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Painting a German SS-Oak Leaf

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Mark Bannerman11/04/2011 23:38:39
3178 forum posts
860 photos
5 articles
This figure has been laying around for donkey's years and I am just getting around to finishing him off. Thought I would share a quick way to paint the German SS-Oak Leaf. This is the "Autumn" type.
I mixed up some Tamiya Earth (20%), Tamiya Khaki (20%) and Tamiya Grey (10%) and cut this mix with 50% isopropyl alcohol. I airbrushed the entire figure twice with light coats until the figure was completely covered. I brushpainted in Humbrol Brown Bess (but any dark brown will do) to cover about 40% of the smock surface. When dry, I added a series of leaf-like prints randomly with a mix of Gold Ochre oil and Humbrol Red (80% Gold Ochre oil to 20% Humbrol Red). When the oils/enamel dried (about three days), I ent back in with Brown Bess to clean up a bit. I then airbrushed Tamiya Smoke to mute the sheen down on the oil paint. The mix of Gold Ochre oil paint and Humbrol Red actually provides enough variation that it gives the effect of shadows and highlights at regular viewing distance. It is certainly far from perfect when it is studied very closely under a macro lens - and the purist would have a field day on this one. But it is quick, simple and at regular viewing distance, the detail on the smock actually gets muddled and muddied. In fact, at regular viewing, it could look as though I spent an enormous amount of time doing the prints but in fact, it's just a series of aimlessly applied blotches using an old dried-up brush.
He's still a work in progress but this is the basis of the pattern.
Look carefully at this zoomed in photo and you can actually see how uneven and randomly the paint was applied. Also, the combination of oil with enamel provides a  translucent effect which is favorable.  

The figure 4 X it's regular size and you can see how the design on the smock appears more complicated and intricate than it really is.

Edited By Mark Bannerman on 11/04/2011 23:45:03

Adam Kuller12/04/2011 06:59:43
8017 forum posts
6915 photos
MIce bit 'o paint-tech Mark
I agree--does the job
john keogh 112/04/2011 17:33:17
2568 forum posts
545 photos
Thats made life a lot easier,Ive got to paint one of these soon and Ive been dreading it. do i remember correctly was this featured in Mil mod a few years back if so thanks for putting it on the site because ive lost that issue
Robin Buckland12/04/2011 19:28:42
15509 forum posts
56527 photos
5253 articles
Hi Mark,
That looks very effective and a useful tip. Thanks for sharing that one with us.
Carlos FigureArt12/04/2011 19:35:00
7139 forum posts
1773 photos
Looks good Mark : ) I think looking at it actual size like you say would look very effective ! Now if only I could speed up my ss oakleaf patterns : (

Sean Emmott12/04/2011 22:04:16
2262 forum posts
4584 photos
3 articles
Mark, this might seem like a silly question, but how you you shade and highlight a uniform with a camoflage pattern? If I'm painting a monotone uniform then obviously I take darker shades of the base colour for shadows and lighter shades for the highlights. However, with a uniform like this there is no base colour, and it seems like it would be incredibly difficult to shade the different colours individually in1/35 scale.
This has been bothering me for ages and although I've read your books and Calvin Tan's I haven't seen an easy option explained. Any help you can offer would be very much appreciated!
Mark Bannerman12/04/2011 22:16:08
3178 forum posts
860 photos
5 articles
I use Tamiya Smoke for shading a camouflage smoke or uniform. With a brush, slowly work Tamiya Smoke (mixed with a few drop of thinners) in small amounts into shaded areas. Smoke is transculent so it still shows the underlying colour but darkens it slightly. Once the Smoke has been applied, spray dull coat in a few light coats because Smoke in its dried form has a slight sheen. Once you add the Smoke into the shaded areas, you will probably not consider adding highlights.
Give it a go. It really does work well.
Carlos FigureArt12/04/2011 23:24:52
7139 forum posts
1773 photos
Sean I use thinned oils,ivoury black,raw umber,paynes grey,sepia...etc thinned down and used as a filter in the folds can do the same on the highlights with light buff etc... it works over acrylics enamels and oils... you can add more and build it up as the filters are transparent,will dry matt also.
Craig Hiscock12/04/2011 23:25:17
17650 forum posts
6533 photos
11 articles
Mark this is exactly the sort of thing i look for my figures will never be great and little tricks like this definitely give some pointers for figures for us armour modelers. Thank you.
Oh will be trying the Smoke as well, dont know why i have never thought of that one as i used to used that colour a lot and it never occurred its use for figure painting
Mark Bannerman12/04/2011 23:56:58
3178 forum posts
860 photos
5 articles
Craig - I am pleased this little tip may come in handy. Just ensure to thin it down with Tamiya thinners because "Smoke" is quite dense in itself. It may take a few light applications in the shadow areas. But it does work nicely. Must try Carl's way ... always looking for new ways
I have a few figures on the go at my side on the workbench (Russian, Japanese and Italian) and I will post pics as I progress and add hints and tips on what I did.
In fact, someone was asking about Asian/Japanese heads the other day and I have one on the go... I responded on the blog but forgot to add a pic. On Asian faces,  there are three things that do not need to be done in 1/35th scale -  no five o clock shadow, no eyesbrows and the whites of the eyes do not necessarily have to be added (although I do even though they cannot be seen at regular scale). Asian faces are a great way to start if one were just starting out dabbling with figures...
He's progressing....

Edited By Mark Bannerman on 13/04/2011 00:09:57

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