Sunday, 22 June 2014

How to Paint Rogue Trader Ork Warpaint

The internet is full of orks at the moment with the new models and the codex release. As usual, I am bang on trend and have prepared a tutorial to help people recreate the warpaint that features on the box from the original Ork release in 1987 - nearly thirty years ago! Barely a day goes by without people asking me for this tutorial. Honest.
It's a pretty simple process really but I though that it was worth writing up.
There are no prizes for guessing that I work from a black undercoat. I block the eyes out a this stage using a foundation yellow so any mistakes can easily be tidied up.
Next the red areas get their base coat. I used GW Khorne Red which I actually prefer to its Vallejo equivalent. A liberal amount of black should be left in the recesses to recreate the Rogue Trader look. This probably easier to see in the next step when the white is introduced.
The first coats of white go on. In this picture it has had a couple of very thin coats of GW Ceramite white. It goes on a bit chalky, but that's not a problem because it will be tidied up later. With this step, the bits you don't paint are as important as the bits that you do. A really nice strong black line should be left in the recesses - the ears and jawline are particularly good examples.
It's a bit tricky to pick this up in the picture, but the next step is to build layers on top of the white and red sections. The white just gets a nice thin coat of GW Skull White (yes I still have the old one) to take the chalkiness out of the white give it a nice finish. The red gets a first highlight with a 1:1 mix of the base coat with a lighter red. I used Vallejo Scarlet but there are probably two or three reds in the current GW range which would do the job.
There's no point doing any more work on the white now... You can't really highlight up any further! A nice final highlight goes on the red. Pure Vallejo Scarlet was my choice.
The next step is the most difficult but also the most satisfying. With a very thin brush, and black line is added to the areas where the red and white meet. It adds to the black in the recesses to make the final look of the model really strong, and give it the Rogue Trader style that we are looking for.
This is the brush that I used for this step, and for all the freehand experiments that I'm doing at the moment. It is a Winsor Newton Series 7 Miniature 00 which Poot let me try out. I've been really impressed with it and told him that he's not having it back!
The finishing touches are some GW Bloodletter Glaze over the red areas, and a touch of wash in the eye sockets. This boy is ready for the Battle at the Farm!
This is the mini from the box that I was trying to reproduce. As you can see I made a mistake and picked up the wrong sculpt! Oh well... Finally, a couple of shots of my two warpainted Orks. Waaaaaaaggh!


  1. That looks awesome. I have some Space Crusade Orcs kicking about I might have a play with this tutorial! Many thanks.

  2. Thanks! Let me know how you get on.