Today I’ll show you how to paint an “inverted” plasma glow with a super hot plasma core in the centre of the weapon. Suitable for all sorts of plasma weapons: Tactical Space Marines’ plasma guns, plasma pistols, Primaris Hellblasters’ plasma incinerators, Skitarii plasma calivers, and many more. Find out more in this tutorial.


Tutorial: How to paint an inverted plasma glow effect - featured image

This tutorial assumes you have a good understanding of how to paint Warhammer miniatures. Underneath each picture is the corresponding instruction. Each step shows the paint(s) I used. I have a rather eclectic paint collection, so when I use a paint that’s not from Games Workshop or out of production, I’ll try to provide you with suitable alternatives from the current Citadel paint range [in brackets]. However, if you want to achieve the exact same result as shown, you might want to expand your paint collection with a specific colour. You’ll find a list of all the paints used in this tutorial at the end of the post.

How to paint an “inverted” plasma glow

Tutorial: How to paint an inverted plasma glow effect - step 1

Basecoat the plasma coils with Baharroth Blue by applying a few thin coats of paint.

Tutorial: How to paint an inverted plasma glow effect - step 2

Mix Vallejo Model Color White [or White Scar or any white you prefer] with Contrast Medium about 1:2 to create a wash and use it to recess shade the lower two-thirds of each side.

Tutorial: How to paint an inverted plasma glow effect - step 3

Once dry, create a gradient by applying a second coat of the white wash towards the bottom, concentrating on the lower half of the plasma coils.

Tutorial: How to paint an inverted plasma glow effect - step 4

Pick out the cooling ribs of the coils with Baharroth Blue. It’s essential to thin your paint and use multiple thin layers for a smooth finish. You can also use thinned Baharroth Blue to smooth the transition towards the white glow where needed.

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Tutorial: How to paint an inverted plasma glow effect - step 5

Highlight the ribs with Formula P3 Arcane Blue [Baharroth Blue mixed with Ahriman Blue]. Concentrate on the upper parts of the coils and leave a little bit of the Baharroth Blue layer from the step before visible.

Tutorial: How to paint an inverted plasma glow effect - step 6

Highlight only the upper third of the ribs with VGC Falcon Turquoise [Ahriman Blue], leaving some of the Arcane Blue layer visible.

Tutorial: How to paint an inverted plasma glow effect - step 7

Glaze the weapon casing around the plasma coils with multiple coats of Stegadon Scale Green thinned to a milk-like consistency. If your weapon isn’t black, mix the colour of your casing with Falcon Turquoise [Ahriman Blue] and use it as glaze instead.

Tutorial: How to paint an inverted plasma glow effect - step 8

Mix Stegadon Scale Green (or your glaze colour) with Falcon Turquoise [Ahriman Blue] and apply an edge highlight around the plasma coils. Add a highlight of pure Falcon Turquoise [Ahriman Blue] around the whitest areas.

Tutorial: How to paint an inverted plasma glow effect - step 9

Apply a dot of The Army Painter Warpaints Toxic Mist [Baharroth Blue mixed with white] on the edges of the cooling ribs to create a reflection.


Finished Skitarii Vanguard with plasma caliver

And there we have the finished plasma glow as seen on my Skitarii Vanguard. The plasma cells were painted with a basecoat of Falcon Turquoise [Ahriman Blue], then layered with P3 Arcane Blue [Baharroth Blue mixed with Ahriman Blue], Baharroth Blue, and Warpaints Toxic Mist [Baharroth Blue mixed with white]. I also glazed a few spots on the metal around the energy cells and the left bionic arm with Aethermatic Blue Contrast paint and thinned P3 Arcane Blue [Baharroth Blue mixed with Ahriman Blue], where the light would reflect.

Paints you will need for this tutorial:

Citadel (Games Workshop)
Baharroth Blue
Stegadon Scale Green
Contrast Medium

Formula P3
Arcane Blue [or a mix of Baharroth Blue and Ahriman Blue]

The Army Painter Warpaints
Toxic Mist [or Baharroth Blue mixed with white]

Vallejo
Game Color Falcon Turquoise [or Ahriman Blue]
Model Color White [or White Scar]

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 paints at a discount.


I used this tutorial to great effect on this Dark Angel from the Space Marine Heroes Series 1 collection:

And here is another cool glow effect tutorial using Nihilakh Oxide Technical paint:

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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