+ inload: Infantry camouflage tutorial +

+ inload: Lamb's World infantry camouflage scheme +

+ This is a guide to painting Imperial Guardsmen with a quick, simple camouflage scheme. The technique should work well on anything that requires a similar scheme.+

+Preparation and priming+

+ I_ Clean and assemble your model/s and stick it/them to a base. I use a mix of plain bases and textured resin rocky ones. This keeps costs down and provides a nice visual mix while remaining cohesive.

Stage III
+ II_ Undercoat the models with a light undercoat of grey. I use Halford's car primer. An undercoat should cover every part and recess of the model evenly and lightly, obscuring no detail.

+ III_ Once dry, give the models a basecoat. For these, I've used Humbrol's Desert Yellow 93 from their Model & Craft Hobby Spray Acrylic range. The important thing for a basecoat is that it covers everything fairly evenly, so feel free to apply yours with a brush. However, if there are a few small recesses that remain grey, that's not a problem. Since both the undercoat and basecoat are mid-toned, it'll blend in nicely and create a natural worn variance in the cloth (the armour, flesh, weapons etc. will be covered anyway). This won't work if you undercoat in a dark shade or bright tint (such as  black or white) unless your basecoat is a matching dark or light tone*.


+ IV_ Once dry, check the models over. If you've missed large areas with the basecoat or the models don't look vaguely uniform, give them another basecoat until you're happy. 

Stage V
V_ Identify the fatigues of the model. Using a small flat brush apply the darkest tone of your camouflage pattern in a broken pattern – I have used Scorched Brown for these. Keep only a little paint on your brush, and dilute it only very slightly: it should feel a little dry and stay exactly where you place it on the model. Try to keep the pattern evenly spaced, and aim to cover one third or so of the fatigues with blotches. Try to make these in thin, broken lines that curve back on themselves, rather than big near-circular patches.

It is important for the effect that the blotches cover the undulations of the surface evenly – they should go into recesses and touch high points equally, so poke the paint on with a slow stabbing motion, rather than with a light, surface-catching drybrush technique.

I tend to use a size 1 flat synthetic brush, as the bristles have more resistance which makes it easier to touch the tip to the model. If you don't have a flat brush, this is a great chance to use that poor split/damaged detail brush you have lying around, rather than retiring it! Since the bristles shoot off in different directions, you'll have slightly less control, and will get a more natural, uncontrived effect to the camouflage splotches.

Stage VI
+ VI_ Once the dark-toned areas are dry, overlay a wash of Gryphonne Sepia (or equivalent) over the fatigues. This will help to bring out the colour of the fatigues and start to develop the shading. 

It's worth pointing out that I also use the wash on non-camouflaged areas of cloth, such as any bedrolls or officers' headgear.

Stage VII
VII_ Using Dheneb stone, add camouflage patches as before. Use a slow semi-stippling motion with your split brush to get the blotchy curved lines and dots. Aim to cover roughly a third of the surface, and – importantly – overlay both the basecoat areas and dark-toned areas. This is a great opportunity to cover up any mistakes made with the darker-toned areas, and also to cut in and reshape any blotches that have got too large or unpleasantly-shaped.

At this point, the surface of the fatigues should be roughly split into thirds: basecoat (midtone), tints (light tone) and shades (dark tone).+

+Weaponry and equipment+

Stage VIII
 + VIII_ With the camouflage pattern in place, paint in all the parts that you want to be metallic using black.

Stage IX
+ IX_ Once dry, paint over the same areas with Boltgun Metal.

+Hard armour and additional fabrics+

Stage X
+ X_ Use a size 1 round brush to paint the shoes, gloves, armour straps (the bits behind the knees and in front of the elbows) and some of the pouches (the ones you want to stand out a little) with Charadon Granite. Once dry, use a size 2 round to give the fatigues of the model a wash with Gryphonne Sepia and allow to dry. Don't worry too much about neatness with this stage – as long as you keep the wash away from the metallics and the Granite areas.

Stage XI
XI_ Switch back to a size 1 round and carefully paint the hard armour areas with the Vallejo Russian Tank Crew II (Catachan Green or Straken Green are good equivalents), including the respirator and any technical widgets and doobries on the helmets.

Stage XII

+ XII_ Use a size 2 brush to add a second wash of Gryphonne Sepia to the fatigue areas, and while it is still wet, use a size 1 brush to drop in a little Agrax Earthshade to the darker areas around the elbows, knees, and groin. Allow the two washes to bleed together a little, then use a clean dry brush to lift away excess wash from surface areas.

Once dry, give the armour, weapon casings and Charadon Granite areas (boots, gloves, etc.) a wash of Agrax Earthshade (or Devlan Mud), allow to dry, and then apply basic highlighting to the plates using a size 1 brush lightly loaded with Camo Green (I think Elysian Green is the new equivalent). 

To apply the highlighting to each section of the armour, pick a direction for the light source (top left or top right), and use the side of a lightly-loaded size 1 brush with a scumbling technique. Start from the direction of the light source (e.g. top left) and scumble the paint towards the opposite side (bottom right). This technique should result in better paint coverage towards the light source, blending away to the base colour about a third of the way across. Note that this is just on average – you'll have to evaluate each plate separately. If the flat of one is pointed directly at the light source (e.g. the top parts of the left shoulder plate), then this will be almost entirely covered with the highlight. Equally, if something is shaded almost entirely from the light (such as the bottom of the codpiece), then this will be almost entirely covered with the base coat.

Once this is completed (the paint should dry almost immediately on application owing to the light loading of the paint and the scumbling technique), add Rotting Flesh to the Camo Green and add some gentle edge highlighting to the sharp corners. Again, apply the paint lightly using the side of the brush, and apply more paint on the edges that face the light source and less paint on the edges that face away – this ensures that you don't get a 'neon glow' to the armour plates.+


Stage XIII
 + XIII_ Use the jewel painting technique (blending from a dark colour towards the light source to a light colour away from the light source, then adding a dot of white in the centre of the dark area) to paint the eye lenses. I used Dark Flesh blended away to Solar Macharius Orange.

Lightly load a size 1 brush with Solar Macharius Orange and draw a vertical line down the shoulder pad as a Company sigil.

Stage XIV
+ XIV_ Paint the model's skin in the manner of your choosing. My skin painting technique is fairly involved, but on models with this little flesh showing, a good result can be achieved by painting the neck, fingers and any exposed skin with the base colour (such as Tanned Flesh), then adding a highlight (such as Tanned Flesh and Bleached Bone), then washing with Agrax Earthshade and lifting out excess wash from raised areas. Paint the eyes by drawing a short fine line of black and allowing it to dry, then adding dots of white, one on either side of each eye. Make sure each dot has a border of black remaining around it. Once dry, draw lines of the skin base (e.g. Tanned Flesh) under and over the eye. 

I like to add diversity to my skintones – they're hugely variable even in an individual: quite aside from big differences such as ethnicity, conditions such as sunburn, sickness or even being out of breath can change people's skin colour quite dramatically. Adding touches of blue to the skin mix for stubble and bags under the eyes, touches of scab red to the mix for lips, cheeks and fresh scars, or a dilute wash of Olive Green for feeling poorly can make the difference between a cool-looking model and a believable individual.

The model itself is basically finished at this point, but I think a good base – even if very simple – really lifts a figure. Apologies that the main picture doesn't really show the skin and eyes; it was a very quick shot! There are some closeup example of skintones to the left.


Stage XV
+ XV_ Use an old brush to apply Armageddon Dust to the base (pictured).  

+ XVI_ Once dry, paint the whole base Khemri Brown. Allow to dry, then drybrush the surface fairly heavily using Dheneb Stone. Finish the base by painting the rim Calthan Brown. 
Examples of completed guardsmen in M41 Lamb's World fatigues

+Optional details+

+ XVII_ Touches of personalisation can add a lot to the final effect, but these are the most fun to think up – knock yourself out! Below are some examples of freehand text, non-uniform bandanas and variant techniques.

Note freehand 'Lobo' personalisation and bandana.

Small black patches were added once the fatigues were completed,
then tiny paired white dots were overlaid.

*Though it's worth noting that using differently-toned sprays can give lovely effects, such as zenithal highlighting. Spray black (or a dark tone), then spray a lighter-toned colour from a fixed point at the top. Bang – instant dramatic shadows!


Sheep said...

Thanks for doing such a complete and thorough write up! I've always wanted to know how you painted these guys, such a beautiful and characterful army.

Drone 21C said...

Love 'em. They've got that wild future warrior feel from the film Aliens but 40k too.