Painting slate tile roofs - the classic "blue"?

Nov 19, 2017
Hey all

So, it's stupid o'clock in the morning again, and having tried some tests I'm failing with my paint "strategy"...

I have a WFB building project that I started earlier this year, after we all got "locked down" in the UK. I've been documenting it on another site. I've reached the point where I'm starting to paint some parts of the building. Link to build thread on that other site -

Currently I'm trying to get the roof colour right in preparation for painting the main roof areas (big area, want to avoid getting it wrong and having to strip paint off, as that's likely to cause damage to the roof).

In White Dwarf #154 Adrian Wild (the guy who made the OG building I'm loosely replicating, and who contributed to many of the terrain articles in White Dwarf and made terrain pieces that GW used at the time) describes his method for painting roof tiles that classic "blue/grey" slate colour. It is thus - Chaos Black undercoat, drybrush with Ultramarine Blue overall, then edge drybrush Codex Grey, Space Wolf Dark Grey, Space Wolf Light Grey.

Problem is we're 28 years down the line and GW's Citadel paint range has changed. I know what the new colours are supposed to be with regards to the old colours (although actually I'm having to guess that Space Wolf Dark and Light grey are in fact what then became Shadow Grey and Space Wolves Grey, and are now The Fang and Fenrisian Grey?). I'm also aware that Coat D'Arms still make paints that are "usually" close to the original GW paints (because they supplied GW with them at the time), I say usually because their Bronzed Flesh is more orange than I ever recall Bronzed Flesh being, so that paint hasn't remained the same...

Anyhow, I tried some tests on some sections of a roof on a seperate part of the building, with paints that I have, to try to establish the basic colour. I've tried Dark Reaper, I've tried Altdorf Guard Blue (which is supposed to be an equivalent to old school Ultramarines Blue?), Macragge Blue, Kantor Blue, and I also tried Vallejo Game Color Ultramarine Blue.

None of those looked right to me. Vallejo's Ultramarine Blue for example came out looking too bright, even when drybrushed over black. Dark Reaper is just too grey. Kantor Blue too dark. Although Macragge Blue might be close, but I need to try it again as I was using a pot I had thinned for airbrushing.

Anyone here any tips on colours I could use and/or paint recipes for that classic blue slate roof tile look using current ranges of paints?

Thanks in advance.
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Gang Hero
Nov 29, 2014
Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, UK
Do you have drakenhof nightshade? If so, it could be worth trying that over your existing tests that are too bright. The edge drybrushing might need a touch up after, but left to dry flat it may darken the tiles down just enough to be useful.


Gang Champion
Nov 12, 2013
The Hague, Netherlands
That's a great looking building! Personally I wouldn't worry about stripping to much and just mess around with it till you get it right, the detail created by the shingles is relatively "coarse" so you can easily get away with a hundred or so layers (unless you are finger painting on undilluted latex paint) before you start obscuring detail. It's not like you are clogging up the tiny details on a a miniature, so you have quite a bit of wiggle room.

That being said I'd go with the 'lighter' alternative you found and just wash it down with a few layers of diluted washes (nuln oil and drakenhof would be a good start, a thin layer of the one over another can really change the look of a piece vs a single colour wash) or some thinned oil paints in similar colours and see how it plays out. If you varnish the roof before applying oil washes you can use a cottonswab or make up pad with a bit of white spirit to brush off the wash and either 'reset' you process or lighten up the colours. So that might be a good option if you are worried about stripping paint.


Hive Guilder
Tribe Council
Jul 12, 2011
South Wales, UK
If I were to try to replicate that colour roof I would look at drybrushing GW Thunderhawk Blue over black followed by mixing in a light grey to highlight. Possibly with a Nuln Oil wash if it comes out too light.
Nov 19, 2017
Thanks guys.

I do have Drakenhof nightshade. I'll see if that works on the Vallejo Ultramarine Blue to darken it down a bit and give the "tone" I'm looking for. To be honest though I'm going to wait until next month when I have finances freed up, and buy a pot of Coat D'Arms Marine Blue (as Coat D'Arms were the OG Citadel paints back in the early 90s) and see if that's any better/nearer to how the OG building in the White Dwarf articles looks to me.

@Ben_S I know. It's not really a terrain piece though, more of a display piece - I don't even play Warhammer Fantasy Battles/Age of Sigmar, or anything else I could use it for. Plus I don't really have much of a choice. Cost wise there's little difference in model paint ranges here in the UK, especially as I have to buy most of them online due to not having any local stores that sell them - only option I have for a "local" store is 2 GW shops 90+ minutes away by bus. And I don't want to go down the route of cheap craft/acrylic paints (that I've seen youtubers using) because I don't have anywhere (or that I can viably get to on public transport) to go look at them to make sure I'm buying the right colour, if the right colour even exists without having to mix up a load of paint - it's bad enough buying Citadel/Vallejo paints and finding out they're not quite what I need, but at least I can then use those paints on miniatures.

I've worked out the method for painting the walls and the timber framing, the wood on the wooden lean to and outhouse are almost painted, the roofs are the last piece of my painting method to sort out, and it's doing my head in (as is tiling the witches hat tower roof!).
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