How to Paint Everything – Excoriators Space Marines

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

The Excoriators were first mentioned in Codex: Eye of Terror, released in third edition. They were one of the twenty chapters which made up the Astartes Praeses, a collection of chapters creating during the Second Founding for the sole purpose of guarding the area around the Eye of Terror. They’re a successor chapter to the Imperial Fists, and have had several Black Library books detailing their exploits from author Rob Sanders.

The Excoriators are a codex-compliant chapter in cream colored armor. I chose them as the chapter to paint my marines because I wanted to paint mostly white armor with black accents, and picked them out of one of the big illustrated poster lists of chapters. They also had the added bonus of enshrining battle damage on their armor with the date and world of incident, which I took as a fun challenge to try out some detailed freehand work. The black rims on shoulders and quartered field both are indicators that they are fourth company. I chose to put yellow in the field as a nod to the Imperial Fists.

Painting the Armor

I start by priming these models white, though Wraithbone will also work very well. For the next step I thin Agrax Earthshade with a little bit of Army Painter Quickshade Medium (Lahmian Medium would probably work too), and paint it very carefully into the recesses. This will take a little longer than slopping it on, but will save a lot more time on cleanup later. Then do a base coat of liquitex heavy body unbleached titanium. By using a wet palette and a dropper bottle with a mix of water and a small amount of flow improver + matt medium, I can thin the heavy body paint to a mini painting consistency. If I were trying to replicate the color using the Citadel Paint line I would use Screaming Skull.

This next part of the process is a two-stage series of highlights:

  • The first is a chunky highlight of 50/50 mix of unbleached titanium and pure white.
  • The second is a finer highlight of pure white. 

The change is barely perceptible in the photos, but it makes a difference. I have also painted this armor with pure white highlight along the flat surfaces where top down light would be hitting it, to good effect.

Undersuit/Shoulder trim/Tubing

All these parts are done basically the same. Start with a black base coat. Then a thin line of a medium blue color is put along upper side or edges of the surface. Next a mix of that medium blue and a bit of white is added in the middle of the first blue line. I like using blue instead of grey in this case because it adds a little pop of contrast with the warmer base armor color.


The process here is base black, cover with Leadbelcher. Then two coats of Nuln Oil and highlight the very edges of feathers and top of skull with Runefang Steel when dry.

Here you can see the overall effect:

Battle Damage

Every Excoriator needs to memorialize when they put themselves between the Emperor and the weapons of his enemies, and that means painting more battle damage. For our full tutorial on painting battle damage, check out this article.

Credit: Skails

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