How to paint Crimson Fists Space Marines

Let’s start as we mean to go on. Here’s a ‘How to’ guide to get you started in minimum-effort, full-colour wargaming.

I was emailed a while back asking how I painted my Crimson Fists. I thought I would share my response with everyone.

Note that more effort goes in to the areas that I wanted to stand out – the skin, eyes, purity seals and gold. This allows for a quick result (you can paint a squad of 10 in 3 to 4 hours) whilst giving the impression of a more detailed finish which is particularly effective on the tabletop when most people will be looking at them from a distance of 1 – 4 feet.

All paints are from the old Citadel range with their modern equivalents listed where possible.

If you want to get your force on the table as soon as humanly possible, complete the first 2 steps of each stage and move on. There are no rules against going back and adding more at a later date!



I always apply my basing material before I prime which helps speed up the process.

Find a good, black primer, ensure all models are clean and dust-free then give all of them an even coat whilst keeping the model (or spray can) in constant motion at a distance of 10-20cm. This helps to avoid unwanted paint build up which will obscure fine details.

Humbrol  make really nice black spray which gives a lovely satin finish – ideal for Black Templars/Black Legion!. I use Humbrol sprays almost exclusively these days because of their high quality finish. The benefit of this will become apparent as we discuss zenithal priming in a future article. Any black primer will do for this project.


  1. Necron Abyss [4 parts Kantor Blue:1 part Abaddon Black] basecoat.
  2. Regal Blue [Kantor Blue] wide edge highlight.
  3. Enchanted Blue [Caledor Sky] moderate edge highlight.
  4. 1:1 Enchanted Blue [Caledor Sky]:Space Wolves Grey [Fenrisian Grey] fine edge highlight.
  5. Space Wolves Grey [Fenrisian Grey] fine edge highlight on most prominent edges (corners/pauldron apexes etc.).
  6. Asurmen Blue [Drakenhof Nightshade] glaze over all armour (don’t let the glaze pool in the recesses like a wash, instead load less on to the brush and keep the coat even). This is purely to balance the tone of the final edge highlights and give a little more depth to the blue of the armour.

The idea with the armour is to create definition when viewed at range – tiny little thin highlights tend to get lost on the model until you get within a few inches, these bad boys are painted to look good when viewed at ‘gaming’ range.

Red cloth/fists:

  1. Mechrite red [Mephiston Red] basecoat
  2. Leviathan Purple [Druchii Violet] wash


  1. Chainmail [Ironbreaker] basecoat
  2. Badab Black [Nuln Oil] wash

Gold detail:

  1. Shining gold [Gehenna’s Gold] basecoat (“2 thin coats are better than 1 thick coat” – let’s play ‘Guess the Source’!)
  2. Devlan Mud [Agrax Earthshade] wash
  3. Gryphonne Sepia [Seraphim Sepia] glaze

Purity Seals:

  1. Wax: Dark Angels Green [Caliban Green] basecoat then scorpion green [Moot Green] highlight
  2. Scroll: Khemri Brown [Baneblade Brown] basecoat then bleached bone [Ushabti Bone] highlight


  1. Tallarn Flesh [Cadian Fleshtone] basecoat
  2. Ogryn Flesh [Reikland Fleshshade] wash
  3. Devlan mud [Agrax Earthshade] wash in to most recessed areas
  4. Tallarn Flesh [Cadian Fleshtone] Highlight
  5. Elf flesh [Kislev Flesh] watered down highlight on most raised areas (cheek bones/point of chin/top lip etc.)

Eye and targeting lenses:

  1. Blood Red [Evil Sunz Scarlet] basecoat
  2. Blazing orange [Trollslayer Orange] highlight on lowest point
  3. Thinned Chaos Black [Abaddon Black] glaze on highest point
  4. Golden yellow [Yriel Yellow] dot on lowest point
  5. White dot [White Scar] on highest point


  1. Glue on preferred basing material with watered down PVA glue (I use decorators PVA mixed 1:1 with water).
  2. Khemri Brown [Banblade Brown] basecoat
  3. Devlan Mud [Agrax Earthshade] wash
  4. Commando Khaki [Karak Stone] drybrush
  5. Static grass to taste



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s