How To Paint Everything: Adeptus Custodes Blade Champion

In our How to Paint Everything series, we take a look at different armies of the Warhammer universe, examine their history and heraldry, and look at several different methods for painting them. In this week’s article, we’re looking at the Blade Champion from the upcoming Shadow Throne release. Before we begin, we’d like to thank Games Workshop for kindly providing us with a copy of the Shadow Throne boxed set for review.

Crab-stuffed Mushrooms

Adeptus Custodes Blade Champion by Crab-stuffed Mushrooms

Painting the Armor, Gems and Power Weapons

I painted the armor, gems, power weapons and base using the same method I outlined in a previous tutorial.

Painting the Leather

  1. Base coat the leather areas with Doombull Brown.
  2. Once dry, wash these areas with Basilicanum Grey
  3. Add “chunky” highlights with Doombull Brown, followed by a smaller edge highlight of Tuskgor Fur.

Painting Purple

Purple is a tricky color. You’ll need to apply three or four layers to get smooth coverage. Don’t expect the purple to cover well on the first few layers. Wait for each layer to dry before applying the next layer. Use a wet palette to keep your layers thin or mix with water for even coverage.

  1. Basecoat the purple areas with Xereus Purple or Phoenician Purple (both colors are similar).
  2. Highlight the purple with a 50/50 mix of Xereus Purple (or Phoenician Purple) and Screamer Pink.
  3. Add a final edge highlight of pink (I used Emperor’s Children).

Painting the Face

I wanted my Blade Champion to represent a certain celebrity as featured in a recent video game adaptation. I suspect this was GW’s intention if you look at the name they’ve used for the character in Shadow Throne, Aristothes Carvellan.

Adeptus Custodes Blade Champion by Crab-stuffed Mushrooms
  1. Prime the head with Wraithbone Spray.
  2. Basecoat the hair with Administratum Grey.
  3. Shade the hair with several layers of Apothecary White.
  4. Highlight the hair with Ulthuan Grey.
  5. Shade the skin with Darkoath Flesh.
  6. Before you start highlighting, paint the white of the eyes with Rakarth Flesh (you can correct any mistakes you made by re-applying Darkoath Flesh).
  7. Dot the pupils with a small detail brush or cheat like I do and use a Micron Pen.
  8. Apply the first highlight of the skin with Kislev Flesh.
  9. Apply the second highlight of the skin with Screaming Skull.
  10. Paint the beard stubble by mixing Administratum Grey with Kislev Flesh and applying it as a thin glaze (watered down layer) to the bottom of the cheekbones and the chin. You may need to apply additional layers after the first layer has dried. Wait for each layer to dry before applying the next layer.
  11. Paint the lips with a watered down layer of Magos Purple.

Additional Photos

Adeptus Custodes Blade Champion by Crab-stuffed Mushrooms
Adeptus Custodes Blade Champion by Crab-stuffed Mushrooms
Adeptus Custodes Blade Champion by Crab-stuffed Mushrooms
Adeptus Custodes Blade Champion by Crab-stuffed Mushrooms
Adeptus Custodes Blade Champion by Crab-stuffed Mushrooms

Liam “Corrode” Royle

Ah, another HTPE where I’m paired with someone who is a much better painter than me. And Joey has done the same model in the same scheme and even used the same head and pose. Fantastic.

My approach here was uncomplicated – the nice thing about Custodes is that they’re basically all the same, so I could just paint this guy like I’d paint any other golden boy.

Adeptus Custodes Blade Champion. Credit: Corrode

The gold is my current favourite, priming black then drybrushing Antique Gold and two layers of Regency Gold onto the armour and the various details, washing stuff like the aquilas with some Druchii Violet, then re-layering Regency Gold followed by a highlight of Braid Gold (all the metals are from Darkstar Molten Metals, who both make great metal paints and are also a Goonhammer Open event sponsor – check them out!)

The steel is similarly simple – two thin coats of Old Silver, a Nuln Oil wash, another layer of Old Silver and then an edge highlight of Silver Verde. Equally the black cloth and the boots are just VMC Black Grey with some touches of Mechanicus Standard Grey and then a Nuln Oil wash.

My purple goes a little darker than Joey’s, with a basecoat of Naggaroth Night and then Xereus Purple, a thinned down Druchii Violet and then another layer of Xereus Purple, and edges done in Genestealer Purple.

For the leather, I based in Dryad Bark and then Catachan Flesh, which is both a great skintone and also a nice rich brown for other areas too. Conversely the skin is Cadian Fleshtone washed Reikland Fleshshade, with some mixed Fleshtone/Kislev Flesh and then pure Kislev Flesh on the ridge of the nose, brow, and cheekbones. His flowing Fabio locks are Screaming Skull washed with Seraphim Sepia for some depth and then brought back up to the platinum blonde with more Screaming Skull.

Gems start Kantor Blue then gain progressively smaller dots of Caledor Sky, Lothern Blue, and then Baharroth Blue, followed by being ‘ardcoated to make them shine.

That is basically that – a very functional Blade Champion ready to chop up whatever he can reach.