Sunday 28 March 2021

Forge World Custodes Completed!


In between painting Tyranids and Death Guard, I've been working away at an Adeptus Custodes commission project - a bunch of Forge World units painted to a comparatively higher standard than my usual. This was a bit of a challenge between Forgeworld instructions, painting three different schemes and resisting my urges to cover everything in dirt and battle damage! The background behind these guys is that they come from a variety of different Shield Hosts, making a combined force of individual warriors, rather than a neat regimented army like other Imperial forces.

First up, Aquilon Terminators, painted in the 'standard' gold with red - I'm not sure if they represent a specific host, but I thought I'd get my eye in with the 'default' scheme.

Two sets of them, with the weapons mixed over so three with bolters and claws, and three with the fists and fire pikes. I tend to prefer a warmer, redder gold so that's what they got, I think complementing their red bits and the fiery lava bases. Highlights over the gold was a mix of dry brushing and edge highlighting over the larger plates like the pauldrons. I wouldn't have that luxury with the others though...

Contemptor-Achillus of the Shadowkeepers Shield Host. A bit of a challenge to build and pose - I originally intended for a two handed thrusting pose but it was hard enough getting one hand to clutch the spear so we've got a striding one handed lunge type move. Lots of posing options on these kits but the size of a dreadnought does limit the dynamism of it. Regardless, I'm happy with the paint job, particularly all the gold which, on black, was easy enough to correct mistakes...

Final member of the team is this Contemptor-Galatus of the Solar Watch. I really like this model and the scheme for it, the white and gold really makes them stand out, but damn, it was frustrating to paint! I ended up doing several passes of washing the gold, then touching up around it with bone/white, then repainting some gold, then washing it again, etc. The end result is a bit messier than I'd like, but I'm still happy with the overall effect of being off-white rather than full on bone like the Deathwing or clean white like the Tau box art.

So with that, here's the whole crew together:

Ta da! I hope you like them, I'm pleased with the result and I think the client is happy. I've been comparing these to some of my other work of recent years pre-lockdown, notably my Legio Mortis Titans, which have a similar scheme to the black Contemptor, and though I haven't really gone out of my way to improve my painting, I definitely have!

Thanks for looking, and stay safe out there.


  1. Those are looking excellent. My favourite is the Shadowkeepers Dread, but they're all ace.

  2. I absolutely LOVE the galatus dreadnought. Can you tell me what paints/shades you used to get the white armor and shield looking like that?

    1. Hello!

      I wish it were so easy as 'just use these paints' - I had some combination of vallejo bone white, off white and I think Seraphim Sepia wash from GW, and went back and forth painting, washing, covering mistakes, then washing bits again, then mistakes...

      Point is, I didn't really use anything fancy, just a lot of trying to get the balance between them about right.


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