RoE Hobby Painting US Infantry

Painting US Infantry

I first painted a small US Infantry force for the Great Escape Games display cabinet and so it isn’t very large – I am going to paint the occasional batch of 5 to bulk it up.  Since the Artizan figures that we sell in our RoE packs are very crisp and uncluttered, they lend well to fast brushwork, and you don’t have to spend ages clipping bits of plastic off a frame and trying to pose them properly!  I think it is achievable to paint a sizeable force to a gaming standard in a very short time.  The figures I painted in this article were part of a batch of 5 models that I completed in a single evening.  These are the colours I used; all Vallejo. 

Burnt Umber (Basecoat)

Khaki (M1941 Jacket/Trousers)

German Camouflage Beige (M1941 highlight)

Olive Drab (Trousers)

US Field Drab (Coat)

Green Grey (Webbing)

US Dark Green (Helmet)

Flat Brown (Boots/Helmet Strap) 

German Grey (Shoepacs)


I haven’t listed the flesh, black/white and metal colours I used but, for information, I tend to use Vallejo Gunmetal Grey and Natural Steel for metal, often darkened with a bit of black.  For flesh I have used Vallejo Medium Fleshtone.  As with all the WW2 figures I paint, I start with a basecoat of Burnt Umber.  I just find that the brown and green colours of the uniforms go over a dark brown undercoat more easily than over black.  Each of the pictures may be clicked on to bring up a larger image in a new window.


First step is a basecoat of Khaki for the M1941 (and trousers) and US Field Drab for the greatcoat; trousers are Olive Drab.  In my units I will vary the trouser colour with alternate colours being US Field Drab or Burnt Umber.  I’m not particularly fussy over the coverage as the dark brown undercoat acts as shading.


The first M1941 highlight is done by adding German Camouflage Beige with the Khaki base colour.  A tiny bit of white is added to the US Field Drab for the first coat highlight.  A second highlight was done by adding more German Camouflage Beige and white to the respective base colours.  The first highlight is quite broad, the second concentrating on just the most raised areas.  I don’t like sharp highlights on WW2 figures personally.  Although I can appreciate the skill and technique, I prefer a more drab and realistic look for my doughboys and tommies.


Green Grey is the base for the webbing.  A highlight was later done by just adding a bit of white. Note the grey shoepacs.

link     link

Flesh was done with Medium Fleshtone, washed with a Sepia/Devlan Mud ink and highlighted when dry.  Boots are done in Flat Brown.


For the rifles, I will either use Flat Earth or US Field Drab as the base.  I then add Medium Fleshtone and paint thin stripes (woodgrain).  Adding a little white, I then paint thinner strips.  Finally I do thin strips of Charred Brown between the lighter strip.  Once the metal is then done, the rifle is washed with a Black/Brown ink.  US Dark Green for the helmet, Olive Drab for the helmet net, Flat Brown for the straps.  The helmet gets a little edge highlight and the figures are done.  The base is first drybrushed Burnt Umber.


After the base was painted – I drybrushed a bit of Flat Earth followed by a very light Brown Sand – they got a varnish (Testor’s Dullcote) and some static grass and tufts. Job done.  I reckon that I could do 20 of these guys over a week of painting, a couple of hours a night.  If I used inks a bit more and didn’t worry about highlighting and the detail on the rifles, I could do double the amount!