How To Paint Death Guard Plague Marines (How-to guide)

If you’re new to the whole world that is painting miniatures, then you will want to start with something relatively simple and easy so that you can get into it and learn the basics, all while also doing a good job and getting a decent end result.

The rugged dirty style of the death guard plague marines is perfect for this, as it allows you to very easily hide mistakes, and it’s a better canvas for learning and developing your technique.

But how exactly do you paint a death guard plague marine? Well, not to worry. We’ve got you covered! Let’s get right into it.

What are death guard plague marines?

Before we start, we think it’s best to clarify what a death guard plague marine is, just in case you’ve stumbled upon this article without searching for it, and you’re currently a bit confused.

Death guard plague marines are a type of character within the Warhammer universe. Warhammer as in the tabletop miniature wargame, with a fantasy theme and many different factions and armies that go to war against one another.

The game has become incredibly popular, and also has many books, video games, and even a movie. The world of Warhammer has extensive lore, and as it will always originally be a tabletop game to be played with miniatures, miniatures are still at the heart of the fandom.

Many fans of the game will spend arduous hours collecting and painting miniatures, to create their own armies. Whether it’s to use them during the game on the table or to keep as decoration on their bedroom shelf.

What do you need to paint death guard plague marines?

Okay, so death guard plague marines are a type of character in Warhammer, and they are miniatures that are painted by fans, in order to be used either during the tabletop game or as decoration on a shelf. (Many people collect miniatures and it’s an entire hobby!)

So…what do you need to paint these death guard plague marines?


The best type of paint to use for miniatures is acrylic paint. Not only is this paint very easy to use, but it also adheres really well to plastics and metals, which is what most miniatures are made out of.

You can use any type of acrylic paint, but if you want to get a bit more professional when it comes to the miniatures specifically, then we recommend you use a brand of acrylic paint such as Games Workshop, Vallejo, or The Army Painter.

These brands specialize in acrylic paint that is specifically for painting miniatures, and this means that they also sell pre-prepared packs of certain sets of colors that are ideal for certain miniature characters. You can even find special death guard plague marine packs, with all the colors you will need to paint one of those miniature figures. So it’s super convenient!


Miniatures, much as the name suggests, are pretty small, so you will have to paint them with great care and precision. This means that you will need a suitable paintbrush that allows for precision, and that is small enough to paint on details with care.

The most recommended type of paintbrush for painting miniatures is the Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable Brush set. This will contain a good selection of small paint brushes, with fine bristles and ease for painting on details and small surfaces.

But at the end of the day, you can use any paint brush that suits you, as long as it allows you to effectively paint such a small surface with precision and detailed technique.

A working space:

Like with all painting jobs, you need a suitable environment, or at the very least, you need to protect the surrounding area so that you don’t get paint everywhere.

The best way to paint miniature figures is on a stable surface, such as a table, covered in an old newspaper or in something you don’t mind getting dirty with paint. You should also have a good source of light so that you can see the miniature properly and can paint it with as much precision and detail as possible.

Step-by-step guide on how to paint a death guard plague marine:

The first thing you need to know about painting Warhammer miniatures is that you can either follow the official color scheme or get creative and paint it your own way.

If you’re doing it for yourself there aren’t any rules to follow, but if you’re painting your death guard plague marine for a competition, then make sure to follow the rules stated for that.

Let’s cover the basic steps you need to follow:

  1. Prime the miniature. (Use a priming paint, for miniatures these usually come in black or green).
  2. Apply a base coat (you can use a larger brush for this). The best color to have as a base is forest green.
  3. Add depth and shading to the armor with more green, or a different shade of green.
  4. Use other colors for the right areas. Such as bronze for armor pieces, or a deep purple or brown for leather pieces.
  5. Do more shading and depth painting.
  6. Use smaller and finer brushes to add details, such as lines and similar.
  7. Check the official scheme to make sure you aren’t missing any important details or colors!
  8. Add personalizations, such as scars or wounds.
  9. Once you have finished painting the miniature, use some PVA glue or similar to glue it onto the base, so that it can stand upright.

Basically, it takes a lot of patience and a lot of layering, so that you can get the depth and shadows and rugged style. If you make a mistake you can easily blend it in with the surrounding colors, or paint over it with new layers. The great thing about death guard plague marines is that they’re supposed to look rough and worn!

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