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40k Tutorial: Painting Blood Angels

7 Minute Read
Aug 5 2014

Today you learn how to paint Blood Angels, like a pro! Let’s get started!
In this extensive step by step tutorial you will learn how to paint Blood Angels, including guides for deep reds and vibrant yellows!

This is Stahly from Tale of Painters, serving you with an extensive Blood Angels tutorial today. In fact, the model you can see was a actually test model I painted for a future Blood Angels project of mine, as you can see it’s mainly made up of Mk4 Assault Marine parts from Forgeworld. I thought the single thruster jump packs would look great beside a squad of Honour Guard.

This tutorial assumes you have a good understanding of how to paint. It involves paints from a lot of different brands and mixing paints. I also used an airbrush to speed certain steps up, though you can acchieve the same result by using only a paint brush. Underneath each picture are the corresponding instructions. Each step shows the paint(s) I used during that step. If I use a non-GW or OOP paint, I try my best to give you suitable alternatives [in brackets].

Paints I used for this tutorial:
Vallejo Surface Primer Grey
Games Workshop Mephiston Red
GW Mechanicus Standard Grey
GW Longbeard Grey
GW Wild Rider Red
GW Bronzed Flesh [VGC Bronze Fleshtone or Ungor Flesh]
GW Boltgun Metal [Warpaints Gun Metal or Leadbelcher]
GW Bloodletter
GW Abaddon Black
GW Eshin Grey
GW Codex Grey [Dawnstone]
GW Steel Legion Drab
GW Bleached Bone [Ushabti Bone]
GW Screaming Skull
GW Screamer Pink
GW Warlock Purple [VGC Warlord Purple]
GW Emperors Children
GW Snot Green [Warpstone Glow]
GW Skarsnik Green
GW Skrag Brown
GW Dorn Yellow
GW Lamenters Yellow
Vallejo Game Colour Gold Yellow
VGC Brown Ink
VGC Squid Pink
VGC Glorious Gold
VGC Off White
VGC Smokey Ink
Vallejo Glaze Medium
The Army Painter Warpaints Strong Tone Ink
Warpaints Dark Tone Ink
Warpaints Plate Mail Metal
Warpaints Shining Silver
Warpaints Matt White
Privateer Press Formula P3 Carnal Pink

1. The model was primed with Vallejo Surface Primer Grey using an airbrush. It’s a light grey primer that is excellent for applying the red (use a white spray primer if you don’t have access to an airbrush). Once the primer was dry, I applied Mephiston Red in several thin coats, again with my airbrush. Of course you can use a brush instead as well. In hindsight, I would have left the helmet off to be primed white and sprayed yellow with my airbrush, would have been less time-consuming than painting the yellow over the red.

2. I painted the texture of the base with Mechanicus Standard Grey. Then I drybrushed the base heavily with Longbeard Grey and applied a generous wash, made up of a 1:1 mix of The Army Painter Warpaints Strong Tone and Dark Tone Ink [Devland Mud and Badab Black/Nuln Oil].


3. Meanwhile I applied a couple of thinned coats of Vallejo Game Colour Golden Yellow, because at this point you can allow yourself to be quick and messy. Being quick is is good, because you will need about 8 – 10 thin coats for an even result.

4. Now I took Warpaints Strong Tone Ink [Devlan Mud] and applied the wash directly into the recesses of the armour. For an even result some areas might need two passes.

5. At this stage I painted all the metal parts of the armour that would be hard to reach once the armour is finished, such as the armour joints, with Boltgun Metal [Warpaints Gun Metal or Leadbelcher] and washed them with Warpaints Dark Tone Ink [Badab Black or Nuln Oil].

6. I fetched my pot of Mephiston Red again to clean up the armour.

7. I applied a first edge highlight of Wild Rider Red. As always when applying highlights, I used my faithful Winsor & Newton Series 7 M brush in size 00.


8. For the second and final highlight for the armour, I used a very old pot of Bronzed Flesh [can easily be substituted by VGC Bronze Fleshtone or Ungor Flesh]. As Bronzed Flesh is such a light colour in comparison to Mephiston Red, the highlights need to be as thin and sharp as possible or else they will overpower the red. Better skip this stage if you can’t carry it off.

9. To remove the peachiness of the highlights, I glazed the red armour with Bloodletter. When applying a glaze, don’t overload your brush with paint as when using a wash. Instead, wipe off any excessive glaze on a towel and spread a thin and even coat over the desired areas.

10. Now I painted the black areas, such as the weapons and the chapter symbold on the shoulder guard, with Abaddon Black.

11. In this step I basecoated all the remaining metal areas with Boltgun Metal and washed them with Dark Tone Ink.

12. A highlight of Eshin Grey was applied to the black areas.

13. A final edge highlight of Codex Grey [Dawnstone] was applied to the black areas.

14. Then I highlighted all the metal areas with Warpaints Plate Mail Metal [Chainmail or Ironbreaker].


15. The parchment of the purity seal was basecoated with Steel Legion Drab, once dry Bleached Bone [Ushabti Bone] was layered while leaving Steel Legion Drab in the recesses.

16. Finally I highlighted the parchment with Screaming Skull and then Warpaints Matt White [any white can be used, such as White Scar or Skull White].

17. The blood drop shaped gem was basecoated with Screamer Pink. Then I mixed a little bit of Abaddon Black into Screamer Pink and shaded the upper left part of the gem. The wax seal was also basecoated with Screamer Pink and washed with Warpaints Dark Tone Ink [Badab Black or Nuln Oil].

18. I highlighted the gem with four successive highlights, concentrating more and more on the lower right part of the gem with each step. I started with Warlock Purple [VGC Warlord Purple], followed by Emperors Children, VGC Squid Pink and Privateer Press Formula P3 Carnal Flesh (can’t be seen on the picture, it’s an almost white pink]. I also applied a small dot of Carnal Flesh to the upper left of the gem. The wax seal was highlighted with Screamer Pink and Emperors Children.

19. The gold parts were painted with VGC Glorious Gold [Gehenna’s Gold], then I washed slightly thinned VGC Brown Ink directly into the recesses for the shadings.

20. I cleaned up any messy shadings with Glorious Gold and applied a highlight of Warpaints Shining Silver [Mithril Silver or Runefang Steel].

21. The lenses of the helmet were painted with Snot Green [Warpstone Glow]. Then I highlighted the lower part of the lense with Skarsnik Green and apllied a small white dot in the corner.

22. I thinned Skrag Brown with a little bit of Vallejo Glaze Medium [Lahmian Medium might work similarly] and shaded the yellow helmet. Multiple passes were needed to build up the colour. I used undiluted Skrag Brown to encircle the lenses.

23. I cleaned up the yellow of the helmet and the knee protector with another couple of thin layers of VGC Gold Yellow.


24. I highlighted the yellow with Dorn Yellow and applied a glaze of Lamenters Yellow to tone down the stark highlights.

25. The final highlight of the yellow parts was made with VGC Off White.

26. For the charred exhausts of the jump pack I applied three coats of Warpaints Strong Tone Ink [Devlan Mud] and one coat of VGC Smokey Ink [Typhus Corrosion].

27. Thinned Abbadon Black was used to paint the inscription of the purity seal and the squad marking on the left knee protector. Take your time and use thinned paint, as any mistakes on the yellow are time-consuming to correct. I highlighted the black of the freehand on the knee as laid out in step 12 and 13.

28. Paint the trim of the base with Steel Legion Drab.

To complete the model, I added a custom blend of static grass made up of light brown, brown and black fibres which I picked up from an ebay seller. I also added a transfer with the company marking with the help of Microset (check out the tutorial here) and applied a coat of matt varnish.

How do you like the model? Have you found anything useful in this tutorial for your own projects? Let us know in the comments!

Tale of Painters is a hobby blog by six experienced painters from all over the world, updated daily since 2011. Follow Tale of Painters for updates of their latest projects, inspirational showcases, high-class tutorials and reviews.

Author: Stahly
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