Warhammer 40K Orks color scheme (5 schemes and a guide)


If you’re a fan of the Warhammer 40K universe, you’re likely already familiar with the Orks – one of the most colorful and unique factions in the game. But have you ever tried painting one? If you have but couldn’t get it right, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. 

Here, we explore the fascinating world of Warhammer 40K Orks, from their culture to their color schemes, and learn how to get these green-skinned warriors battlefield ready.

Understanding Ork Culture and Color Schemes

Unlike many other factions in Warhammer 40K, the Orks are not driven by a desire for power or domination – instead, they’re motivated by their love of fighting and causing destruction. 

They view warfare as a sport and the more chaotic and violent the battle, the better. This means that their culture is centered on the battle, and their color schemes reflect this focus on violence and aggression. So, when choosing 40k Ork color schemes, ensure the color perfectly depicts their character. 

On the other hand, when painting 40K Orks, the color scheme may vary with the faction

Traditional Ork skin is green, but you will see most mini painters use red, brown, blue, white, and skin colors on orks. 

Yet, while mini painters typically use green, many different shades of green are used, from bright lime green to dark forest green. Other colors often seen on Orks include brown, black, and metallic colors like silver and brass.

However, lore-wise, the Ork race is called green skin for a reason. Not only do Orks take great pride in their green skin, but they also view those of other colors as wholly inferior.

Popular Color Schemes for Warhammer 40K Orks

  • For Goths, use Abadon black and Mephiston Red and Corax White 
  • Evil suns look good on Mephiston Red and Averland Sunsets
  • For Bad Moons, use Averland Sunset and Abaddon Black 
  • Deathskullz can be represented using Macragge Blue and Corax White
  • Snakebites don’t have any official colors but will look good on Averland Sunset, Reikland flesh-shade, and Ushabti Bone. 

You Can Choose Your Own Color Scheme When Painting Your Ork Army

The hobby very much encourages you to create your color scheme for your Ork armies

I’ve seen Orks painted in many colors, and I particularly find orange skin awesome!

Just remember that no matter the tribe, you have a lot of freedom when it comes to Orks. So, don’t complicate the whole process by sticking to the trend. Do what you like, and have fun. 

How to Paint 40K Orks 

  1. Undercoat using GW’s Chaos black (Abadon black)
  2. Drybrush all over the model using Rhinox Hide so that the paint touches the raised parts of the model. Apply lightly to build up details slowly.
  3. Paint cloth textures: Next, paint details like boots, belts, and clothing using your chosen colors. 
  4. Paint the Ork skin. Technically, you can choose any color you want. For our skin, we mic 1 part Averland Sunset and 2 parts Death Guard Green. Make sure to thin the paint first and avoid creating unwanted texture with the brush by going over places yet to dry. Do three to four multiple layers. 
  5. Paint Details. Here, we use Bugman’s Glow for the tongue. Mephiston Red for the Ork eyes and Morgahast Brown for any teeth and wraps on orks. 
  6. Highlight your Orks with ushabti bone. Do this with the drybrush technique. 
  7. Paint the Metals. Consider using Leadbelcher on all the weapons and armor. Then, use Retributor Gold for bullets. 
  8. Apply wash to add depth: Do a 50/50 mix of Agrax Earthshade and Lahmian Medium to cover the miniature comfortably. Then, let it dry. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid When painting 40K Orks

When painting Warhammer 40K Orks, there are a few common mistakes that many hobbyists make. These mistakes can lead to sub-par results and a less-than-satisfying painting experience. Some of them include:

  1. Skipping the prep work before painting 

Before painting, prepare the model. This means cleaning them thoroughly, removing mold lines, and priming them with a suitable primer. Skipping this critical step means your paint won’t adhere well to the model, leading to chipping and flaking over time.

  1. Overcomplicating the color scheme 

With orks, you will be painting tons of models, especially as the minimum unit of Ork tribe like Ork boyz is 10. You don’t want to create intricate color schemes since it can be time-consuming. So, limit your paint scheme to two or three colors so you can paint them fairly quickly, 

  1. Ignoring highlights and shadows 

Adding highlights and shadows is essential when painting Warhammer 40K Orks as it helps you create depth and dimension, making your models look more realistic. When you ignore these crucial steps, it can result in a flat and dull finish that doesn’t do justice to your hard work.

  1. Rushing the Process

Finally, take your time and enjoy the experience. Rushing can lead to mistakes and unsatisfying results. Instead, break the process into manageable chunks and take breaks when needed.


40K Orks are a fascinating and unique faction of the Warhammer universe. If you are planning to paint them for your next project, make sure you find a color that best suits your taste and doesn’t just stick to the green trend.

Besides this, whether you’re a seasoned player or a beginner painter, prepare the model before anything, use simple paint schemes, and take the process slow and steady to truly enjoy the experience of painting Warhammer 40K Orks and create a truly unique and memorable army.