How to Paint Everything: The Purge Chaos Space Marines

In our How to Paint Everything series we look at how to paint, well, everything, with a look at different techniques and schemes from different painters. In this article we’re looking at how to paint the Chaos Space Marines of The Purge renegade chapter.

The purge are a renegade chapter of Chaos Space Marines dedicated to the Chaos God Nurgle. They were first introduced in the 4th edition release of Codex: Chaos Space Marines, listed as “despising life in all of its forms.” Their ultimate goal is to purge (haha) all life from the galaxy, be it human or xenos. They believe that the galay is corrupt beyond repair or redemption and so at this point the only thing left to do is just kill everything. They pray to Nurgle for an unholy plague to wipe the galaxy clean.

The Purge would show up again later in the Siege of Vraks and more prominently in 8th edition, where they were given custom rules of their own in the second Vigilus campaign book, Vigilus Ablaze. The Purge are notable for their black and green armor and for their specific relic, The Orb of Unlife, a supercharged nurgle hand grenade. Their special rules mostly revolved around being able to shoot into combat with their own guys, since all life, including their own, was deemed worthless.

Covered in this Article

  • How to Paint the Purge Chaos Space Marines, with multiple approaches from different authors.
  • Notes on the Heraldry of the Purge

The Purge Heraldry - Click to Expand

In shedding their imperial allegiance, the Purge have also discarded any notions of Imperial heraldry or the Codex Astartes. Instead their chapter icon has become a trio of flies, representative of their new patron deity. Not much is known about the warband before their fall to Chaos, and they likely draw from a number of different sources rather than just being a single fallen chapter. You can find more on painting this icon in Skails’ tutorial, below.

Credit: Games Workshop

Armor-wise, the Purge are distinct among Chaos Space Marines in that they have relatively uncomplicated schemes when it comes to their color. Specifically their scheme does not feature complicated trim of a separate color. Instead the chapter’s greaves, helmets, and shoulder pads are painted a putrid green while the rest of their armor is painted black.

Painting the Purge

Painting the Purge has a lot in common with painting the Death Guard; while the warband have some notable differences and are considered to use the rules in Codex: Chaos Space Marines, they likely make use of a lot of the same plague weaponry and doing conversions with Death Guard bits to model the Purge is fun, easy, and flavorful.

For more on painting the Death Guard, including notes on painting corroded weapons, rusty armor, and green slime, check out our article on How to Paint Death Guard.

Skails' Method - Click to Expand

Skails is no stranger to painting gross, decaying things and so jumped at the chance to paint a chaos space marine from The Purge. Skails started this process by priming the model black before starting on the green armor.

Green Armor

  • Top Left: Citadel Deathworld Green basecoat.
  • Top Right: Citadel Athonian Camoshade all over wash.
  • Bottom Left: Citadel Stracken Green layer. Upward facing surfaces, avoiding recesses.
  • Bottom Right: Vallejo Model Color Middlestone Highlight. Highest points, edges and rivets.

Black Armor

  • Left: Vallejo Model Color German Grey.
  • Middle: Vallejo Model Color Basalt.
  • Right: Vallejo Game Color Stonewall Grey.


As far as chapter icons go, the Purge icon is pretty easy to paint by hand.

  • Top Left: Three dots in a triangle.
  • Top Right: Lines pointing away from other dots.
  • Bottom Left: Two more lines angled toward edges.
  • Bottom Right: Curves joining lines together. Cleanup of any smudges or blobs on lines can be done with Stracken Green.

Other Bits


Citadel Mephiston Red all over. Citadel Wild Rider red dots in middle. Thinned Mephiston Red above and below eyes.

Leather straps & Holster

Citadel Rhinox Hide basecoat. Citadel Doombull Brown layer. Vallejo Sun Yellow stippled along edges of leather. Stipples and Slashes with Citadel Zandri Dust.


Citadel Rhinox Hide basecoat. Citadel Zandri Dust layer at base of horns. Zandri Dust x Doombull Brown mix layer further out on horns. Doombull brown layer further out still. Doombull x Rhinox Hide layer toward ends of horns. Rhinox Hide layer on ends. Black at tips. Citadel Seraphim Sepia wash. Spot highlights with Citadel Screaming Skull along top of horn from base to tips.


Citadel Rhinox Hide basecoat. Citadel Doombull Brown layer. Citadel Zandri Dust Highlight. Stipple with Burnt Umber ink and Crimson Red ink.


  • Silver: Citadel Gunmetal basecoat. Black wash. Gunmetal highlight.
  • Copper: Scale75 Victorian Brass. Seraphim Sepia wash. Scale 75 Pure Copper highlight.

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TheChirurgeon's Method - Click to Expand

I ended up kitbashing my marine a bit, giving him the arm from a Plague Marine with a plague knife hand. It’s a small bit swap but it goes a long way to giving the model a much more Nurgle feel.

I started by priming the model black.

Step 1: Basecoats

The Purge have green armor on the greaves/feet, shoulder pads, and helmet, with black everywhere else. You can go richer on the green, but I chose to go with something similar to my Death Guard, so I basecoated those parts with Castellan Green. I also lay down the basecoats for the black armor at this stage, highlighting with Corvus Black to get a lighter shade.

Step 2: Wash

Next up comes washing the areas I just painted. The green armor is washed with Athonian Camoshade while the black parts are washed with Nuln Oil. 

Step 3: Highlights and Metal Bits

Two big steps here. The first is painting the metal bits. I paint those with Leadbelcher, hitting the knife, gun parts, chainmail, horn, and back of the knees, plus some bits on the backpack. Next I highlight the armor. This starts with a coat of Castellan Green, then I blend highlight that up with Death World Forest.

Step 4: More Highlights and Details

There are a few more spots that need basecoats at this point – primarily the cloth tabard and the leather bits. The tabard I paint Grey Seer, then highlight it up to Reaper Pure White. The leather parts are Mournfang Brown.

Step 5: Washes + Eyes

Time for some more washes, plus the eyes. I wash the metal bits with Nuln Oil, and then I come back and hit the blade with Agrax Earthshade. I wash the leather parts with Agrax Earthshade, and I’ll shade some of the cloth tabard with Apothecary White.

The eyes get painted with Mephiston Red and highlighted with Evil Sunz Scarlet.

Step 6: Edge Highlights

Time to lay down the edge highlights. I did this in step 5 for the green armor, but I’m talking about it now. I edge highlight the green armor with Death Guard Green. If you want a second, lighter layer, Ogryn Camo will work fine for that.

The black parts get highlighted with Mechanicus Standard Grey.

Step 7: Final Details

Time for some final details. I paint the cross guard on the knife and the Nurgle mark on the vambrace with Balthasar Gold, then wash them with Agrax Earthshade. The blade I painted with Typhus Corrosion, then drybrushed it with Ryza Rust and added some edge highlighting with Runefang Steel.

That tabard is far too clean for a Nurgle devotee so I paint it with some spots of Agrax and Athonian Camoshade to make it look soiled and gross. The eye on the bolt pistol I painted with Averland Sunset, highlighted with Yriel Yellow. Then a black line with Black Legion Contrast.

That pretty much finishes off the model. I freehanded the icon on the shoulder using Black Legion Contrast paint, basically doing the same thing Skails did – start with the three dots, draw the lines from those, then finish off the wing shapes.

I really enjoyed painting this guy. The conversions were fun and easy – just a knife and a shoulder pad – and the scheme is pretty fun and unique. There’s something very refreshing about trim that doesn’t have to be a different color from the parts around it.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Final Thoughts

The Purge are an interesting and fun chapter to paint, with a distinct paint scheme. They offer a ton of fun conversion opportunities for kitbashing Death Guard and Chaos Space Marine kits, and lots of excuses to paint rusty metal and slather things in Nurgle’s Rot. They also have one of the easiest icons to freehand, and it’s a good army for painters who want to try their hand at the process and refine their skills.

Have any questions or feedback? Want to show off your own Purge models? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at