My Warhammer 40k Grey Knights army

Within a couple hours of playing my first game of Warhammer 40k since 1993, in which my Blood Angels Terminators lived up to decades of being my favorite thing in the 40k universe, I was planning to start a Grey Knights army. My lovely wife, Alysia, got me their Combat Patrol and a box of Brotherhood Terminators for Father’s Day (thank you!), so I officially started building this army on June 18, 2023.

As has become my tradition for a new army, I built my first Grey Knights model the day I started it: Justicar Aegras Tarmon, leader of a squad of Brotherhood Terminators.

Justicar Tarmon and his unabridged Oxford English Dictionary are here about your overdue library books (June 18, 2023)

Space fascism vs. actual fascism

Like the Blood Angels, I love the Grey Knights because they’re over the top: psychic zealots whose very existence is a secret so dangerous just knowing it can get you killed or mind-wiped (yet who wear belts that say TITAN, the name of their secret homeworld, in huge gold letters). And, like all Space Marines, because they think they’re good guys but they’re clearly the bad guys.

But I love these evil little bastards because they’re a hoot, not because I agree with their values or their religious zealotry, nor with the equally evil feudal theocracy that is the Imperium of Man. Fictional villains are fun — one reason why I love horror movies so much! — and so is the gonzo, grimdark 40k universe.

I don’t take anything about the Warhammer universe seriously. But in real life? Fuck Nazis, fuck fascists, fuck bigots, fuck racists, fuck sexists, fuck misogynists, and fuck hatemongers of all stripes. 40k should be an inclusive hobby, diverse and welcoming for all — except for bigots and other hateful fuckwits. And as Games Workshop says, if you disagree you will not be missed.

In 10th edition 40k, this can be built as roughly a thousand points of Grey Knights (June 18, 2023)

Grey Knights army

I started this army just days before 10th Edition launched, so my Grey Knights are written up as 10th Edition units.

  • Brotherhood Terminators: Squad Tarmon — 4 Terminators (1x Apothecary with nemesis force weapon, 1x psilencer, 2x nemesis force weapon and storm bolter) led by Justicar Aegras Tarmon (nemesis force weapon and storm bolter)
  • Strike Squad: Squad Dethras — 4 Grey Knights (1x psilencer, 3x storm bolter and storm bolter and nemesis force weapon) led by Justicar Yauron Dethras (storm bolter and nemesis force weapon)
  • Purgation Squad: [probably] Squad Kolbaran — 4 Purgators (1x storm bolter and nemesis force weapon, 3x special weapon TBD) led by Justicar Helena Kolbaran (special weapon TBD)
    • I might also build this as a second Strike Squad, we’ll see.

Grey Knights kits

  • Combat Patrol: remaining models are Nemesis Dreadknight (or GMNDK) and Librarian in Terminator Armour
  • Brotherhood Terminator Squad: 5x Terminators or Paladins
  • Strike Squad: remaining models are 9x Grey Knights, of which 4 are slated to make up the rest of Squad Kolbaran (Purgation, probably).

Color guides


The main recipe comes from the White Dwarf Basing Cookbook.

  • Terrain: Armageddon Dust > Agrax Earthshade all-over wash > Tyrant Skull drybrush
  • Rocks: Pick one or mix in both:
    • Dark grey: Mechanicus Standard Grey > Agrax Earthshade all-over wash > Celestra Grey drybrush
    • Light grey: Grey Seer > Agrax Earthshade all-over wash > 50/50 Corax White/Grey Seer drybrush
  • Skulls: Corax White > Agrax Earthshade all-over wash > Corax White drybrush
  • Horns: Zandri Dust > Seraphim Sepia all-over wash > Ushabti Bone drybrush
  • Xeno head impaled on sword:
    • Skin: Waaagh! Flesh > Biel-Tan Green all-over wash > Warboss Green drybrush > Skarsnik Green drybrush
    • Horn: Zandri Dust > Seraphim Sepia all-over wash > Ushabti Bone drybrush
    • Inside of mouth: Screamer Pink > Carroburg Crimson all-over wash > Pink Horror > Emperor’s Children
    • Eye: Do this as the final step, after everything else is drybrushed: Averland Sunset > thinned-down Agrax Earthshade all-over wash > Flash Gitz Yellow
  • Base rim: Baneblade Brown
  • Tufts: Army Painter swamp, winter, or both


  • Armor: Leadbelcher > Drakenhof Nightshade pin wash > Ironbreaker > Stormhost Silver.
  • Other bare metal: Leadbelcher > Nuln Oil pin wash > Ironbreaker > Stormhost Silver.
  • Gold: Retributor Armour > Reikland Fleshshade pin wash > Auric Armour Gold > Liberator Gold.
  • Bodysuit joints: Abaddon Black > Eshin Grey > Dawnstone Grey.
  • Weapon housings:
    • Standard: Abaddon Black > Dark Reaper > Fenrisian Grey.
    • Fancy: Mephiston Red > Agrax Earthshade pin wash > Evil Sunz Scarlet > Fire Dragon Bright.
  • Blades: Three stages:
    • Base coat: Macragge Blue
    • Glaze: 1:6 Teclis Blue:Lahmian Medium, 7-8 layers, starting with almost the entire blade and covering a bit less area every time, working from the base towards the tip; the end should be pretty close to pure Teclis Blue
    • Highlights: The idea is to let the glaze be the star of the show.
      • On the unglazed portion, edge highlight sparingly with Teclis Blue, and then point highlight with Lothern Blue.
      • On the glazed portions, using a brush fresh enough to still have a defined shape (IE not a busted-ass drybrush), I do something between edge highlighting and drybrushing with Lothern Blue. The brush is about half as dry as a drybrush, and I paint at a 45′ angle to the edges of the brightest parts of the glazed sections, running the edge of the brush along just as if I were edge highlighting.
        • If I had the brush control for it, this could be done with plain old edge highlighting. This is more subtle and more forgiving.
  • Leather: Khorne Red > Agrax Earthshade all-over wash > Wazdakka Red > 50/50 blend of Wazdakka Red/Kislev Flesh.
  • Parchment: Rakarth Flesh > Agrax Earthshade all-over wash, but keep it light on the flats > Pallid Wych Flesh > White Scar.
    • Writing: Scribble on the parchment freehand with Abaddon Black.
  • Purity seal wax: Screamer Pink > Carroburg Crimson all-over wash > Pink Horror > Emperor’s Children.
  • Cloth: Ulthuan Grey (note this is a layer paint) > Agrax Earthshade pin wash > White Scar.
  • Bolter rounds visible in magazines: Warplock Bronze > Agrax Earthshade all-over wash > Brass Scorpion.
  • Eyes: Lothern Blue (note this is a layer paint) > Drakenhof Nightshade pin wash > Lothern Blue.
  • Heraldry: Use Vallejo hobby tape for clean lines, freehand the crenellations (between tape boundaries).
    • White: White Scar (note this is a layer paint).
    • Red: Mephiston Red.
Scroll to Top