Blood Raven Color Tutorial

I’ve been asked by a handful of folks about how I painted the red on the Blood Raven army so I thought I’d write something up.


I have to say first that nothing too special was done. This is how I go about painting a tabletop army.  I would paint a display quality army much differently. These guys need to look impressive as a group and different from the sea of GW armies out there, not look super clean and spiffy individually.


First I found and followed loosely Les Bursley’s video tutorial on painting Blood Ravens. I tweaked it as I went a little but I advise that this video be watched as it’s a better summary than this post.


These are the paints I dug out: Reaper Blood Red, Reaper Carnage Red, White, Reaper Shield Brown, and Vallejo Scarlet. The oils are W&N Lamp Black and Burnt Sienna.


Paint Selection



I started by priming black and using Les’ basic techniques, airbrushing Shield Brown from the top and sides, Carnage Red on the same areas, Blood Red from above and then Vallejo Scarlet from above on the higher points. The troops had to be done more carefully, masking out the shoulder pads after airbrushing them brown then white and using the Scarlet more sparingly.  The results, especially on the vehicles, is a much brighter color on the tops than on the undersides.


Airbrush red

Darker Underneath


After getting these nice and bright, I used the Scarlet to edge highlight and bring up any areas that would be brighter naturally (but not going for actual realism) and also create some contrast from a distance.


Edge Highlighting




After getting the basic colors where they need to be and highlighting the edges, I added the details such as insignia and weapon colors.






Satisfied with the overall outcome, I mixed up the oil colors. There’s no real formula for the color. It’s mostly Burnt Sienna with a touch of Lamp Black. I washed the entire model with this mixture. It flows nicely into the crevices and darkens every color evenly while creating a gritty look to the model. Some painters use a gloss varnish before adding the oils so that the oil paints can be wiped away. I was going for a dirty look so I didn’t bother with the gloss varnish. I wanted the oils to cover everything, not just part of the model.  Any of the models that had a large amount of metals to cover got an additional thin layer of Lamp Black to darken them up more.




Oil Wash




The oils take a while to dry. The thinner the wash, the faster the drying. I also used a lamp to dry them a little faster, but there’s still some time to wait before touching the model.

The result of the oil  wash is an overall dark red and off white from a bright orange and bright white start.


Land Speeder

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