Hi guys, welcome to another step-by-step WW2 painting guide. This time for US infantry. I know these miniatures look a little off... They are in fact my Free French which were equipped by the Americans, so apart from some head gear they are exactly the same. This guide presents a method which is designed to get your US army painted quickly with the minimum amount of steps but the maximum 'punch' in the depth of the shading. Key to this is the use of Army Painters Quickshade 'dip'. Read on and I'll show you how to get the above result in 6 steps.
Spray your miniatures with a coloured primer spray. I chose a spray colour that will be the main khaki uniform. This saves time as you prime the model and put down one of the main colours in one step. I chose this khaki colour as the base layer as it is fairly light and so the subsequent darker colours will have no problem painting over this.
The exact spray I used in this example is Tamiya's
"TS-68 Wooden deck tan", an acrylic spray available from most hobby shops.
Also pictured here is a key product to the way this particular painting method works; Army Painters Quickshade 'Strong Tone', More on this later.
Step 2: Basic colours
Time to lay down your base colours with a brush. The colours I have used are either Vallejo (VJ) or Games Workshop (GW).
Jacket and gaiters: Undercoat spray colour
Trousers (Brown): (VJ) 983 Flat Earth
Trousers & Greatcoat (Green): (VJ) 893 US Dark Green
Webbing: (VJ) 880 Khaki Grey
Helmet: (VJ) 888 Olive Grey
Gun stock & Boots: (VJ) 984 Flat Brown
Flesh: (GW) Cadian Fleshtone
Gun barrel: (GW) Leadbelcher
Hair: (GW) Abaddon Black
Fez:(GW) Khorne Red
Base: (VJ) 876 Brown Sand
Here are the main colours used to paint up your US infantry quickly.
Step 3: Highlights
In this step we paint on the highlights. This is done in a very careful way as the highlights are very 'extreme' as the quickshade we apply latter will really darken everything down, so we must plan ahead for this. Some highlights are in 2 stages where noted.
Jacket and gaiters: (VJ) 837 Pale Sand
Trousers (Brown): (VJ) 880 Khaki Grey, then 988 Khaki
Trousers & Greatcoat (Green): (VJ) 886 Green Grey
Webbing: (VJ) 988 Khaki, then 976 Buff
Helmet: (VJ) 887 Brown Violet, then (GW) Nurgling Green (sponge on these colours with blister pack foam like in this article)
Gun Stock & Boots: (GW) Tuskgor Fur
Hair: (GW) Abaddon Black
Fez:(GW) Wildrider Red
Step 4: Detailing & Flesh
The main colours are now highlighted and ready for the quickshade 'dip'. But before this I want to focus on adding extra definition to the final result by 'black lining' the crevasses between major areas on the model. I do this with a very fine detail brush and (VJ) 822 German Black Brown. This particular colour is a little watery anyway, so it helps to flow into the deeper crevasses. You literally paint a line of the dark brown paint into the edges between any two light colours, have a look at the example photo above to see where I put mine.
Also, in this stage I shade flesh. The base colour, is already done. but this is my method for painting flesh. The base colour, 2 highlights using a fine detail brush and then a light glaze or wash of a sepia to help blend it all together, It is rather fast and gives a good result.
Flesh base colour: (GW) Cadian Fleshtone
Highlight 1: (GW) Kislev Flesh
Highlight 2: (VJ) 928 Light Flesh
Wash: (GW) Ogryn Flesh (or any similar sepia tone light wash)
Step 5: Quickshade 'dip'
Now you use an old brush to apply the Army Painter Quickshade 'dip' to the entire model. I don't literally dip the model as that is too much. I apply the 'Strong tone' version in this case with the brush and leave it for about 30mins, then check and remove any large areas of it that have pooled up. Simple. Now leave it for 48 hours MINIMUM to dry. Trust me, the longer the better, it may be touch dry after 24 hours but I have had bad results by using a varnish on the quickshaded models to early and it creates a cracked earth effect over the entire models surface. Not cool.
Step 6: Matte varnish and basing
Matte varnish now removes the high gloss finish after the quickshade. Just before the matte varnish though, I do paint the eyes on my miniatures. This is of course optional as it can be tricky to do. In my case I paint the white on first on the eyeballs and then a tiny black dot for the pupils.
Last thing to do is finish up the bases. I drybrush two highlight on top of the base colour. First is (VJ) 847 Dark Sand, and then a final layer of (VJ) 837 Pale Sand. I added grass tufts from Gamers Grass and some flock from Woodland Scenics.
Apart from the two day drying time after applying the quickshade, using this method will get your US infantry painted rather fast, and to a great tabletop standard. The exaggerated but simple shading means your models will really 'pop' when viewed from a few feet away, as is normal on the gaming table. If you have any more questions on how I painted these miniatures, please ask away on the forum below.
Also, if you want to see more of how my Free French army is coming along then you can check out the project log on the Bolt Action Alliance Facebook page.