Sons of the Cyclops Black

Sons of the Cyclops Black

  • Written by
  • Published
    09 Jul 2020
  • Updated
    27 Oct 2021
  • Shareable URL

A recipe used to paint Rubricae of the Black Legion's Sons of the Cyclops warband - an alternative black to my Black Legion Gold method.

The idea of this is recreate the mottled, blackened armour appearance as it appears on the codex entry for the Sons of the Cyclops. I'm using the existing Black Legion Gold method for all of the gold areas, but use Black Templar as the main black colour over Retributor Armour . The method is to get quick coverage of black, tidy the gold edging (before moving on) and then use a mixture of blacks and the gold highlight colours to stipple and mottle the armour panels - dark recesses, with apparent muted gold patterns in raised areas. For the Sons of the Cyclops icon, I use the Mark III Heresy transfers (white) that I paint gold to match the Black Legion transfers on the left shoulder pad. I'll also use the white scarab transfers on the tabards, as I prefer red tabards to the white of the artwork (to tie to the rest of the Black Legion force). I do keep the green eyes of the original Thousand Son scheme to differentiate these as Rubricae, rather than living Chaos Space Marines.


  1. Spray the Rubricae with Retributor Armour .
  2. I first painted the gold trim, using my usual recipe. Then I applied Black Templar onto all panels that I wanted black, including the gun casing and rubber joints. Give the rubber joints a second or third coats - you want the gold to shine through on all the panels and edges, but not areas you just want black.


  1. I then used Nuln Oil Gloss with Black Templar to darken the recesses, where the armour meets trim etc - just areas where you want greater contrast. Leaving the raised parts with just one layer of Black Templar, as we'll adjust this later.
  2. Stipple Black Templar mixed with Nuln Oil Gloss from the darker edges towards the centre of armour panels. We're leaving the panels lighter in the raised sections, as opposed to the usual method of edge highlighting.


  1. From the Black Legion Gold method, I use a thinned version of the basecoat gold method (2:1 Liberator Gold and Dryad Bark ) and the 1st shade, which is a mix of Rhinox Hide , the basecoat gold, and Lahmian Medium . With these two golds, I stipple the raised areas. I use the shade first, stippling in around where the previous black stippling was. Then, use the basecoat gold on just the very highest parts of the panel where light would hit. You want this to be very subtle, as it should appear 'underneath' the black.


  1. To tie the stippled highlights together, I give the whole black panel a coat of Nuln Oil Gloss with a touch of Contrast Medium and a tiny amount of the previous gold to knock the gloss down a fraction and add a few metallic flakes. I want the armour to be more glossy than normal armour, but not too much. This also gives a bit of protection from the Contrast paint rubbing off if you don't varnish your miniatures.

Revision 2021

Rather than the highlight and finishing stage, the new method I have uses a mixture of Nuln Oil Gloss , Cryptek Armourshade Gloss and a tiny dot of Liberator Gold (or Vallejo Old Gold). Basically, it's a shiny dark brown wash, that dries glossy with metallic flecks. It has the advantage, over very quick layers, to build glazed highlights towards the top of the panel by providing a metallic glossy sheen. It also has the advantage of protecting the Contrast paint, and works as the final shade on my usual gold mix.



Warhammer Hobbyist. Mostly Black Legion, Thousand Sons, Chaos Daemons and Chaos Knights. Drukhari for 2023. Hope you find these recipes useful!

Citadel Painting System 9
Base 2
  • Dryad Bark
  • Rhinox Hide
Shade 2
  • Cryptek Armourshade Gloss
  • Nuln Oil Gloss
Layer 1
  • Liberator Gold
Technical 2
  • Contrast Medium
  • Lahmian Medium
Spray 1
  • Retributor Armour
Contrast 1
  • Black Templar
Sign up to compare these recipe requirements to your own paint collection