I haven't provided painting instructions with our figures. For sailors the Osprey “Men at Arms” book “The Royal Navy in World War Two” is a good compact reference source. It provides colour plates and uniform details. I have found this to be a useful resource for making our figures. However, I have had feedback asking for suggested painting details. So I am going to start providing guidance and my first effort is below. This also ties into the downloads to make transfers for badges and insignia.
Any mould lines should be removed and cleaned up with a fine file and/or wet and dry paper. In order to avoid handling the figure during the painting process I recommend that it is cemented to a temporary base to ease handling. Figures should be washed in warm soapy water and thoroughly dry prior to undercoating/priming. My preference is to spray the figures with Halfords grey acrylic primer.
Brushes and Paint
I suggest that no compromises are made in the quality of brushes and paint used to paint figures. All of the figures painted in the photographs in the gallery have been painted using Winsor and Newton series 7 sable brushes and Vallejo and/or Lifecolor paints. Winsor and Newton series 7 brushes are expensive. However, if cared for properly they will hold their point much longer than cheaper brushes. They can be difficult to find in art shops and so I purchase mine on-line. The figures in the photographs within the gallery are painted using an 0, 00 and 000 size brush although we suggest an 0 and 000 should be sufficient.
Paint is a matter of personal choice. We have noted that the figures in the photographs within the gallery have been painted using Vallejo and/or Lifecolor paints. These ranges were chosen for this task specifically to enable the figures to be painted speedily. Both ranges of paints have a wide range of colours available but more importantly, generally they have a high density of colour pigment.
Alternative paints that I use from time to time are Pelican Plaka and Artist's Oil paints (not student oil paints – the colour pigment is too coarse).
We suggest that the figures are finished with a coat of clear matt varnish.
Painting technique are a matter of personal preference. In 1/72nd scale we suggest that neatness is more important than other techniques. Don’t attempt too much detail (for example don’t attempt to paint eyes in 1/72nd scale – it’s unnecessary).
We usually paint a figure starting from the flesh (face and hands), working outwards so that top clothes are painted last. In shading and highlighting figures, our usual method is to paint the darkest colour first (the area of the figure in shade) followed by the main colour and then add the highlights.
Military modelling magazines regularly have articles on painting figures.