Plague Marines – Painting Tutorial


For today I prepared easy painting tutorial for Death Guard Plague Marines. It’s a bit more complex miniature to paint than Poxwalkers and it takes more time, but still if you’ll follow my steps it’s easy to get nice effect even if you want just tabletop quality.

Check out also mi video tutorial for fast painting Plague Marines here!

Model I painted within this tutorial is Death Guard Plague Marine assembled from

Some technical details:
Assembly Level: Easy
Painting Level: Medium
Miniature Base Size: 32 mm
Miniature Height: 54 mm
Colors for Tabletop Quality: 1 primer, 8 base paints, 2 layers, 5 shades
Painting Time for tabletop Quality: 3-4 hours (including dry time for washes)
Colors for Tabletop+ Quality: 1 primer, 8 base paints, 18 layers, 5 shades
Paiting Time for Tabletop+ Quality: up to 6 hours (including dry time for washes)

Paint list (Citadel) – Tabletop-ready:

  • Corax White Spray
  • Elysian Green Layer
  • Bielt-Tan Green Shade
  • Leadbelcher Base
  • Zhandri Dust Base
  • Screamer Pink Base
  • Naggaroth Night Base
  • Khorne Red Base
  • Rakarth Flesh Base
  • Pallid Wych Flesh Layer
  • Abbadon Black Base
  • Bugman’s Glow Base
  • Nuln Oil Shade
  • Druchi Violet Shade
  • Carroburg Crimson Shade
  • Agrax Earthshade Shade

  1. Assemble your miniature to a level where all areas that’ll be needed to paint are easy to reach with a brush. For this miniature I decided to paint cloak and backpack separately.
  2. Use Corax White Spray as a primer. Pay attention to use cover with it all parts of the miniature and stand alone at this point parts.
  3. Paint all armour parts using Elysian Green. Its crucial at this step to do it using a bit watered paint to get smooth color. Paint it even two time to get right color and don’t forget about other elements like backpack.
  4. For the next step take Biel-tan Green Shade and use it on all painted earlier parts. Don’t spare it and make sure that paint will flow nicely in all holes and folded parts to get it right. Do the same for other parts like backpack.
  5. Take again Elysian Green and drybrush with it all over green areas of armour, focusing especialy on parts on fronts and edges. Dont worry if you reach with it other parts – like with the previous steps it doesen’t matter at this point.
  6. Take Zhandri Dust Base and paint with it all bones and skull parts on the miniature and backpack.
  7. Screamer Pink will work well with all tongues and tentacles on Plague Marines.
  8. For the cloth parts I reccomend to use some citadel base colors that can be highlighted to a bright ones to get nice contrast with miniature. For this one I used Naggaroth Night that can be highlited with purples, but you can easily use for example Khorne Red for red or Pallid Wych Flesh for whites. If you’re want to add later cloak to the miniature like I did, paint it separately also with same colour.
  9.  Paint weapon and rubber-like connectors on leg parts using Abbadon Black.
  10.  Paint coil on Plasma Pistol using Khorne Red.
  11.  For the tube and pipe flesh casings you can use Rakarth Flesh Base color.
  12.  For the metal parts, tubes and chainmail on the miniature use Leadbelcher Base paint. Also remember the to do the same for the backpack.
  13. Take Pallid Wych Flesh and use it for small bones details, eyes, teeth etc.
  14. Use Bugman’s Glow for skins or head parts attached to armours or granades.
  15.  Paint using Balthasar Gold all armour details, edges, ornaments, chains, bells and Nurgle symbols. Also do the same on Backpack and cloak.
  16. At this point you can glue together backpack and cloak together with the rest of miniature.
  17. Here we will start with shades to expand details on the miniature and we will start with Agrax EarthShade and use it on bone, skulls and horns. Also with the same shade we will wash all armour ornaments and decorations painted erlier with balthasar gold.
  18. Take Nuln Oil and use it on black and weapon parts. Also paint with it all metal elements painted with Leadblecher earlier.
  19. Use Druchii Violet and wash with it all tentacles / mutations and tongues. With the same Shade I washed violet cloth and cloak.
  20. Take Carroburg Crimson and wash with it coil on plasma gun.
  21. Wash with Reikland Fleshshade all skin parts and heads coming out from the plague armour.
  22. At this point you have tabletop ready miniature. Paint base using Abbadon Black and with some PVA glue add some flock or colored sand to it.

At this point you’ll have ver nice looking tabletop quality miniature. I want to encourage you to work a bit more on it and go for making it look a way more better.

Paint list (Citadel) – Enhancing & highlights:

  • Pallyd Wych Flesh Layer
  • Pink Horror Layer
  • Emperor’s Children Layer
  • Screaming Skull Layer
  • Ushabti Bone Layer
  • Xereus Purple Layer
  • Genestealer Purple Layer
  • Sycorax Bronze Layer
  • Evil Sunz Scarlet Layer
  • Wild Raider Red Layer
  • FireDragon Bright Layer
  • Eshin Grey Layer
  • Dawnstone Layer
  • Runefang Steel Layer
  • Typhus Corrosion Technical
  • Nurgles Rot Technical

  1. Let’s s start highlights with Plague Marine armour and for that will use Ogryn Camo. Pick out with it all edges and holes on the armour.
  2. Next we will take Sycorax Bronze and highligth with it all ornaments and gold decorations on the armour. Paint with it all edges and bolts in the armour. Don’t forget also abut chains, bells and parts on the backpack.
  3. With Xereus Purple we will focus on cloth and cloak edges and folds. Then do the same a little lighter using Genestealer Purple. 
  4. Next we will drybrush plasma gun using first Eashin Grey and next using Dawnstone to get all edges highlighted.
  5. Will we focus on Plasma gun we will got for the coil – first drybrush it gently with Evil Sunz Scarlett, next with Wild Rider Red and center part with Fire Dragon Bright. Finally go wit Pallid Wych Flesh and drybrush with it most center part.
  6. Paint tentacles / tongues / flesh parts using Pink Horror layer. Next drybrush it with a Emperor’s Children paint.
  7.  Drybrush with Ushabti Bone all bone and skull parts on the miniature.
  8.  Drybrush horns and skulls using Screamign Skull layer.
  9.  Drybrush metal areas with Runefang Steel.
  10.  Highlight pipes casings using Palli Wych Flesh. Also you can use the same for some crucial points on the miniature – like cloak edges or tips of fingers/armours/horns.
  11. Model the base, add some decorations and you have at this point finished Death Guard Plague Marine.

That’s all – you have now awsome looking Death Guard Plague Marine. With this tips you can easily paint full 7-man squad in like 3-4 days, because if you paint the in a batch it will go a way more faster.

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  1. Great work! I’m following this recipe and would like to see your Plague Marine Icon miniature from the squad box. Thanks!

    1. Thanks – I was planning to work on another batch of Plague Marines for my Death Guard army. Probably within 2 weeks I will add new photos and I will do the guy with Icon in first place 🙂

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