Angels & Daemons

Despite having immersed myself in Games Workshop’s ‘grimdark’ universe since the days of Rogue Trader, I’ve never painted any Blood Angels. At least not with any intent to assemble a force or anything. Sure I’ve dabbled with the odd Blood Angel Terminator when Space Crusade was a thing but I never found doing the red satisfying (Read: Could never get it right). It was either de-saturated, lacking contrast or just plain awful flat red with yellow highlights. Even attempts to do them for Epic was deeply dissapointing. You could say they have been my nemesis colour wise. Thing is I really quite like the background for the Blood Angels and there is still all those lovely character Terminators to paint from Space Hulk which I’d like to tackle some day.

As you will have seen in the MKA post I concluded with a tester of the new Primaris Marine kit from Dark Imperium in the Blood Angels colours. I could have done them as more Ultramarines and fleshed out those for 40K instead but it wouldn’t have taught me anything new so decided to face my nemesis instead and give the boys of Baal another go. I’m glad I did…

This is very much going to be a ‘side-of-the-desk’ project and used to try out new techniques, tweaking the palette and style as I go. I’ve no end goal in mind size wise or and kind of list build, but will just go with wherever the interest takes me and as a feeble excuse to paint any new ‘Primaris’ releases I like the look of.



The Dark Imperium boxed set comes with two five-man Intercessor squads; the Primaris equivalant of Tactical Marines I guess. They are mono-pose sculpts as mentioned previously but I do like the look of them, especially all the cleverly designed kit, pouches and holsters being on by default. They are also a joy to assemble as long as you follow the clear instructions provided. After the initial Intercessor with the Mark III helm I made a correction to the palette to move it more towards the blood red end of the scale rather than burgundy as I wasn’t 100% happy with the first one. I may play around with this a bit more for the tanks when they are released but was far happier with the end result after the adjustment. I kept the guns a simple black for contrast but went for a leather look for the pouches and holster to avoid the squad ending up looking too dull, especially as I wanted to work black panels into some of the shoulder pads as well.

Concerning decals and markings.


I’m a big proponent of following the “rule of cool” as opposed to rigidly adhering to any canonical markings. I try to be reasonably consistent with Chapter markings, but if I think a couple of the squad will look better having a different helmet or pattern on one of their shoulder or knee panels for interest then I just go for it. I don’t like entire squads looking like exact clones; my army, my rules. Adding points of interest like that on the miniatures really helps reward looking closer at them and brings them to life more. I think this is particularly true for bright palettes like the Blood Angels where all that red can be very overwhelming. Breaking up the silouettes through contrasting panels or markings just helps ground the look and give those extra details that pleases the eye.

The bases I’m not quite sold on yet either as I’d like to get a bit more variety in the tones. I could add further pigments but will probably just add some arid grass tufts instead for simplicity and yes, three of them are on 40mm by mistake proving the old adage that beer and hobby don’t mix. Well, technically they do but then you run the risk of introducing unwanted random points of interest into your armies like this. No biggie. I’ll live with it.

So what’s next? There’s a fair chunk of Primaris still to go in the Dark Imperium box, namely another Sergeant, the two Lts, Captain, Inceptors and Hellblaster squads. Not to mention two independent characters I ‘may’ have happened to have picked up. I also have a suspicion the Dreadnought is soon for pre-order and I’m really looking forward to tackling a larger model/vehicle. There’s a Mars pattern Rhino lined up but as the Primaris can’t use it and I’ve no plans to do any regular Astartes Blood Angels (yet) its gone back into the box. At the time of writing I’ve just seen the Reiver (sp) boxed set and the Agressors, neither which I’m sold on yet either but we will see. Thankfully plenty to get on with whilst I make up my mind about them.

Until next time.

Oh wait! I mentioned deamons didn’t I. I’ll just leave this WiP here then…


By |2017-09-13T09:28:51+00:00July 17th, 2017|Categories: Blood Angels|Tags: , , , , , |13 Comments


  1. Gerry mcCabe July 17, 2017 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    you tease, I love the Exorcist chapter marking on the shoulder pad

    • Carl Woodrow July 17, 2017 at 11:28 pm - Reply

      Cheers Gerry. The Word Bearers will be a slow project but hopefully interesting.

  2. Curis July 17, 2017 at 10:56 pm - Reply

    Cracking work, Carl. You’ve got through that squad remarkably quickly, shrinkwrap ain’t even off my Dark Imperium yet!

    I think the bases are great as is — just leave them be for a few weeks and see them with fresh eyes!

    • Carl Woodrow July 17, 2017 at 11:27 pm - Reply

      Cheers Chris, crack the seal on it fella, there be tasty goodness inside.

  3. audrey July 18, 2017 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    While I’m not a fan of blood Angels themselves the painting looks great. I can’t wait to see more photos of the Plague Bearers & Word Bearers. Looks like you are using metallics on the WB.

    BTW I thought I’d share a photo of the Alpha Legion I had mentioned a while back. Using oils & weathering powders for the first time. This just shows the small force I originally completed for Shadow War Armageddon

    Again, reading your blog has helped push me to trying these new techniques. So thank you and keep it up 🙂 .

    • Carl Woodrow July 18, 2017 at 6:19 pm - Reply

      Thanks Audrey, yes metallics for the Word Bearers armour with exception of shoulder pads which are flat. I think the Alpha Legion have come out really well, the oils and pigments give them a much more graduated effect to the weathering adding some really rich warm tones to the cold blue of the armour. Nailed it I’d say. Reminds me of photographs of abandoned cars which have weathered over years, the paint peeling and fading as rust takes over, in a good way.

      The more you look the more little details come out which is great!

  4. Ben Guth July 18, 2017 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    Flesh on the plaugebearer looks outstanding sir. The cool and pale tones have come off perfectly. Really does look like a rotting carcass. Keep up the outstanding work and put something on a diorama Base and make a run for a GD man, you have the talent!!!!!

    • Carl Woodrow July 18, 2017 at 11:43 pm - Reply

      Haha, thanks Ben. No GD plans in my future; I’m a quantity not quality guy. Table-top is always the goal. The Plaguebearer was a side experiment I knocked out during the MKA course as I had a strong image in mind for the daemons having a ‘milky’ white skin. Something I could transfer across just as easily to other forms rather than going with the standard red for Khorne and pinks and purples for Slaanesh. I think it has a stronger natural horror grounding and opens up all sorts of opportunities to do something a bit different for my Word Bearers in 30K.

      Of course just because I can see it in my head doesn’t mean it will work when I apply it to the model, but i’m curious to see how it will turn out. A project for later in the year I suspect.

  5. Joe March 27, 2018 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    Hi there, hopefully you are still checking these comments!

    Love your work, particularly the bases, they are super realistic and exactly what I am trying to achieve on a current project of mine.

    Would you be so generous as to share how you achieved them – products, techniques and process involved? Would be truly thankful!


    • Carl Woodrow March 28, 2018 at 7:11 pm - Reply

      Hi Joe, thanks for the kind words. I uploaded a video a few years back before I started the Twitch channel that covers the techniques and process used here: The Blood Angels bases follow exactly same process, only difference is some of the texture is GW cracked earth, that’s pretty much the only difference. I’m in process of planning a whole series of basing videos which I’ll be sure to include here asd well. Hope that helps.

      • Joe March 31, 2018 at 1:15 pm - Reply

        That’s incredibly helpful, thank you so much for sharing your techniques in the video!

        If I can ask a follow up question –

        The bases on these blood angels are a bit “browner” than the one you made in the video. Did you start with a grey base coat on these and achieve the colour simply through more/different pigments? Or did you start with a different basecolour.

        Finally – do you perhaps know which pigments you used here? If not I’m sure I can find similar!

        Cheers mate

        • Carl Woodrow April 3, 2018 at 7:52 am - Reply

          That’s correct. The base was still the same for the Angels and was a dark grey followed by a dry brush of Celestra. The difference in final colour is purely for the choice of pigments. If I recall I used light earth, dark sand and ash from Forgeworld. The make or even specific colours is not that important, just the effect you are looking to achieve. In this case I didn’t want too much red as it would not contrast with the armour, so chose light arid sandy colours instead.

          • Joe April 3, 2018 at 8:45 am

            You’re a hero! Thank you.

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