How to: Paint Cypher, Lord of the Fallen

When I first planned to do a Fallen army, I wasn’t too keen on the miniature for Cypher, the Lord of the Fallen. As a mysterious character, it was pretty good, but it didn’t wow me. Thankfully, when the Triumvirate of the Primarch appeared on the shelves, it included a new Cypher miniature, and it was superb! It’s well posed and dynamic, and it does this enigma justice. To start painting him, I gave him a thin undercoat of Halfords Matt Black Primer.


Next came the base coats:

Citadel Rakarth Flesh: Bone, cloak, skulls
Citadel Mephiston Red: Inside of cloak, the sword’s grip, some small details
Citadel Retributor Armour: Parts of the sword, backpack, ammunition, pistols
Vallejo Base Flesh: Face
Vallejo White: Wings on the sword
Citadel Leadbelcher: Decoration on armour, tubing on backpack
Vallejo Model Air Chrome: Pistols, sword blade
Citadel Thousand Sons Blue: part of Plasma-type pistol
Vallejo Burnt Umber: Inside of his wrist armour, holster.

Once dry, it’s time for the washes:

Citadel Seraphim Sepia: Bone, cloak, face
Citadel Agrax Earthshade: Gold
Citadel Nuln Oil: Silvery metallics
Citadel Druchii Violet: Reds
Citadel Drakenhof Nightshade: Blue on pistol.
Vallejo Grey Wash: White wings on the scabbard

The next layers were reapplying base coats, leaving the shades in the recesses. These colours are all the same as the initial base layer, with the exception of Abaddon Black, which I used to go over any sections of Cypher’s armour that had been hit with a stray brush stroke of another colour.

I worked on the cloak next, building up a layer of Rakarth Flesh, leaving the Sepia in the recesses. Once the first layer was finished, I added some White to the Rakarth Flesh, using this to paint on a highlighted area, leaving some of the plain Rakarth Flesh visible. I did this twice more, each time adding white to the mix, and highlighting it again, always leaving some of the previous layer on show. Once the layers were done, I used pure White to add a very light drybrush to the edges of the cloak, and the tears in it.

I also used this time to work on his face. Now I realised as soon as I’d started that I probably should have painted it when he was in pieces, because I found some parts difficult to reach. Regardless, I used Base Flesh with a spot of white to highlight the Base Flesh base layer, then did this twice more with a little more white added each time. Once his face was finished, I tried (almost successfully) to paint on a final highlight as though I was highlighting a skull. It almost worked.

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Next came some of the smaller details. I used Ushabti Bone to highlight the skulls and bones, then a Ushabti Bone and White mix to highlight that.

The red of the cloak was highlighted with three layers of Mephiston Red, adding increasing amounts of Yriel Yellow each time. I also used these mixes to highlight the red on the sword’s grip.

The blue coil on his pistol was highlighted with Citadel Ahriman Blue, then Ahriman Blue with a spot of white, then another layer with more white, and finally a highlight with pure white.

The wings on the scabbard were highlighted with pure white, and Model Air Chrome was used on the buckles on the holster, and on the armour straps.

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The final details were added, with Retributor Armour being added to the shaded gold. Two layers of Agrax Earthshade were added to the bottom of the cloak to give it a dirty look, the second layer only covers the lower half of the first.

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Finally, I added Citadel Lustrian Undergrowth to the base, then added a few Army Painter Tufts of different colours.

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