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How to Paint White Space Marines, an Easy Guide

It seems that me writing down the next day's post is a curse. IT has seen fit to disable my work email account, as they thought I was one of the leaving teachers this year. Which means my School's League information is not available for me to blog about.

I'll let you know if this is management's subtle way of saying they're sick of the kids shouting "Blood for the Blood God", and that I should clean out my classroom before next term. However, it does mean I can get a head start on my Painting Perfect White Space Marines guide.

How to Paint Perfect White Space Marines, the Easy Way

how to paint white space marine
Perfect white power armour


Painting white is one of those challenges that people face when starting out in the hobby. Just like black, there is the problem of working in extremes. Colours tend to be easy, as you shade down to near black, and highlight up to near white.

White and black are really hard, as there's nowhere to shade down for black, and nowhere to highlight up with white.

Which is why my chapter, the Space Marine Field Police uses both!

how to paint white space marines
The old guard

how to paint white space marines
New boys on the beat
As such, I've had to get good at painting both black and white. And I've jut recently stumbled upon the quickest, easiest way to paint white.

Step 1: Undercoat

Spray your models white. Corax White works well, but I've also found that Halford's White Primer dos the job as well.

how to paint white space marines
Finish model to the left, tools and paints for each stage included in each image

Step 2: Thin wash

Thin down Fenrisian Grey with some water. You can use Lamian medium for a more even coverage, but I've found that simply using water allows the resulting wash to fall into the crevices in the armour more easily.

how to paint white space marines
Paint: Fenrisian Grey, Tool: Your regular base brush
This step gives us all the shading we'll ever need for White. I've seen other guides using other washes, and some fairly complex concoctions. However, they all tend to be dirty, or give too much colour, or simply look uninteresting.

Fenrisian Grey gives subtle shadows for a very clean look. I don't know why slightly blue hues to shadows make things look more clean, but they do. Even a neutral black wash tends to look grubby in comparison.

Step 3: Wet brushing

This is a technique that I'm sure many people have done in the past, but have never had a term for it. It's the same as dry brushing, but with a little more water added to the paint. The result is a slightly smoother blend from the base colour.

Take a little paint onto your pallette, and add a little water. Coat your brush, and then drag it along your pallet, removing all but a little paint on the brush. You should have enough to leave paint on your knuckles, but not enough for the paint to fill the cracks in your skin.

I use Ulthuan Grey as the colour for this stage. It's a slightly off-white colour, that blends really well with Fenrisian Grey and the final highlight. I tend to leave the inside of the legs, and the underside parts of the armour. This gives the effect of shadows, and more dramatic lighting effects.

Also, remember that you'll be seeing these models from the top down most of the time. Only Golden Demon entries and photo models have to worry about the bottom-up angles.

Be patient, and build up this high light slowly. You can obliterate the shading if you are too agressive with the paint.

how to paint white space marines
Paint: Ulthuan Grey, Brush: Medium Dry Brush
It's worth pointing out that these shadows you see in this stage are mostly a product of the paint job. This is the power of the wet brushing technique, giving you that almost natural blending without an airbrush.

Step 4: Dry brushed highlight

There's no surprise here. The final highlight is White Scar, gently dry brushed. Focus your brushing towards the top of the model, and be patient with this stage. Again, you can obliterate all the work you've done by overloading your brush.

how to paint white space marines
Paint: White Scars, Brush: Medium Dry Brush
At this point we're done! At least for normal rank and file Marines and their power armour. All you need to dois add your chapter colours and iconography... red for white scars, black for Lunar Wolves secret successors (I know that's why you want to paint white!), or whatever you like!

If you want to paint Primaris Field Police, my guide is coming up soon.

However, for officers and Sergeant models, there is another optional step.

Step 5: Edge high lighting

Really simple. Take your white scar and do an edge highlight on some of the most raised edges and panels.

how to paint white space marines
Paint: White Scar, Brush: Small layer brush
This gives you extra contrast where you need it, but I only recommend this for Sergeants and officers. This way they will stand out in the crowd a bit.


This is really quick, and amazingly easy. I can't say more than that. Clean results in 4 steps that can be mass produced. I really hope to see this technique on Warhammer TV at some point, shown off by Painting Master Duncan himself!

If you want to see the finished product, it should look something like this... although even this batch isn't done yet.

how to paint white space marines
Ready for the beat soon

Thanks for reading.

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