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Testing Citadel Primer – Blue Horror Test Models

A couple of weeks ago I started painting again for the first time since I had a non-Age of Sigmar Night Goblin (or Moonclan Grots as they are now known) army, and had to work my way through painting a 100-ish model Goblin horde with little more than my iPod for company. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I took the mantle up again, deciding to start collecting and painting a Daemons of Chaos army from scratch. From there I thought I would document the process, as some of what I learned taking this hobby up again may be useful for those in a similar position. Not to mention, it’d also show my progression from rubbish painter to (hopefully) good.

I found, rather weirdly, that I actually really enjoy painting Blue Horrors, the Tzeentch mini-demon, spawned by cutting a Pink Horror in half. For this colour scheme, I picked the exact opposite colour scheme to the Pink Horrors, to try and show an inverse image. This meant painting their tongues pink but painting their skin blue.


Pink and Blue Horror together.

Before We Begin

Off the back of painting the Pink Horror I received a lot of awesome advice from a lot of awesome bloggers to help me become a better painter. I took this on board, and now have the base of two horrors, one I actually painted at roughly the same time as the Pink Horror (pictured above) and one more recently. One was painted before the advice and one after. The one pictured above was before.

Thanks for all the advice guys, it was much appreciated.

Citadel Stormvermin Primer vs Army Painter Matt Paint

Okay, that aside and on to the experiment at hand. After having a bit of a nightmare getting Army Painter Matt Black to cover I decided, off the back of several layers of paint, to speed the process up. It would take absolutely ages to undercoat a model and so I decided to go for a primer, and with that in mind I went online and ordered some Stormvermin Grey from Citadel. This would be lighter than the Army Painter paint, looking almost like the naked plastic on the sprue (which makes it an absolute pain to check for coverage), meaning it isn’t too light and it isn’t too dark.

At the time of writing, I have only painted the skin of the Blue Horror painted using primer, rather than Matt Black, but the results are interesting.


Blue Horror left hand(s) side

So, looking at the above image, there are a couple of things to note. The model on the left was painted using the Army Painter Matt Black as a base, with the horror on the right being painted with the Stormvermin Primer. The colour of the base, although not in the best light, is the colour of the Primer out of the cannister.

As it can be seen, the definition of the arm muscles of the model on the right-hand side are noticeably more pronounced even though the two models have been painted with the exact same technique.


Blue Horrors right hand(s) side

The skin, once again, has turned out slightly more defined on the second model; however, it is not as evident here. This is probably aided by the fact the two models aren’t 100% side on, however, it is possible to see there is enough of a difference.


Blue Horror faces

Okay, so the front on image doesn’t add much; however, it is possible to see that the mouth is a lot darker on the new horror than on the old. This should hopefully make it easier to paint the mouth moving forward.

So what is the difference?

This is the tricky thing, and I think I need to explain the skin tone a little bit more to be able to make this point. My Blue Horrors have a base cote of Ultramarine Blue, washed over in a Dark Tone. Highlights are then picked out in a Crystal Blue (all Army Painter paints). It’s very simple, and yet the difference, for something that is meant to be identical, is surprising. If anything, I would have expected the one with the primer to be lighter, as a result of having a much lighter base, but that isn’t true.

Instead, the paint appears to be more consistent when the primer is applied.

I guess what is happening, and some real painters should be able to correct me here, is that the primer makes the surface of the model more porous, meaning the paint sticks to it better. This creates a smoother finish than the non-primer-ed model. That’s a theory at least, and I’m sticking to it.

To finish with, during the course of writing this article I actually finished the Blue Horror, so here are a few images of it to finish up.


I’m still deciding on the base.


Left hand(s) side


Right hand(s) side.

Yes, I know I need to get a lightbox or something similar. I’m working on it.

I’m going to try a white primer next and see how it affects the model. Again, any advice would be appreciated. Also, if anyone knows how to paint a decent flame effect, please let me know – I have no freaking idea, a load of Brimstone Horrors to paint and no clue how I’m going to do them!


  1. Nice work! Interesting that the primer didn’t have a more pronounced effect. I typically also primer models prior to painting for, exactly as you point out, the seeming evenness of the actual paint coats.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know, it’s weird. I’m going to try it with the Pink Horrors next to see if it is more pronounced with a lighter layer. You never know. It does provide a more even coat, which may actually make it seem lighter.

      Liked by 1 person

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