World War 2 Project

As part of a collaborative project with Headologist and Brother Knight, we are all working on units for an Eastern Front campaign, so I thought I'd detract from the Palladian Guard theme to look at some of the painting I've been doing over the last few days.

I've started painting straight onto white undercoats and had quite a lot of success.  Starting of an ordinary Skull White base coat, then adding the basic colours and finishing off with a wash is a simple effective way to get realistic colour.  The choice of washes also affects the 'mood' of the finished model; a lot of Ogryn Flesh gives these chaps a gritty, muddy feel.

To show what I mean, the excited-looking joker on the right is 'pre-wash'.  Just flat colours :

  • Scorched Brown smock
  • Dark Flesh webbing
  • Chaos Black metal and boots
  • Adeptus Battlegrey field cap 
  • Tallarn Flesh skin
  • ... and a Mordian Blue football scarf

This only took a matter of minutes to slap on.  The models I'm painting actually take a bit longer, as I do a camo pattern.  This involves a highlight of Graveyard Earth, and dots of Desert Yellow and Bleached Bone.  This is easily the most time-consuming part of the whole paint, and even that only takes about 5 minutes per model.  If I was doing any other army, (or Heer troops), a suitable base colour and wash could be done like the rest of the model.  As an aside, Adeptus Battlegrey is a great field grey colour (I like GW paints, but up to now have had to mix my feldgrau from blues and greys.  See the MG42 'number two' - third from bottom, with a M1943 tunic as opposed to the smocks - for the results of this).

Once this stage is done, comes the satisfying bit.  A heavy wash of Ogryn Flesh goes over all the smock areas, as well as the flesh.  It fills in the gaps, gives it a worn look, and also takes the edge of the yellow and cream colours of the camo pattern and blends them together.  After that, some Badab Black over the rest of the model finishes the whole thing off.

You can leave the model as it is, but I like to add a bit of minor highlighting, using the original colour again and then maybe another highlight one shade lighter.  For example, the complete stages of the webbing go:
  • Dark Flesh
  • Ogryn Flesh wash
  • Dark Flesh
  • Bestial Brown
  • Devlan mud wash
As I say, the first two steps should look fine on their own; I'm doing these to a very high display standard as there are only 20 of them (as opposed to my hundred-odd Mordians).

I'll say a word on flesh: it's my worst enemy and I can never get it to look right, so any suggestions would be welcome.  However, the Tallarn Flesh, Ogryn Flesh Wash, Elf Flesh, Ogryn Flesh wash combo produced the results you see, and I think they look okay.  Any suggestions for a better approach are very welcome ...

Final stages are the detail.  Forget eyes, I don't even go there ... I tend to rely on the quality of the models and the successive washes to produce a shady look around the eyes, which I think has come out very well on the bottom two models.  Also, insignia details are painted on in Skull White and with a lot of patience and failed attempts.  That said, I'm particularly pleased with the lieutenant (2nd from bottom), as I've managed to get a decent-looking set of collar patches where you can (sort of) make out his Waffen-Untersturmfuhrer rank and the 'fire cross' rune of the Latvian division, and the camo rank patches just visible on his upper arm.  Almost.  These sorts of minor detail don't really matter, and if you look at the thumbnail pic of him, that's the level of detail you'll normally see him on the tabletop and as long as it looks like you've done something, it can really bring up the tone of a model with minimal effort.

On a broader note, I'd encourage everyone to have a go at this sort of thing, even if it seems challenging.  Please don't think this was easy for me, it took several re-paints to get that look and that was down to 'luck' with one particular attempt.  Also, especially with rank insignia, if it seems hard to put the, white dots on the black as it was for me, try painting a white undercoat then black on top of that, leaving a tiny dot showing.

Anyway, sorry for the distraction, more Mordians to come tomorrow hopefully.  Anyone who's had similar experiences with this technique, let me know if you spot anything that I can improve on.  Well, 6 down, 14 to go ...


  1. Bloody brilliant as ever sir, thinking with the general plan of things to paint my chaps up in 2/3s winter issue gyms (so, darker green) and about 1/3 summer tan colour - that why they're not specifically dressed for winter but it leans that way. What do you reckon? Just looking for some ski troops now. Warlord do the aerosans but no ski troops as far as I can see.


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