Alfredo Ramirez – How to Paint Thousand Sons

This article is part of a larger series on how to paint the Thousand Sons. To return to the parent article, click this link

When it comes to the traditional Rubric scheme, there’s basically two ways to go about this: You can either basecoat the model in gold and then fill in the armour panels with blue (the Games Workshop studio method, which we detail in this article), or you can basecoat the model in blue and paint the gold trim after.

I’ve tried both methods and they’re equally valid (Duncan’s Warhammer TV tutorial uses that first method), but I prefer method 2. The reason for this is that it gives me the opportunity to do easier gradient work with the airbrush on the armour panels and this ultimately results in greater tonal variety and a better looking model. If you’re just gonna do basecoat and wash, then method 1 is probably easier.

So here was my approach:

For assembly, I used quite a few subassemblies to make my life easier. I kept the head and backpack separate, which is typical, but also the shoulder pads since they’re quite bulky and can make arm details hard to get to that are still visible after assembly. Also, because I am focusing on Kill Team, I magnetized the guns on all my Rubrics, which would also make painting them much easier.

The key to this scheme is the blue and for this I used Reaper’s Ocean Blue triad. It starts with a nice dark greenish blue and goes up to a bright aqua. It makes for a great transition and you can see my approach to creating contrast in the initial spray. It looks quite dark but comes out quite rich and bright once all is said and done.

There’s not a ton more colors to do. For the white I used my typical method of VMC Light Sea Grey as a solid basecoat, mixed with white ink to strengthen the effect, and then hit with Reaper Ghost White. This gave me a nice crisp white that went on smoothly. For the yellow I wanted something quite saturated and used VMC Deep Yellow mixed with yellow ink to up the saturation.

For the Gold trim I used the usual Scale75 stuff, mostly Necro Gold here for that worn gold look along with Dwarven Gold for the brighter spots. Then a gloss coat and pin wash with oils to line the panels.

The last step is to edge highlight, which is quite simple on these guys since there’s nowhere near as many edges as on a Primaris marine. I use a bright sky blue for the blue armour, a desaturated yellow for the yellow and Scale75 Citrine Alchemy for the gold. For the bases, I went with a neutral stone color that would help offset the blue of the mini.

The Final Result

Rubric Marine Credit: Alfredo Ramirez
Rubric Marine Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

This article is part of a larger series on how to paint the Thousand Sons. To return to the parent article, click this link