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Painting Splinter Pattern

painting the pattern (cont.)

This step is obviously exactly the same as the last one but with green. Colour choice here is 895 Gunship Green. Some Vallejo colours dry with a noticeable sheen to them, I find this colour to be one of them, so I added a little Tamiya Flat Base to the mix to matt it down. Be careful, if you add too much flat base it will dry chalky, you only need the smallest amount.


The technique to paint the raindrops is all about paint consistency. The paint needs to be thin enough to flow easily but not so thin that it just creates a watermark. Colour used here is 888 Olive Grey.

Obviously what you are doing is creating several small vertical strokes with the brush but only paint the lines once, do not go over them. You will find that if the paint is thinned to the right consistency, you will probably only get perhaps 8 -10 strokes before you need to clean the brush. Patience is key here, clean the brush often and test on some paper before applying it to the model.. May sound obvious, but remember to have the strokes all going in the same direction. You will see I changed this on the thigh pockets to add some interest. This would have been cut from a separate piece of cloth.


To tone down all that garishness and make it look a bit less toy-like, we need to add some shadow and highlight detail. In his book "Modelling Fallschirmjager Figures", Jaume Ortiz calls this step a "controlled wash". Unless you are absolutely confident of the effect, it can be extremely easy to overdo. I like to think of it more of a filter, a term that armour modellers will be more familiar with. You are looking to stain the surface rather than flood it with a wash.

This is done with very thin 872 chocolate brown and filtered, hardly any on the brush, over the entire smock. Then you go back and enhance shadows and creases by going over the natural shadow areas again, sometimes six or seven times, building up the opacity. Final step is to add some black to the brown and apply this to the deepest creases. In the photo below, you will see that the colours have blended together and become more in harmony with each other tonally.

Problem is that washes can be difficult to control and as you are applying this to a matt surface, there is a danger that you will get tidemarks. I like to get a little help in the form of Winsor & Newton Flow Enhancer. If you add a couple of drops of this stuff - which has the consistency of water - to your mix, it will remove the surface tension and allow your "wash" to flow smoother over the surface and will not leave those unsightly marks.

Ordinarily I would have blocked in the rest of the equipment before this shadow step, purely to get an idea of contrast so I don't over darken the smock. The other advantage is that if you are a bit sloppy with your paintwork (as I sometimes am), touch up is easier before the shadows are added.


Because we have darkened the base colours somewhat by adding the filter/wash, the next stage is to highlight each splinter colour separately with its’ original base colour. I then add a little 845 Sunny Skintone to the brown and the green and highlight these up with very thin “filters” or “glazes” just on the tops of creases and edges of pockets etc. The base colour is highlighted by adding a little more pastel green to the mix, not sunny skintone. I use sunny skintone to highlight most colours because there is less danger of getting that "chalky" effect you get if you use white or light grey, the Sunny Skintone retains the warmth of the original colour.

Final highlights on the most prominent areas are done with the lightened colours adding a little pastel green to them. This will give the colours the same overall tone at the very extremes.

Finally, the press studs and chest eagle are painted with black grey 862 and mirage blue 900 respectively, then a highlight of 990 light grey is added to simulate the metal/stitching.

About the Author

About andy evans (andyevans)


Ok, Andy, I'm overdosed You've done your homework for sure! Great feature. Thanks!
MAR 23, 2011 - 05:34 AM
I think this article is a great read as Andy explains his SBS technique really well with great pictures of each step... The best thing is that it is the first article in a series, which we are very proud to host at HF. So, stay tuned for more... Mario
MAR 23, 2011 - 06:45 PM
Thanks Andy! This is very, very useful article and I can't wait to next one.
MAR 23, 2011 - 08:12 PM
Superb sbs article. Looking very much forward to the next one Thanks for taking the time to make the feature Andy.
MAR 23, 2011 - 11:22 PM
great article with some really good tips simon
MAR 29, 2011 - 06:17 AM
Still daunted by the splinter camouflage, but a really good article that will no doubt improve the end result for me. Thanks for the effort put into the article.
APR 26, 2011 - 10:11 AM