Thursday, 29 March 2012

New Imperial Guard

Greetings all, I bring to you all a brand spanky new commission squad. These are working to the brief of using the WW2 German Flecktarn or "Oakleaf" pattern of camoflague.

The Flecktarn pattern is one of the most complex in camoflague design! Only the modern "digital" camoflague is harder to work with in my not-so-humble opinion. As always with a real world reference you need to start from some decent reference material.

Image from Trident Military

So initially it looks like a confused mess, how to begin painting that? In the end I figured out that it was layers of printing over the palest colour. The colours all have big blotches (technical term that) and then have small dots added onto the other blotches.

I started with Vallejo Grey-Green as a basecoat, this will look very, very bright but it gets drabbed down later. Over this basecoat I painted broad stripes of Vermin Brown, Vallejo Chocolate Brown and Vallejo German Camo Black-Brown. Once all these were in place I went back and painted dots of each colour onto the opposing stripes (so Grey-green dots on the Vermin Brown, Chocolate Brown and GCBB stripes and so on). By the time this was finished I was acutely aware that there was no way that normal highlighting was going to work without blood running from my eyes. Instead I washed the whole camo scheme with Devlan Mud which drabbed down the garish finish and put shading in the creases.

Most of the backpacks also got the Flecktarn treatment, the armour and pouches though needed to be something different or the models would just become a mess. The client had asked for a symbol based on the Wolverhampton Wolves logo as the regiments badge so with the combination of "Wolf" and "German Camo" bashing around in my brain there was only one real choice. Early war German Grey. The armour was therefore basecoated in Vallejo German Grey and highlighted with increasing amounts of Fortress Grey. This gave a neutral colour to allow the camo to come to the fore.

Other pouches (and this slightly different design backpack) were painted with Vallejo US Olive Field Drab to make a nice utilitarian khaki shade. This was later washed with Devlan Mud. Grenades were picked out in Vallejo Luftwaffe Green and washed in Badab Black to give a nice contrast.

The heads are Wargames Factory gas masked helms and look ace on these lads. The rubber fabric was painted with my usual method of Charadon Granite with a wash of Badab Black. You can also see the Wolf icon on the shoulder of this chap.

After a quick basing of urban rubble the squad was completed. I believe that this was the first test bed squad of an army so hopefully we will see more of these fine fellows soon! Until next time (which will be our 150th post!) I shall simply say:



  1. That turned out really, really well! Fantastic work!

  2. looks awesome mate, cant believe the level of effort put in to that, the colours are spot on!

    i know its a tad cheeky but was wondering if you might have any tips at painting the digital camo as seen in children of men :)

    1. eeee, digital camo, I've only seen one guy get that right so far and he works for the studio. If I had to try it I would either be painting dots and then laboriously squaring the corners or fabricating a square brush out of dense sponge and stippling it on.

    2. hmmm not sure how it would work out especially on torsos and helmets only (for now) for my vets, as you can see here:
      the pattern is part organic and part digital, it looks a bitch to do but i would love to do something similar on my guard vets, at the mo they are grey with green armour and would love to spice up some of the cloth with that, just not sure how to pull it off.
      almost tempted to challenge you to paint one and see if it can be done :D

  3. right, had a look at the COMDC and i really, really wouldn't use it at anything below 54mm minis, you would loose too much detail and it would just look a mess. Digital camo in 28mm needs to be the larger "stylised" versions to get any recognition that it is the digital camo.

  4. i see and it all makes sense now why my efforts are looking poor!!
    now to find an alternative camo scheme for my vets :) any suggestions as urban seems to be hard with all the greys. being codex grey with green armour doesnt leave much scope :(

  5. To be honest, my favourite urban camo is also the simplest: PICTURE. Just paint a basecoat of Adeptus Battlegrey, Stipple on Codex Grey, a mix of Adeptus and Black and Fortress Grey. The stippling creates the splintered edges that typical urban camo requires.