Blood Angels Paint Starter Set: Banish Mediocre Results

Blood Angels Symbol

Blood Angels Paint Starter Set: Mastering the Art of Crimson Warriors

Key Takeaways:

  • Color theory for vibrant reds
  • Techniques for depth and contrast
  • Detailing and weathering methods
  • Adaptable for beginners and veterans
  • Airbrush and brush techniques

This guide isn’t about rigid step-by-step instructions, but rather an exploration of the essential paints and how to use them effectively to bring your Blood Angels to life.

We believe that understanding your tools is key to creating stunning miniatures. Here in, we’ll discuss in depth  the color theory behind Blood Angels’ iconic red armor, discuss the paints that will form the core of your palette, and explore how different colors interact to create depth, contrast, and battle-worn realism.

Whether you’re a newcomer to the hobby or a veteran painter looking to refine your Blood Angels technique, this guide will help you select the right paints and use them to their full potential. We’ll cover everything from base coats to fine details, sharing tips on how to achieve that perfect shade of red and create eye-catching contrasts with metallics and accent colors.

Want to get started with your own Blood Angels? Checkout our guide for the Best Blood Angels Starter Sets

At Warhammer Universe, we’ve found this selection offers a great balance for both beginners and experienced painters:

Blood Angels Paint Starter Set: Base colors:

  1. Vallejo German Red Brown (for priming)
  2. Mephiston Red (Citadel)
  3. Khorne Red (Citadel)
  4. Abaddon Black (Citadel)
  5. Retributor Armour (Citadel)

Layering and Highlighting Reds:

6. Evil Sunz Scarlet (Citadel)

7. Wild Rider Red (Citadel)

8. Fire Dragon Bright (Citadel)

9. Troll Slayer Orange (Citadel)


10. Nuln Oil (Citadel)

11. Agrax Earthshade (Citadel)

12. Carroburg Crimson (Citadel)

13. Druchii Violet (Citadel)


14. Leadbelcher (Citadel)

15. Ironbreaker (Citadel)

16. Stormhost Silver (Citadel)

17. Liberator Gold (Citadel)

Details and Accents:

18. Ushabti Bone (Citadel)

19. Screaming Skull (Citadel)

20. Caliban Green (Citadel)

21. Warpstone Glow (Citadel)

22. Moot Green (Citadel)

For Airbrushing (if applicable):

23. Vallejo Model Air Dark Sea Blue

24. Vallejo Model Air White

25. Vallejo Model Air Medium Yellow

26. Vallejo Model Air Red

Additional Useful Colors:

27. Rakarth Flesh (Citadel) – for skin tones

28. Pallid Wych Flesh (Citadel) – for extreme highlights and skin

29. Rhinox Hide (Citadel) – for leather and weathering

30. Typhus Corrosion (Citadel) – for grime and weathering effects

Remember, at Warhammer Universe, we believe in experimentation. This list provides a solid foundation, but don’t be afraid to add or substitute paints based on your preferences or the specific look you’re aiming for.

For those just starting out, you don’t need to buy all of these at once. Begin with the base colors, a couple of layers, and shades. You can expand your collection as you grow more comfortable with different techniques.

If you’re looking for full starter sets for your paints have a look at our full article on the Best Starter Paint Sets for Warhammer 40k 

Blood Angels Paint Starter Set: The Allure of Blood Angels

Blood Angels stand out in the Warhammer 40k universe with their rich lore and striking appearance. Their deep red armor, accented with gold and black, presents an exciting challenge for painters of all skill levels.

Foundations of a Blood Angel

The key to a great Blood Angel lies in achieving a rich, deep red that still catches the light. This isn’t just about choosing the right shade of red – it’s about building layers of color to create depth and interest.

We start with a darker base, typically a deep red-brown or even a dark blue. This provides shadow and depth, creating a foundation for our brighter reds. By layering progressively brighter reds, we create a sense of luminosity that makes the model pop on the tabletop.

Creating Depth and Contrast

Contrast is crucial in miniature painting, and it’s especially important for Blood Angels. Their armor should look battle-worn and full of character. We achieve this through careful shading and highlighting.

For shading, consider using a dark blue or even a deep purple in the recesses. This might seem counterintuitive, but it adds richness to the shadows that a simple black wash can’t match. When highlighting, don’t be afraid to go bright. The highest points of the armor can be brought up to an almost orange-red, which will read as a brilliant reflection when viewed at arm’s length.

Detailing: Beyond the Red

While the red armor is the star of the show, it’s the other details that truly bring a Blood Angel to life. Gold accents on chest eagles, shoulder trim, and weapons provide a regal contrast to the red. Paint these with a base of a warm gold, shade with a sepia wash, and highlight with silver for a realistic metallic sheen.

Black elements, like weapon casings or under-suits, should be highlighted with blue-greys rather than pure greys. This adds a subtle, cold contrast to the warm reds and golds.

Blood Angels Paint Starter Set

Blood Angels Paint Starter Set: Advanced Techniques

Weather and Battle

Blood Angels are warriors, and their armor should tell that story. Subtle weathering can add tremendous character to your models. Sponge on some silver paint to create chips in the armor, focusing on edges and exposed areas. For larger battle damage, paint a dark brown line at the top of the chip and a bright silver line at the bottom to create the illusion of depth.

Don’t forget about the base! A well-executed base complements the model and can set the scene for your Blood Angel. Consider a dusty, Mars-like base to echo the red of the armor, or go for a stark contrast with a cold, blue-grey urban rubble theme.

Airbrushing: Taking It to the Next Level

If you’re comfortable with an airbrush, it can be a game-changer for painting Blood Angels. Use it to create smooth blends on larger areas like vehicle hulls or Terminator armor. You can also use it for subtle pre-shading, applying darker colors in recesses and lighter colors on raised areas before your main red coat.

A Note on Brush Control

Whether you’re using an airbrush or traditional brushes, control is key. For fine details like Chapter symbols or facial features, don’t rush. Take your time, thin your paints appropriately, and remember that it’s often easier to add more paint than to remove it.

Choosing Your Paints

At Warhammer Universe, we’ve found that a mix of paint brands often yields the best results. While Citadel’s Mephiston Red is a classic for Blood Angels, don’t be afraid to explore options from Vallejo, Scale 75, or other brands. Each has unique properties that can be advantageous for different techniques.

For the Ambitious: Freehand and OSL

If you’re looking to push your skills further, consider adding freehand chapter symbols or battle honors to your models. Start with pencil sketches and build up thin layers of paint. Object Source Lighting (OSL) from plasma coils or eye lenses can also add a wow factor to your Blood Angels.

Step-by-Step Guide

For those who prefer a more structured approach, here’s a condensed step-by-step guide:

  1. Prime with a dark red or brown
  2. Pre-shade with dark blue in recesses
  3. Build up red, starting dark and getting progressively brighter
  4. Apply a gloss varnish and pin wash for definition
  5. Edge highlight, starting with a bright red and moving up to orange-red
  6. Paint details like gold, black, and Chapter symbols
  7. Weather and battle damage as desired
  8. Varnish and base the model

Remember, this is a guideline, not a strict rulebook. Feel free to adapt and experiment! – If you’re looking for a much more in-depth step by step guide we reccomend heading over to Goonhammer

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How do I avoid chalky highlights on red armor?

A: Thin your paints and build up layers gradually. Consider using a wet palette to maintain paint consistency.

Q2: What’s the best way to paint Blood Angels vehicles?

A: Use an airbrush if possible for smooth blends. If brush painting, use a larger brush and focus on even, thin coats.

Q3: How can I make my Blood Angels unique?

A: Experiment with different shades of red, add unique freehand designs, or try non-metallic metal techniques for a distinctive look.

Q4: What’s a good alternative to Citadel paints for Blood Angels?

A: Vallejo Game Color Scarlet Red or Scale 75 Blood Red are excellent alternatives for the main armor color.

Q5: How do I paint convincing battle damage?

A: Use a sponge for random chips, then add definition with a fine brush. Remember: dark colors recede, light colors come forward.


Painting Blood Angels is a rewarding journey that allows for endless creativity and skill development. Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran painter, there’s always something new to learn and try. At Warhammer Universe, we’re passionate about helping players bring their visions to life.

We’d love to see your painted Blood Angels, so share your work with us on our social media channels! Remember, every painter has their unique style – embrace yours and enjoy the process. Now, pick up that brush and bring the Sons of Sanguinius to glorious, crimson life. For Sanguinius and the Emperor!

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