How to paint the armor of a Salamander Space Marine Leviathan Dreadnought

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

Follow us to keep up to date with the latest tutorials:

Follow by Email

If you want to support me to continue creating free content for the community, you can do it here!

Welcome to a new Warhammer 40k tutorial! As many of you know, I’m a real Warhammer 40K fan and one of my favourite factions are the Space Marines. Although I paint Marines from all chapters, the Salamanders, alongside the Space Wolves, are my favourite chapters.

I hadn’t painted a Leviathan Dreadnought to date, so when I saw the spectacular bits released by LiberDaemonica, I couldn’t resist customising the Games Workshop plastic kit and painting a Leviathan of the XVIII Legion.

Before I begin, I would like to tell you that the complete tutorial on how I painted this Dreadnought can be found in the new issue of Fantasy Figures international magazine (issue 24).

Lets start!


First, I performed a conversion, using LiberDaemonica bits. You can see the complete conversion in the article of Fantasy Figures International magazine, but here I will show you the final result:

Tools used

I’m often asked about the tools – airbrush, paint brushes and the like – I use. These are the tools that I consider indispensable in my painting projects.

My airbrush is an Iwata Hi-Line with a 0.2 needle. I have to say this is a superb piece and kit, and it has allowed me to take my work to the next level.

In this project, I used Artis Opus S Series. I used S Series brushes 3 and 2 (for base colours and large areas), 0 (for smaller details) and 00 (outlines and finishing touches)

I used the Redgrass Studio XL wet palette, as I needed a larger palette than the standard one (Painter version).


Once the conversion was done, it was time to start painting the miniature. I kicked the painting off with the armour. I have several Warhammer 40K Salamander miniatures painted, and I like to paint them with deep green colours, creating a nice contrast between the shadows and highlights. As a Horus Heresy miniatures, I wanted to tone this one down a bit, but I didn’t want it boring or too like a Dark Angels miniature.

I found my inspiration online in an illustration of the Primarch, Vulkan, so I started with a solid coat of Vallejo Surface Primer Black.

First, I started with a black primer using Vallejo Surface Primer black.

I painted this miniature predominantly with Vallejo’s New Game Air ( and Game Color ( paints. For this, I used Game Air Dark Green 76.028 all over the miniature.

I then started painting the highlights with Angel Green (76.123) leaving the shadow areas unpainted

For the final lights, I used Scorpy Green (76.032), focusing only on the maximum light points and reducing the area covered If you want a more intensely colored armor, you could continue to increase the highlights, or if you want it darker, you could use a less saturated color.

That finished the airbrush work. Around the drake scales, I used my own special wash to generate more contrast.

one part Xpress Color Lizard Green

two parts of Black Wash

twelve parts of Thinner Medium

eight parts of Flow Improver

Next was the long process of profiling the armour. I used Angel Green (72.123) and Scorpy Green (72.032).

On the scales , I added glazes with diluted Scorpy Green.

Finally, I added subtle edge highlights with Scorpy Green and Model Color Ice Yellow (70.858)

With the armour complete, I painted the other elements Black to help determine the next stages in painting process

The following photos show the miniature with the finished armor.

If you want to support me to continue creating free content for the community, you can do it here!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *