Painting Recipe for Cadian 8th Infantry using Vallejo Paints

Since sometime in the 1990s, the iconic shock troopers of the Cadian 8th Army, a revered faction within the vast ranks of the Imperial Guard (now known as the Astra Militarum), have held a special place in my heart. They were my first 40k miniatures (I think) and their lore, large formations and unyielding tanks resonated with me, leaving an indelible mark on my wargaming journey for decades to follow. 3rd edition Warhammer 40k with mass units of underdog Guard against those Tyranid super monsters. *chefs kiss*

It seems collecting and painting mass infantry armies has been a constant thread throughout my gaming endeavors, extending even to my fascination with painting World War II Soviets.

However, there’s one aspect of painting Cadian Shock troops that has consistently annoyed me: the Citadel paints! Their thick consistency, tendency to dry up, cumbersome pots, and not to mention the expense, have often left me frustrated when trying to paint Cadian in official colours.

That’s why I’ve turned to Vallejo paints, a reliable choice in my arsenal. With a treasure trove of WWII-inspired hues at my disposal, I’m eager to embark on a mission to recreate the iconic 8th Army pattern on my Cadian Shock Troopers, minimising my reliance on Citadel’s paints.

So this article contains my steps on how to achieve the following results, with mostly Vallejo paints. For the record, after years of painting 15mm and 20mm miniatures, it was nice to paint GWs heroic 28-32mm scale models.

Cadian 8th Painted with Vallejo paints

Like most of my painting recipes, my aim is a decent look from 2-4 feet away, with the focus on getting them completed quickly. If it helps those who haven’t used Vallejo paints before, I’ve written an article before detailing almost all Vallejo paints, check it out if you’re looking for specific paints.

So my recipe for painting Cadian 8th using mainly non-Citadel paints is as follows.

Base Colours for Cadian 8th Army

Fatigues / Uniform – 70.819 Iraqi Sand

Cadian Armour / Gun – 70.894 Camouflage Olive Green

Boots – Contrast Black Templer

Pouches / Misc. Items – 70.882 Middlestone

Gun Barrel / Bayonet – 77.703 Dark Aluminum

Helmet Chin Strap / Backpack – 70.830 German Fieldgrey

Skin – Cadian Fleshtone

Washes etc

I must admit I do currently prefer Citadel washes over the Vallejo ones. I think I need to experiment more with the Vallejo ones I’ve got. The other exception in this list, is the great Military Shader (green) from Warpaints. Great for WW2 models and the dark green on these Cadian minis.

Skin / Fatigues – Agrax Earthshade

Cadian Armour / Gun – Military Shader

Gun Barrel / Bayonet – Nuln Oil

Highlight Paints

Cadian Armour / Gun – 70.830 German Fieldgrey

Fatigues – 70.880 Khaki Grey

Desert Bases for my Cadian

I made the bases for my Cadians similar to how I did my 15mm British ‘Desert Rats’ WW2 model bases.

Base layer of 70.819 Iraqi Sand

Glue small rocks on top. Prime them with Vallejo surface primer, then coat with Contrast Basilican Grey. Finally layer on some Ocean Grey and once dry, a heavy drybrush of more Iraqi Sand.

Cover the base with glue and then fine sand.

The base rim was painted 70.880 Khaki Grey.

Cadian 8th Final Result

I’ll attempt to get some better photos, but here’s the final results of painting my Cadian 8th infantry using nearly only Vallejo paints. A great look I hope you agree, especially when not using Citadel paints.

With the above results, I’m really tempted to try and paint some Cadian 122nd now, using more Vallejo paints of course 🙂 I’ve painted an Imperial Guard armoured sentinel in generic blue/white winter camouflage, so infantry painted in the 122nd scheme would nicely.

Thanks for reading – I’m not the greatest painter in the world so please leave helpful feedback in the comments below.