When the Chaos Knight Army box set was released last week, I picked one up figuring I might need some Chaos Knights for the Plague War campaign in Ultramar… at some point. And I was content to leave them in that box until I was good and ready to tackle them. Then I saw this video from Vertisee Models which showed a method of painting Nurgle Knights using a primarily drybrushed-based method.

I thought they might be quick to do using this process, so I finished up some Ultramar Auxilia that were on the painting table and set to work. What I did not appreciated was just how fast they would be to do.

Now, Vertisee does not use GW paints, and I cannot be doing with diving into a new paint range, so I did some translating, which I will go through here. Also, you will note that my models look somewhat different from his – this is down to a) a complete lack of talent on my part and b) a complete lack of confidence. Basically, I went way too heavy on the first green drybrush.

However, that said, I think they turned out alright, and now I have the first models for House Slughorn. And best of all? The whole army set (the three Knights) took me not a weekend to paint, not a day to paint… but a single evening. From start to finish, with just the bases needing to dry overnight.

This is a candidate for doing a whole 2,000 point army in a single day. Or, put another way, it actually took longer to build these three models than it did to paint them.

So, how is it done with GW paints?

Undercoat the models in Chaos Black spray, and make sure it is a decent coverage as this is very much your base coat too.

Drybrush the entire model, structure and armour plates, with Brass Scorpion. Follow this up by drybrushing with Stormhost Silver – again, all over, but be sure to catch the armour edging on the plates heavier than the plates themselves and go very light on the structure.

Very, very lightly, drybrush a little Dawnstone onto the armour plates to dull them down a little. If you are as ham-fisted as me, this step might be skipped.

To get the main green effect, drybrush Warboss Green onto the main flat areas of the armour plates. On the raised areas of the plates (the cracks and little pustules), drybrush Ogryn Camo. Follow this up by stippling Nurgling Green onto random areas of the armour plates.

Congratulations, you have just completed about 90% of the model…

For the spikes poking through the carapace, drybrush (quite heavily) Rhinox Brown, then Mournfang Brown then, just at the tips, Zandri Dust.

The Horns and skulls need nothing more than a drybrush of Ushabti Bone. At this point, do the same thing with the underslung banner. It will look a little ‘clean’ for Nurgle, but don’t worry as we will be dirtying it up quickly enough.

At this point, the drybrushing is just about done. Use Typhus Corrosion in the cracks and crevices (between the pipes on the carapace and the edges of the armour plates). This is probably the longest part of the process but, because you are doing Nurgle, you do not have to be super-accurate so it is much faster than on an Imperial Knight. While you are at it, streak the underslung banner with Typhus Corrosion to make it suitably filthy.

The carapace window and ‘eyes’ are done with Corax White and two coats of Waywatcher Green – because the areas are so small, the drying time here is almost non-existent.

And that is the basic scheme for every Knight. After that, you are really just looking for details that are unique to individual Knights:

  • Missile warheads are done with a Khorne Red base, drybrushed with Mephiston Red.
  • Pipes (there are not too many) are simply painted with Black Templars Black Contrast.
  • The birds are also Black Templars Black, with their heads drybrushed using Ushabti Bone.
  • I was going to leave the cooling vanes of the Volkite Combustor raw metal, but I figured there was really no need to be lazy given how quick everything else had been. I painted them with Incubi Darkness, then drybrushed them with Warpstone Green, Sybarite Green and then, very lightly and just on the top, Nurgling Green.

All of this was, with no word of a lie, the work of hours. And not very many at that. Looking at them, I could not really believe that I had started painting them in the early evening and, apart from the bases, they were complete before an early bed-time. This is, without a doubt, the fastest army I have ever painted – and they do not look half bad, if I say so myself!

I have a handful of other projects on the go right now but, I have to admit, I am fairly pumped to do more Chaos Knights for House Slughorn. I just happen to have a Knight-Castellan in its box that was intended for House Malinax… but it may just get diverted and corrupted by Nurgle…