniature holder which seems to allow you to keep some fingers over the top of it to stabilise. Did you make this yourself or did you buy it? If you bought it, where is it available?
Hey Xander, thanks for reading and watching! The holder is a Pk-Pro, but I’m not sure if they’re available at the moment. Here’s a link to the shop: https://www.pk-pro.de/Miniature-Holder-30mm-V20 . There may be similar ones available, and I recommend getting one, you can hold the miniature really comfortably without rubbing the paint off! 🙂
Thanks for the link. It looks like they’re going to be releasing a V3 of that contraption in November, which may explain the lack of stock of V2 right now. I may just have to finish building my 3D printer and figure out a way to design my own.
I’ve been looking for your site for a while now to see your painting of the DG 🙂
I think your work is really awesome.
But do you happen to have other models of Deathguards in the same color scheme that you could perhaps show?
Greetings from Germany
P.s. thies comment was made with googletranslater 😛
Hallo Sebastian, es ist Rob.Ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch.
Danke für die Kontaktaufnahme und danke für die Komplimente. Ich habe mehr Death Guard, die ich malen und bald zeigen möchte, also erwarte in Zukunft mehr!
Vielen Dank für Ihre Unterstützung und viel Spaß beim Hobby! 🙂
Most of this is from Google Translate also! 😀
I didn’t pick up this exact color scheme for the Death Guard in the end but i still ended uprecycling the white/ivory base plus sepia wash for some of the ickiest, grubbiest stuff from Cthulhu: Death May Die. Very good results overall, so thanks a bunch fo the inspiration, Rob!
Ah, great stuff V_T, glad to have inspired! 🙂 Is Cthulhu: Death May Die good? I’ve not tried it! 🙂