Primaris Review and Step-by-step

With the release of Dark Imperium I was keen to get my hands on some Primaris Marines and bring some reinforcements to my Ultramarines army.

I put some WIP shots on Twitter but had a few questions about how I painted them, so decided to throw together a little step-by-step guide.

First Impressions

The models in the Dark Imperium box set are simply really nice for starter set models. they mono-pose so they have some limitations that come with that. Aside from the limited freedom in how you assemble them, the sculpts occasionally sacrifice detail for the sake of allowing the models to go together. They are still extremely impressive however.

The only other thing I noticed was that the plastic seemed softer than normal. When I was assembling the first Primaris Marine I found that my normal use of a file resulted in more material being removed than normal.

Overall very impressive. Onto the good bit!


I wanted to add shoulder pads from the Ultramarines Upgrades Kit to give my Primaris Marines a bit of character.


The stock shoulder pad was removed with clippers and filed to allow the shoulder pad to fit in place. Nothing too strenuous but a bit fiddly to get the shoulder pad to sit correctly.


Here the arm holding the Bolt Rifle is temporarily attached. I’ve always painted my marines without their weapons in place if they cross their chests because I want to make sure the Imperial Eagles are easy to get to.


Heads up – I don’t paint my Marines quickly by any stretch. If you’re looking for speed you may want to look elsewhere!

Step 1: Undercoat with Chaos Black and Macragge Blue.


Step 2: Paint Drakenhof Nightshade into the recesses of the armour.


Note that I covered the whole model here by mistake. I used to do this originally but later changed to just painting into the recesses. It doesn’t really make any difference to the end result, it just makes the next step a bit easier.

Step 3: Panel the power armour with your chosen shade of blue.


I say ‘chosen shade of blue’ here because I am still using the old Ultramarines Blue paint. I’m doing this because the rest of my Ultramarines army is done this way so I want it to match. Macragge blue would be the obvious alternative in the new paint range.

This is the slowest part of this process. On normal marines I can do a single model in about 30 minutes. This guy took a little longer as I was still learning the armour.

Step 4: Highlights and the other colours.


I should have taken a few more photos here but I got excited to finish this and kind of just forgot… woops!

  • Blue highlights are done in two stages – Calgar Blue and Fenris Grey. The later is lighter than the former.
  • I paint my Ultramarines in the classic Second Company scheme so they get Yellow shoulder pads – Averland Sunset base, Yriel Yellow over that, then two highlights with some white mixed in.
  • Everything else on the model is then blocked in with Black.
  • Incubi Darkness and Mechanicum Standard Grey highlights on the black.
  • Doombull brown on the pouches with some Skrag Brown and Deathclaw brown highlights.
  • Weapon casing and eye lenses are Khorne Red, Mephiston Red and Wild Rider Red highlights.

*EDIT* Forgot the metal!

  • Leadbelcher, Nuln oil, ironbreaker over most of the area but leave some bits showing, then a final highlight with Runefang Steel.

    Bases in my case are done to match the rest of my Ultramarines army.

    The end result


    I have his four mates to work on next and then I’ll try my hand at a Lieutenant I think. I do have a couple of other projects to work on though so there isn’t really a rush on this.

    As always, thanks for reading!

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google photo

    You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s