Scott’s Studio: Imperial Assault – Grand Admiral Thrawn

Grand Admiral Thrawn

Hello everyone,


Today we are going to be painting Grand Admiral Thrawn from the new Tyrants of Lothal expansion to Imperial Assault. Thrawn is fan favorite for many, and is one of the coolest new figures to hit IA. He isn’t too difficult to paint, but still allows a striking paint job that will look great while he predicts and subverts all your enemies plans.


Let’s get started.

  • Here are the paints we’ll be using


    • Thousand Sons Blue
    • Ahriman Blue
    • Hoeth Blue
    • Ceramite White
    • White Scar
    • Caledor Sky
    • Yriel Yellow
    • Flash Gitz Yellow
    • Runefang Steel
    • Stormhost Silver
    • Abaddon Black
    • Stegadon Scale Green
    • Leadbelcher
    • Celestra Grey
    • Nuln Oil
    • Drakenof Nightshade
    • Casandora Yellow

Stage 1: Priming

I’m going to start by priming the figure in white. By using just pure white we are saving us some work with Thrawn white uniform. 

Stage 2: Basecolors

For the base colors we are going to start by painting the hair, the belt, the gun, and the boots.

To do this we will be mixing Abaddon Black mixed in a 2:1 ratio with some Stegadon Scale Green. I enjoy using this mix as it gives a nice quality to the black that looks a bit more realistic.


Game’s Workshop has couple relatively new paints that I picked up and wanted to try: Thousand Sons Blue and Ahriman Blue. So I am using Thousand Sons Blue for Thrawn’s Skin. This gives the skin a dark blue tone that may be too much for some, but we will be lightening it up. You could, however, use a lighter blue for the base if desired.

I’m then going to be moving on to painting the should “pads” with some Yriel Yellow, and giving the pins, medals, and belt buckle a quick coat of Runefang Steel.

We can now move on to shading.

Stage 3: Shading

The benefit of priming in white, is that we can just shade the uniform with it’s primed white. To do this I’ll be using Nuln Oil. I’ll be using the Nuln Oil for the entire figure except the yellow pads and the skin.

For the pads I’ll be using Casandora Yellow, and Drakenof Nightshade for the skin.


Once this is dry, it’s time to highlight.

Stage 4: Highlights

Highlighting Thrawn has got to be the most satisfying part of the painting process. I’m going to start by highlighting his skin. We are going to start with pure Ahriman Blue for our first highlight. You could mix Ahriman blue into the base tone for a more subtle effect, but I wanted a sharp contrast with the skin. This highlight is hitting most of the face except the recessed cheeks, as well as the fingers.

We are then going to be mixing in Hoeth Blue for our next highlight. You can continue mixing in more Hoeth Blue for each subsequent highlight, until we reach pure Hoeth Blue.

We can also take this opportunity to highlight the hair, belt, and boots with the base tone we used earlier, mixed with some white.


Now we will highlight the uniform. This is simultaneously very easy, and very tricky. To highlight this area we are going to be using White Scar.  To increase and push our highlights you will simply want to highlight in multiple layers, placing more layers where you want it to be brighter. I will be focusing this highlight on the folds of the clothes, as well as the tops of the shoulders and back.

We can then finish our highlights with some Flash gitz yellow for the pads, and a reapplication of Runefang Steel for the metal areas. You can then brighten this further with some Stormhost Silver.


And now we are on to finishing touches.



Stage 5: Finishing Touches

Our only finishing touch will be coloring in the medal on Thrawn’s chest. To do this use a reference photo of the medal to get the right color positioning. I used Mephiston Red, Caledor Sky, and Yriel Yellow for my badge colorings. 


With that finished we can seal him with matte varnish and Thrawn is complete.