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London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
A mythical beast - a female wargamer! I got back into wargaming in the summer of 2011 after a very, very long break. My current interests are Ancients, ACW, 30YW and SciFi gaming.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Paint Scheme for my WW2 British Airborne

I thought it might be helpful to post my painting scheme for the British Airborne, so here you go. All paints are Vallejo Model Colour unless otherwise indicated. Most base colours will need two (or three) thin coats to cover the black primer.

Primed black

Base Colours (and some highlights)

Flesh - Beige Red base coat; Vallejo Flesh wash; highlight with Beige Red mixed with increasing amounts of Basic Skintone
Hair - various browns and dark greys
Cuffs and scarf: Brown Violet
Helmet - Camo Olive Green (or Olive Grey); if it has scrim, drybrush Khaki
Beret - Black Red shadow; Black Red and Burnt (Cadmium) Red base; add some Red for broad highlights; Red for refined highlight; Red plus a little (not too much) Sunset Red for highest highlight
Black Leather (boots, beret band, scabbards) - German Grey
Denison base (yellowish) - German Camo Orange Ochre
Denison Base (greenish) - German Camo Beige
Collar Lining - officers = Stone grey; other ranks = Khaki
Scrim - base all with US Field Drab
Brown patches - Mahogany Brown
Green patches and half the scrim - Flat Green
Water bottle and trousers - English Uniform
Webbing (green) - mix of German Uniform and Intermediate Green
Green Metal - Reflective Green or Olive Grey
Straps, weapon slings - Khaki Grey
Bandoliers - Tan Earth
Toggle Rope - Iraqi Sand
Helmet chin cup - Reflective Green

Washes - Army Painter Dark Tone over black leather and dark grey hair; Army Painter Soft Tone over everything else (avoiding the flesh)


Cuffs and Scarf - Brown Violet plus a little Dark Sand
Helmet (where no scrim) - base plus a little Russian Uniform
Black leather - Black Grey
Denison base (yellowish) - base plus a little Dark Sand
Denison Base (greenish) - base plus a little Deck Tan
Collar Lining - base plus a little Pale Sand
Brown Scrim - Green Ochre
Brown patches - Saddle Brown
Green patches and scrim - Intermediate Green plus a little Flat Green
Water bottle - base plus a little Dark Sand
Trousers - US Field Drab
Webbing (green) - base plus a little Dark Sand or Deck tan
Green Metal - Reflective Green; Russian Uniform; add Dark Sand for high highlights
Straps, weapon slings - Dark Sand plus a little Khaki Grey
Bandoliers - base plus Pale Sand
Toggle Rope - Pale Sand

The Rest

Wood - Flat Brown base; first two highlights add a little Orange Brown or Beige Brown; glint highlights add a little Pale Sand. I then glaze it with a mix of 2 parts Flesh wash, 1 part Red wash and 1 part Sepia wash (which can also go into the gaps between fingers).
Grey Metal - Black base; Black and Gunmetal; Gunmetal
Cap badges - Black base; Gunmetal or Old Gold
Mugs - Beige Brown for outside adding Dark Sand for highlights; for inside Pale Sand base, Ivory highlight.

Where I've changed colour between the base and the highlights, you could mix the base with a little Dark Sand or Deck Tan.

There you go - my paint scheme outlined for you all to take and adopt/adapt for yourselves. Some of the steps (for instance on the beret) could be skipped, particularly if you aren't working over a black primer.


  1. Very useful colour formula Tamsin

  2. Always nice to know how you get the effects you do, thanks for posting this!

  3. cool, i cheated and gave mine red berets

    1. You arent alone Martin- I consider it merely adjusting the colour fro the effects of scale!

      Thanks Tamsin, very useful

  4. Great stuff Tamsin. Thankyou very much. I am about to start my Brit Paras and this will be very useful.

  5. Thanks all! Hope you can make good use of it.

    @ Martin & Paul - well, there were MPs with 1st Airborne (in fact a detachment of them were the first to arrive in the Arnhem Bridge area, a couple of hours before Frost's 2 Para) but they were wearing the Maroon berets :)

  6. Very useful Tamsin! Thanks for sharing.