How to: Paint Lenses

The lenses on miniatures can make a big difference in how the figure looks as a whole, despite being a really small detail. The good news is that they’re almost easy to do. When I say almost, it’s a practice thing – the more you do, the easier it gets. Also, it’s easier on some models than others. I find the plastic tactical marines and Horus Heresy marines easier to do than say, the Sons of Horus legion specific helmets, or the MkIII power armour heads on the resin miniatures. For this tutorial, I’ll be using a Primaris Space Marine Intercessor.

There’s only four steps for this once you have the base colour in place. In this case I’ve gone with Citadel Mephiston Red.

The first step is to mix a little white – I used Vallejo White – with the Mephiston Red and paint on a thin highlight on around the bottom third of the lens.


Then you need to mix a little more white with the previous mix, and paint on an even thinner line over the bottom half of the previous line.

You can add another even thinner line here in exactly the same way as above, or you can skip a step and go onto the white highlights. This will be an extremely thin line at the base of the highlights (or up the rear end of the lens), and a spot on the front of the lens.


With that complete, the final step is to use a little bit of gloss varnish, I use Citadel Gloss ‘Ardcoat to give the lenses a reflective

This is a very similar method to painting the gemstones. Although the lenses don’t always turn out exceptional, practice does make them get easier, and even rough lenses will make the miniature look better than a plain coloured lens. Below are a few images of other lenses I’ve painted using the same method.

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