At last the fates have aligned, the time has come to present my method for doing heresy-era Thousand Sons armor! I’ve loved this scheme since Forge World first showed it off many years ago and knew I wanted my 40k Thousand Sons to use it instead of the more traditional blue. The final outcome looks fantastic on the new Rubric marine kit -


I dont think I got pictures for every step (fret not the armor is covered completely), but the detail work is really a matter of personal taste anyway = you can use whatever color on scrolls, gems, etc.

  1. finished_product Start from a Retributor armor base. You can either use the GW spray or brush it on a black undercoat - I’ve done both and dont really prefer either method.
  2. finished_product
    Using GW Blood Angels Contrast Red, block in the armor plates. It’s much easier to paint Chaos models in the color of the trim and fill in the armor plates than to do it the other way around.
  3. Go back with Retributor Armor and touch up any areas where red got on the trim.
  4. Go back with Blood Angels Red and touch up any areas where you got gold on the armor plate in the last step
  5. Repeat 3 + 4 till you are satisfied :) Some areas of armor may need two coats of the contrast paint.
  6. finished_product
    Paint the metallic areas in Leadbelcher (boltgun, cables, between armor plates, etc)
  7. finished_product Paint the tabard in Celestra Grey. This will probably take two thin coats. Be mindful of the trim which should already be gold.
  8. finished_product
    Use Warpstone Glow to paint the eye lenses and a very thinned down coat over the runes on the boltgun (gives a glowing rune effect, reminds me of a gun from Destiny 1 I enjoyed using but forget the name of)
  9. (optional) finished_product
    Use a flesh color for the stuff on the backpack. I couldn’t decide if I liked this metallic or fleshy, really you could go either way. Ultimately I went with flesh to add more contrast to the miniature. I used Barbarian Flesh -> Reikland Fleshshade -> Druchii Violet splotches for a bruised effect.
  10. (also optional) You may choose to do a shade on the gold, Agrax Earthshade and Reikland Fleshshade both work well here. You could also do a highlight with Liberator Gold if you wanted.

You could also paint the bone areas bone, etc. A lot of the details on this model work just being in Retributor Armor though so its kind of up to you how you want to play it.

Thats it! I think this scheme looks quite cool and is relatively easy to pull off. I am wrapping up some Scarab Occult Terminators in this color right now and will post some pictures when they are finished to show how it looks on another type of model. You could use this technique to get a cool Alpha Legion scheme as well I think.