The Fastest Way to Paint Ultramarines

Bobby G is a force to be reckoned with on the tabletop, and you want in on the action?  Here’s how to paint an Ultramarines army over the weekend.

I sold my ATC Ultramarines army a couple of weeks back to Spikey Bits’ own Rob Bear, the man, the myth, the catdaddy, the legend himself.

He’s since then been pestering me to tell him how I painted them ( so he can paint some more I assume ).   So rather than suffer through another round of question, here’s the whole thing.

Here’s 3 parter for the week.  Today models tomorrow bases, and thursday a pimpin’ display board!

I painted the store’s Dark imperium and my ATC army with this method.  The store’s Primaris took 5 hours total, the 2,000 points army took me little over 15 hours.  This really is about getting the best bang for your buck, or in this case, best bang for your time.

Here we go!


Prep:  Have all your models assembled fully and on placeholder bases (Placeholder bases are an important part of this method, do not use your “final” bases).  The only part I would consider leaving unassembled is tank tracks and guns and cannons.

I didn’t have any tanks to paint this way, but if you do, you razorback-loving-maniac, don’t worry, I got you covered and have included how I would do vehicles.

Step 1 –

The Army Painter Ultramarine Spray Primer.  Go over everything with 2 thin coats of the shaker can. If you opted for partial assembly of shooty and tracky stuff, spray them with silver.

Go over any part not covered by the primer with the matching color from The Army Painter.  This is the main reason we are using that brand, the exact match of primer and paint.  If there were hands on the guns, paint them at this time.

*At this point, assemble the crap out of your models.  No excuses, no compromising, all the pieces on there. *

Step 2 –

At this point, we are looking to do every surface that’s not going to be blue with the right color in one smooth opaque coat of color.  The color choice I included are my favorite because of the way they cover and because of how well they look paired with the quickshade later.

Grab a suitable dark silver color ( I like Citadel Leadbelcher, if you sprayed parts silver, use the same silver) and paint every gun, grenade, sword, knife and stud on all of your dudes.  All the guns?  All the guns!  You don’t need to have red parts and black parts on there, just go ham.

Step 3 –

Gold.  I like Citadel’s Balthazar Gold for this, it looks rich and dark and it covers like nobody’s business.  Not having to do more than one coat is a big deal when you are trying to save time.   All the trims, skull insignas, chest plates and whatever you fancy is gold.

Step 4, 5…

Red, White, Tan, Brown, Skin and Black.  There’s not a lot more to be said here or different from each step, so they are combined here.  I wrote which colors I used, and except for the black, just pick your favorite.

Red: Cloaks, Top of purity Seals, Sarge Helmets.  Citadel Mephiston Red
White: Veteran/Capt. Helmets, Ultramarin Signs, cloak details, squad markings.  Citadel Ulthuan Grey ( this color is amazing)

Tan: Purity seals, scrolls and whatnots. Citadel Zandri Dust

Brown:  All the pouches, belts holsters and slings.  Citadel Skrag Brown – This will look weird, but it totally works, I swear.

Skin: Faces.  Citadel Bugman’s Glow – but really whatever, there’s not enough of it to make a big deal.

Black: Tubes and joints.  We’re using off-black for this because straight black will look lame with the quickshade. P3 Coal Black is awesome for this, but you can also use pretty much anything like Citadel Dark Reaper, Incubi Darkness or whatever the darkest grey is called.

These are the same steps for tanks, there shouldn’t be anything much different color-wise.

Step 8:

Quickshade Strong Tone and a large Dollar-store Brush.  I don’t really like to actually dip the models in that stuff, but brushing on a good coat on there with a large disposable brush works really fine.

You need to factor in a solid 10 hours for this to dry.  If you are on a tight deadline, pace your self accordingly.  It’s worth it to push yourself an extra hour or to to finish this step to leave it overnight to dry.

Now would be a good time to do the bases.  For readability/simplicity’s sake I’ll finish the steps for the models, but if you’re following along, go straight to the bases and knock yourself out.

Step 9

Make sure the Quickshade is dry before starting!  Otherwise, it can damage your models and you don’t want that

The Army Painter Anti-Shine Varnish.  Long time readers know how I love this varnish, so it’s no surprise it’s what goes on here.  This step will take all the gloss out of your models and make them near indestructible should you knock them over during games.

If you are doing tanks, I would advise against quickshading them.  I would either edge highlight or drybrush lightly the tanks or do an oil paint wash on them.  Oil paints take pretty much the same time to dry as the quickshade, so bonus.

Step 10

Making it pop!  Thought we were done?  No-sir!  This is where you go the extra mile and make your models stand out and pop on the battlefield.

Citadel Moot Green and Flashgits Yellow are used to paint the lenses, lights, gems and plasma and power weapons.  Follow this with a wash of Waywatcher Green and you are good to go.

If you have tanks, you can spray black and dark brown along the exhaust ports to give them a good weathered look.

And there you have it for our baseless Ultramarines force.  Check out the next part of this serie for the world’s most effective basing!

4 thoughts on “The Fastest Way to Paint Ultramarines

    1. Oh yeah, it’s quite similar. Nuln Oil, Agrax Earthshade, and Seraphim Sepia are pretty much equivalent to Dark, Strong, and Soft tone washes from The Army Painter.

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