How to Paint British MTP

Evening everybody!  Welcome back, I thought I'd detract from my current 40K frenzy with a post I've intended to do for a while on painting modern British camouflage, known as MTP or Multi Terrain Pattern.  I've seen a lot of attempts out there, but the problem is that this stuff's so new there's almost no decent reference material, and even if there is the models aren't accurate enough to warrant this kind of accuracy.

All that changed with Empress Miniatures UK troops (read the review here); they're lovely sculpts which are really worth going to town on with detail and accuracy.  To that end I've got some reference material (right) which I've been using as a guide for my painting.  For the finished results of the rest of the model, check out War In Afghanistan here.

Anyway - the beauty of this tutorial is that it's quite simple.  No complicated steps, in fact it's all pretty much a simple one-line-per-step.  The problem is there are many steps and it does involve a lot of changing colours - you'll be flat painting, drybrushing and washing for this one.  Although I give GW paints here as there were the ones I used, because of the drybrushing at the last step the exact colours don't have to match that well.  Onwards, to painting ....

1.  The model is based and undercoated with a white spray - I used GW Skull White but any will do.  The bases are made of building filler - my treatise on filler bases is here.

Then, using a slightly watered down Catachan Green or other OD colour, paint the uniform, pouches and weapon.  In this case the .338 rifle is usually covered in 'sniper tape' when on active service, so is also camouflaged (other colours include desert yellow or even simple camo patterns, depending on the sniper's preference).
 2.  Then add a hefty dry brush of approximately 40:60 Skull White : Catachan Green over all the uniform parts.  You don't want to leave too much of the original Catachan Green showing on the fabric areas.
3.  At this point I painted the scope and working parts of the rifle Chaos Black.
 4.  The whole model then got a light wash of black ink.
5.   The flesh is painted Tallarn Flesh.  Small dots of camo are added in Denheb Stone over the uniform.
 6.  Snakebite Leather is the next colour.
7.  A sparing touch of Scorched Brown is added to the camo in a few places.  Also, the boots and gloves are painted Snakebite Leather.  This doesn't look terribly realistic yet, but it doesn't matter because ...
8.  KEY STEP:  This is where it all comes together - a simple Bleached Bone dry brush - fairly light, and focussing on the fabric parts.
9.  The rifle and scope are touched up and some other minor details like helmet straps are tidied up.  The flesh is washed with a brown ink and a black ink is used to bring out some shadow.  The base is painted Desert Yellow then also highlighted Bleached Bone.

Hope people find this useful!  If anyone has any tips or improvements to suggest please add them to the comments section!  Coming at the weekend - an update on the Iron Hearts!  Until then, goodbye!


  1. Well done Colonel. Early this spring, this uniform pattern began to show up at British Army Training Unit Suffield. It's a very interesting pattern, and rather reminiscent of WW2 patterns, quite in contrast with the computer generated disruptive pattern that the Canadian Forces wears. So I take it the arid pattern British camo pattern, which is mostly yellows and off whites, will no longer be used in Helmand?

  2. Hi Mike, good to see you back! Yes, a provisional MTP was rolled out in Helmand in summer 2010, and this new version (with pockets, zips, flaps, velcro etc) was generally issued from about spring 2011, and it's now replaced DPM for everyday use in most places. Having said that I was only given mine at the start of this week ... 'dessies' will still be used for proper sandy warfare but no longer in Afghanistan.

  3. O you military types and your abreviations and slang. :)

    Col. The scheme looks great and very convincing. Strange though, (And it could be this cheap work monitor) but is that purple in the 1st pic's camo?

    1. Can't get far without TLAs ;)

      You're right, it does have a hint of purple looking at it again. It was originally black/grey but that particular shirt has had six months' sun bleaching so it's pretty faded by now - hence the odd colour.


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