How to Paint Everything – Blood Angels Space Marines

This article is part of a larger series on how to paint Space Marines. To return to that series, click here.

In our How to Paint Everything series, we take a look at how to paint well, everything, with different methods and approaches from different artists. In this article we’re looking at the Blood Angels, everyone’s favourite Renaissance goth space vampires.

The Blood Angels are one of the original Legions, founded by the Emperor himself for the Great Crusade. Known simply as the IXth Legion, they were pretty creepy before they found their vampire angel primarch on Baal, gaining a reputation as the “Eaters of the Dead” for their habit of eating corpses. Along with this unpleasant habit, they were well-known as shock troops who sometimes took things way too far – known for their hunger for blood and death, the IXth Legion were a force which seemed to encapsulate all the worst aspects of the Imperium.

This all changed with the discovery of Sanguinius. Sanguinius’ great project was to reshape his Legion in his own image, turning them from savage killers into the noble warrior-artists which will be better known to 40k players. From there the Legion took part in several important actions in the Great Crusade, including fighting a gigantic Hrud migration, the Ullanor Crusade, and the War on Murder, the battle which would lead almost directly to Horus’ fall from grace. The Blood Angels would play a pivotal role in the Siege of Terra, helping defend the Imperial Palace from Horus’ assault.

While his Blood Angels fought ferociously on Terra, Sanguinius and a small retinue teleported aboard the Vengeful Spirit along with the Emperor and Rogal Dorn. There they were separated, every individual warrior experiencing their own personal battle above Horus’ capital ship. Sanguinius had long known that he would meet his death at the hands of his brother Horus, but he pressed on anyway, and was the first to encounter Horus deep within the halls of the battle barge. The two fought a titanic battle, but Sanguinius was unable to harm the warp-fuelled Horus, and was eventually struck down.

After the death of Sanguinius, the Blood Angels began to experience the Black Rage more often and more terribly. The Legionaries began to have death visions of their Primarch, imagining themselves to be Sanguinius aboard the Vengeful Spirit, stalking its halls, battling Horus, and dying. When the Legion was forced to split into smaller Chapters, this curse was taken to their successors too, with some like the Flesh Tearers experiencing the Black Rage even more powerfully than their founders. Those Marines who became lost to the rage were formed into the Death Company, a combination of elite shock troops and fearless berserkers lost to their own madness.

Throughout the millennia that followed the Horus Heresy, the Blood Angels were tireless defenders of the Imperium, warring on all fronts. The Blood Angels fought in both the 2nd and 3rd Wars for Armageddon, battled multiple Hive Fleets, and took part in thousands of other wars. They’ve been led for over 1,100 years by Commander Dante, the oldest serving Space Marine who is not interred in a Dreadnought. Dante has taken part in many of the most titanic battles of the Blood Angels’ history, including the Devastation of Baal, when Hive Fleet Leviathan invaded the homeworld of the Blood Angels. Following the defeat of Hive Fleet Leviathan, Dante was named Lord Regent of the Imperium Nihilus, the part of the Imperium which lies behind the Cicatrix Maledictum, by Roboute Guilliman himself.

Covered in this Article

  • How to Paint the Blood Angels, with different approaches to painting the red-armoured marines from different artists.
  • Notes on the Heraldry of the Blood Angels and how to represent their companies on the battlefield.
  • How to paint the Death Company, with their black armor.
  • How to paint the gold armor of the Sanguinary guard.
  • How to assemble and paint Mephiston, the Chief Librarian of the Blood Angels.

Blood Angels Heraldry - Click to Expand

The Blood Angels have some interesting heraldry. They are, for the most part, a Codex-Compliant chapter with regard to company organization but they have a few unique exceptions. First among these is the Death Company, who have their own company and unique scheme and markings. The second are the Sanguinary Guard, veterans who wear armor of gold instead of white.

Additionally, the Blood Angels do not paint their shoulder trim to denote company, instead putting a colored blood drop on their right shoulder pad to denote their company.

As a result, the Blood Angels use an alternative scheme for denoting a unit’s battlefield role, while the all-red armor of the Blood Angels also means that they do not paint their sergeants’ helmets red. The color of a Blood Angels’ helmet is used to denote role and rank:

  • Standard red for Tactical/Battleline
  • Blue for Devastator/Fire Support
  • Yellow for Assault/Close Support
  • Gold for Veterans and Command

Sergeants, Lieutenants, and Captains use additional iconography, with black shoulder pads for Sergeants and red bands on gold fields for Lieutenants and Captains.

Finally, Blood Angels do not use numbers to denote their squad number in a company but instead use specific symbols, placed on the right kneepad.

Painting Blood Angels

The Blood Angels are similar to the Dark Angels in that, while the army has a principle single color scheme, they also have multiple schemes within the chapter to represent different units of particular renown. Specifically, the black armor of their Death Company and the golden armor sported by their Sanguinary guard. This gives the chapter a ton of variety when it comes to painting them even after you settle on a method for painting their red armor.

Painting Black Armor - Click to Expand

The Death company are unique in that they sport black armor, unlike the standard armor of the Blood Angels. You can find good tutorials on painting black armor in these articles:

Additionally, if you’re not click-inclined, here’s a quick tutorial on painting black armor on your Blood Angels from Jack Hunter:

Blood Angels Moritat
Blood Angels Moritat. Credit: Jack Hunter

Jack: The Blood Angels also have their black armored units – either Destroyers in the 31st millennium or Death Company in the 41st. My strategy for the black armor is based on some of the techniques I used on the red, specifically laying down highlights with the airbrush, blocking in details, then slathering the same wash over everything.

  1. Prime the model black.
  2. Carefully airbrush highlight using VMA Black Grey, covering about a third of the surface with a fairly long transition to black.
  3. Block in all the silvers and golds, using the same method as above on the red.
  4. Gloss varnish and apply decals.
  5. Wash with Gloss Nuln Oil, taking care to avoid pooling.
  6. Matte varnish, and apply some final quick edge highlights with Scale 75 Graphite.

Painting Gold Armor - Click to Expand

Similarly, Sanguinary Guard don gold armor before flying into battle. This isn’t necessarily difficult to paint, as shown in our guide below.

Blood Angels Primarch Sanguinius
Blood Angels Primarch Sanguinius. Credit: Jack Hunter

Jack: The Blood Angels have some key units in gold, most notably Sanguinius and his Sanguinary Guard. It’s also used in large areas on the helmets of veterans. There are a ton of different tonalities that can be used for gold, but this is my favorite appearance for my army. I tend to use a lot more different colors on it than I might on other colors – all the models wearing gold tend to be important, so I want them to stand out.

  1. Prime black, and apply a base coat of Scale 75 Necro Gold with an airbrush.
  2. Airbrush Scale 75 Viking Gold heavily over the model, leaving Necro Gold just in the lowest recesses.
  3. Airbrush Scale 75 Dwarven Gold over most of the upper surfaces of the model, again leaving the Viking gold mostly from the mid-point down.
  4. Airbrush Scale 75 Elven gold on the uppermost parts of the surfaces. This should only be a very light coat, stopping as soon as it starts being noticable.
  5. Gloss varnish the entire model, then wash everything with Gloss Reikland Fleshshade.
  6. Carefully wash Druchii Violet into recesses between armor plates, undersides of filigree, and anywhere else that needs contrast.
  7. Matte varnish the model, then do a final set of edge highlights with Scale 75 Citrine Alchemy.

Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard
Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard. Credit: Jack Hunter

You can also find a good tutorial on painting gold armor in the GW approach to painting Thousand Sons, which you can find here.

Jack's Method - Click to expand

After spending a year painting my Imperial Fists, my return to Blood Angels was accompanied by a new paint scheme. Blood Angels were my first army when returning to the hobby with 8th edition, so I had followed the standard GW scheme that Duncan demonstrates nicely on YouTube.

Blood Angels Intercessors
Blood Angels Intercessors. Credit: Jack Hunter

I wanted to push a lot more contrast into my scheme, and fortunately for me Luther over at The Mighty Brush had written an absolutely fantastic tutorial. I’m going to summarize it quickly here, but his site has a ton more detail, including photos of each step. He also sells an updated PDF version of the tutorial, using slightly different paints and methods, which I have yet to try – but even without using the specific the tutorial is absolutely worth it for his thoughts on how to get easy airbrush highlights and painting eyes.

Blood Angels First Captain Raldoron
Blood Angels First Captain Raldoron. Credit: Jack Hunter

Step 1: Primer

Prime with Vallejo German Red Brown. One coat is generally plenty, this covers well.

Step 2: Preshading

Airbrush shadows with Vallejo Model Color Dark Sea Blue, or some other dark greenish-blue. Using blues in the shadows will eventually make them lean towards purple, which is some added visual interest and makes them seem darker by comparison to the reds.

Step 3: Pre-highlights

Airbrush white onto the raised areas, with shoulders being brighter than kneecaps.

Step 4: Color tones

Airbrush VMA Medium Yellow over the entire model. The red we’re going to use leans towards magenta, so by undercoating in yellow we pull it back towards a very pure red.

Step 5: Red

Airbrush VMA Red over the entire model. This is relatively translucent but still covers well – it picks up all the preshading we’ve done but I don’t find it needs multiple coats to get a consistent color.

Step 6: Pinwashing

Gloss varnish, apply any decals, and carefully pinwash with nuln oil or a black oil wash. I used to use gloss nuln oil, but GW discontinuing gloss washes was one of their worst decisions ever and I no longer have enough to just coat the whole model in it. Once you’ve pinwashed everything, throw a coat of matte varnish down.

Step 7: The details

I paint black details in Proacryl Dark Neutral Grey, and silvers in Proacryl Dark Silver, then both can be covered together in a wash of nuln oil.

This gives me a pretty quick method of getting large units of troops ready, and with just a little bit more effort can have characters particularly stand out.

Pendulin's Method - Click to Expand

Let’s go old school. Let’s go back to a distant Space Hulk, riddled with Tyranids and treasure, with Sergeant Lorenzo of the Blood Angels.

Sergeant Lorenzo, Terminator Sergeant
Sergeant Lorenzo, Terminator Sergeant. Credit: Pendulin

But how did Sergeant Lorenzo get such great looking armor? Well, before we go the the grim darkness of the 41st millennium, let’s go back to unprimed plastic and work our way up.

My copy of Lorenzo had some battle damage – the chalice at the top was missing, the holes on his bolter were cracked, and the armor above his head was chipped. Fixing those up gives us a clean place to start however.

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

Start by priming black. I didn’t take a photo of just this because it honestly wasn’t that interesting. Just think of the above picture, with a layer of black primer on it. Very exciting.

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

After priming, find all the areas that will eventually be red, and base with Rhinox Hide. Rhinox is a fantastic paint to work with, so this step is a breeze.

After that, start mixing Rhinox Hide and Mephiston Red and stippling it on. You want to slowly add red to the brown, if you’re unfamiliar with stippling, just think of little tiny dots covering the entire model. This creates subtle differences in color that look more natural than flat brush strokes. It also takes a lot longer, so strike your own balance. Note: paint any cloaks before doing this, as explained below.

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

Welcome to below. The reason for painting cloaks first is that I paint the cloaks with drybrushing, and that tends to be messy. If you paint them in the order I did, you’ll have to go back and clean up all the red paint you accidentally drybrush over. Not a huge deal, but it’s an optimization I’d recommend.

If the model has a cloak, start by drybrushing Vallejo Sombre Grey. If you want it a little warmer, or have some interesting undertones, then before the Sombre Grey you can Drybrush it with Rhinox Hide, Dark Reaper, or Incubi Darkness. That’s not a critical step though, as the Sombre Grey will be an extremely dominant color.

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

After that, drybrush Vallejo Wolf Grey. This is a similar hue to Sombre Grey, just a bit brighter, which is exactly what we want.

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

Tangent on painting the cloak is finished, back to armor. Continue mixing more Mephiston Red with Rhinox Hide and stippling it on. You want the edges and corners of the armor to remain dull and brown, and all the flat panels to get brighter and more red.

Eventually you want to go to 100% Mephiston Red to get that iconic Blood Angels color.

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

After stippling on Mephiston Red, we actually want to go even brighter. This is because areas that would get direct sunlight should look even brighter. Fortunately, Evil Sunz Scarlet is perfect for this. So mix of Mephiston Red and Evil Sunz Scarlet and stipple it on. Eventually adding more and more Evil Sunz until you are stippling pure Evil Sunz onto the brightest areas of the model (the spots that would get direct sunlight).

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

Alright, that’s mighty bright. Let’s now work on some other areas of the model. For the Terminator seals, markings, and skulls, use the same colors as the cloak: Vallejo Sombre Grey and Vallejo Wolf Grey.

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

Couple more steps completed here. For the gold, I stuck with the classic Retributor Armour, on gems I used Mephiston Red, and for tassels I painted those with Wraithbone.

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

Couple more steps here. For the gems, I painted on some Evil Sunz Scarlet in the lower half, and then a crescent of Wild Rider Red on the bottom.

For the bolter, I based the whole thing with Reaper MSP Mahogany Brown. Then I stippled on Dark Reaper into the flat areas, leaving brown showing on all the corners.

Additionally, if your Blood Angel scheme calls for any yellow (like the helmets on close-quarters units), use Tallarn Sand and maybe mix just a touch of Balor Brown for highlighting sharp corners.

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

And we finally come to the arbitrary point in the model where I decide to paint the skin. An awkward start, but base the skin with Vallejo Abyssal Turquoise. Yeah, you red that right. Trust me, it turns out well.

If your model has random cables, like the ones under Lorenzo’s arms, hit those with Incubi Darkness.

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

Follow up the skin with Vallejo Succubus Skin. I honestly did a poor job blending them here, but I clean it up a bit in later pictures.

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

Then mix a little bit of Vallejo Succubus Skin and Vallejo Plague Brown for your skin highlights. On his eyes, I did a little dash of Yriel Yellow for some Space Marine glowing eye coolness.

I also painted the power sword in this step, because I got carried away. For that, start by painting the whole blade in Incubi Darkness. Then feather the Incubi Darkness to Thunderhawk Blue as the blade gets brighter. From there, feather it to Fenrisian Grey for the blade at it’s brightest. Hit the edge of the blade with white, either ProAcryl White or Vallejo Dead White or whatever you have handy.

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: PendulinLet’s get some shading in. Shade all the gold with Reikland Fleshshade to give it a reddish hue, and shade any white tassels with Agrax Earthshade. If you have gems whose edges don’t seem defined enough, especially when next to red armor, then trace a thin amount of Nuln Oil around their edges. This will create a nice dividing line between that separates the gem from its surroundings.

In the photo below I also did some edge-stippling with Vallejo Metal Color Steel. You can most easily see this on the bolter, and the scratches to Lorenzo’s armor on his lower chest. But I applied this anywhere that light would be catching an edge to the armor.

Also in the picture below I finished painting the cables below his arm. Not sure why it took me so long to get back to it, but whatever. Thin down some Skrag Brown and work it into the ridges of the cables.

One last thing, below I also painted the purity seal on his left shoulder. This follows my standard recipe for purity seals: Rakarth Flesh paper, Screamer Pink wax, Pink Horror wax highlights, fine scribbles with Rhinox Hide for lettering, and finally wash with Agrax Earthshade.

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

And that wraps up the model. Base it how you’d like, and you’ve got an awesome Blood Angel ready for the battlefield!

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

Blood Angel Terminator. Credit: Pendulin

Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms' Method - Click to Expand

I don’t collect Blood Angels, but Mephiston is such an iconic miniature. He’s frequently described as “sinister” in the background and I wanted the mini to reflect it:

“…there are whispers that Mephiston paid a dreadful price for his resurrection, that when he mastered the Black Rage something altogether more terrible took its place.”

The color scheme denotes him as a Blood Angel, but his skin is pale and his hair is no longer blonde.

I went with blood stains on his mouth and glove, suggesting that he may be transforming into something darker (part of his Faustian bargain for conquering the black rage). If I could go back, I’d add the body of a fallen Death Company to seal the deal.

Cool things I learned painting: Flesh Tearers Contrast Paint is great for glazing red. I should’ve gone brighter on the red highlights, first. Incubi Darkness is also great for blacklining red. Thanks to GW’s Darren Latham’s vid for both tips – check him out on YouTube!

Assembly warning:

  • Right Hand: Mephiston’s right hand (the one without the gun) may require some bending or manipulation during assembly to ensure it lines up closer to his mouth. Try playing with it before gluing in place permanently.
  • Mephiston’s Sword and Vials of Blood: I prefer to paint my models wholly assembled, but it was difficult to paint Mephiston’s robes while his sword and vials of blood were attached. Consider leaving these off the model when painting.
  • Mephiston’s Head: I didn’t glue the head to the body so I could prime and paint it separately.

Wet Palette:

Wet palettes are one of the biggest game changers to how you’ll paint your minis. If you’re not using one. Get one immediately! You can make one yourself, but I recommend this one from Red Grass games.

Why use a Wet Palette?

The acrylic paints we use are designed to dry quickly, faster than we have time to paint! Wet Palettes help you avoid painting “out of the bottle”, keep your paints lasting longer and keep your paint layers thin!

Undercoating / Priming:

Mephiston Guide for placing highlights by Crab-stuffed Mushrooms

Hobby Cheating: After priming your model, hold it under a bright light and take a photo. This will act as a “guide” for where you should place your highlights!

I decided to paint Mephiston in “hard mode” and primed him with Chaos Black spray paint. This made it easier to ignore hard to reach places that I couldn’t paint easily with a brush! The head was primed separately with Grey Seer.

  • Acrylic Paints are transparent and the primer can influence the color: If you want a brighter model, consider a neutral or whiter primer, like Mechanicus Standard Grey or Greyseer.
  • Black primer will require additional layers of paint (and thus more patience and time) for basecoating.

Basecoating (“Battle Ready”)

Mephiston with Basecoats by Crab-stuffed Mushrooms

  • The red armor was basecoated with several layers of Mephiston Red diluted with water.
    • It’s OK if the first few coats are “streaky” or lack perfect coverage.
    • Wait for the previous coat to dry and then go over it with another diluted coat of Mephiston Red.
    • This will take 3-4 coats, maybe more. Patience is key – enjoy the process!
  • The purple robes were basecoated with several layers of Phoenician Purple diluted with
    • You could also use Xereus Purple as an alternative.
  • The bone areas were basecoated with Zandri Dust
  • The Blood Angel icons on the shoulder and waist were basecoated with Mechanicus Standard Grey.
  • The metal was basecoated with Iron Warriors (you could also use Leadbelcher).
  • The gold/brass areas were basecoated with Burnished Gold.

Shading / Highlighting (“Parade Ready”)

Painting Mephiston’s Face

Mephiston’s Face by Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms

I recommend you paint the first to keep yourself motivated. You can re-attach the face once you’ve painted the top area of the model.

The secret to painting faces is watered-down, thin layers (mine were a bit chunky here). Go lightly when spraying primer so you don’t obscure detail. If you don’t get perfect coverage, that’s okay:

  • The hair was painted with several layers of Black Templar Contrast Paint diluted 50/50 with Contrast Medium.
  • The skin was basecoated with Rakarth Flesh
  • The skin was then shaded using Skeleton Horde Contrast Paint diluted 50/50 with Contrast Medium.
  • The skin was then re-painted with Rakarth Flesh (ignore the crevices), try to focus on the forehead, eyelids, nose, ridges above and around the lips and cheekbones.
  • These areas were then highlighted with Pallid Wych Flesh diluted with water (leave some of the previous layer of Rakarth Flesh showing).
  • These areas were further highlighted with Pallid Wych Flesh mixed 50/50 with White Scar.
  • The blood on the face was painted with Flesh Tearer Contrast Paint heavily-diluted with Contrast Medium (at least 4 parts Medium to 1 part Flesh Tearer).

 Painting Red Armor

Mephiston by Crab-stuffed Mushrooms

Reminder: See ‘Battle-Ready’ for basecoats.

  • The red armor was first shaded with watered-down Khorne Red.
    • You can be sloppy with this: Aim for the recesses and don’t worry if it spills over.
  • The red armor was then blacklined with Incubi Darkness diluted with Lahmian Medium.
    • Try to be neater with this step. Aim for all of the cracks in the armor.
    • You can rub off the excess with your brush or a thumb if you need to.
    • Clean up the areas with Khorne Red.
  • The red armor was then highlighted with Evil Sunz Red diluted with Lahmian Medium.
    • You can be sloppy with this step as well. Aim for the edges and raised areas.
    • It’s OK if the red appears orange: We’ll be dulling this down when we glaze.
  • The red armor was further highlighted with Wild Rider Red diluted with Lahmian Medium.
    • Aim for the edges.
  • The red armor was given a final highlight of Screaming Skull.
    • Keep this limited to the tips of the edges, this should be a very fine highlight.
  • The Secret Sauce: Glaze the red armor with Flesh Tearers Contrast Paint (diluted with Contrast Medium)!
    • Warning: This will kill your previous highlights if you don’t dilute it with Contrast Medium (at least 4:1).
    • I went too far with this. It’s hard to see my highlights in the photos.
  • Re-add / clean-up your previous highlights after the glaze (if needed):
    • You can be lighter with this stage, you don’t want to risk over-highlighting the red!

Shading / Highlighting Mephiston’s Robes

Mephiston's Robes
Mephiston’s Robes

Remember that photo we took of the primed model? We’ll use that as a reference for placing our highlights:

  • The Robes were shaded with Drakenhof Nightshade.
  • The Robes were then re-highlighted with Phoenician Purple (ignoring the recesses).
    • You could also use Xereus Purple
  • These highlights were further highlighted with Screamer Pink mixed 50/50 with Xereus Purple.
    • Leave some of the previous highlight showing.
  • This previous highlight was mixed with Slaanesh Grey.
    • Aim for the top of the folds in the robes.
  • The final highlight was an edge highlight of Slaanesh Grey.

Painting Mephiston’s Cape

Mephiston’s Cape

Remember to use that photo you took of the primed model as a guide for placing the highlights. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it will help guide your brush!

The Trick to highlighting the cape will be leaving a sufficient amount of black showing:

  • The cape was basecoated with Abaddon Black.
  • The cape was first highlighted with Dark Reaper (ignore the recesses).
  • The second highlight was Thunderhawk Blue (leave some of the previous highlight showing).
  • The third highlight was Thunderhawk Blue mixed 50/50 with Fenrisian Grey.
  • The fourth highlight was an edge highlight of Fenrisian Grey.
  • The final highlight was an edge highlight applied to the corners only of Ulthuan Grey.

Shading / Highlighting the Bone:

Mephiston’s Right Shoulder Pauldron

  • The bone areas were shaded with Skeleton Horde Contrast Paint.
  • The bone areas were then re-basecoated with Zandri Dust (ignore the recesses).
  • These areas were then highlighted with Ushabti Bone (leave some of the previous highlight showing).
  • This was further highlighted with Screaming Skull.

Painting the Jewels:

Try to keep the highlights limited to the “bottom-right” of the jewel. The “top-left” should remain Caliban Green:

  • The jewels were basecoated with Caliban Green
  • The jewels were first highlighted with Warpstone Glow
  • The second highlight was Moot Green (leave some of the previous highlight showing).
  • The third highlight was Yriel Yellow (this should be an edge highlight in the bottom-right).
  • The final highlight was a dot of White Scar in the top-left of each jewel.
  • Optional: After varnishing the model, you can apply a gloss highlight of ‘Ardcoat to give the jewels some shine.

Painting the Wings:

  • The wings were basecoated with several layers of Dawnstone
  • They were then washed with a coat of Basilicanum Grey Contrast Paint.
  • The wings were then re-layered with
  • The wings were then highlighted with Administratum Grey (leave some of the previous layer showing).
  • The wings were further highlighted with Ulthuan Grey (leave some of the previous highlight showing at the base of each feather).
  • The wings were given a final highlight of White Scar.

Painting the Gloves

I used a different set of greys to differentiate the gloves from the cape:

  • The Gloves were basecoated with Abaddon Black
  • They were then highlighted with Skavenblight Dinge
  • The Gloves were further highlighted with Stormvermin Fur
  • They were given a final highlight of Administratum Grey.

Painting Mephiston’s Force Sword Vitarus

Try to make your sword highlights “uneven” along different parts of the flat of the blade.

  • The sword was basecoated with Mephiston Red
  • The sword was then highlighted with Wild Rider Red
  • It was then further highlighted with Troll Slayer Orange
  • The sword was then given a final edge highlight of Fire Dragon Bright.
  • The sword was then glazed with a coat of Gryph-Hound Orange heavily-diluted with Contrast Medium (1:4).
  • The sword edges were then re-highlighted with Fire Dragon Bright.

Mephiston, Lord of Death by Crab-stuffed Mushrooms
Mephiston, Lord of Death by Crab-stuffed Mushrooms

Vengeance for Sanguinius!

Hopefully that gives you everything you need to start painting up your own Blood Angels, including the iconic Death Company and Sanguinary Guard. Blood Angels can be a very striking army on the tabletop, with their mix of red, black, and gold. If you have any questions about the methods here, or you’d like to share some models and methods of your own, shoot us a comment in the comments section below or send us an email at We love to get feedback from readers, and if you’ve got a Blood Angels army of your own you’d like to showcase in one of our Army Showcase articles, feel free to tell us that too — we’re always looking for new armies to showcase.

This article is part of a larger series on how to paint Space Marines. To return to that series, click here.