Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Grey Knights Paint Formulas...and a Lesson Learned

Be Prepared...

It seems I need to be reminded of that motto from when I was in the Scouts.  Why, you ask?  Well, I sat down this weekend to get some painting done on my Grey Knights, after some other work I had to finish up Sunday night.  I laid down the base coat of a slightly thinned Boltgun Metal and then had some dinner.  Afterwards, I went to give the figures a preliminary wash of Badab Black and quickly realized one very important thing...

I didn't have any Badab Black.

After some choice words which my wife promptly reprimanded me for, I decided to share this embarrassing moment in time with you.  I also decided to take this opportunity to outline my paint formula for the Grey Knights.  I'll list it by major category, then step-by-step.


Power Armor:

Thinned coat of Boltgun Metal

Liberal wash of Badab Black

Feathering of Boltgun Metal on larger plate surfaces

Feathering of Chainmail near the tops of surfaces

1:6, Asurmen Blue:Water ratio to glaze just in select shaded areas

Extreme highlight of Mithril Silver on just the edges that would catch light


Parchment and Cloth:

Thinned coat of Deneb Stone

Liberal, but controlled, wash of Devlan Mud

Feathering of Jack Bone over larger areas

Feathering of Menoth White Base towards the highlights

Extreme highlight of Menoth White Highlight



Base coat of Skorne Red (Mechrite Red can be used as well, but I like the depth of color in Skorne Red)

Liberal wash of a 4:1 ratio of Devlan Mud:Badab Black

Very thin feathering of Khador Red Base over major planes

Extreme highlight of 1:1 ratio of Khador Red Base:Khador Red Highlight


Those are the major formulas for the most-used colors on my Grey Knights.  I'll go over the force weapons in another tutorial post.

I suppose the ultimate moral of the story here is always take stock of your paints before you start a project and get what you need.  On my way home Monday I picked up two pots of Badab Black, and another two pots of Boltgun Metal, as I only had a half of a pot of that left too.


Anyone else make a goofy mistake like this?  Please, someone tell me I'm not alone here...


- Tim



  1. Hah! I feel your pain Tim, I had that same issue with some Ogryn Flesh wash that I use for my gold on the Thousand Sons. Sat down for a marathon session, knocked out all the gold on 30-some-odd minis, reached for the wash and there was just a thin film left on the bottom of the pot. Argh!

  2. My latest (in what will probably be a long list) paint related mistake was just sheer cow-handed clumsiness. I was packing up for the night and knocked an open pot of Scorched Brown off my desk and onto my beige carpet. Scorched Brown! The darkest of all citadel browns! That's a deposit loser if ever I saw one...

  3. I dropped a pot of Blood Red onto the floor and it erupted like a Volcano. I thought I got it all, until a week later when I went to print something and noticed that the readout LCD for my printer was covered with dried and rock hard Blood Red. I thought the mess on the floor was a little light. It just refuses to scrape off without doing damage to the LCD...

    On a related note, I have a tutorial coming up soon for my Grey Knights using natural greys instead of metalics. Might be worth checking out, there is a finished example on my blog now.

  4. Hah! I remember painting Iron Snakes and I set out all the paint bottles I needed. When I reached the step for my 50/50 boltgun/mithril highlights I opened up my pot of mithril to find that it had dried out... by the look of it I'd wager it dried out long before I ever considered a full army of Iron Snakes.

  5. I have yet to run out of paints, but a cleaning crew at my University threw out my whole set of RMS paints.

  6. I am constantly thinking I have more stock than I actually do. Working on my chaos daemons I was starting my pink horrors. Going through my paints I found my tentacle pink dried and beyond saving. After going to my FLGS I was then told that GW dosen't even make it any more. Oh well some ballerina pink primer and baal red wash did just the trick.

  7. I was gearing up to start painting some space marines, I had ordered all the paints that I needed, some bits, and a couple of box sets. Everything arrives in the mail and I get my first five assault marines all set and ready to prime. Yes you guessed it I didn't have enough primer. Talk about ticked off...

    So I ordered some primer; lesson learned always have primer on hand...

  8. And this is why I love this community. We've all done something like this :)

    Mordian - Sounds distinctly similar, very much so :)

    TUA - Hmmm.. Carpet cleaner. Citadel Paints are Acrylic, therefore water soluble. try a good cleaning and you should be okay. maybe...possibly?

    Jawa - ooo...ouch. that would sooo not be a fun surprise a week after the incident. I loved the Grey Knight by the way! Serious patience and skill there, my friend. While I'd love to see an entire army done in that fashion...it won't be mine ;) I just don't have the time! :)

    Chrono - Aaaand considering you had considered the Iron Snakes for an army ever since Brotherhood of the Snake came out, that would have been A LONG TIME AGO... sheesh!

    Reid - I don't know whether to sympathize with you on the cleaning crew debacle, or be jealous of you for not having run out of paint yet.

    Fitz - One BIG question...where in the heck did you find pink ballerina primer??? My curiosity is killing me on that one. I mean, I feel for you on the lack of tentacle pink, that was an awesome color, but still!

    Rath - Ouch, yeah. I've felt that pain myself, and I've dug through the entire house, all 4 places where I'd have any hope of using primer just to see if I had a half a can left anywhere!

  9. As I usually paint very slowly, I can't remember the last time I've ran a pot clean mid flow. I have often cracked open a pot to see a dried block staring at me... but I try not to let something like that defeat me... and will attempt to garner and rescue enough paint for the task (usually in vain!).

    I did recently get a massive telling off from the wife after spilling Bestial Brown right in the middle of our light grey livign room carpet! baby wipes and crazy foaming vanish carpet cleaner over several applications and I think I dug myself out of a mighty big hole. Mrs oink insists she can still see a brown tinge, I just try to avoid looking...

    I can't look at Bestial Brown in the same way either... haven't used it since.