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"How to paint off white" Topic

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1,459 hits since 3 Feb 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Inhaber Jerry03 Feb 2018 12:51 p.m. PST

Hello All,

I am experimenting with getting the perfect white. For reasons only us painters and hobbyist will know. In the process of slapping paint on metal, I compiled a how to guide for anyone who is interested.

Here is one of the little 18mm AB miniature figures I worked on. A wounded Austrian Hauptmann and his accompanying Gefreite(r).


You can find more here:

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2018 1:55 p.m. PST

Nice work on the colors indeed. I recall the Perry brothers having an article somewhere on how to paint white clothing. You start by painting the figure light grey, then wash with a darker grey then finally drybrush with a bright white. Tunrs out well, gives depth to the white.

wrgmr103 Feb 2018 3:19 p.m. PST

Agreed Nice Work! Good tutorial.

I do something similar but use a pale pigskin as a base, light beige for high light then an off white for second high light.

28mm Front Rank Burgundians I am currently working on:


jwebster03 Feb 2018 4:54 p.m. PST

That's an amazing number of layers for an 18mm figure. I agree with using a white primer

I go for fewer layers. VMC Ivory white is a great base layer, shade with something darker (i.e. brown mixed with ivory), a wash and pure white highlights. If I have a whole unit, I would airbrush the whole mini with an off-white


rmaker03 Feb 2018 5:32 p.m. PST

I simply use Ceramcoat Light Ivory, CeramCoat Magnolia White, or Testors Haze Gray, depending on which direction the actual uniforms leaned.

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2018 10:55 a.m. PST

I'm not convinced by light grey or yellow. I think the former implies a much too titanium-white white, while the latter is an undyed colour and white uniforms could be pipeclayed to look less yellow and more white.

I'm with Shep Paine – I reckon pale green or pale mauve work better.

Inhaber Jerry07 Feb 2018 8:15 a.m. PST

Hey all, Thank you for your comments. They are much appreciated.

@Wrgmr1, lovely figures – thanks for sharing.

@jwebster, a great way methinks. Do you paint the shade into the recesses?

@ 4th Cuirassier. The old pipeclay paradox. You could always just say the company commander of your metal men did not see it necessary for the coat to be chalked and clayed today. However, pale mauve does seem the way forward.



DHautpol08 Feb 2018 5:31 a.m. PST

I have found the Games Workshop 'Ulthuan Grey' to be a useful natural white colour. It looks like white (OK, a slightly dirty white) until you actually put a true white next to it.

I used it for my League of Augsburg Dutch and French and, as you're painting, it looked like white until I painted the white neck scarves, when it clearly became a very pale grey.

You might try to see if you get the same effect on your Austrians by using it for the coats and using pure white for the waistbelts and crossbelts.

1968billsfan Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2018 3:28 a.m. PST

Well another way is the following.

1. Prime with thinned black rustiolum primer paint.

2. Then block paint with a thin coat of ivory white acrylic. The primer will still show through. It doesn't really look grey, but has some depth.

3.Then another white colour (different units will have slightly different appearances) over most raised surfaces.

4. Then all the other colours.

5. Then a light magic wash with thinned black ink.

6. Then touch up with a brighter white.

1,2,5,6 are very quick. The primer and magic wash add a lot of depth.

Bill Slavin17 Feb 2018 3:21 p.m. PST

Love white on white!
Similar to 1968billsfan, I'm priming with black, painting beige, coming in with white leaving the beige in the recesses and then a light yellow brown wash over the cloth but leaving white webbing just white.
For now. This is my third different approach!

Some Italians I just finished:


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