Monday, March 23, 2015

15mm Modern US Style Change...

After the last batch of modern US guys I painted, I was a little disappointed with how dark they turned out so I did a little research and I tried a few different techniques.

Bear in mind, I'm not one of those guys who are good at sharp detail on 15mm figures so this is the "time-starved" solution to an age old problem - digital camouflage on tiny figures.

I think they look much better than the first batch this time around and I'll talk about some of the things I did differently.

First of all, digital camouflage is tough even on bigger figures and there are many excellent methods out there where painters who are much more talented try and talk you through it.  My goal, as always, is to get a respectable army on the table in a reasonable amount of time.  For someone who wore this exact uniform for quite a few years, I can say that at a distance, the tan against the greenish-gray-sage look like tan splotches.  So that's what you have here.

This time around, I dulled down the sage green by adding a generous amount of gray to it.  Same with the tan.  It is dulled down to be more subtle.  The point is tricking your eyes right?  Also the black ink wash I gave them was actually covering up the camo so I dulled the wash down significantly.  Probably 3:1 water with some grey thrown in for good measure.

The tan should be visible on the figure, but not prominent where it looks just like a blob.  The problem I always run into applying camo to small figures is my camo looks too blobby.  You want splotches, not blobs.  Does that make any sense?

The soldier on the right has a slightly different technique.
 The G.I. who is firing was basecoated with tan first and then had the greenish-gray blobs applied to him after. Not much of a noticeable difference, and that's a good thing!  Also no dry brushing on any of them as I wanted the tan to be visible.

I think for future troopers, I'm going to add the green after the basecoat in tan.  This worked well.

light coat of diluted black ink on him just to make the beautiful detail on these Rebel miniatures stand out.
 I painted the kit green again just to make it stand out.  One problem I ran into is that I mixed up the order and washed the figure before I painted the kit.  The green kit would look better with that same wash on it.  Next time!  There are plenty of figures standing by to practice on.

1/100 M1A1 in there for scale.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Paul! Hopefully the next squad looks better. I will continuously try to improve my technique.

      Ugh - next up are the Cold War US guys with the M81 woodland camo...not looking forward to it.

  2. Nice tutorial, it is hard to beat the three foot rule at times. I love 15mm, tried Denison smocks, digital camo etc and at three feet you can't see any of it. to be honest at 1 foot you cant see any of it. Really honest, if I take the glasses off I can't see if it even has a coat of paint on it. So well done sir. Zvezda Abrams?

    1. Thanks Chris - you're too kind! I say, thank God for the 3 foot rule!
      I can't seem to find it now, but I painted a squad of 15mm British paras in those blasted smocks and they turned out OK. Surprisingly I used the same steps for painting British DPM and it actually looked quite good (even for my shoddy work).

      I used a toothpick for the "swaths" of colors against a GW "desert sand" base. I had some luck with DPM using the same method on Caesar's Modern British troops in 1/72.

      Yes Zvezda M1A1 for scale. Not a great model, but not a bad one either. He needs alot of work.

  3. Excellent work Steven. Nice pics as well.

    1. Thank you Paul! Any bits of advice? I'm about to start a squad of US troopers in M81 Cold War woodland!

  4. They look fine to my aging eyes, Steven. I think it's important to remember that the figs are 15mm and to consider the effect you want them to have on the table. They look more than sufficient to that end.

    1. Thank you Michael - I hear you but with all these guys out there who paint AMAZING 15mm figures and vehicles, it makes me at least want to step up my game a little. I think I've finally found a spot where some of my figures look "respectable" to put on the table and have people over my house to game :)