Today I’ll share my technique for painting the scratched petrol armour as seen on the Skaven in my Spiteclaw’s Swarm warband for Warhammer Underworlds. This technique can be easily adapted to any model you would like, for example, Space Marines, T’au battlesuits, Chaos Warriors, and more.

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This tutorial assumes you have a good understanding of how to paint. Underneath each picture are the corresponding instructions. Each step shows the paint(s) I used during that step. If you need to expand your paint collection to follow the tutorial, check out our partner stores Wayland Games and Element Games, which offer an amazing range of paint brands at decent discounts.

Paints you will need for this tutorial:
Incubi Darkness (Base)
The Army Painter Warpaints Dark Tone Ink [or Nuln Oil]
Lahmian Medium (Technical)
Sons of Horus Green (Layer)
Ionrach Skin (Base)

1. Basecoat the armour with Incubi Darkness. Over a light primer such as Wraithbone you might need to apply two to three thin coats.

2. Wash the whole armour with Dark Tone Ink from The Army Painter’s Warpaints range [or Nuln Oil] mixed with a little bit of Lahmian Medium. The Lahmian Medium will help to reduce the pooling on larger flat areas, nevertheless, make sure to soak up any excess wash with a spare brush.

3. Next, highlight the edges of the armour with slightly thinned Sons of Horus Green. The opacity of this paint is mediocre, so you might need a second pass to build up sharp highlights. Once the highlights are done, you can add some scratches. Use thin paint and the smallest, sharpest brush you can find and start applying thin and irregular scratches in random areas. It’s surprisingly difficult for the brain to paint irregularly, so I googled a scratched texture and used it as a guideline to create various shapes and patterns.

Designed by Vladimir Radetzki

4. Apply an extreme edge highlight with Ionrach Skin. Try to keep it sharper and thinner than the Sons of Horus highlight you applied before. Finally, to complete the effect, highlight a couple of the scratches from step 3 as well, but not all of them to represent lighter and deeper scratches. It’s very easy to overpower the Sons of Horus Green scratches with Ionrach Skin, so try to keep these highlights even thinner. Use the very tip of your brush, I use a Winsor & Newton Series 7M 000, which is one of the smallest brushes you can find, keep the paint in a slightly thinned consistency, and apply the paint almost like stippling.

Incubi Darkness is a pretty dark base colour. For lighter colours, you can add even more variation by adding some deeper scratches. To do this, after step 2, use a paint that matches the colour of your shading, for example, Abaddon Black, and paint a couple of scratches. Do not overdo this, a couple here and there will be enough. Then, proceed with adding scratch marks as described in steps 3 and 4, and also highlight the lower part of your deep scratches to add extra depth. An example of this technique can be found on the yellow areas of this model by _chris_paints_stuff:

And that’s it, a very basic technique for adding a scratched effect to armour, easily adaptable to any kind of paint scheme.