How I paint my Salamanders

How I paint my Salamanders

This one is long overdue.

The first step is airbrushing.

These four colors are airbrushed on before anything else. I start with the Umber, then everything gets a good blast of Caliban Green. Honestly I think this guy got too much green. The whole point is to leave some of that nice  warm Umber showing through to create a contrast with the green.

The Warpstone Glow goes on more sparingly from above  to start to create a kind of zenithal effect. Then the very top of the model gets one short burst of the Moot Green. Too much and they’d start to look like Aurora or Sons of Medusa Chapter marines.

I’ve used a lot of different browns as a basecoat since I stopped being able to find the Burnt Umber after I ran out of the first batch. GWs Dryad Bark works alright as a substitute but lacks the deep red that makes such a great contrast for the green.

The next step is to paint the gold Aquila with Averland sunset.

I drybrush the yellow with Auric Armor Gold. Then I paint the seal with Screaming Skull and Evil Sunz Scarlet. Then everything is washed with Agrax Earth.

Then everything is washed with Biel Tan Green.

Rather than thin down the Biel Tan, I swish the model around in a cup of clean water before applying the ink. The swishing gets the water in every crevice, and capillary action will pull the ink in wherever there is water.

Regardless, don’t use pure Biel Tan. It may crack and/or dry pale.

Then the least fun step: line every upward facing edge with Moot Green. The ground facing edges are lined with Warpstone Glow anywhere the surrounding area is dark enough that you can see them.

The guns are airbrushed while attached to the arms just because the tiny pieces are such a pain to hold onto.

The deep red/brown is back. It gets a line of Thunderhawk airbrushed across the bottom and blasted from above.


Fenrisian Grey is never used in the airbrush but will be used in lining later on, as seen on these backpacks which are left attached to the sprue and painted separately.

Before I glue the gun arm on I paint all the joins, tubes, and everything else that looks like it should be metal with Runefang steel.

Then the entirety of the gun and all the Runefang Steel are washed with slightly thinned down nuln oil.

The shoulderpads, painted separately are now attached. They receive the same airbrushing step as the body shown at the beginning.

Then the Shoulderpad itself is painted black toned with some Carroburg Crimson and Xereus Purple mixed in. I always tone my blacks a little to give them some contrast with the surrounding areas.

The last step here is to give the interior of the shoulderpad a gentle little airbrushing of Thunderhawk Blue.

Then the new green areas are lined in the same way as the rest of the armor. The gun and other weapons are lined with Thunderhawk. Then a line of the Fenrisian Grey is added along any upward facing lines.


The heads are all left attached to sprues and painted there…

Except this one which I glued on to make it easier to look at. To get that swarthy Salamander skin I start with a basecoat of the warm-toned black I used on the shoulderpads.

This is highlighted only with Cadian Fleshtone. I apply it roughly at first.

Then blend it in a little better.

The banners are painted using a technique I have shown already. To finish plasma weapons like this combi, I airbrush the energy cells with maccrage blue, then wash the area with slightly thinned down Temple Guard Blue. This airbrush color is already thin and seems to flow into the cracks nicely creating a good interior glow.

~Hope you enjoyed the article! I hope to post more soon on the scale cloak and chapter markings. I am quite busy now though so there probably won’t be too many posts between now and Adepticon.


5 thoughts on “How I paint my Salamanders

  1. The guns / backpacks- do you start from black and then apply the umber, or are you undercoating the entire model umber, then working to thunderhawk blue for these parts? I just appears that there is much to be more black than umber, or is that what the effect does?


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