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"Mick Farnworth Painting Guides - should they be updated? " Topic

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Mick in Switzerland28 Jan 2017 2:13 a.m. PST

Ten years ago, I wrote a series of painting guides for Artizan and Crusader figures.

Artizan Guides are here

Crusader Guides are here

I also wrote painting guides for Wargames Factory but they are no longer available.

I am thinking about updating them.
I still have the original figures so could photograph them to a better quality.
Also, many paint ranges have changed so I would update the recipes to cover current paint ranges.

Do you use the guides?
What would you like to see updated?



Mick in Switzerland28 Jan 2017 2:14 a.m. PST

Ten years ago, I wrote a series of painting guides for Artizan and Crusader figures.

Artizan Guides are here

Crusader Guides are here

I also wrote painting guides for Wargames Factory but they are no longer available.

I am thinking about updating them.
I still have the original figures so could photograph them to a better quality.
Also, many paint ranges have changed so I would update the recipes to cover current paint ranges.

Do you use the guides?
What would you like to see updated?



Whirlwind28 Jan 2017 2:18 a.m. PST

Yes, I use the guides, they have been very useful.

I have used the guides for German WW2, the Gauls, the Vikings and the Romans.

Kungfucius28 Jan 2017 3:45 a.m. PST

your guides have been a sort of introduction to figure painting for me. They provide precious information but if you plan to update them could you please be more specific about the single steps (base coat, shading, highlighting)?

daler240D28 Jan 2017 4:16 a.m. PST

yes please! But would prefer to see other figures if possible. Not a big fan of either of those.

Mick in Switzerland28 Jan 2017 4:20 a.m. PST


Which figures and scales do you want to see?



shelldrake28 Jan 2017 4:54 a.m. PST

I love the guides, and introduced them to a friend only a few days ago.

JARROVIAN Supporting Member of TMP28 Jan 2017 5:55 a.m. PST

Yes please, very good guides, most useful. wouldn't mind some modern uniform types, British DPM, desert cam etc

mwindsorfw28 Jan 2017 7:22 a.m. PST

I've got the guides bookmarked.

steamingdave4728 Jan 2017 7:33 a.m. PST

Made good use of your guides for US and Germans. Update would be very welcome. Thanks for providing the originals and for the update offer.

haywire28 Jan 2017 8:56 a.m. PST

The guides are great, the only problem is the paints change names all the time. For instance some of your guides list GW colors that have not existed in 10? years.

What you may want to do is have a "paint comparison chart" as a separate PDF and then label your guides with non-generic names.

This makes it easier for you to only swap out one file when product names change.

Umpapa28 Jan 2017 12:29 p.m. PST

Yes, please. I love them.

20 mm/1:72.

Updated paints table. Recognizing possibility of using color primer, like Necrotic Flesh Army Primer on my US Paras: link

daler240D28 Jan 2017 2:22 p.m. PST

AB is for me the gold standard, but 1/72 plastics are also great.

Mick in Switzerland09 Feb 2017 11:46 a.m. PST

Thank you everybody

TunnelRat14 Feb 2017 6:12 a.m. PST

Yes please to updated painting guides. I am not a prolific painter so whenever I do paint I spend a good deal of time on the internet searching for guides as I have no idea what colours to use on specific pieces of equipment.

Guides for 20mm would be great although the 28mm guides work pretty well!

Mick in Switzerland25 Mar 2017 8:48 a.m. PST

I have started work on the updates

I have bought nine kits of 1/35 figures from Dragon, Masterbox and Airfix.  
I have built twenty eight figures which cover German Uniforms from 1939 to 1945 and I have started to paint them.  
This allows me to create the colour lists for each uniform.

Here is a work in progress shot of my painting desk

Whirlwind26 Mar 2017 8:19 a.m. PST

Looking great!

Marc at work31 Mar 2017 6:58 a.m. PST

Great work Mick


Marc at work31 Mar 2017 6:58 a.m. PST

Will you update them at the original links or will you host them elsewhere?

Mick in Switzerland03 Apr 2017 2:01 p.m. PST

I am not sure yet. I have two possibilities in print. One is a magazine, the other a book. A book would be long lasting but it would be a lot of work and cost.
I also have the option to update the existing artisan and Crusader tutorials as well.

Marc the plastics fan04 Apr 2017 3:00 p.m. PST

Ok. Well I am looking forward to these, as I have used them extensively


Terry3705 Apr 2017 8:03 p.m. PST

I too have found your color guides very useful. I have changed some of the colors selections based on actual items I either own or friends own, but your guides have been the starting point.

Thanks for them and if you do an update I will add them to my reference library as well.


Mick in Switzerland08 Apr 2017 9:01 a.m. PST

I would be interested to know what you have changed and the "better" colours.

Mick in Switzerland10 Apr 2017 12:23 p.m. PST

New recipe for Planetree Spring pattern tested on 54mm Dragon, 28mm Crusader and 20mm Frontline figures.

What do you think?

Terry3710 Apr 2017 7:53 p.m. PST

Mick, let me sort through my notes and I'll post the changes I made. I paint 15 MM so perhaps they are only better for that scale. Until I get it sorted out here are some pictures of some of my guys.

Here's the Pendraken M3 Lee



Marines and an MP



D-Day Paratroopers and some ghosts



Finally, some Rangers




Windward13 Apr 2017 12:39 p.m. PST

On your multiscale samples could you add a 15mm fig too? Its always interesting to see what can and what should be done to paint a figure at a specific scale.


Mick in Switzerland13 Apr 2017 12:45 p.m. PST

I do have some 15mm and 10mm figures on order. I may even get a few 6mm at Salute.

Terry3714 Apr 2017 9:47 a.m. PST


I have had a chance to go back through my painting records and pull the paints I used that may be different from those you recommend per your request. My choices are what I find best for me, and it may be because I might use a heavier wash than you do??? But my approach is to use an out of bottle color for the base coats, which are on my list below, and then after the wash has dried I do all sorts of mixes for the highlights. For the highlights I use very, very thin washes to try and achieve a feathered look.

I also use a lot of the Hobby Store paints and do not mention them here, save for one of the colors on the camo of the US Marine helmet, because your guides are based on Vallejo paints.

The code for my Vallejo paints are V = Vallejo and VPA = Vallejo Panzer Aces.

WW2 Uniform Color matches


M41 field jacket – VPA Highlight US TKCR 322
M43 field jacket and trousers – VPA Rus II TKCR 330
Wool trousers – V US Field Drab 893
Helmet – V Brown Violet 887
Shovel handle and bayonet scabbard – V Russian Uniform 924

Marine Helmet Camouflage

Base – VPA US TKR 322
Brown – V German Camo Brown 826
Green – Hobby Store Paint – Americana Light Avocado


Tunic, trousers, overcoat – V Green Grey 886
Collar on tunic – V German Uniform 920
Bread bag – V Japanese Uniform 923 or V Khaki 985
Mess Tin – VPA Highlight Rus II TKCR 330
Helmet – V Germ Fieldgrey WWII 830

My intent is in no way intended to even imply that your recommendations are incorrect as I used them extensively, just that from your lists I have gone with some different colors. Much of my reference were the actual items I have in my US airborne collection, and friends collections. I also use the Methuen method of matching colors – use a neutral light to medium gray piece of cardboard with two square holes cut side by side. I place one square over the color I want to match and then an actual paint swatch in the other square. This works remarkably well.









Hope this is what you were looking for,


Mick in Switzerland14 Apr 2017 10:22 a.m. PST

Dear Terry, that is very helpful. Thank-you

Mick in Switzerland05 May 2017 11:02 p.m. PST

I have commissioned a friend, Rob, who is a designer, to draw 12 garments and colour them with the camouflage prints.
Here are some examples.  These drawings will be helpful as I want to create look up tables – if the figure has this garment, it was made in these colours in year XX.



Another friend, Yves, has been giving me photography lessons. This is a 1/35 scale 50 mm tall Dragon figure.


Mick in Switzerland19 May 2017 11:07 a.m. PST

Many shades were within the range of colours called Field Grey. There are some garments which are
German Dark Green 70.979
German Field Grey WW2 70.831
US Dark Green 70.893
Russian Uniform 70.924
German Uniform 70.920

Clays Russians28 May 2017 1:49 p.m. PST

If this thread is still alive, then yes I have used the guides. As a question I am searching for though Mick, do you have particulars on regular red army cavalry field uniforms? Not the Cossack regiments, I mean the regiments of cavalry. I've seen on print blue breeches like the Cossacks, as well as the grey-khaki field breeches as used by everybody else.

Clays Russians28 May 2017 1:50 p.m. PST


Mick in Switzerland31 May 2017 11:48 a.m. PST

Dear Clays Russians,
I have had a look through my books tonight and I have not found any references to uniforms of Russian cavalry regiments.
I checked Andrew Mollo The Armed Forces of WW2 and Osprey Men at Arms 216, Steven Zaloga, The Red Army and Laszlo Bekesi, Stalin's War Soviet Uniforms & Militaria.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP31 May 2017 2:31 p.m. PST

I would imagine it depends on period Clays. Philippe Rio's "The Soviet Soldier of World War Two" has 3 pages, in color, of a contemporary model wearing period uniform and all equipment (as well as some period photos). It is of a "Kapitan 14th Cavalry Division, 92nd Regiment 'Apsheronskii' Krements, August 1941"

The following is one of the captions showing the front of the officer: "This cavalry officer wears the M.27 Budionovka in the colours of his arm, M.35 Gymnastierka with M.35 collar tabs and sleeve rank insignia, blue breeches, boots and spurs. The belt, Nagant revolver holster, cross straps, map case and sabre hanger are all model 1932."

So, at least the early period blue breeches. Unfortunately this is the only entry on cavalry uniforms.

Clays Russians06 Jun 2017 4:40 p.m. PST

I really want to do a bolt action cavalry troop, unless fighting Ukrainian 'bandera nationalist' they boys would be dismounted once the firefight began. So yeah, trying to see tho where the 'kit' was arranged on their mounts. A section mounted to facilitate the 'pursuit and dash' at the start of the action and at the end. I believe I will keep with the blue riding breeches, khaki grey is so underwhelming.

General Disorder Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2017 9:52 p.m. PST

Yes please. I love your guides.

I have used them countless times.

Blueboy07 Jun 2017 1:07 p.m. PST

Just getting into WW2 and these look like an excellent resource for a beginner such as me – so yes an update would be great.


Mick in Switzerland09 Jun 2017 11:50 a.m. PST

A new drawing from Rob on the right compared to real garments.

Mick in Switzerland03 Sep 2017 7:15 a.m. PST

I have achieved a major milestone on my book project today. I have written 44,000 words so the text is almost finished.

Here are the models that I have painted so far.  There are all scales from 10mm to 54mm. I have until the end of October to finish these to a good standard and photograph them.

Bigger picture here

Mick in Switzerland17 Oct 2017 12:07 p.m. PST

The book project is going fairly well.

Eleven years after the Mick Farnworth Painting Guides first started on the Artizan website, I am gradually getting closer to a real book.
This is very much a labour of love and I am grateful for the support that people have given me so far.

I have written 45,000 words about modelling and painting WW2 Germans. A designer friend, Rob has done a lot of drawings for me.
Several people on this forum have read parts of it and made comments. They have been very supportive and helpful.
I have created painting recipes for the most popular uniforms and painted a lot of figures to check the recipes.
I am well on the way to having 250+ pictures to illustrate the book.

I have made a photobook to check the picture quality. (..this is all done on my home PC so far). The publisher will do a better job, I hope.

I have also had wonderful support from many manufacturers, many of whom supplied figures.
Some people on this forum have given me pictures of figures or games and these will feature strongly in the finished book. I am still hoping for more picture contributions.

I will meet the publisher next week and hopefully this will go to the next stage in November.


GGouveia22 Oct 2017 7:21 p.m. PST

I confused as to why the Farnsworth painting guides need to be updated. Colours are based on ww2. Why change? The ir8g8nal guides are great.

Mick in Switzerland25 Oct 2017 9:42 a.m. PST

@ GGouveia
The Mick Farnworth Painting Guides on Artizan and Crusader will continue. I am currently doing a book on German WW2. This has allowed me to do a better job with more uniforms, more history notes, more technique and specially drawn diagrams.
Best Regards


Mick in Switzerland28 Oct 2017 10:47 a.m. PST

I had a good meeting with the publisher.
The basic concept, chapter structure and content are accepted and the text and pictures are generally OK.

I was surprised by how much I am expected to define in terms of picture selection and layout.
In the past, I have worked on catalogues and company brochures where the layout is defined by the communication department.

He wants me to do quite a few changes to make it easier for the typesetter and layout designer.  
This relates to consistency of headings, subheadings etc..
The body text goes in one file, the captions in another and the 250 pictures in a folder.

He also wants me to choose exactly 250 pictures and number them sequentially, rather than give him more and let the designer choose which to use.
Each picture needs a caption.
This will be good news for the people on this forum who have provided pictures as I can be much more certain about what will be included.

We have agreed to postpone submission for a month so that I can do the changes.
The book should be published about 8 months after submission.
(If I make the 1st December deadline, then publication will be circa 1st August 2018)



Mick in Switzerland05 Nov 2017 9:50 a.m. PST

Today, we have Empress U Boat Crew

The blue is a bit too bright.

Mick in Switzerland07 Nov 2017 12:13 a.m. PST

I changed my mind about the watchmans jacket. I think it should be dark blue wool. I also lightened the Grey colour of the leather deck suits and gave them the correct Grey Buttons.

Mick in Switzerland02 Jan 2019 8:15 a.m. PST

The book is about to be published. Here is a preview

YouTube link

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