Square based Deathwing for Space Hulk

I'm sorry but boarding derelict Space Hulks is kinda dangerous and should be left to the true professionals... the Deathwing. Don't get me wrong, I like Blood Angels but Deathwing is where it's at.

With the release of Space Hulk, I decided I was going to sit down and actually paint up a true Deathwing force. Not for 40k mind you, for Space Hulk. These days, I'm more likely to get a game of Space Hulk in than a game of 40k.

I actually decided I was going to do this a long time ago and I started the work of figuring out just how I was going to do it. The biggest hurdle with this army is painting them. They aren't like most colors where it only takes a coat or two and you're good. White/Bone/Tan/Whatever is a killer. That's why you don't see many of those armies out there do you.

Just like everyone else, I cruise the blogsphere daily. Every now and then I hit something that really catches my interest.

The first one of these was this post by Tower of Heroes. It could easily be overlooked seeing as the picture is at the bottom of the post. These guys are painted great. As soon as I saw them, I asked how it was done. I love the look of these guys.

The second one or few were the collected Deathing posts by The Vanus Temple. I absolutely love the weathered look these guys have.

And the third one was the one that sealed the deal for me. On a whim, I decided to check out this post by Bushido in the 41st Millenium. Not that I like the Red Scorpions, but it's about a Librarian and I've been painting these guys like crazy lately. Talk about a really, really interesting technique in this one.

And that got me thinking about how to paint my Deathwing.

If you remember the first picture, I managed to swing by the local craft store and I picked up some plastic screen used for needlepoint or something. It makes the perfect space hulk "deck" with little to no work. And to top it off, it fits perfectly.

That problem solved, I glued my five man squad down and decided to give it a go with a couple volunteer test models.

I wanted to make sure I could get the color scheme down and I could do it quickly. I don't want to spend the next decade painting these guys, there are hulks that need to be cleared out.

And here he is, I wish the pics were better but this is all I have right now.

Here's how I did it...

The model is based coated with two colors.
Light grey for the armour
Dark grey for EVERYTHING else (including freehand work)

Give him a liberal wash of Devlan Mud

Then partially line highlight with all the actual colors
For example, Tan on the edges of the armour, gold on the trinkets, red on the lenses and purity seals, etc.

I used muted highlight colors and that combined with the washed greys gives him a look like he's just finished clearing space hulks for the last 72 hours straight.

And to top it all off, the Wife loves him. Says I should "build a whole army like this." Great idea Dear, I'll get right to it. And even better, this guy was a test model as well and he only took about 45 minutes to finish.

So the moral of the story is, always keep a look out for new things and when you find them, write them down or make sure to keep them somewhere that you can go back to them. If it weren't for those other Blogger's posts, I wouldn't have been able to do this model.

Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!


  1. That looks really nice. I used that same method for my Deathwing, but used the Gryphonne Sepia wash. It gives a brighter amber color to the armour.

    I also opted for red weapons, but I'm old-school like that.

    With the AoBR terminators and a few bits, an entire army of these guys can be whipped up in no time.

  2. Looking great Ron...question about the square base. is that a 40MM ?
    I'm trying to figure what to use to rebase my SH models..I was thinking a 30MM Square was the way to go,
    also what the plastic mesh from.

  3. Yeah, like Wienas said, I've also used as similar method but with Gryphonne instead of Devlan. You should give it a try on another model to see which you like better (and it would serve as a nice comparison pic for us out there that our curious which looks better ;) )

  4. Those look great, and the needle-point screen for the base is a great idea.

    I was originally planning on doing some converting with my Space Hulk marines to Chaos or Salamanders, but after seeing the beautiful models, I don't want to ruin them. So I will be painting mine up as Blood Angels.

  5. Wasn't it Blood Angels in the very first version of Space Hulk?

  6. Looks great, like he's in a dark corridor waiting for some nasty gribbly to pounce out of the shadows.

  7. I plan on making a few Termie Squads to go with the BA
    I am first going to be making an IF killteam
    Then a Deathwing one
    Then an Ultra one so I can have the original marines from Space Crusade(Red,Green,Yellow,Blue)

  8. Thanks guys.
    I may expand these once I get the core squads done but that's way in the future.

    Wienas: It never even dawned on me to do the red weapons. I figured I would use the red on purity seals, lenses and iconography.

    John@Plastic Legions: It's actually a 25mm square base. I've got intention of making any more than the needed amount for two 5 man squads for Space Hulk so I went with 25mm since it fits perfectly on the board.

    The plastic mesh is some kind of needlepoint thing that craft people use. It comes in differnt shapes, sizes. I got the smallest I could find.

    Kevin: If you send me a Terminator, I'll paint him up for comparison... all my guys are spoken for right now. Besides, who has time to stop and clean armour... the guys NOT doing the work, that's who.

    Rkik: I'm with you, once you see the models, it's hard not to paint them as Blood Angels.

    Anon: I've got the first edition of the game and it's all about the Deathwing. There might be something else out there though> To be honest, I don't keep track that close.

  9. Looking great Ron,
    It's a shame that I'm slightly colour blind and he looks green to me! XD
    It was MY idea to do a DW squad.. Now I'll have to do the Ork Meganob squad instead! Tehe

  10. Dezartfox: Thanks, I stole the idea and painted one up real fast to claim ownership.
    The "Deffwing" concept is a great one and I think you can use just about anything you want when you go with the "Counts As" rule.

  11. Well the square base got my attention! He looks great, I love the dark effect of him it's as if he's prowling around the gloomy corridors of a Space Hulk looking for more Genestealers to kill. Top stuff.
    I notice everybody is mentioning Gryphonne Sepia. I make use of it for my Warriors of Chaos, they have a more weathered bone effect than the Deathwing but I usually paint Khemri Brown for a basecoat on the armour, drybrush Bleached Bone and then Wash Gryphonne Sepia, depending on how much depth I want I'll keep repeating the drybrush and wash effect to build up the colour layers and then an edge highlight of bleached bone.
    It really makes me want to paint my Chaos Space Marines the same way but I can't help but think it's exceptionally unimaginative to have a fantasy and 40k chaos army painted in bone!
    Anyway, I'm rambling! Great Deathwing guy. You know what would look great on them? Some moody emergency lighting style OSL... would be a lot of work though...

  12. I relay like your's style of painting and conversions that you make with ease but this teminator shashed me in an instant. I'am cosidering to send you from Poland my army to paint.

  13. Elazar: I thought about adding that kind of effect on them. Maybe from underneath but it would add a ton of work to each one and I'm just about done with the squad right now.

    Tomek: Glad you like them. You can always email me if you're interested in having something painted.

  14. I'm pretty sure that first edition was about Blood Angels, but the 'Deathwing' expansion introduced the eponymous elite of the Dark Angels chapter.

  15. So, everyone's loving hulk-projects huh? Maybe I should step up my thought on a Hive Ship, rather than a Hulk, and using Scythes of the Emperor Scouts...kicking it old school!

  16. Those look much better than the typical bone white Deathwing color scheme. Nice and dirty.

  17. Yep, that's basically what I was planning to do when I remake my Deathwing army. Thought the grimy dirty look would work well, and it does :) I really like how dark it is.

  18. Dirty, dirty Terminators.
    Ron, do you know what size plastic needlepoint mesh you got for these guys?

  19. suspire: No idea, I just grabbed the smallest stuff I could find and used that. No markings on the stuff either to say what "size" it is.

  20. Cool. Based on your photo and the base being a 25mm square, which is just under an inch, I'm guessing its 10 count needlepoint plastic canvas mesh. Again, great idea.

  21. Thanks, this type of basing is some of my most favorite.


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