World War 2 Colour Guides

Late War German Colour Guide

Over the last few months I've recieved some requests as to how I'm painting my WW2 stuff. As it seems like there's quite some interest I've decided to write colour guides for my various armies. Please keep in mind these are not ment to be exhaustive or overly historically accurate. It's just the way I like MY miniatures to look.

The main problem concerning historical accuracy in my eyes is if you're going 100% accurate the miniatures might end up looking too drab on the table. So I'm generally going for brighter/ richer colours than might be 'true'.

Beeing a pot painter and having mixed most of my paints years ago all percentages given for colour mixes are just rough estimates and should be adjusted to individual needs/ preferences.

I'm working heavily with black lining using the black undercoat as some sort of darkest base colour. This certainly is no must but in my eyes helps to distinguish different albeit quite similar colours like for example VMC Fieldgrey and VMC Russian Green.

Step 1: To start things off I've already finished the base and given the miniature a thorough undercoat of Vallejo Black Surface Primer.

Step 2:  The tunic was painted in Feldgrau. Remember there's nothing like 'the one true' Feldgrau. German uniforms always came in a thousand different shades with almost every company having its own recipe for Feldgrau. Especially in the final last stages of the war, due to ever increasing supply issues, the colours could range from khaki over greenish or blueish grey to a dark brown. As I'm still looking for a nice brownish fieldgrey feel free to tell me your recipe in the comments.

A VMC German Fieldgrey + VMC German Grey (~1/1)
B VMC German Fieldgrey
C VMC German Fieldgrey + VMC Green Grey (~2/1)
D VMC German Fieldgrey + VMC Green Grey (~1/1)

Step 3: The trousers were painted in a little more greenish hue. Here I've to apologise to everyone I've sent a colour guide by mail as I mentioned a mix of VMC German Grey and VMC Russian Green for the base colour. As you'll probably have noticed this looks somewhat odd. So here's the 'right' triade:
A VMC German Camo Extra Dark Green + VMC Russian Uniform (~2/1)
B VMC Russian Uniform
C VMC Russian Uniform + Green Grey (~1/1)

Step 4:  The Feldmütze was given a Splittertarnmuster. I've already written tutorial about how to do Splittertarn so if you like to learn more just read on *here*.

Step 5:  The Brotbeutel (Bread bag) and StG44 ammo pouches were painted in khaki. Like the uniforms, these items were issued in a wild array of different shades. So there's nothing stopping you from using a greener/ more greyish or even reddish shade. Maybe just go for a more ragtag look and use different colours within the squad. Just remember not to overdo it as they might end up looking more like a bunch of armed peasants than a military unit.
A Citadel Steel Legion Drab
B Citadel Tallarn Sand
C Citadel Karak Stone

Step 6: The leather straps on bread bag and Koppeltragegestell Y(webbing in english I guess?) were painted. Mess tin and field flask were done too.
Leather Straps:
A VMC German Camo Black Brown + VMC Flat Brown (~2/1)
B VMC Flat Brown
C VMC Flat Brown + White (~3/1)
Mess tin and drinking cup:
A VMC USA Olive Drab
B VMC USA Olive Drab + VMC Brown Violet (~1/2) 
C VMC Brown Violet
Field Flask:
A Foundry Peaty Brown Base 61A
B Foundry Peaty Brown 61B
C Foundry Peaty Brown Light 61C 

Step 7: From 1941 on the lace-up ankle boots replaced the jackboot so iconic of the German Landser of WW2. The M44 type boots were issued in natural leather and not to be blackened with shoe cream.
Boot and rifle sling:
A VMC Hull Red
B VMC Dark Flesh
C VMC Cavalry Brown
Shoe sole: 
A Foundry Deep Brown Leather Shade 45A
B Foundry Deep Brown Leather 45B
C Foundry Deep Brown Leather Light 45C

Step 8: Rifle stock and socks. Instead of gaiters socks were often worn folded down over the bootleg. These were either army issue socks or privately purchased.
A Foundry Storm Green Shade 27A
B Foundry Storm Green 27B
C Foundry Storm Green Light 27C
Rifle stock:
A Foundry Spearshaft Shade 13A
B Foundry Spearshaft 13B
C Foundry Spearshaft Light 13C 

Step 9: Most commonly belts and Y-Straps were made of blackened leather. But shortages in leather led to the adaption of canvas support straps first introduced for the Afrika Korps in 1940. So here's how I'm doing all my blackened leather. Keep in mind though to not paint black hair the same way on the same miniature. It will look odd... believe me I know.
Blackened Leather:
A Black (here I simply used my Basecoat of Vallejo Black Surface primer)
B VMC German Grey
C VMC Black Grey (also used for the laces)
D Foundry Stone Shade 57A
E Foundry Stone 57B 

Step 10: Now to the (in my opinion) most delicate but most rewarding part: Painting the skin. The face beeing the natural focus of most miniatures it deserves a little more attention than the use of just a triade. Also done in this step were the insignia like the Litzen on the collar and the eagle on the Feldmütze (Field cap) These were done in a very light, almost white grey.
A Foundry Flesh Shade 5A
B Armypainter Wash Soft Tone
C Foundry Flesh Shade 5A
D Foundry Flesh 5B
E Foundry Flesh Light 5C
F Foundry Boneyard Light 9C
The lower lip was painted using
A Citadel Cadian Flesh Tone with some red added
Step 11: Now on to the metal parts
A Citadel Leadbelcher (the smaller parts were done using just that)
B Citadel Ironbreaker
C Armypainter Dark Tone Wash (1-2 coats. Let dry before second coat)

Fallschirmjäger Colour Guide

It has taken me a while to finish this and frankly I'm hardly doing anything on the hobby front lately.
Nonetheless here's my Colour Guide on how I do my Fallschirmjäger.

Step 1: As before the figure was undercoated using Vallejo Black Surface Primer.
The trousers were done using my recipe for Feldgrau as detailed in my 'Late War German Colour Guide'. For the Jumpsmock I used:

A VMC German Field Grey + VMC Green Grey (~2/1)
VMC German Field Grey + VMC Green Grey (~1/2)
VMC Green Grey
D VMC German Camo Beige

Step 2: Next in line were peaked cap and binoculars. I know it's a Heer peeked cap but I urgently wanted to have a Fallschirmjäger NCO sporting one.

Schirmmütze/ Peaked cap
A VMC German Luftwaffe Uniform
B Foundry Late Field Grey 78B
Foundry Late Field Grey Light 78C
Feldstecher/ Binoculars and yellow piping
Citadel Foundation Tausept Ochre
Foundry Base Sand Shade 10A
C Foundry Base Sand  10B
Foundry Base Sand Light 10C

Step 3: Paraphernalia like drinking cup, bread bag, Zeltbahn and the black leather on boots and belts were done like in the 'Late War German Colour Guide'

Step 4: The national emblem was done using a light grey. The ammunition pouches as most other German equipment came in myriads of different shades.

Munitionstaschen/ Ammunition pouches
A Foundry Drab Shade 12A
Foundry Drab 12B
Foundry Drab Light 12C

Step 5: For skin and metal parts I used the same recipes (well I guess you know by now...) detailed in the 'Late War German Colour Guide'

Again I hope this little guide was of some help for some of you. If there are any questions left feel free to ask in the comments.
Thank you for reading!

US Winter Infantry Colour Guide

When I painted the US Winter Infantry from Warlord Games for Pat (of fame) he asked me to do a colour guide so he might match the rest of the infantry to those I painted.

Step 1: As with most of my miniatures the figures were given a thorough undercoat using Vallejo Black Surface Primer applied by airbrush.

Trousers on the left were done using:
VMC Chocolate Brown
B VMC Flat Earth
C VMC Flat Earth + VMC Iraqui Sand (~1/1)

Trousers on the right:
VMC German Uniform + VMC German Grey (~1/1)
VMC German Uniform
C VMC German Uniform + VMC Iraqui Sand (~2/1)

alternatively you can also use:
Foundry Storm Green Shade 27A
B Foundry Storm Green 27B
C Foundry Storm Green Light 27C

Step 2: For the winter jacket I went for the earlier more olive green colour.
A VMC German Camo Extra Dark Green + VMC Russian Uniform (~1/1)
VMC Russian Uniform
C VMC Russian Uniform + VMC German Camo Beige (~2/1)

Step 3: The M-1 steel helmet.
A VMC USA Olive Drab
B VMC USA Olive Drab + VMC Brown Violet (~1/2)
C VMC Brown Violet + VMC Iraqui Sand (~4/1)

Step 4: The woolen long coat took me quite a while as I was never really satisfied with its look. Unfortunately the colour recipe I used for my 15mm US Airborne didn't work.
A VMC Chocolate Brown
Army Painter Strong Tone Wash
C VMC Chocolate Brown
D VMC Flat Earth
Army Painter Soft Tone Wash
A VMC Flat Earth
Trousers & Scarf (pullover or whatever)
Foundry Storm Green Shade 27A
Foundry Storm Green 27B
Foundry Strorm Green Light 27C

Step 5: Helmet cover and the thing he wears around his head
Helmet Cover:
Foundry Arctic Grey Shade 33A
B Foundry Arctic Grey 33B
C White
The thing he wears around his head:
Foundry Rawhide Shade 11A
Foundry Rawhide 11B
C Foundry Rawhide Light 11C

Step 5: The webbing.
VMC US Field Drab
B VMC US Field Drab + VMC Khaki (~2/1)
C VMC Khaki

Step 6:Boots and gloves. For the gloves you can almost take any (reasonably drab) colour you fancy. I deliberately painted the gloves to look like fingerless gloves (is there any specific term in english?)
Boots/ Chin strap:
A VMC German Camo Black Brown +  VMC Flat Brown (~3/1)
B VMC Flat Brown
C VMC Flat Brown + VMC German Camo Pale Brown (~3/1)

Step 7: Skin, rifle stock and metal parts. These were painted using the same colours detailed in my 'Late War German Colour Guide'.

 As always I hope this was of help for some of you and if there are any questions left feel free to ask in the comments.

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