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"Painting 70s British Uniforms?" Topic

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2,751 hits since 19 Jul 2007
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Mirosav19 Jul 2007 10:41 a.m. PST

Looking for tips on painting British uniforms from the 70s. On a related note, would their guns be black or more of a steel color?

Lowtardog19 Jul 2007 11:14 a.m. PST

Black rifles SLR with either wooden or black stock


Ivan Skavinsky Skavar19 Jul 2007 11:17 a.m. PST

Wargames Illustrated number 211 has a painting guide for 80's British DMP which may be of help.

The L1A1 SLR is more black than steel with black furniture.

Hope that helps.

TonicNH19 Jul 2007 12:38 p.m. PST

I'm reasonably certain Mongrel Miniatures has a DPM painting guide on their site

unfortunately I keep getting a gateway timeout at the moment so I can't confirm 100%….

Carlos Marighela 219 Jul 2007 2:13 p.m. PST

Just remember bell bottoms/flairs were very popular in the seventies, along with applique. And sideburns are a must.

nickinsomerset19 Jul 2007 2:19 p.m. PST

Black metal work, with a few patches of steel showing through around the muzzel and the "bottle opening" parts!
Also there were a couple of trends – Lightwieght green trousers and DPM jacket and wearing trousers and jacket of different tones, usually lighter (faded) trousers

Tally Ho!

Bob the Temple Builder19 Jul 2007 3:11 p.m. PST

Don't forget the upper lip fuzz – it was quite a fashion in the 70s for what were variously refered to as 'Viva Zapata' or 'Porn Star' moustaches to be worn by 'Toms'. Also the hair tended to be a bit on the long side (especially in NI) where soldiers out of uniform wanted to blend in with the locals.

And for some moving images from youtube:
(British Soldier – Belfast 1970s)

Martin Rapier21 Jul 2007 8:43 a.m. PST

The plain green trousers were quite common – plenty of pics of troops in the Falklands wearing them.

SLRs pretty well all black, the furniture was plastic although you might get a bit of metal scuffing here and there. The wooden stock ones are much more stylish, but a bit impractical in APCs where they sometimes got broken.

I've got some DPM figures to paint, but have been putting it off – I'm assured by people who have done it that the key is to start with the sand first, then blob on the red brown and olive green. Maybe forget about the black swirls in 15mm or less. I've got this horrid feeling that they are going to end up looking like my 12th SS troops in Italian pattern camo!

Khazarmac21 Jul 2007 10:46 a.m. PST

This re-enactment group's website is often referred to wrt questions on 1970s/80s British Army uniforms;


Mirosav23 Jul 2007 6:46 a.m. PST

Thanks for all the suggestions. I will be following the Mongrel painting guide on a few figs to see how well I can do it.

Jemima Fawr04 Aug 2007 11:39 p.m. PST

Start DPM with a greenish-ochre ochre colour similar to WW2 German 'dunkelgelbe'. Humbrol 82 is perfect. Apply camo colours in curved 'splashes' – in real life it looks very much like someone has splashed it on with a six-inch brush and in fact, the original Dennison Smocks were indeed coloured in this manner.

The brown could vary from a very dark brown, to a very orange brick red. The 1970s 'moleskin' trousers seem to have been very prone to the lighter ends of the spectrum! My first (beloved) pair was very bright indeed!

Similarly, the green could vary from a very bright grass green to a more subdued dark olive drab. Jackets were generally darker than trousers (usually because they were more often washed) and generally darker items were issued from the 1980s.

After green and brown, add splashes of black – one thing I always thought when seeing people in the field, was that they often looked much too dark and obvious when in the open, but were virtually invisible in shadowed woodland.

Webbing was grey-green, fading to green-khaki, but very dark blue-grey-green when wet.

Finally, apply a very light drybrush of your base ochre colour – it helps to soften the overall pattern and gives the impression of natural wear, tear and fading.

BrianH05 Apr 2008 1:11 p.m. PST

What colour would you suggest for the British pre-camouflage uniform of the 1970s which I assume is the same colour as the Lightwieght green trousers sometimes worn with the DPM jacket?
Humbrol, Model Master or Vallejo colours are best for me.

Jemima Fawr07 Apr 2008 2:04 a.m. PST

The early OD uniform is not the same thing as OG Lightweights. OG Lightweight trousers were simply lightweight trousers for barrack wear, to match the olive green woolly jumper. They were never really intended to be worn in the field, but many liked them because of their lightweight fabric and they were reckoned to look 'ard' when worn with a DPM jacket.

OG Lightweights match Humbrol 190 or 159 very well – I'd got for 'Russian Uniform' in the Vallejo range (which is a perfect match for Humbrol 159).

The earlier OG uniform was made in a heavyweight fabric, which I think was exactly the same as the early 'moleskin' DPMs that we used to have left over from the 1970s. It used to feature a lot in our training films and appeared to be quite a greyish olive drab – very much akin to what the West Germans and Canadians were wearing at the time. I think the colour was the same as the WW2 'Jungle Green', which was quite greyish and was used in the 1944 Pattern uniform. In Humbrol terms, I would use Humbrol 86.

BrianH07 Apr 2008 7:22 p.m. PST

Thanks I had been thinking of Humbrol 150 but will give 86 a try. Do you know of a vallejo equivalent to it?

Thanks again.

Jemima Fawr08 Apr 2008 10:18 a.m. PST

I'm not really 'up' on my Vallejo colours yet, sorry. I only know of 159, because that's what a mate uses where I use Humbrol 159 (WW2 British tanks).

Jemima Fawr08 Apr 2008 10:19 a.m. PST

Doh – Brain not working… that should read 'Vallejo Russian Uniform' above, where it says '159'.

BrianH08 Apr 2008 7:16 p.m. PST


I use Humbrol 159 for British tanks also. According to one of the Flames of war books Vallejo 890 reflective green is equivalent to Humbrol 86.

BrianH12 Aug 2017 11:30 a.m. PST

Any suggestions for webbing and ammunition pouches?

Windy Miller17 Aug 2017 5:38 a.m. PST

For webbing I'd use Humbrol 30 drybrushed with a light greyish-green.

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