In this detailed tutorial, I’ll show you how to paint a model from the Black Templars chapter to a reasonably high standard in 46 steps. You’ll learn how to paint black armour with crisp edge highlights, yellow “John Blanche” style yellow bolters, worn leather pouches, and much more.
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. I have a rather eclectic paint collection, so when I use a non-GW or OOP paint, I’ll try to provide you with suitable alternatives from the current Citadel paint range [in brackets]. However, if you want to acchieve the exact same result as shown, you might want to expand your paint collection.
Paints you will need for this tutorial:
Stegadon Scale Green
Mechanicus Standard Grey
Pallid Wych Flesh
Evil Sunz Scarlet
Reikland Fleshshade Gloss
Basilicanum Grey (Contrast)
Iyanden Yellow (Contrast)
Gore-grunta Fur (Contrast)
Cygor Brown (Contrast)
Scorched Brown (OOP Citadel paint) [or Rhinox Hide / Screaming Skull mix]
Khemri Brown (OOP Citadel paint) [or Baneblade Brown]
Vallejo Game Color Stonewall Grey [or Administratum Grey]
Vallejo Model Color Dark Grey [or Eshin Grey]
Vallejo Model Color White [or White Scar]
Vallejo Mecha Color Dark Steel [or Leadbelcher]
Vallejo Mecha Color Steel [or Iron Hands Steel]
Vallejo Mecha Color Light Steel [or Stormhost Silver]
Formula P3 Umbral Umber [or Rhinox Hide]
Formula P3 Leather Brown [or Rhinox Hide / Screaming Skull mix]
Formula P3 Menoth White Base [or Ushabti Bone]
The Army Painter Matt Black [or Abaddon Black]
The Army Painter Daemonic Yellow [or Phalanx Yellow]
The Army Painter Warpaints Lava Orange [or Trollslayer Orange]
The Army Painter Warpaints Dark Tone Wash [or Nuln Oil]
The Army Painter Warpaints Strong Tone Wash [or Agrax Earthshade]
Reaper Master Series Polished Bone [or a mix of Rakarth Flesh and Pallid Wych Flesh]
How to paint Black Templars
1. Prime the model with your favourite black primer. I used AK Interactive Fine Primer Black Spray, but Matt Black from The Army Painter or Chaos Black spray are fine as well. Then, for an even finish, I painted a thin coat of The Army Painter Warpaints Matt Black [or Abaddon Black] all over the model, including any areas I missed with the spray primer.
5. Basecoat the rubble on the base with Stegadon Scale Green.
7. Drybrush the rubble with Thunderhawk Blue.
8. Gently drybrush again, this time with Screaming Skull.
9. Basecoat the asphalt texture with Mechanicus Standard Grey.
12. Prime the arms separately with Wraithbone spray, then apply a thin coat of Wraithbone base paint where the spray didn’t reach the model. This will make painting the ivory shoulder guards much easier.
15. After you’ve painted the arms black, apply an edge highlight of Vallejo Model Color Dark Grey [or Eshin Grey, but Dark Grey has a much better opacity so you’ll need less layers and can be more precise].
16. Finish the armour with a crisp edge highlight of Dawnstone. The key is to make this highlight even thinner and leaving some of the Dark Grey visible. This requires a lot of brush control, I like to use the smallest brush I can find, which is a Winsor & Newton Series 7M 000, though you can achieve this technique with any high-quality kolinsky sable brush if the tip is pointy enough.
18. Apply an all-over wash with Agrax Eartshade.
19. Highlight both the shoulder guard and the aquila’s skull with Pallid Wych Flesh. I didn’t highlight the wings at this point because the “feathers” are so small that the single white highlight we’ll apply in step 20 will be enough.
21. Wash the gun casing with Iyanden Yellow.
22. Where needed, deepen the shading by painting Gore-Grunta Fur directly into the recesses.
23. For an even finish, layer a couple of coats of Yriel Yellow over the yellow gun casing, leaving the recesses dark.
24. Apply a first edge highlight of Warpaints Daemonic Yellow [or Phalanx Yellow]. The paint depicted is a rebranded paint from The Army Painter’s D&D range, but it’s exactly the same colour as Daemonic Yellow.
25. Apply a final thin edge highlight of Dorn Yellow.
26. Basecoat the grenades and eye lenses with Mephiston Red. I also added some freehanded red flames to the gun.
27. Shade the red areas by painting Cygor Brown directly into the recesses, but don’t shade the eye lenses at this point.
29. Highlight all the red areas with Evil Sunz Scarlet, including the eye lenses.
31. Highlight the grenades and the freehand on the gun with a final edge highlight of Jokaero Orange.
39. Basecoat the purity seal with Khemri Brown, which is an old discontinued paint [you can also use Baneblade Brown].
41. Build up the highlights on the purity seals with successive layers of Screaming Skull and Wraithbone. If you don’t have these paints, you can also just mix white in your base colour.
43. Basecoat the gold with Retributor Armour.
44. Wash the gold with a 1:1 mix of Reikland Fleshshade and Reikland Fleshshade Gloss. The Reikland Fleshshade Gloss will help to increase the surface tension so the wash will settle better in the recesses with less overall staining.
45. Highlight the gold with Vallejo Mecha Color Light Steel.
46. Add some decals for the chapter insignia and use Microsol to make them better adhere the rounded surface of the shoulder guards. I also added a red-and-ivory-freehand to the left kneepad, see steps 17 to 20 for painting ivory, and steps 26, 29, and 31 for painting red.
And that’s how to paint a Black Templar with crisp black armour and yellow, John Blanche style boltguns.
With the techniques and paint recipes explained in this tutorial I also painted the other models from the Space Marine Heroes Series 1 range. All you need to change is the colour of the armour. To do so, I created these tutorials for painting pale blue Space Wolves armour, green Salamanders armour, and red Blood Angels armour. My recipe for painting blue Ultramarines armour can be found in this tutorial.
The paint scheme above is definitely not designed for painting large armies, more for creating a nice looking skirmish sized Kill Team. Here are some ideas to speed things up for army painting:
- Replace the first edge highlight of the armour with a drybrush of VMC Dark Gey [or Eshin Grey] and Mechanicus Standard Grey. For a cleaner result, use thinned black to remove any streaks the drybrushing might have left. Then add a crisp highlight of Dawnstone as explained in step 16. The sharp highlight will trick the eye and make the model look more refined than with only drybrushed highlights.
- Apply a sponge weathering of dark brown and dark silver to the armour, the battle damage will draw away the focus from any areas not perfectly highlighted.
- Basecoat the purity seal with Wraithbone, then add a wash of Agrax Earthshade and only do a single highlight of Wraithbone, or even skip the highlight alltogether.
- Basecoat the eye lenses with Mephiston Red and highlight with Lava Orange [Troll Slayer Orange], skip the wash and Evil Sunz Red highlight.
- Instead of two layers of highlights, just do a single highlight of Gorthor Brown on the leather.
- Instead of manually highlighting the light silver metal, just do a drybrush.
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If so, leave a comment or reaction below, and if you got any questions, leave them here so I can answer them for you.
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