Orcus Painting Guide

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As described in the assembly guide, I recommend you paint the body, throne and wings as separate parts attached on their individual stands and sprayed with a primer, I use a grey colour. Any imperfections can easily be seen at this point and any further cleaning completed.

Colour palette

Regardless of what paint brand you use the overall colour palette for Orcus is red, bone and light grey.

Skin tone

I generally start painting the largest part on the model; in this case it is his blood red skin. Starting with a dark red basecoat, working through lighter tones of red up to dark yellows, then ink washes to add richness and tone down the stark highlights.


A lines texture is applied, building up the layers with lighter tones of grey, to an off-white highlight and then toned down with grey and thin black ink washes.

To accentuate the wing membrane texture, the final layer is ‘dotted’ along the lines.


I have used a brown-red colour for the fur, keeping it within the same palette of red based colours.


The skull and Wand of Orcus are painted with the same base colours. Notice how I have left the horns, teeth and finger-nails as these will be slightly different cream tones with different basecoats, this makes a visually more interesting model.

The skull and Wand mid-tone colours.

Bone final highlight colour is Off-White and is painting only on the extreme edges.



Before the teeth are painted, I have given the whole area a coat of black. This provides a strong coloured border making the individual teeth really stand out.

Loin cloth

Using warm browns compliments the red-based colour scheme.



I have based the colour loosely on horse’s hooves, warm grey.

Finger nails

These are painted in a line texture to make them stand out from the other bone areas.

Throne of skulls

With this large scenic piece, you will need a selection of larger brushes, as all the main stages are drybrushed, then washed with inks.

For the final Off-White highlight, I have used a half inch household brush. This skips over most of the details, leaving just the extreme edges.

With the drybrushing finished, the base is looking very bleached out and bland. Using ink washes and thin oil-paint washes will create depth and weathering.


The skulls don’t quite cover the entire base, so I have painted in the gaps with a neutral grey.


The whole model is given a coat of mat varnish before the clear red was applied, as this translucent paint dries with a very gloss finish and wants to be the last thing you paint on the model.