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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

This is a brief guide on how to paint Ultramarines.

1. This is the Assault on Black Reach Sergeant model, so there wasn’t much assembly required. Just stick his chainsword to his torso, put the backpack on, and stick him to the base. I used Citadel Superglue for this, but anything that works for plastic models is fine.

2. This is The Army Painter’s Colored Spray Primer. This particular can is Navy Blue. I get a lot of requests to paint Ultramarines, Crimson Fists, and Lizardmen, and all three of those armies start from an undercoat of a color like this. Having a spraycan of this stuff handy greatly speeds up the process. If you prefer, however, you can spray the model black, and then basecoat it by hand using Games Workshop's Regal Blue or Reaper's Ultramarine Shadow.


1. Since we’ve got the Ultramarines armor basecoated already, the first step is to paint everything that’s NOT going to be blue with black.

2. Next, we’ll mix up a wash of Asurmen Blue and Badab Black, and apply it to the whole model. The reason we mix some black into the blue wash is to make the wash define the deep recesses rather than shade the model overall. Give the model a rather liberal coating with this stuff—it’ll take a while to dry, but the darker tone is what we’re after. The result is also an excellent starting point for Crimson Fists, incidentally.

3. Next, basecoat the face with GW Tallarn Flesh. Be sure to water it down a bit, as Foundation Paints are quite thick.

4. Basecoat the parchment, cloth, and leather areas with Reaper Master Series Ruddy Leather. Games Workshop’s Scorched Brown works fine here too.

5. Now, basecoat the areas that will be red, such as the wax parts of the purity seals with Reaper Bloodstain Red or Games Workshop Scab Red. At this point, I decided this model would be from the Ultramarines Third Company, so I also did the shoulder pad trim in red rather than the Second Company’s gold.

6. On the subject of gold, I start by mixing up some red-brown such as Reaper Ruddy Leather or GW Scorched Brown with a bronze color such as GW Dwarf Bronze or Reaper Ancient Brass.

7. Then, paint the silver areas with GW Boltgun Metal.


1. Now that the heavy wash on the armor has dried, it’s time to start highlighting it. I gave the model a layer of Ultramarine Blue from Reaper, although Games Workshop’s Ultramarines Blue works equally well here. It’s a very subtle layer, and it’s meant to even out any splotches where the wash stained the surface unevenly.

2. Next, blend Reaper Ultramarines Highlight onto the raised portions of the model. Alternatively, you can use Games Workshop Ultramarines Blue with a bit of Bleached Bone added. Blending is not a beginner’s technique, so if you’re not sure how to do it, go ahead and just do straight edge highlights here instead.

3. Now, apply very targeted edge highlights of Reaper Snow Shadow, which is very similar to GW’s Space Wolves Grey. The idea here is to emphasize sharp edges and curves, rather than provide any additional shading.


1. Start off by washing the face with Ogryn Flesh. This was done while waiting for the initial armor wash to dry.

2. Next, layer on Reaper Master Series Tanned Skin or Games Workshop Dwarf Flesh.

3. The next layer is Reaper’s Tanned Highlight, although a even parts mix of Games Workshop Dwarf Flesh and Elf Flesh should give similar results here.

4. The fourth layer on the face is Reaper Rosy Skin. To make something similar out of Games Workshop paint, it’s a mix of 50/25/10/5 of Dwarf Flesh, Elf Flesh, Bleached Bone, and Blood Red.

5. The fifth layer on the face is there to emphasize the most prominent features such as the brow, nose, and cheeks. This was done with Reaper Rosy Highlight, although you could make a similar tone by switching the amounts of Dwarf Flesh and Elf Flesh in the Games Workshop formula in the previous step.

6. Now, dot the eyes with black, and carefully line the mouth. The remainder of the steps in this section are optional, but add a lot to the model.

7. Dot the eyes with white, but be careful to keep a black outline around the eyes (you can see where my hand slipped—it’s not very noticeable in the final product, though.)

8. For the shaved head look, mix equal parts water and any grey you like. I used Reaper Cloudy Grey, although anything that’s a mid-tone grey will do. Then, draw the outline of the hair onto the model, and fill it in. More layers gives a more heavy stubble appearance, while thinner layers give a more freshly shaven look.

This all can be done in more or less any order—just be sure to do each step pertaining to a given area before moving on to the next step for the same area.
1. The gold is given a layer of Reaper Antique Gold, although Games Workshop’s Shining Gold works fine here too.
2. Silver areas are washed with Badab Black.
3. A layer of Reaper Aged Bone was applied to the parchment and cloth areas.

4. The gold was then washed with a 90/10 mix of Ogryn Flesh and Leviathan Purple.
5. The red areas were given a layer of Reaper Carnage Red, although you could also use Games Workshop’s Red Gore.

6. The leather areas were given a layer of Reaper Leather Brown, but GW Snakebite Leather works too. When that’s dry, give the leather areas a wash of Devlan Mud.

7. Using white, draw in the Ultramarines logo where appropriate.

8. Give the red areas a layer of Reaper Magma Red or Games Workshop Blood Red as a final highlight.

9. Give the parchment and cloth a final highlight of Reaper Polished Bone or GW Bleached Bone.

10. Fill in any parchment with lines of thinned black to represent text.

11. Apply a highlight of GW Chainmail to the silver areas.
12. Give the chainsword casing an edge highlight of Reaper Cloudy Grey or GW Codex Grey.

The base was intentionally left blank for this tutorial, but you could finish it in any way you saw fit.

The finished product:

Thanks for reading how to paint Ultramarines. I hope my work helps you out.

Check out our other how to paint guides.
How to paint Tyranids - Genestealers
How to paint Ultramarines
How to Paint Space Wolves
How to Paint Blood Angels Space Marines
How To Paint Imperial Guard

3,544 Posts
very nice tutorial, thank you:) Will definately try ths with my next model :)

do you have any tips for blending as I would like to give it a try?

26 Posts
thank this guide really helped but i dont really have the patience to do this with every single model, so many steps and stages of wait for this to dry and so on. maybe i'll only use this for my HQ...

17 Posts
Cool tutorial, but the cloth seems a little exxagerated and the metals could use a little more washes/highlight, but its probably just the pics.

3,785 Posts
Very nice tutorial, I have just got some Army Painter spray myself, a few details would be:

It's lighter than the current GW Ultramarines Blue, I would assume thats what most of the users use. Also, you can use Army Painter on Primered models, if you do this, do it *at least* 20cm away, but it does give nice subtle shading on the model.

Overall, great tute - as well as a great set of tutorials!

742 Posts
Very useful when i will be painting ultrasmurfs for a commission (I get paid! :biggrin:)
I think you deserve a bit of reputation! Or...
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