This is a quick guide on how I paint my 20mm wwii figures using Army Painter Quickshade. I will demonstrate on some Fallschirmjägers that I am painting for my Normandy Project, but it could be almost anything other than this, the limitations comes when you want to add colors that are very bright because the Army Painter is brown and will make the figures look a bit dull and dirty (which is great for modern war themes).
1. Before painting I of course made some research on camo and colors, in this case I actually used quite some time trying to find the right uniforms for the era. In the end what I found out can be summed up in this picture from a Dragon 1:35 figure box. I used the color scheme from example 2 and 3, in the other zug’s I will probably also use the two other examples to make the overall look more rag tag style.
2. The figures are glued on to some coins using Super Glue Gel. Then I add a mixture of sand (from the beach) and fine gravel (from a road mending), this is glued to the bases using a thin acrylic glue.
3. With a big brush (size 10) I paint the base with a special base color from Games Workshop. Normally I’m not a big fan of GW’s paints, but I really like this base colors – they have lots of pigments and shrink when it dries which helps keeping the details on the small figures. This is an older version of the paint, GW have altered the colors and renamed them, but you will probably be able to find something similar.
4. I then drybrush the base with Vallejo color number 120.
5. Now it is time to give the figures their base color. This is the color the Fallschirmjägers camo jackets and helmet covers will have. I use GW’s Base Color: Rakarth Flesh. Until now I have been using the same big brush for all steps.
6. I will now paint all the details on the figures. It is necessary to pick colors slighty brighter than intended because the Army Painter varnish will darken them a bit. I try to add the colors in the best order possible because on this small sized figures I can’t paint perfect, by picking the right order, hopefully my accidents will happen on a detail that haven’t been painted yet. But still I will always have to make some small corrections before moving on to next step. I use brush size 1 for all this colors.
The colors I use are:
- Vallejo Medium Sea Grey 158 for haversack bags.
- Black for metal parts.
- Vallejo Grey Green 165 for the dark canvas ammo belt.
- Vallejo German Cam Orange Ochre 128 for brown details such as the wood on the rifles and canteens (the one on seen in the picture i found out was too dark to use).
- Vallejo Leather Brown 147 I use for all leather details.
- Vallejo Yellow Green 112 for trousers and the helmets that don’t have helmet covers.
- Vallejo Basic Skincolor 017 for skin.
- Vallejo Amarillo Caqui 120 for the panzerfaust.
7. Almost all colors are added, flat and with no shadows or highlights. The Metal paint and the colors in the camo will be painted on after the Army Painter has been added.
8. I use the “Strong Tone” version of the Army Painter. The can that comes with the varnish isn’t very good, if the lid isn’t perfect sealed it will dry out. I therefore have some of it in a glass jar which is easier to keep sealed, while the can is put into a freezer bag and tucked away.
9. Using the big brush again I add the varnish to the figures, including the bases. It is necessary to move it around a bit with the brush to make sure that it looks okay. It is important not to use too much of the varnish, it is quite thick and if it lies on top of folds and other highlighted areas it will look wrong, but it will by it self seek down in folds and holes, it just need a little help some places. Now it just have to dry. This can take several hours, I use to add the varnish before I go to bed and the day after I will be able to paint the rest.
10. The figures have been left to dry overnight. Now it is time for camo. I prefer doing this after the varnish is added, else the camo colors tend to mix too much with each other and doesn’t look as good. I start with the bare helmets that don’t have covers. The Fallschirmjägers did spraypaint their helmets with dunkelgelb (dark yellow) color – I am not going to spraypaint color on such small figures so I’ll use the brush. The acrylics don’t have to be a GW base color, it was what I had. I make the color thinner with water and add it in steps, letting it dry before adding more, I work my way inwards to give the color a gradient look.
11. Before I paint rest of the camo I will give the figures a Dull Coat, I think that Model Masters is by far the best one (my bottle has almost dried out though, which make it hard to work with and I don’t think it is as matt as it used to be, have to buy a new one).
12. The camo is added with a thin brush, using Leather Brown 147 and Reflective Green 090. The splinter pattern camo is by far the hardest one to get to look right if asking me. I have to upscale it a bit, otherwise it will be too hard to recognize, and hard to paint too with all those small details. I have seen some adding the thin strokes that is typical for the camo, but this is way to overkill for me, even the thinnest strokes your are able to paint with your brush will be far to big – it just looks all wrong. After this I add Metal color to the weapons, paint the bigger stones on the base greyish. Then the last thing to do is to give it all a thin layer of dull coat again.
Here are the finished figures:
Now I will hurry up and paint the rest of the platoon (about 30 figs) :-)
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