Tuesday, February 26, 2013

BF Customer Service and Salue 2013

Hey All!

Monday mail brought me a package from Battlefront Customer service the other day and I just had to let you know about it. It consisted of a muffler part that was missing from a Char B tank blister I purchased in April of 2012. I recently re-sent the email to Customer service reminding them of the missing part.

Now, although it had been 10 months since I originally sent in the complaint, I was happy that they finally sent me the part, abet late. The real reason for this post though, is the inclusion of a wrinkle-smoother.

Battlefront included, at no cost to me, the new GE897 Warriors of Market Garden blister in the package. I must say I was surprised by this and feel that this needs to be recognized. Thank-you Battlefront for making it right!

Strangest thing was I had listed the blister for my next order...

I currently am busy getting together the minis/terrain for Salute 2013 in Vancouver this April. I will be hosting a Saturday 0900k timeslot game but may also do a Sunday one as well.

The scenario will be the Eastern Front, August 1942 Spartakovka, North of Stalingrad. The depleted 16th Panzer Division which is low on supply, attacks the fresh but inexperienced 124th Rifle Brigade.

I hope to see you there!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Recommended Colors

Recommended Colors

MC: Vallejo Model Color
MA: Vallejo Model Air
GC: Vallejo Game Color
TA: Tamiya Acrylic

For brushwork and ease of storage, you cannot beat Vallejo. They cover well and are fairly durable when cured. Their color range is extensive. They have Model Color, Game Color, Panzer Aces and an Model Air line. Thin with water, extend with their own retarder or Windsors & Newton Blending medium.

If Vallejo is the King of brush paints, then Tamiya must be the Queen of Airbrush. In my 30 years of painting, I have never been able to have consistent stellar results with any other product line except Tamiya. I thin 5 to 1 with Isopropyl alcohol for airbrush. I don't use Tamiya for brushwork.

I have found that mixing of colors between Vallejo and Tamiya can be hit or miss.
Some Vallejo Game Colors will even clump up when mixed with Vallejo Model colors.


Gymnastierka/Breeches: Basically versions of the color Khaki. So many variations, from dark brown to dark green and everything in between. Also compounding the problem finding the 'right' color, some material and uniforms were imported through lend-lease that were more to Allied manufacturing colors/techniques. Early war tended to be a more brown-khaki, late war, a green-khaki. Below are my four main color choices.

Note: Mix each shadow color with some base color to get a nice even tone and transition.

'Brown' Khaki':
Base: 1 to 1 Khaki Grey 880 + German Cam. Orange Ochre.
Shadow: Khaki Grey 880. Deep shadow, add add touch of Black.
Highlight: 2 to 1 to 1 German Cam. Orange Ochre.+ Desert Yellow 977 + Khaki Grey 880

'Green-Brown' Khaki':
Base: Middlestone 882
Shadow: Yellow Green 881. Deep shadow, Brown Violet 887.
Highlight: 1 to 1 Middlestone 882 + Sand Yellow 916.

'Green' Khaki':
Base: Dark Yellow 978.
Shadow: Yellow Green 881. Deep shadow, Russian Inf. WWII 924.
Highlight: 1 to 1 Dark Yellow 978 + Sand Yellow 916.

'Tan' Khaki':
Base: Buff 976.
Shadow: Khaki 988. Deep shadow, add add touch of Brown Violet 887.
Highlight: 2 to 1 to 1 Buff 976 + Khaki 988 + Pale Sand 837.

Shinel Greatcoat: Heavy woollen coat. Again various colors. From brown to  grey green. They were also coats of rich golden brown (Lend-lease). Officers coats tended to be darker than enlisted men's. Early Soviet soldiers would have the Shinel tied across the chest or around the pack. Late-war Soviets would have the Raincoat/Groundsheet (or Plash Palatka) in its place.

1935-42 M35 'Brown' (left above)
Base: US Field Drab 873
Shadow: Leather Brown 871 or Burnt Umber 941.
Highlight: 1 to 1 US Field Drab + Tan Yellow 912.

1935-42 M35 'Brown variation'
Base: 1 to 1 Burnt Umber 941 + USA Tan Earth 874.
Shadow: Burnt Umber 941.
Highlight: USA Tan Earth 874.

1935-42 M35 'Light Grey/Beige' (center above)
Base: 1 to 1 Khaki 988 + Deck Tan 986.
Shadow: 3 to 1 Khaki 988 + Deck Tan 986. Deep shadow, add touch of Black.
Highlight: 2 to 1 Deck Tan 986 + Khaki 988.

1941-45 M40 'Allied Import' (right above)
Base: English Uniform 921
Shadow: Leather Brown 871.
Highlight: 1 to 1 English Uniform 921 + German Cam. Orange Ochre 824

Field Equipment:

Helmet and Mess Kit: 1 to 1 Reflective Green 890 + Yellow Green 881.
Knapsack: Dark Sand 847. Shade with Khaki Grey 880.
Raincoat/Groundsheet: Khaki 988 or Khaki Grey 880
Gasmask Bag: German Cam. Orange Ochre 824 highlighted with Sand Yellow 916
Rifle Strap: Japan Uniform WWII 923.
Enlisted man belt/ammo pouches: PA Light Rust 301
High Boots: Black 950.
Water Bottle: Stone Grey 884. or PA French Tank Crew 320.
Weapon Wood: Game Color Parisite Brown 042 with Liquid Acrylic Mahogany 820 for shadows and Deep Yellow 915 added in for highlights
Weapon Metal: Dark Seagreen 868 with Black shadows and Gunmetal Grey highlights
Entrenching Tool: Cover; Buff 976. Handle; Tan Yellow 912. Metal; Dark Seagreen 868.


Tunic/Breeches: Color varied as the war years and materials changed. What started as a quality uniform ended the war a shadow of its former self. The original 1939 war uniform was a greenish/blue version of fieldgrey but changed to a more Green/grey in 1941.

1939-40 M36 Feldbluse (or later years Officers tunics): Greenish-blue Feldgrau (above and below right): The 920 German Uniform darkens substantially as it drys so don't use as is. 
Base: 1 to 1 German Uniform 920 + White
Shadow: German Uniform 920
Highlight: 1 to 2 German Uniform 920 + White

Base: 3 to 1 Neutral Grey 992 + White
Shadow: Neutral Grey 992
Highlight: 1 to 3 Neutral Grey 992 + White

The picture above is a good comparison of the two colors.

1941-45 Uniform: 'Classic' Grey-Green Feldgrau (above left): German Fieldgrey 830 is too dark for 15mm. It needs to be lightened substantially.
Base: 2 to 1 to 1 German Fieldgrey 830 + White + Sand Yellow 916
Shadow: German Fieldgrey 830. Add black for deep shadows.
Highlight: 1 to 1 to 2 German Fieldgrey 830 + White + Sand Yellow 916.

Adding white only will result in washed out boring looking fieldgrey

Other colors that work well:
Green Grey 886 (less green overall) with Fieldgrey 830 shadow.
Vallejo Game Color Heavy Grey 72145 (more green overall) with Fieldgrey 830 shadow.
Brown Violet 887 (very late-war) with US Olive Drab 889 Shadow.
VPA US Army Tank Crew 318 - Great for Greatcoat.

Field Equipment:
Helmet: Reflective Green 890 with a bit of black to taste.
Gasmask Can/Mess Kit: Olive Grey 888 or Reflective Green 890 
highlight edge with aluminum (white/silver)
Gasmask Can Strap: Middlestone 882
Gas Cape: Pastel Green 885
Bread-bag: Dark Yellow 978. Add white to highlight.
Rifle Strap: Orange Brown 981
Shovel  / Stick Grenade Handle: Sunny Skintone 845
High Boots and Y-Straps: Black 950
Water Bottle: Beige Brown 875 highlighted with Vallejo Panzer Aces Yellowish Rust 303, black or Khaki strap, field grey or black cap.
MP-40 Ammo Pouches: Yellow Green 881.

Lafette sMG Mount: Early war mount was painted Dunkelgrau (grey), Later Feldgrau (dark grey-green) and finally Dunkelgleb (dark tan-yellow). Disregard the apple-green post-war versions you may have seen. A little artistic license is needed here to add contrast and show detail.

Dunkelgrau: Base: London Grey 836. Highlight: Pale bluegrey 907. Shadow: German Grey 995.

Feldgrau: BaseGerman Camo Dark Green 979 OR Olive Orey 888
Highlight: Add Dark Yellow 978
Shadow: Add Black


7.92mm Ammo Can: German Camo Dark Green 979 OR Olive Orey 888
Weapon Wood: Game Color Parisite Brown 042 with Liquid Acrylic Mahogany 820 for shadows and Deep Yellow 915 added in for highlights
Weapon Metal: Dark Seagreen 868 with Black shadows and Gunmetal Grey highlights

Wehrmacht Zeltbahn-31 tent quarter:
Base: 1 to 1 VPA Splinter Cam. Base + German Yellow 012.
My VPA Splinter base is very grey - yours may be more beige. May be a miss-tint?
Brown Splinters: 
Green Splinters: 


Original color photo from 1944/45. You can see the variations from the green hue (left) and brow hue (right) in troops from the same unit.

 1939 Battledress (1939-1945): Canadian BD was more green and of better quality than UK issue. Variations existed and some UK kit would invariably end up on Canadian soldiers. Canadian Airborne used British BD. You may go a little crazy trying to get the perfect shade! Wartime color photos seem to show a redish-tinged green-brown but this is most likely a development issue

I have now simplified my color choice to Vallejo 'Old' Yellow Green 112 (below right). It dries a bit more green. Vallejo has remade their color 112 to a much more green (below-left).

Base: 'Old' Yellow Green 112 with a touch of Black.
Shadow: Add more Black.
Highlight: 'Old' Yellow Green 112
This matches perfectly a WWII Canadian Wedge I have.

Base: 1 to 1 'New' Yellow Green + Green Brown 114 with a touch of black.
Shadow: Add more Black.
Highlight: 1 to 1 'New' Yellow Green + Green Brown 114.

Mk.III 'Turtle' Helmet (without netting): 50% Olive drab 889 + 50% Russian Uniform 924

The Mk. IV (low rivets on outside) is a post war helmet so don't use as a reference. Variations from dark green to dark brown, I have in my collection, a restored Mk.III (high rivets). Before restoring, I ground up an original paint chip and the color was US Field drab 873 with a touch of black! I assume oxidation has lightened the color somewhat in almost 70 years so this may be too light. Original was probably closer to Olive drab 889.

Webbing: My research has 1944-45 Canada using either raw canvas or KG3 blancoed webbing.
Raw without Blanco: Green Ochre 914.
KG3 Khaki Green: Base: Russian Unif. WWII 94
Helmet Netting: Middlestone 882 or VGC Camo Green 031
Rifle Strap: Green Ochre 914
Boots: Black 950
Gas Mask Pouch: VPA French Tank Crew 320
Water Bottle Cover: 113 Khaki Grey or 114 Green Brown.
Weapon Wood:
Weapon Metal: Dark Seagreen 868 with Black shadows and Gunmetal Grey highlights.

Different netting and base colored Mk.III Turtle helmets.


1. Base Coat.
2. Highlight coat with airbrush to top/sunbleached areas.
3. Blackline deep shadows.
4. Selective washes (rust, dust, oil).
5. Rain streaking with base color and black extremely thin wash.
5. Spray on dust to lower half of vehicle.
6. Extreme highlights.
7. Chipping.

Metal Tracks: Base: Dark Rust 302
Wood Tool Handles: New, Flat Flesh 955. Weathered, Iraqui Sand 819
Metal Tool Parts: Base, Dark Sea Green 868. Highlight, Oily Steel 865 or Gunmetal Grey863
Rubber Tires: Base German Grey 995. Black is too dark.


Soviet Tank Green: Base: 70894 Russian Green. Highlight: add 70978 Dark Yellow.
Alternate 'Factory Fresh' Tank Green: MA 71.010 Interior Green
Alternate 'Faded' Tank Green: MC 70.881 Yellow Green. Vallejo has recently (2017) changed this color to a much more green shade and its a great match to the sun-bleached Russian tank green.


German Dark Yellow: Base: 4 parts TA Dark Yellow XF-60 + 1 part TA Flat Black XF-1
Highlight: 4 parts TA Dark Yellow XF-60 + 1 part TA Flat White XF-2

German Camo Green: 50/50 VMA 022 Camo Green + VMA 010 Interior Green
Or 4 parts TA Olive Green XF-58 + 1 part Dark Yellow XF-60

German Camo Red-Brown: 50/50 VMA 034 Sand Brown + VMA 035 Camo Pale Brown
Or 4 parts TA Red Brown XF-64 + 1 part Dark Yellow XF-60