Paint an Ultramarines Army Overnight

When it comes to painting a large Ultramarines army in no time, “Quantity is a quality of its own” is the mantra.  Here’s how to do it!

I painted the store’s Dark Imperium demo using this method.  The goal was simply to have painted models quickly do showcase and teach people how to play 40K with.

But I’ve since then added a plethora of primaris to this force, and I painted all of them in the same fashion, so they match.

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.

Paint an Ultramarines Army Overnight

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.

It’s a very similar process for the vehicles.  The differences are listed at the end of the article.

Step 1

The Army Painter Ultramarine Spray Primer.

Go over everything with two thin coats of the shaker can. If you opted for partial assembly, spray weapons and tracks with silver, and faces with some flesh color.

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

Once everything is built, we are looking to do every surface that’s not going to be blue with the right color.

We are looking for a smooth and opaque base coat over everthing.

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.


I’m a fan of Citadel Leadbelcher.   However, if you sprayed parts silver, use the same color.

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.


Citadel golds are really hard to beat, they cover like nobody’s business.  I always use either Balthasar Gold, Retributor Gold or Runelord Brass.

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.

Details Colors

Red, White, Tan, Brown, Skin and Black, that is.

There’s not a lot more to be said here that’s different from each step.  Instead I wrote which colors I used.

Again, these were chosen because of how well they cover and how they pair with our shading.

Mephiston Red for cloaks, purity seals,  and sarge helmets.

Ulthuan Grey for white.some helmets, Ultramarines icons, cloak details, and squad markings.

Zandri Dust for purity seals, scrolls and whatnots.

Skrag Brown for all the belts, boots, pouches and straps.  This will look weird at this stage, the shading makes a huge difference.

For the black on cables and joints, we’re using any kind of off-black you prefer.

This because straight black will look lame with shading.

P3 Coal Black is awesome for this, but you can also use pretty much anything.  I like Dark Reaper, Incubi Darkness or Skavenblight Dinge a lot.

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

Step 3

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.

In terms of productivity, now would be a good time to do the bases for the army.

For readability and simplicity’s sake we’ll finish the steps for the models.

Step 4

Make sure the Quickshade is dry!  This can’t be stressed enough.  Otherwise, it can damage your models.  This is very important, and not something you can work around, waiting is the name of the game.

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.

Everyone has a favorite brand of varnish, make sure you use a matte one.  Otherwise, the shine of the Quickshade might make your army look weird.

Step 5

Making it pop!

Thought we were done because of the varnish?  Absolutely not!  In fact, this is the most important step of your Ultramarines army!

This is where you go the extra mile and make your models stand out and pop on the battlefield.

Citadel Moot Green and Flashgitz Yellow are used to paint the lenses, lights, gems and plasma and power weapons.

Follow this with a glaze of thinned down Warp Lightning Green.


The bases for this army are the ones found in this dollar e-book from Kindle.  Don’t worry, it’s free if you have kindle unlimited.

Any matte color would work for this kind of Ultramarines army.  Desert, Snow, or Swamp,  the purpose f the base if to make the model stand out.

Like we always do for armies, we paint all of our bases at the same time.  Along with the optional display board.

This is both for consistency’s sake as well as time saving.

Tanks and Vehicles

If you are doing tanks, I would advise against Quickshading them.

I would either edge highlight or dry brush 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 you don’t end up wasting extra time.

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

2 thoughts on “Paint an Ultramarines Army Overnight

    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.

Share your thoughts