PAInting guide

House Orhlacc knights, Titanicus scale

Hail mighty listeners!!

As promised I am trying to do a guide for every project I do… unfortunately the two Titans were done sporadically, in different locations and so I didn’t get many sensible pics, but ill try and piece one together as soon as I can.

This guide is for the titanicus scale knights. I chose to do them as House orhlacc after much deliberation. I am a bit of a nightmare when it comes to fluff, I like things to fit as best as possible, and so I wanted a house known to have associations with Lucius Forgeworld. I gave up trying to find one with links to both Lucius and the Vlka Fenrikr…. and when I realised It was time to get started (I had some unexpected free time, and nothing planned so I ended up with 2 hobby days) I made my decision rather than agonise any longer and be delayed by indecision.

I hope you find it useful

Paint List

  • Halfords grey primer
  • Leadbelcher – Citadel base
  • Naggaroth night – Citadel base
  • Black – Vallejo Game colour
  • Balthasar Gold – Citadel base
  • Warplock Bronze – Citadel base
  • Nuln oil gloss – Citadel shade
  • Agrax earthshade – Citadel shade
  • Xereus Purple – Citadel layer
  • Genestealer purple – Citadel layer
  • Incubi Darkness – Citadel base
  • Nashut Copper – Citadel layer
  • Nihilakh oxide – Citadel technical
  • Rakarth flesh – Citadel base
  • Pallid wych flesh – Citadel layer
  • XV-88 Citadel base
  • Balor brown – Citadel layer
  • Caliban green – Citadel base
  • Mephiston red – Citadel base
  • Chestnut ink – Old Citadel hex pot
  • Purple ink – Old Citadel hex pot
  • Doombull brown – Citadel layer
  • Terracotta earth – Secret weapon weathering powder
  • Typhus corrosion – Citadel technical (I seriously don’t seem to be able to paint a model without using this somewhere)
  • Wonder wash – A ‘georges marvellous medicine’ concoction of Klear floor polish, agrax earthshade and a bunch of other stuff. Dan picked it up on a painting course, and is looking for the recipe
  • Mechanicum standard grey – Citadel base
  • Astrogranite – Citadel basing paint

Step by step


I clean my models up using a mixture of tools, anything to get the job done. I tend to use a modelling knife, needle file and micro files, I also use the citadel mould line scraper because its surprisingly useful. I use revel contacta plastic glue, I find this is the best one.

I always dust the models down now before I prime them. I use a giant makeup brush to do this.

I used Halfords grey primer for these. I could have used black but as the carapace is dark I thought the metal work skeleton ought to be a bit brighter and the grey primer would help with this.


First off I used leadbelcher to give the model an all over basecoat. I used three thin coats with a brush to avoid getting texture, but I could have used an airbrush, It would have been better, to be honest, but I couldn’t be bothered with cleaning it afterwards for just one colour on 6 models!!

The next step was to block out the panels with Naggaroth night. This paint covers surprisingly poorly over grey so I used three thin coats.

The next step was to block out the other areas in black. House Orhlacc use very simple personal heraldry and is largely defined by the colours of the ‘field’ on which the house heraldry sits. So I started with the shields and then reflected the design on the top carapace. The shoulder guards appear to be black on the right and purple on the left (when looking at the pauldron).

The relatively simple heraldry displayed by the Knights of House Orhlacc is indicative of the heraldic tradition of this Knight House. Behind each Knight’s house heraldry is a personal cipher pertaining to the initials of the individual knight’s name — the primary and traditional means of the iteration of personal heraldry by the House of Orhlacc. This presents in part the House’s character, as they consider the excessive display of personal heraldry other than by those of the highest rank as vainglory and hubris.

I made both weapons black and then randomly assigned leg panels in black. I made sure each one was different as it is the variation of the black and purple that make up the knights personal heraldry.

Next was the trim, which is suposed to be bronze. My favourite colour to base a mid bronze is Balthasar gold. The previous two colours I was fairly relaxed when I applied. There is no point in worrying about getting paint on the trim if later you are going to paint over it, its these simple things, I find, that speed up a paint job.

The next thing I did was to pick out some details in the subframe and weapons using Warplock bronze. I chose things like the hoppers, the powerplant at the back and the exhaust stacks on the top. There is also two decorative grills on the top carapace that I painted as well.

Finally I picked out the detailing on the top carapace with leadbelcher.


The first shade I did was an all over wash of nuln oil gloss. I used gloss as I find it runs to the recesses and does not stain the raised areas as much. 

Followed by an all over wash of Agrax earthshade. I did this to add a bit of tonal variety to the hull and give the impression of oil and grime. I tried not to let this pool very much as with all the cables the wash can suspend between them and form a film. The agrax also helps with the tone of the bronze I find.


I love this stage. Finally the model starts to really come to life!!

The scale of these models I decided to use a mix of panel lighting and zenithal lighting as a general rule. It saves time and I think looks a little more realistic. The detail of these knights is insane and you could very easily get carried away. I decided to consciously avoid doing that.

This pic gives a great visual guide on the styles of highlighting. Thanks to

The first colour I tackled was purple. I started with naggaroth, then moved on to naggaroth:xereus 50:50, the xereus and the finally, a minimal highlight of xereus:genestealer 50:50. I’m sorry the picture does not show this all that well.

I highlighted the black using my new favourite colour for “cold” black, Incubi darkness. I used a 75:25 black:incubi for the first highlight then a 50:50 for the final stage. I felt going any higher wouldn’t look right.

The bronze trim was next, I used Hashut copper for this, nice and simple and I didn’t overdo it, especially on the trim of the pauldrons which I barely highlighted at all. I didn’t want the trim to be too shiny.

As a matter of personal choice, I really like adding oxidation to bronze. The addition of the muted green verdigris adds a lot to the overall feel of the model. I like using Nihilakh oxide for this as its awesome and easy to use. I didn’t want to overdo this so I used a thin mix and kept it minimal.


The next step was to start adding character. The heraldry on house House Orhlacc is virtually identical in each. On the pauldrons, the black field each has a sun, and the purple field a Manticore. I would have preferred to use decals for these small details but I had neither.

For the suns, I had too freehand. I used Rakarth flesh for the basecoat. There is no fast way to get through this. Its all about patience and taking your time. If you make a mistake you can ‘work back in’ with black or Naggaroth to tidy things up.

I also added the gryphon decal from the transfer sheet that comes in the box using micro set and micro sol.

I also added details across the carapace and on the loincloth and shield. Keeping the concept that they avoid personal embellishment in my head I kept these minimal and reasonably uniform.

This is the transfer I used. On all the pics of the House Orhlocc the Manticore faces left. The sheet comes with both left and right facing, but not enough of each to just use one. Heraldry is important and the direction a beast faces means something.

So the leaders got two left facing ones, one on each of the shoulder pads on the purple fields. The other four knights I put one on the left pauldron and an imperial eagle on the right. I felt this was a reasonable compromise, and aslo a good way of warking out the leaders. I could have ignored the facing of the gryphon and used the right facing ones as well, but it would bug me every time I saw them. Yes, I’m *THAT* sad.

I made a few modifications, changing the wings, filling out the head and thinning out the tail, I also painted over the decal in Rakarth flesh to make the colour the same as the sun on the opposite field. Here is how the Manticore should look..

And here is the end product of my tampering! I highlighted all the Rakarth with Pallid wych flesh.

The next part was to add the manticore to the shield in a gold colour, which I chose to represent with XV-88 highlighted with Balor brown. I found it best to just try and represent an impression rather than struggle with getting it perfect. I also added a few bits to random loincloths.

The next thing was the heat bloom on the weapons. I chose to add this to every weapon. I used inks for this to get intensity. The ones I use are the old citadel ones, but there are plenty of current alternatives. I started with chestnut, then purple, nuln oil at the end finishing off with black.

The last bit of detail was the green for the canopy glass and a red marking that I got from this piece of fluff.

The use of a cipher in crimson emblazoned upon a shield indicates the sworn oath to shed the blood of a foe in open battle.

With such a cool bit of background, I had to add it. I didn’t put it on every shield so as not to overdo it.

Finishing touches and weathering

The last step was to give the model an all over wash of the wonder wash. We will try and get the formula for this. The end effect is to punch the contrast and tie the model together. Because of the Klear varnish in the mix it leaves a glossy sheen as well. This photograph is after the weathering powder and so not ideal, but you can see the effect.

The next step was to use the weathering powder. I actually did this all over using a thin wash with water as a medium and then mopping up the excess surface wash with a paper towel. This gives the effect of the dust in the recesses, leaving a minimal stain in patches, which looks nice and realistic.

I did this stage at the same time as the weathering powder on the base to tie the two together. Of course, I focussed a lot more attention on the legs as these would get more dirt.


The basing on these was nice and easy. I used chunks of old ruins, these were from the old epic base sprues, and glued them to the base. I painted them mechanicum standard grey and then blended the edges with Astrogranite. The base was then painted with PVA and dipped in good old citadel basing sand.

The sand was then painted with several coats of thinned down Doombull brown. I allowed this to go onto the grey, and the feet to begin tying things together and start the weathering process.

I then used a watered-down mix of the weathering powder in patches on the base and feet. I kept this random and natural.

The final step was to add random patches of Typhus corrosion to the base to add more colour and variety to the base making it look more natural.

The finishing touch is the rim, which I painted black, No matter how hard I try I keep coming back to black rims. Id frames the model so well I am yet to find an alternative I prefer.

The Final Pics