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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Bolt Action - USMC Painting Guide

Hello ladies and gents! Tobu here to run you through my recipe for painting US Marines. The scheme I’ve been using is from later in the war, featuring the camo helmet cover. All paints used are Vallejo unless otherwise indicated. Hope you enjoy!


Prime the model with US Olive Drab 73608. I use an airbrush for the priming and for the next stage. If you don’t have an airbrush, pick up a can of US Olive Green primer from one of the various other producers.

Base Colours

Paint the fatigues with Gunship Green (Model Air 71014 if you’ve got an airbrush, or Model Color 70895 if you don’t).

The skin is painted Orange Brown 70981.

Webbing, belts, straps, backpacks and gaiters are painted Khaki Grey 70880.

Helmet covers get a lick of Green Ochre 70914.

Paint the wooden parts of the rifles (and any entrenching tool handles etc), plus the straps that keeps the inside of the helmet attached to the outer (there’s gotta' be a better way to say that) with Flat Earth 70983. Any metal parts and boots get a base coat of German Camo Black Brown 70822.


Wash the fatigues with Model Wash 512. Once that is dry wash the entire model with a slightly watered-down (just a drop or two of water) Army Painter Strong Tone wash (note: wash, not dip).

Reapply Base Colours

Paint back over each of the base colours above, leaving the wash showing in the darkest parts of the model.

Highlight I

Highlight the fatigues with a 75/25 mix of Brown Violet 70887 and Khaki 70880. Highlight the skin with a 50/50 mix of Light Brown 929 and Flat Flesh 955.

The metal is highlighted with Dark Grey 70994, while the webbing/belts etc is highlighted with a 75/25-ish mix of Khaki Grey 70880 and Iraqui Sand 70819. The camo helmet covers are highlighted with a 75/25 mix of Green Ochre 914 and Iraqui Sand 70914.

Hightlight II and Details

You want to only be hitting the most raised areas of the model with this highlight. The fatigues are given a second highlight of Khaki 70988. The skin is highlighted again with Flat Flesh 70955.

The first of the camo pattern colours is painted on with English Brown 70921. At this stage I also paint the smaller metal details, like watches and buckles using the same method for painting the metal part described above.

Small dots of Iraqui Sand 70914 are added to the camo pattern to finish it off. The metal areas receive a final highlight with a 50/50 mix of Dark Grey 70994 and Model Air Blue Grey 71114.

Finally, I paint any glass parts with P3 Cygnar Blue (Ultramarines Blue) and then add progressive amounts of GW Ice Blue to add a (pretty average) glass effect, before finishing it off with a little white dot in one of the upper corners. Eyes are painted in by washing the eye sockets with very watered down Army Painter Strong Tone wash, then after this has dried painting the eyes themselves GW Skull White, followed by a dot of GW Chaos Black for the pupil.


Bases were done by painting the base Iraqui Sand 70819, lightly drybrushing with some GW Skull White and then airbrushing patches of Model Air Pale Green 71095. Add foliage to taste.

Tobu, out.

Tips on painting your own Marines? Let us know on the forum!

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