How To Paint British Splinter Camo

Hi everyone!  Welcome back again as we delve back in time to the Second World War to continue with the Army of Freedom!  As promised, this is a quick step-by-step to painting WW2-era 'splinter camouflage'.  Splinter camo was very widely used by the German armed forces - the Luftwaffe field divisions and Fallschirmjäger extensively used it, and the standard issue Heer zeltbahn was in splinter camo (the Waffen-SS, despite probably using camouflage uniforms the most, went for a distinctive 'pea dot' pattern however).  But they were by no means the only users - when Britain began the formation of Commando units, they used similar-looking splinter camouflage smocks.  How to paint them, you say? Well, you've come to the right place.

This tutorial is using a Bolt Action SAS figure from Warlord, and I usually use new GW paints.  There are, however, a few of the old ones that have not run out yet lurking in there.

1.  The basecoats go on as flat colour:

  • The smock is painted Steel Legion Drab
  • Trousers Bestial Brown
  • Webbing Scorched Brown (with the metal parts Chaos Black),
  • Skin Talharn Flesh (also paint the hair - in this case I gave him brown hair)
  • Gloves Codex Grey
  • Thompson SMG Scorched Brown, with the barrel and magazine Chaos Black
  • Beret Dark Angels Green
  • Boots Chaos Black

2.  First highlights, covering the majority of the old colour and just leaving a tiny bit showing in the recesses:

  • Smock:  Kanrak Stone
  • Trousers:  Graveyard Earth
  • Webbing:  Bestial Brown
  • Thompson SMG (wooden parts):  Bestial Brown
  • Beret:  Catachan Green

 3.  The camouflage is painted on with Dark Angels Green and Scorched Brown.  The trick is to make regular blocks of colour, with one side consisting of straight lines (see the bottom of his smock, the green bit) to active the broken, splintered effect.  There should be a roughly equal portion of green, brown and the original khaki.
 4.  The whole model gets lightly washed with Devlan Mud.  Care should be taken to make sure that it runs into the recesses, rather than darkening the whole model, as far as possible.

To do this, once he's painted quickly stand by with a dry brush.  If a large flat area looks like it has some ink congealing on it, just touch it with the dry brush and the water tension will magically suck up the excess ink.
 5.  The camo is finished - green is highlighted Catachan Green and the brown Bestial Brown.  To take the edge off the previous wash, a light re-coat of Kanrak Stone is put back onto the smock. Also, the face is picked out with a little Elf Flesh, and the gloves are rehighlighted in the original Codex Grey.
 6.  Details - the inside of the hood is painted Skull White, to make it look like a reversible snow suit (as worn by Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton in Where Eagles Dare!).  The beret gets a last highlight of Knarlock Green, the cap badge is painted Dwarf Bronze then the shape picked out with Burnished Gold.  I might tidy up the hood a bit and give it some shading, but he's otherwise ready to join the ranks and fight for freedom!

Thanks for reading.  Now that August is officially WW2 month, I'm drafting posts and taking photos ready for a big 40K update in September.  Hope you enjoy, and thanks for reading!

The Colonel


  1. Camo has always intimidated me. I'll try one of your tut's tho on some guard to get past this. :)

  2. What a great post!!! thanks for the info!!

  3. Replies
    1. Cheers, fellas!

      @Dai: It is a bit of a learning curve, but there are plenty of tutorials out there on the blogs like this, and it's after doing about 10 or 15 I feel much more confident to attempt something like this from scratch. Can't wait to see this on some Guard!

      @Ray: Cheers mate! Without sounding like too much of a camo anorak the background info was very fun to research.

      @OST: Sounds really good; can't wait to see the results of that! Thanks!

  4. Figure looks great and the tutorial was very clear and concise. I've been trying to paint ACU camo, you know the tiny digital stuff at 15mm, I wouldn't recommend it. Unfortunately I think I've dug in and won't stop until I get it right, if I do get it right it'll be up on the blog. Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks - I can imagine it would be hard to paint that camo at any scale (lef alone 15mm) without it looking like 'dot' camo rather than 'pixel' camo. Following that stuff with interest, if you do manage it I might copy it myself... thanks for the comment.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts