How to Paint Khorne Berserkers

Written by paul bragulla
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How to Paint Khorne Berserkers
Tabletop wargames use miniature models of soldiers as playing pieces. (miniature model army image by Jon Barnes from

In the distant future setting of Warhammer 40K (sometimes referred to as Warhammer 40,000) immense armies and fleets battle for supremacy in a galaxy darkened by the spectre of war. Warhammer 40K is a tabletop war game in which armies of miniature soldiers and vehicles engage in simulated battles, with the outcomes of events and actions determined by comparing dice roles with printed tables. In the 40K universe, Khorne berserkers are warriors devoted to Khorne, the god of slaughter, rage and bloodlust. They eschew ranged weapons in favour of a pair of deadly chain-axes and thick armour.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Assembled Khorne berserker model
  • Flat black miniatures primer
  • Miniatures paint
  • Assorted paintbrushes

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  1. 1

    Cover your work surface with newspapers to protect it from the excess paint and set your miniatures on it, spacing them at least 6 inches away from each other.

  2. 2

    Apply a thin coat of black or dark grey spray primer to the miniatures, making sure to get even coverage all around (especially in the recessed areas around joints, etc.) and wait for it to dry completely. Apply a second thin coat, making sure that it is not so thick that detail is being obscured. Allow the primer to dry completely before moving on.

  3. 3

    Paint the whole surface of the model in a dark, rich red colour (Citadel paints, a major miniatures paint supplier, has this colour filed under "scab red"). Once this paint has dried, pick out the highlights in a blood red colour, making sure that nowhere is the paint thick enough to obstruct the small details of the model.

  4. 4

    Paint the raised trim of the armour, as well as the tall "horns" on the helmet and the chain and details of the axe in a metallic silver colour ("tin blitz" if you are using Citadel paints) and drybrush it in a metallic bronze colour when it dries. Paint the eyes in a dark red colour and highlight other portions of the miniature in colours of your choosing.

Tips and warnings

  • To dry brush, place only a tiny amount of paint on the end of the paintbrush, then brush it back and forth a few times on the newspaper. Once only a slight residue of paint is left on the brush, move it back and forth over the part of the model you are dry brushing to deposit a dusting of the desired colour on the raised portions of the miniature.
  • Only use spray paint in a well-ventilated room. If your normal work space is not well ventilated (e.g. it does not have a large, openable window) then prime the miniatures in a garage or other such space, using the lid to a shoebox to transfer them back and forth.

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