How to Paint Death Guard – Raf Cordero’s Method

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

I was drawn to Death Guard after reading Dark Imperium by Guy Hayley. The creeping body horror and slow inexorable decay of a couple characters was compelling enough to make me want to paint up some Plague Marines. When the Plagueburst Crawler was released, I knew I needed to tackle this monster. I wanted to make the armor look like it was actively bleeding; an unholy merging of mechanical plates and flesh.

Plague Marine Base
Credit: Raf Cordero

Painting the Armor

I start by priming the model grey, then I basecoat the entire model in Flayed One Flesh. After that liberally wash the whole model with Athonian Camoshade. Use an extra brush damped only with water to pool, smear, and clear away the shade in patchy patterns on bigger armor plates, such as when you’re working on vehicles like the Plagueburst Crawler. This color is intended to create a sickly, patchy, look and not necessarily wash into the recesses .

Next, wash the recesses and ridges with Agrax Earthshade. Use that extra water brush to blend and clear the shade away as needed. Letting it pool under the ridges helps the highlight stand out. Finally, edge highlight ridges and armor panels with Flayed One Flesh

Painting the Wounds

The Death Guard have a lot of areas of exposed flesh, pulsating scars, and in some cases, gaping holes to work with. I chose to paint these more like open sores and wounds. To paint these, start by stippling purple, brown, and yellow around all open wounds, then glaze Flayed One Flesh over the stippling to blend it back into the flesh tone of the armor.

Next paint GW’s Blood for the Blood God technical paint into the wounds, dripping down as desired. While Blood for the Blood God is still wet, dab Nurgle’s Rot into the wounds. The two technical paints will mix incompletely, creating a bloody pus effect that is wonderfully gross.

Painting the Metals

The silver metals are Leadbelcher washed with Nuln Oil while the copper metals are Reaper Tarnished Copper, Stone Wash, and edge highlighted with New Copper.

Death Guard really provides the opportunity to mess with technical paints. I frequently add Nurgle’s Rot to the model’s recesses afterward, and added it to the treads on my Plagueburst Crawler (see below). Blood for the Blood God can come out of any part of the model to help drive home the unholy marriage of flesh and machine.

Plagueburst Crawler
Plagueburst Crawler. Credit: Raf Cordero

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