The Cleaved

The Cleaved

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  • Published
    28 May 2021
  • Updated
    30 May 2021
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This is my take on the colour scheme for the Cleaved warband, featured in the Chaos Space Marines codex for 8th Ed. 40k.

The main colours are pale flesh and rusted steel.

General Information:

My general method is to lay down all the base colours for the model, then do all the shading in the recesses before moving on to the highlights.

I don't own an airbrush, so the recipe will mainly consist of brush on paints.


I find the metallic sprays from GW tend to be a little on the transparent side, so an initial undercoat of grey helps.

  1. Prime the model lightly with Mechanicus Standard Grey
  2. Prime over that with Leadbelcher

Steel (Armour Trim, Grenades, Weapons):

For grenades, replace Nuln Oil with Athonian Camoshade

  1. Base with Leadbelcher
  2. Shade the recesses and around rivets with Nuln Oil
  3. Add a rust effect around rivet and in deep recesses with thinned Skrag Brown
  4. Highlight sharp edges and fine points with Stormhost Silver

Pale Flesh (Armour Panels):

  1. Base with Rakarth Flesh
  2. Shade the recesses with Agrax Earthshade
  3. Add a second recess shade with Carroburg Crimson thinned with Lahmian Medium
  4. Create the effect of seeping liquid trails with thinned Rhinox Hide , Deathworld Forest , Skrag Brown and Abaddon Black
  5. Highlight sharp edges with Pallid Wych Flesh

Green (Details - Cloth, Tubes, Wraps):

  1. Base with Incubi Darkness
  2. Shade the recesses with Nuln Oil
  3. Highlight the edges with Kabalite Green
  4. Highlight fine points with Sybarite Green

Gold (Details - Chaos Symbols, Melta Barrel):

  1. Base with Retributor Armour
  2. Shade the recesses with Agrax Earthshade
  3. Highlight sharp edges with Stormhost Silver

For a burned in look on the meltagun barrel add a layer of Druchii Violet extending two-thirds up from the muzzle, followed by an additional layer of Drakenhof Nightshade just around the muzzle.

Red (Details - Lenses, Power buttons):

  1. Base with Mephiston Red
  2. Shade the recesses with Agrax Earthshade
  3. Layer the middle with Wild Rider Red
  4. Add fine points with Fire Dragon Bright

Black (Details - Armour Ribbing, Cables, Weapon Casings):

  1. Base with Abaddon Black
  2. Highlight the edges with Eshin Grey
  3. Add a fine highlight with Dawnstone

Brown (Details - Leather Pouches):

  1. Base with Rhinox Hide
  2. Shade the recesses with Agrax Earthshade
  3. Roughly highlight the edges with Skrag Brown
  4. Add a fine highlight with Ushabti Bone

Tan (Details - Teeth):

  1. Base with Ushabti Bone
  2. Shade the lower portion with Agrax Earthshade
  3. Layer the middle with Ushabti Bone
  4. Add fine points with Screaming Skull



Amateur tabletop painter of Warhammer 40k and Age of Sigmar miniatures.

Citadel Painting System 28
Base 8
  • Abaddon Black
  • Deathworld Forest
  • Incubi Darkness
  • Leadbelcher
  • Mephiston Red
  • Rakarth Flesh
  • Retributor Armour
  • Rhinox Hide
Shade 6
  • Agrax Earthshade
  • Athonian Camoshade
  • Carroburg Crimson
  • Drakenhof Nightshade
  • Druchii Violet
  • Nuln Oil
Layer 11
  • Dawnstone
  • Eshin Grey
  • Fire Dragon Bright
  • Kabalite Green
  • Pallid Wych Flesh
  • Screaming Skull
  • Skrag Brown
  • Stormhost Silver
  • Sybarite Green
  • Ushabti Bone
  • Wild Rider Red
Technical 1
  • Lahmian Medium
Spray 2
  • Leadbelcher
  • Mechanicus Standard Grey
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