Tuesday, September 8, 2020

US Army Color Tests

As a bit of an escape from painting buildings in Normandy, I did some color tests for the US forces.

I was mainly thinking of triads for painting armor after looking at the rather excellent painting guides produced for the new Victrix 12mm tanks (the guides take large scale modeling effects and apply them to the tiny tanks for some exquisite effects).  The guide suggests using the color modulation method, where you create much more extreme contrast by highlighting each segment on its own.  In the guide AK-Ammo brand paints are used, since they are pre-mixed in various shades of OD.

Anyway, since Ammo paints are rather scarce in these parts, I thought I would look at what paints I had on hand, and then mix them with the Olive Drab paint that I have (Vallejo 887 Brown Violet). 

The paint tests above are mixed at roughly 1:1 with the OD paint, and then brushed with a coat or two onto a 3x5 card.   I picked a mix of GW, Reaper, and Vallejo paints to make a shade and highlight of the center row of base OD. Since I am color blind deficient in this range of colors, I sent the picture above to my sister, who as an interior designer has a much better sense of color than I do.  She selected a couple of colors to test further, which I then used on the card below.

Here I spray primed the card before painting it, to get a better representation of the color on the final models, and then mixed various ratios of paint.  The center blob is OD mixed with black, which seemed like the best (and easiest) way to get a darker shade.  Anyway, an interesting little project, which amongst other  things reminded me how hard it is to mix colors!

While I had the paints sorted out, I painted a paratrooper just to see how it would go. 

The last time I painted any paratroopers was in 2014, and I must say that the 15mm figure was much harder!  I did have all my color notes from then, and I think it was helpful, particularly for the specific bits of gear not covered in the Battlefront painting guide.  Now I just need to churn out another 40 of these guys... (and finish off those Germans)


Heisler said...

I think it looks pretty good. Color modulation on 15s is quite the challenge, I remember doing that with my Afrika Korps so long ago now, always worth the effort I think.

Dai said...

Keep in mind 15mm details are even harder to pick out on the tabletop so don’t stress too much on shades and colours. I think the para looks great and a platoon will be sweet

Stew said...

Pretty cool. I like the triad system of painting but usually don’t bother with it on 15mm figures. Though that’s a good way to organize the right colors choices, I usually just guess 😀
This is a pleasant distraction from painting those piles of miniatures.

tim said...

Looking Good!

As Dai said - don't get too stressed - no one will notice if an ammo pouch is the wrong shade of green or brown - all they're see is 40 painted paratroopers on the table - and painted paratroopers (or ANY kind of painted miniature) is awesome!

FourEyedMonster said...

40 more you say O_O ... that's a lot of work! Will you be using variations of the color scheme for the 40?