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Painting the German LMG Teams

Early War LMG Crew Advancing (two gunners, two loaders, two NCOs)
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Jedispice writes:

Early germans were a lot greener; late war had overall field grey uniforms while early war had a green jacket/blouse and dark grey trousers. Your minis actually look quite a bit like Finns in their light grey jackets!

Revision Log
1 May 2007page first published

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Patrice Vittesse Fezian writes:

One of the things I have never been able to master when painting Germans is the grey-green colour of their uniforms - this was my only option, as I was denied the Late War German Camouflage. I have always considered it a fine art to be able to mix up the right colour, and it is one I have never mastered.

I experimented on some figures with various mixtures of green undercoat and grey highlight. I also tried mixing grey and green together... but I still couldn't quite get it right.

In the end, I settled for a straight grey. I applied a basecoat of a mid-grey, and then applied a highlight of a white-grey blend. This, then, gave a nice touch to the well sculpted uniforms.

My next step was to paint the faces. I applied a dark pink/red, and then a lighter flesh tone. This is where I hit upon one of the things I don't like about Essex figures - the faces (and namely, the noses). They sculpt them very big which, whilst it makes it very easy to paint them, it doesn't make them very pleasing aesthetically (to me, at least).

Following this step, I proceeded to paint in the black webbing and equipment. Here, I struck upon a second problem: I had two conflicting sources as to the colour of the soldiers' gas capes. I found a source saying that it was brown; another that it was green; and another saying brown/green. In the end I did half-and-half, half green and half brown.

The capes I simplified for speed, and - rather than being the more common splinter pattern - I did it green, although in some places the brown undercoat comes through from the pack. I have also put grey on, as well as a drop of black.

The weapons I always do last, as they tend to be further away from the majority of the model. I left these as base metal, and did a black drybrush/wash to give the look of blackened metal.

The only other thing to comment on is the ammunition boxes, which I painted a mix of dark green and blackened metal.

WWII German LMG figure
WWII German LMG figure
WWII German LMG figure
WWII German LMG figure
WWII German LMG figure
WWII German LMG figure

On the whole, I like these figures very much. They were a joy to paint. I have only two little gripes:

  • Firstly, as I have already stated, is the noses. I don't like the style at all, although it does make it very easy to paint them.
  • The second point is much more trivial - the mould lines are in some places quite prominent (e.g., on the helmets). This can make it quite hard to disguise them, although if I were better at the re-sculpting side of modelling then this would become a much more minor issue.