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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bolt Action - Fallshirmjäger painting guide

Howdy Bolt Action fans. So after recent experiences at Cancon, I felt the urge to start a new army project. Having completed several Allied armies, but neglecting the Axis, the choice was already narrowed down significantly. While perusing the wares of various vendors in the Cancon Tin Shed, I stumbled into War and Peace Games where I was greeted by some excellent looking Artizan Fallshirmjäger models. My mind was made up - Paratroopers it would be!

As mentioned, these models are from Artizan Designs' excellent range. If you haven't put a brush to any of this company's miniatures yet, you're missing out - go get some!
I have also toyed for a long time with doing an army based during the Italy campaign. Seeing as the Fallshirmjäger were quite iconic in these conflicts, it was decided. Now, I will freely admit to being no expert when it comes to the intricacies of German uniforms and camouflage patterns, so there are likely to be a few 'inaccuracies' - please be gentle! It also seems that there was a great variety of different uniforms in circulation throughout the Italian campaign. I eventually settled on the following picture as my guide:
To reflect the variation in uniforms found among units in Italy, I would be mixing and matching different colours to give the army a bit of a 'rag-tag' feel.
With preparations complete, I embarked upon my journey. Most of the paints used are Vallejo, so references will be to their paint range unless stated otherwise.
Clean your models up and attach them to a base. Artizan Designs models do not come with bases in their blister packs, so you will have to supply your own. I have used Renedra 25mm bases here.

Add some basing material to taste and prime the models. I used the new(ish) Bolt Action Dunkelgelb primer. These primers are made by Army Painter and are high quality.

Start your base coating by painting some of the pants Field Blue (964), and others GW Tausept Ochre (Foundation). Paint some of the helmets with Dark Grey (994), and others Tausept Ochre also. The NCO's cap is painted Field Blue. Paint the flesh with Orange Brown (981). Remeber to thin your paints and expect to have to apply 2-3 coats. The nice, even finish you will achieve is worth the extra effort.

Metal parts and boots are painted with German Camo Black Brown (822). Rifles are painted Chocolate Brown (872). Leave the coats/smocks as the Dunkelgelb primer.
NOT PICTURED (apologies) - Webbing, belts, straps etc. get a coat of Khaki Grey (880). Riflemen chest pouches are painted German Camo Black Brown (822). I painted the little trinkets (rolled up tarps, small pouches etc.) with a variety of colours to continue the mixed equipment theme, so I will leave these small details to you to paint in whatever way tickles your pickle.

Once you've finished your base colours, apply two washes to the models. For the first wash, use thinned (50/50) Army Painter Soft Tone Ink (not dip). After this has dried, apply a thicker (75/25) wash of Army Painter Strong Tone Ink (again, not dip) to most recessed, and underside areas.

After your washes have fully dried (this can take a while), reapply your base colours (if you're using a wet pallette these will still be ready to go) leaving the more recessed areas alone. The coats/smocks are painted with German Camo Beige WWII (821) in this stage in lieu of the primer colour.

Start your highlighting. Highlight the coats/smocks with Stone Grey (884), the blue pants with Dark Blue Grey (904), the yellow pants with Green Ochre (914) (this is a bit hard to see in the photo, the NCOs pants have already received the next highlight so look at the other models), metal parts with Dark Grey (994), the grey helmets with a 50/50 mix of Dark Grey (994) and Neutral Grey (992), the yellow helmets with a 50/50 mix of GW Tausept Ochre and Iraqui Sand (819), the dark riflemen pouches with a 75/25 of German Camo Black Brown (822) and Luftwaffe Cam. Green (823), and the rifles with Flat Earth (983). Phew!

Onto the second stage of highlights - focus on the most raised areas in this step. Highlight the metal parts with Field Blue (964), the webbing etc with a 75/25 mix of Khaki Grey (880) and Iraqui Sand (819), the flesh with a 50/50 mix of Light Brown (929) and Flat Flesh (955), the yellow pants and yellow helments with Iraqui Sant (819), the blue pants with a 75/25 mix of Dark Blue Grey (904) and Stoney Grey (884), and the grey helmets with Neutral Grey (992). Getting there!

Final highlights. Highlight the rifles with a little GW Desert Yellow, and the flesh with Flat Flesh (955).

Onto the camouflage! The first stage is brown squarish spots, painted with English Uniform (921). While you want the camo to appear random, try and not cover up too much of your highlighting.

Green spots are added over the brown parts from the previous step using Luftwaffe Cam. Green (823).

It's a little hard to see in the photo, but add 'rain marks' i.e. little straight lines using Cam. Olive Green (894), focusing around the other camo spots.

Paint the eyes if that takes your fancy. I fill the sockets with German Camo Black Brown (822), then paint the eyes with GW Skull White before dotting the pupil with the aforementioned G.C. Black Brown. 

Base to taste and you're done!
I hope this guide has been helpful. If you have any questions or comments, or if you would like to show off your own German painting methods head over to the forums already!
Tobu out.

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