Camouflage uniforms are a lot easier to paint in miniature than one would think. In 1:72 scale what we are looking for is not a minutely detailed copy of a particular pattern, but a convincing likeness of the same. It is important to use a good photo of the pattern for reference, in order to achieve the desired effect in miniature. There are plenty of picture references on the internet, and they can be located in Google, using the image search option. Simply enter the proper name of the pattern you are looking for, like US "tiger stripe" or Vietnam "tiger stripe", and click on "image search" to view the search results. Remember to share camouflage painting information with other members of your wargame group to ensure that patterns will match on the gaming table.
Camouflage Painting Guide
The editors of Military Miniatures Magazine paint soft plastic miniatures with top quality artist Acrylics which form a flexible and resiliant skin around the Polyethylene figures. Every layer of artist Acrylic paint will bond with the one underneath it to form a paint coat which will withstand the roughest handling during wargames.
Camouflage patterns typically have a prominent base colour which needs to be selected carefully to achieve the proper hue. This base colour should be agreed upon by all members of a wargame club, so that troops painted by different club members may be deployed together to form larger wargame formations. Undercoat the figures in the base colour, shade and drybrush as usual.
If the base colour looks right, add the appropriate secondary colours either in splotches, stripes, or spots. To paint camouflage splotches or tiger stripes with soft or feathered edges, dilute the paint to a watery consistency and wash the splotches onto the base colour carefully, using very little paint on a fine brush. The base colour will remain visible through the secondary splotch colour, giving the uniform a naturally blended and faded look. Camouflage stripes should be painted with several short brush strokes, to add some irregular feathering where brush strokes meet, thereby avoiding unrealistic ring patterns around the arms and legs.
The tiny camouflage spots of Flecktarn and US six-colour desert patterns should be created with full strength paint to ensure that they do not blend with underlying pattern splotches.
Camouflage Painting Examples
- Fallschirmjäger Splittertarn Splinter Pattern
- Fallschirmjäger / Gebirgsjäger Sumpfmuster 1943
- Fallschirmjäger / Gebirgsjäger Sumpfmuster 1944
- Splittertarn Splinter Pattern Zeltbahn M.31 Shelter Halves
- British 1942 First Pattern Denison Smock
- British Royal Marine Commando Denison Smock
- British P75 DPM Para Smock
- Bundesgrenzschutz BGS Sumpftarn
- Bundeswehr 1960 Splittertarn Splinter Pattern
- Bundeswehr 1991 Flecktarn
- Canadian Pattern (CADPAT)
- French CCE Pattern
- French Lizard Pattern
- US Tiger Stripe Pattern
- US Leaf Pattern (Vietnam)
- US Marine Pattern (MARPAT)
- US Woodland Pattern Army Combat Uniform (ACU)
- US Desert Storm, 6 Color (1st Gulf War)
- US Desert Camouflage Uniform, 3 Color DCU (2nd Gulf War)
- Warhammer 40k Imperial Guard Camouflage Uniforms
- Warhammer 40k Space Dwarf Camouflage Uniforms
- Steve Grammont’s Page of Camo
- Kamo’s Camouflage Collection
- Henrik Clausen’s Camouflage Uniforms of the World
Painting camouflage patterns is fun and easy, particularly if a photo of the pattern is available for reference. The most helpful camouflage painting suggestion is to dilute the secondary camo colours and apply them very sparingly to achieve a properly blended and faded effect.