Speed Painting Blood Raven Space Marines

Get your army from Dawn of War straight to the tabletop in no time with this guide on how to speed paint Blood Raven Space Marines!

Speed Painting Blood Raven

The heroes from the Dawn of War series are one of the best chapter to paint for a Space Marine player.  Because they have a mysterious past (definitely not Thousand Sons…) you get to use them as almost whatever chapter successors you like.

This helps you compete in the ever changing meta without having to build and paint a whole now army when the good marines switch from White Scars to Iron Hands, for example.

And because they are a gamer’s delight, this method is perfect for speed painting.  This way, you can get your army on the table in no time.

This technique requires an airbrush.  This is different than most of our other how to articles where you can easily do without.  While not impossible, the main technique for this scheme is simply not worth doing by brush alone.


For the red armor, we will use Contrast paints in an unlikely way.  Instead of just smacking it on our model and relying on it to make the highlights and shadows, we will only use the contrasts to tint our pre-existing shadows and highlights.

We start with a black under coat.  It’s important to get full coverage with the black, we don’t want bare plastic popping out in some crease, as it will ruin the effect.

Next, highlight your model using Shining Silver.  This is very similar to zenithal priming, if only slightly more precise.  Basically you want to have a lot of black areas in the shadows, and a lot of blended areas of silver and black, reserving the pure shining silver only for the top parts on the miniatures.

If you like crisp lines of highlight, you can paint them on now with a brush.  This will add a depth to the final result.

Next is our contrast, Volupus Pink, which we will also airbrush.  Because we are using a lot of black in the base coat and that contrast plays a lot with transparency, this will not turn pink, but a dark red wine, perfect for Blood Raven.

The downside to this technique is that now we have to be very careful about mistakes on the red, because they are hard to correct.

Shoulder Plates

Our bone color starts on a base coat of Zandri Dust.  We highlight this with Skeleton Bone, before adding a thin and even layer of Seraphim Sepia.

The end result is probably a little darker than the classic look, but so is the entire model.  Feel free to skin the shading, or highlight up to white, but I don’t think it adds to the overall look.

With sub-assembly and/or clever masking, you can do the bone color of the shoulder plates with an airbrush.  If that’s your plan, I suggest doing it before the red, as it is much easier to mask of the shoulder plates than the entire space marine.

Squad Markings

While they are missing on our model, the Blood Raven chapter symbol is not one I’d recommend free handing, at least not on an army-wide level.  As such, I would look for decals or 3D printed pieces to add to the shoulder plates.

Black Accents

for Blood Ravens, the chest eagle and the shoulder pad trims are painted black.  We’ll also do this for the gun casing, otherwise we end up with a big chunk of silver in front of our model.

Any black you like will do here, just make sure it covers well so you can to it in one clean coat.  We will keep highlights minimal, but using Incubi Darkness, it will keep it interesting and contrasting next to the red.


All of the metallic on our Blood Raven army is silver.  This saves some time in the long run, and keep the army looking tight.

We could use gold accents on character to make them stand out that that’s about it.

Either Gun Metal or Leadbelcher, followed with a generous coat of Nuln Oil will do the trick.


Lastly, we paint over the accessories, like pouches, holsters and the gun’s forward grip.  Because our model is dark overall, we want to keep these dark as well, otherwise they will stick out.

Start with a base coat of Rhinox Hide, and highlight with Doom Bull Brown.  This will look slightly weird at first, but a shade of Nuln Oil will fix it and tie these accessories to the rest of the model.


Any neutral colored base would work fine for this army, dark brown, grey or beige.  I would avoid something like light green grass or snow, as those will clash with the overall feel of the model.

If you are looking for a different way to paint your Blood Raven’s armor, you can check out our Farsight Enclave tutorial.  This shows another technique for Dark Red that would be quite fitting for Blood Ravens.

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