Necromunday – How to Paint Everything: Ambull

Howdy scummers! Long standing Necromunda Administrators know their players’ horror of running into an Ambull in the underhive. If you’re like some of us, you bought an Ambull and were then overwhelmed by its smooth carapace and how to paint it. Never fear, for this group of flunkies has a variety of ways to paint one up.


After languishing on my desk for 3 years, Cody Mann was hanging out and pointed it out. I had a spark of inspiration and off I went. Three days later and my Ambull was finally painted. Here’s how.

I started with my usual base coat of AP Bone primer over AP Leather Brown. I dry brushed the entire model with white. After that, the flesh bits got a coat of Skeleton Horde Contrast and the carapace a coat of Cygor Brown Contrast. Next, the larva and tubes on him got a coat of Iyanden Yellow Contrast while the noodley bits get a coat of Blood Angels Red Contrast.

The claws and pincers were base coat black and highlighted up with Ushabti bone added in progressive highlights. The eyes were also base coated in black, highlighted with a bright silver and glazed with Blood Angels Red Contrast.

The only other note here is that the carapace on the larger larva received a coat of Snakebite Leather Contrast to show their growth progression between the bright yellow little larva and the larger bugs.




As a Necromunda Arbitrator, the Ambull really is the great equalizer. Some gangs can eventually amass enough firepower to take on a single Rogue Ambot with a bit of preparation, but for those reckless enough – there’s always more dangerous game.

Bigger, faster, and nastier than its mechanized brethren, I knew I needed to paint my own Ambull with earthy colors to match the soil of its natural environment.

Carapace: Based with Karak Stone, washed in Agrax Earthshade. Layers were built up gradually with a mix of Karak Stone and Ushabti Bone, thinned down heavily with Lahmian Medium. Final highlights of pure Ushabti Bone.

Fleshy Bits: Based with Cadian Fleshtone, washed with Reikland Fleshshade. Layers were built up gradually with a mix of Cadian Fleshtone and Eldar Flesh, thinned down heavily with Lahmian Medium. Final highlights of pure Eldar Flesh, with a bit of Agrax Earthshade to add more definition where the flesh met the carapace.

Mandibles and Claws: Based with Rakarth Flesh with a heavy wash of Agrax Earthshade. Drybrushed with Ushabti Bone and highlighted with Screaming Skull.

Base: Chopped up 32mm Necromunda Bases buried in Astrogranite Debris. Ground based with Mechanicus Standard, metal parts based with Leadbelcher and Averland Sunset. Washed with Nuln Oil, drybrushed with Dawnstone and Administratum Gray.

All the Little Bits: Eyes are Dawnstone under a healthy dollop of Spiritstone Red. Maggots are a base of Nurgling Green under an Agrax Earthshade wash. Carapace bumps are Averland Sunset with an Agrax Earthshade wash, highlighted back up with more Averland and a dot of Yriel Yellow to highlight. The, ah, Mouth-Noodles are Dawnstone with a quick highlight of Ulthuan Grey.



I painted my large insect son blue because I like painting blue and I rarely get to do it. I’m very happy with how it came out, and I’ve used the recipe again on a Blood Bowl Troll I’ve painted recently. Blue, y’all. It’s cool!

Prime: Black.

Carapace: Stegadon Scale Green base. Drakenhof Nightshade wash. Generous highlight with Sotek Green. Thinner highlight with Temple Guard Blue. Final highlight with Baharroth Blue on the tips of the the raised edges.

Skin: The Fang undercoat. Russ Grey base. Nuln Oil wash. Go back over the raised bits with Russ Grey. Blend in Fenrisian Grey. Blend in Administratum Grey.

Mandibles and Claws: Abaddon Black base. Blend in highlight of Caledor Sky. Blend up to Teclis Blue.

Maggots: Zandri Dust base. Agrax Earthshade wash. Screaming Skull highlight. Tiny, itsy-bitsy drybrush with White Scar.

Orange stuff: No idea what this stuff is. Bioluminescence? No clue. Jokaero Orange undercoat. Troll Slayer Orange base. Seraphim Sepia wash. Back again with Troll Slayer Orange. Blend in Yriel Yellow and the Flash Gitz Yellow.

Eyes: Mephiston Red base. Agrax Earthshade wash. Back to Mephiston Red. Blend in Evil Sunz Scarlet and the Wild Rider Red.

Tentacles: Screamer Pink. Druchii Violet wash. Back to Screamer Pink. Blend up to Pink Horror.

Base: I use crop grit, aka bird sand, mixed with Elmer’s for the gravel. Primed black, Stormvermin Fur heavy drybrush, White Scar light drybrush. The metal bits are Warplock Bronze base, heavy Leadbelcher drybrush, Nuln Oil wash, and finally a light drybrush of Necron Compound.

And that’s it! We hope you’ve gotten a spark of inspiration to paint your own big bugs up! Want to see the crew tackle other minis? Drop a line at and let us know!