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In this exclusive Tale of Painters’ tutorial I share with you my detailed guide to painting Chaos Cultists. The scheme is quite generic and would work great with several warbands. More after the jump.

This tutorial assumes you have a basic understanding of how to paint. For the beginners, I will explain the techniques as I go along. Each picture below shows four chronological steps. Underneath each picture are the corresponding instructions. Each step shows the paint I used during that step.

Paints you will need for this tutorial:

Black Undercoat

Cadian Fleshtone (layer)

Bugman’s Glow (base)

Kislev Flesh (layer)

Rakarth Flesh (base)

Incubi Darkness (base)

Thunderhawk Blue (layer)

Russ Grey (layer)

Eshin Grey (layer)

Dawnstone (layer)

Nuln Oil (shade)

Mephiston Red (base)

Evil Sunz Scarlett (layer)

Leadblecher (base)

Agrax Earthshade (shade)

Runefang Steel (layer)

Flash Gitz Yellow (layer)

Steel Legion Drab (base)

Armageddon Dust (texture)

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1. Undercoat the model black. I use Vallejo Surface Primer. Once undercoated, I also based the model in a way which fits in with my collection. I used Armageddon Dust texture paint highlighted with Screaming Skull and the base edge was painted with Steel Legion Drab. You can base the models at the end if you prefer. 

2. Basecoat all the flesh with Cadian Fleshtone. This will take around three coats.

3. Create a wash by mixing Bugman’s Glow with Lahmian Medium. Start with a 50:50 mix of the two paints on a mixing palette and continually mix more and more Lahmian Medium into the mix until you end up with a paint with the consistency of a wash. Paint this all over the skin.

4. Highlight the skin further using Kislev Flesh.

5. Use Rakarth Flesh as a final highlight on the skin. 

6. Basecoat the trousers using Incubi Darkness.

7. Highlight the trousers with Thunderhawk Blue. Make sure you leave the Incubi Darkness showing in the recesses. 

8. Add a thin edge highlight of Russ Grey to the top of the folds of the trousers.

9. Use Eshin Grey to Highlight the boots, wrist straps and shirt of the Cultist.

10. Highlight the edges of the Eshin Grey step with Dawnstone using thin lines. I also painted the chaos star icon on his wrist with Dawnstone. This will be yellow later on and yellow is easier to paint over a lighter colour than black.

11. Use Nuln Oil all over the black areas to tone down the highlighting and tie the highlights together better.

12. Add some Lahmian Medium to Mephiston Red. Using this thinned mix highlight the hood and loin cloth. Leave black showing in the recesses. Build this up with another couple of layers to build up the intensity of the red. 

13. Highlight the edges of the hood and loin cloth using Evil Sunz Scarlett.

14. Paint the gun and some of the details on the gas mask and his back pack with Leadbelcher.

15. Wash over all the metal areas with Agrax Earthshade.

16. Edge highlight the metal with Runefang Steel.

17. Paint the Chaos Star and eyes with Flash Gitz Yellow. For the eyes you may need to paint white first. 

That’s it. Because some of the sculpts of the Cultists are identical it’s a good idea to move the colours around on duplicates. For instance you could paint this model again with a black hood, blue/grey shirt and black trousers. 

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