So this is one of the minis that I will probably include in my Tale of 4 Warlords army at some point and I’ve also pushed to get it finished in time for Azazel’s Jewel of July 2019.

As I’ve been trying to get so many minis painted up, I decided to see if I could closely replicate my existing Tyranid Colour scheme by using a much less careful approach with Shades and Contrast pants from the Games Workshop range. I’ve heard mixed reviews about the contrast paints, so if ever there was a reason to use them, painting to this deadline was it.

This is an example of when I had done the bulk of the work. Normally my Genestealers have a black exoskeleton that I highlight up to blue and skin which is Khorne Red and Drybrushed with something like Changeling pink. This time though started with Talasar Blue over the exoskeleton, and just a thinner Khorne Red on the skin. I discovered that the blue was actually too bright for the rest of my genestealers so I then had to go over it with Nuln Oil and the skin was too bright too as it was going over a white undercoat rather than black, so I used Leviathan Purple Wash on it (an old shade that is probably like Druchii Violet now or something).

The other place I tried some contrast was the base. The pile of skulls and 3 terminator helmets are all contrast: Nazdreg Yellow, Creed Camo, Talassar Blue and Black Templar. After this test I decide that it didnt work for the skulls so I pretty much repainted those the way I normally do skulls, but I really liked the base colours of the other 3, meant to represent 3 of the factions my friends play, Salamanders, Space wolves and Ravenguard. All I did after that step for the helmets was some edge highlighting.

You’ll notice that despite me wanting to paint more quickly… this is in fact, 2 extra steps of adding shade to both the exoskeleton and the skin. However, I really liked how both of these looked, and I think that this Patriarch and the rest of my Genestealers will look better for it. Also… it didn’t feel like it took longer, because I was still pretty messy (and quick) with the base colours, but most of the mistakes are then hidden by the shade that goes on top.

Anyway, after drybrushing the skin, and then doing a bunch of highlights all over I was really pleased how it came out!

I think I will probably use this technique for future genestealers, not that I intend to have many more, I have plenty!

I guess this also makes another model for #Painthammer2019 and of course Jewel of July! Please let me know what you think or if you have any advice/questions.

~Pandora’s Bitz box~


    1. These have been my colours for the last 15 years, developed very slightly over the course of my first Tyranid Box.

      Yeah I’m really happy with how it looks. The blue I’m very happy with, it’s basically contrast, shade, blue highlight, light blue highlight. I’ll definitely do them like this from now on, I’ve never been totally happy with how I do the blue bits on my Tyranids, this helps a lot.


  1. Looks good, mate. I’m definately looking at the Contrast Paints as a way to get my ‘nids done, so very happy to see you working on them here for me to blag ideas and technique from. What colours are you using as your base coats before the Contrast is added?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All of these were done with Grey Seer. I heard someone say something I found to be very true, which is that contrast paints are very quick to get things table ready, but are but are no faster getting things to “display” standard, Just another tool. I think I’ll do a post on contrast paints specifically as I have noticed a downside, again I heard someone mention this, and my own efforts confirmed it. They don’t seem to bond as well as normal paints and shades. The flat areas didn’t seem to be as much of a problem but edges and points specifically would wear down to the undercoat from handling. So giving them a spray of Matt varnish I think would be essential for someone who wanted to work in only contrast and probably advisable anyway


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