Monday, 9 January 2017

The Lazy Person's Guide to painting Imperial Guard

Hello again!

I was originally just going to talk about the January Painting Challenge I've signed up for, but I thought I'd go the extra mile and knock up a quick painting guide as well.

The challenge is to paint a unit of Warhammer 40000 Imperial Guard or Inquisition troops to support a narrative campaign running on Bolter & Chainsword. I've pledged a Cadian Heavy Weapon Squad with Lascannons.

Cadians with big guns. 

For those of you unfamiliar with the average Imperial Guardsman, they are a bit rubbish; very squishy and tend to miss a lot.  You can fit an awful lot of them into a force though.

Which leads to another issue; that's an awful lot of painting to do. Luckily I've devised a quick and easy scheme for getting these men on the table top. So you can get from this:

Another very dull unpainted bullet catcher
 To this:

Yay! Painted! Still going to catch bullets though!
So how do we achieve this? It's actually very simple. I'll list the steps and if anyone actually cares in the future I'll may be do some WIP shots.

I'm using a mix of old and new paints (thanks GW for constantly changing the names and ranges), so some of these paints won't be the latest on the shelves. GW do have a conversion chart so make that red shirt earn his money if you need to buy any of them and get him/her to look it up for you :P

Stage 1: Prime with Army Painter Army Green spray.

Stage 2: Flak Armour, Helmet, Bayonet Scabbards and Boots
i) Base coat Adeptus Battlegrey
ii) Layer Dawnstone taking care to avoid recesses, etc.
iii) Edge Highlight the shoulder pads, boots, scabbards and front of the Helm with Administratum Grey.

Stage 3: Paint the Black Bits
On the model above it's just the gators, but on my riflemen it's also the body of the lasgun. In the photo below you can see it on the body of the flamers.

Stage 4: Paint the Metal work
i) Paint the metal work of any weapons, flasks, ammo packs, helmet aquilas, etc. in Leadbelcher
ii) Details on the metal work (aquila on the grenade launcher above) in Warplock Bronze

Stage 5: Paint the Flesh
Typically just faces and hands in Rakarth Flesh. I usually apply 2 coats to be sure.

Stage 6: Apply any other base colours
E.g. green body work on the Grenade Launcher; Army Painter Green or Knarloc Green in this case.

Stage 7: Any final highlights.
E.g. Top edge highlights on the Flamers below. Ulthuan Grey for this example.

Stage 8: Tidy up. Fix any errors at this point.

Stage 9: Wash
Give the whole model a liberal coat of Liquid Talent AKA Argrax Earthshade. Do not be shy in the application. You'll then need to give the model a good period to fully dry (I usually allow overnight)

Stage 10: Base according to your preferences.
For the example model above:
i) Base coat the base (top and side) in Khemri Brown
ii) Apply a liberal covering of Armageddon Dust texture paint. Don't worry if it hits the boots of the model, he's tromping through muck anyway.
iii) Again wait for this to dry; again I usually wait overnight
iv) Dry brush over the texture with Underhive Ash.
v) Tidy the side of the base with another coat of Khemri if needed.

The biggest tip though is to paint these models as batches (e.g. an Infantry Squad of 10 guys) through the stages; you can soon speed through.

Look! You can even reproduce it on other models! It's not a trick!

Cadians with Flamers. Yes I know the bases need doing. The point stands.

Thanks for reading once again!


  1. Hi Bryan. I wish you all the best with your blogging efforts.

  2. Thanks Alex. Looking forward to writing some more articles.

    Fingers crossed on getting to play some Frostgrave & D&D soon.

  3. This is great stuff, Bryan. You would totally fit right in with our TSR Games Review Crew on Long Island.