BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

Horus Heresy Masterclass – The Verdict

5 Minute Read
Jul 21 2016



When I want to see amazing looking models Games Workshop never fails, so how does this book stack up to all the other tutorials out there?

There are certainly some pro’s and con’s in this book. Further, this isn’t the book I thought it was going to be, however, I’m trying to temper my own negative feelings with some constructive input.

First thing is first, this book only has three tutorials in there. That’s it. Horus is on the cover and he doesn’t get a tutorial. What’s up with that? I know it never explicitly states there would be a Horus tutorial but I kinda feel like that would have been a great addition with him being on the cover and all.

The Horus Heresy Model Master Class: Volume One, sells for  30£ plus sales tax (I guess Forge World is charging a USA Sales Tax now) which, to be honest I’m more than a little bit confused about, who knows, that’s a topic for another article I feel like.


They talk about some of the terrain boards but it’s not a step by step at all and it’s not something that we’d be able to easily replicate. There is a little fold out feature about Horus but they never really go over the paint job itself. This is a Masterclass book, so be aware techniques in here are advanced, this isn’t a Barely Table Top Quality level tutorial for a quick, down and dirty, get my Betrayal of Calth painted up.

This is a “I’m going to spend a couple months on this new model.” style book. That being said, there are a few really good techniques to add to your hobby arsenal for sure. But keep in mind that this is a very technical highly advanced how too manual for the most part.




I love the Styrix, they give you some solid tips on using corks and the pre-shading is a great piece of technique. However, this tutorial was basically in a previous Masterclass book; the one that shows you the Reaver Titan that’s about five years old.

There are a few steps which you can tell from the pictures are left out in this tutorial as well. They don’t tell you they went back over it to get the trim. Reading it, it’s hard to follow a long because the descriptions don’t quite match up. Which, I feel like would have been easily solved with a few extra paragraphs.



Pro-Tip: Use low tack painters tape. Regular tape will peel paint from the model.


They have some really great tutorials on how to do a cut-back, how to do weathering, and there’s some free hand technique, which of course, isn’t for everyone. But there’s some missing text on how exactly everything gets wrapped up which was disappointing at least to me.


They tell you to make a mix but they don’t give you an exact recipe. Getting a mix right can be rough, and don’t get me wrong the effect is beautiful but getting that with just this book probably isn’t’ going to happen.



The Falchion tutorial (above) is really on point but there are a lot of crazy techniques they introduce which are very time consuming. There is however a part about using an eye shadow applicator that is a great tip, and I really liked that one for sure. But then we’re back to some steps like not gluing on certain parts so you don’t have to go back in and repaint if you over-spray. Bringing yellow back up from black is rough.

Then there’s the Dracosan tutorial and it’s solid too. But after that it’s pretty much a gallery. It has some great behind the scenes pictures of how they put their massive diorama’s together but it’s not something you or I would be able to accomplish without your own molds.

Sure he book is only about 45 USD, which IS less than a codex, so it’s hard to fault it, but in a supply and demand world if you want to spend money on a tutorial make sure you’re getting exactly what you want.

The Horus Heresy Model Master Class: Volume One, 30£


The Horus Heresy: Model Masterclass Volume One is full of advanced painting and modelling techniques to help you get more from your models.


Whether you are building and painting a centrepiece model for your army or constructing a detailed diorama for display, this book is packed with innovative techniques. Included within are articles and galleries showcasing squads, vehicles, Knights and Primarchs that fought during the Horus Heresy, as well as guides on how to build wargaming scenery and terrain based on the battles of the 31st Millennium.

Inside you’ll find construction and painting articles on; the Questoris Knight Styrix; the Legion Falchion; the Solar Auxilia Dracosan; detailed terrain boards; and much more.

Sure he book is only about 45 USD, which IS less than a codex, so it’s hard to fault it, but in a supply and demand world if you want to spend money on a tutorial, there may just  just a better source for the skills and technique you’ll use on a daily basis.

Maybe I’m being biased but I feel like this book has plenty of room for improvement. Half the book is a showcase, and it has some recipes sure, but nothing, save a how to tutorial on Ferrus Mannus’ hands, is in depth from the main section. Overall the book itself is almost half filler.

  • Tyranid Freedom Fighters VS. The Oppressive Astartes