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"US Airborne uniform colours needed" Topic

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DanWW204 Sep 2009 2:14 p.m. PST

Now I know this is almost as controversial as the 1/56 vs 1/48 scale vehicle debate, so it's with some trepidation I light the touch paper, but…

I have a couple of platoons of 28mm US Airborne to paint and yes, I'm going to do them pretty much as Easy Company from Band of Brothers- unoriginal but they're my soldiers! :OP

So- what is the best colour to paint them (preferably Vallejo), without getting too flustered about the khaki vs yellow/ tan issue or what EXACTLY constitutes 'khaki'?

Cheers! :O)

combatpainter Fezian04 Sep 2009 2:30 p.m. PST

Try FOW site and follow their simple guideline.> It can be a tricky clour and few ever agree as to which one it is. LOl..

aecurtis Fezian04 Sep 2009 2:47 p.m. PST


Personal logo 15mm and 28mm Fanatik Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2009 2:47 p.m. PST

SHQ has a nice set of guides. It's no. 9 on the list at the link below:


Pizzagrenadier04 Sep 2009 3:39 p.m. PST

I really like the "Khaki" colors from the Reaper Masters Series of paint. Their "Khaki Shadow" is a real nice shade of khaki that I think works great as a U.S. Airborne uniform color for the Normandy campaign. It's not tan, it's not drab…it's somewhere in between.

aecurtis Fezian04 Sep 2009 3:39 p.m. PST

The SHQ guide works for the M1942 uniform for the Normandy drops.

FABET0104 Sep 2009 4:11 p.m. PST

If your doing the "Band of Brothers" (ie 101st) they need to be in the Olive Drab 44 uniforms, not Khaki 42s. Only the 82nd had the khaki from earlier (the 504 kept them into the Battle of the bulge).It's the same pattern, just a differnt color.

aecurtis Fezian04 Sep 2009 4:23 p.m. PST

Before this gets too weird:


Spartan04 Sep 2009 8:42 p.m. PST

Look at the Artizan Design website. They have a painting guide using Vallejo paints for your 28mm U.S. Airborne figures as well as other painting guides for different WW2 troops.

Mick in Switzerland05 Sep 2009 12:51 a.m. PST

Artizan Guides Link

DanWW205 Sep 2009 2:46 a.m. PST

Great- thanks for all your help!

I'm going to use several of the suggestions in the same unit as a good mix seems to be the best depiction of the reality of a group of men wearing uniforms from varying manufacturers of various ages and in variable states of fading and dirtiness.


Mal Wright Fezian05 Sep 2009 6:00 p.m. PST

That was exactly what I was going to suggest DanWW2. If you watch a few episodes of Band of Brothers, its clear. But if you then check it off with some genuine war footage you find that the makers of the TV series obviously took that as a guide.

Idoites106 Sep 2009 8:28 a.m. PST

This has been more civil than I expected, but I'm in the same boat as DanWW2. I have figures to paint, but there is so much conflicting stuff out there… Not to stir the pot, but:

Let's assume my major gameing opponant is colorblind (he is). Let's assume I think the M42 should be OD3 (I do). Which Humbrol color comes closest (it sure isn't 86 Light Olive)? How about 66 Matt Olive Drab?

Maybe it's my TV, but the BoB M42s look more brown than tan.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP07 Sep 2009 4:03 a.m. PST

"Maybe it's my TV, but the BoB M42s look more brown than tan."

Wasnt the M42. In a drive to standardize uniforms the American Army developed the M1943 field jacket and trousers for all soldiers. No longer would there be a separate jump uniform, infantry uniform, armor uniform and on. The M42s were pretty much withdrawn from the 82nd and 101st during their refit following Normandy, though a few folks held on to their old jackets/uniforms. Certainly from Market Garden on the uniform would have been the M43.

The reason for "browner" color is simple. The soldiers are in winter gear which would have included the wool overcoat. A few "lucky" ones would have had the mackinaws which are a greenish brown, certainly darker then the M42.

Idoites107 Sep 2009 5:49 a.m. PST

Not to needlessly argue, Marc33594; but my TV isn't so old (it's close….) that it shows the OD7 M43s as brown. I'm referring to the 1st 3 Edisodes where the cast is supposedly wearing M42s. Oddly enough – I went down to the local Hobbyshop and bought a tin of the Humbrol 118 the SHQ guide above recommends, and it's a very dark tan, almost brown. Either the producers of BoB used the SHQ painting guide (I doubt it), or the gentlemen who wrote the guide watched the Miniseries from my (old) TV.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP07 Sep 2009 7:09 a.m. PST

No arguing and my mistake. I saw "BoB" as Battle of the Bulge and not Band of Brothers. So I thought you were referring to the scenes from Band of Brothers during the Bulge. Happens when we sometimes talk past each other :)

We can share a pint sometime and laugh about this.

kevanG03 Oct 2009 2:12 a.m. PST

I've painted mine to get these type of shades.

DanWW210 Oct 2009 5:24 a.m. PST


First ten figures painted! :O)

Mick in Switzerland11 Oct 2009 12:33 a.m. PST

Nice Work

shelldrake18 Oct 2009 3:37 p.m. PST

which colour did you end up using for the uniform DanWW2?

A few people suggested different things, but having looked at your photo of painte minis, I would be interested in knowing what you ended up using.

DanWW221 Oct 2009 2:12 p.m. PST

In the end I spray undercoated them with Halford's grey primer; sprayed a basecoat of Humbrol Dark Brown (remember I had 80+ to do!) and touched up any missed bits with Vallejo US Tan.

I then drybrushed them with Desert Yellow, gave them an Olive Grey wash (to introduce a bit of green) and finally drybrushed them Iraqi Sand.

I paint a lot of soldiers so this method is reasonably quick, and I'm not personally keen on the exaggerated 'stripy' effect of some figures with brush painted highlights and shadows. The latter method looks good on fantasy figures with more opulent clothing and brighter colours, but I like a dusty and worn look to fatigues!

I'll post the full company when they're done- got a week off coming up!


shelldrake23 Oct 2009 12:32 p.m. PST

Thanks for that, and I look forward to see the full Company.

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