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Painting Airborne Miniatures 120mm USMC Sniper and Spotter

Painting USMC Desert MARPAT
Ok, now on to painting USMC Desert MARPAT. Allan Agati (Buck) did a great job showing us how to paint the USMC regular MARPAT uniform. Here, we are going to do the desert version which would be appropriate to go along side the spotter wearing 3-tone DCUís. Since I didnít have a uniform in front of me, and most of the pictures I saw on the net were too dark or the uniforms too faded, I used a helmet from a Dragon 1/6th scale action figure as my guide (9).

Once again, I used Vallejo paints for this uniform. Here is a list of the colors: 986 Deck Tan, 988 Khaki, 987 Brown Violet

First, lay down a base coat of Deck Tan (10).

Now, I do not write down my ratios when it comes to mixing paint. I just go by eye, so bare with me on this one. I started out with the next color by mixing Khaki and Brown Violet. If I were to guess, I think the ratio was about 90% Khaki and 10% Brown Violet, give or take about 5%. You want the Khaki to have a slight Olive Drab tint to it.

With this mix, I took a small brush and painted irregular blotches all over the uniform. I painted anywhere from small dots to mediums size blotches (11). Remember, on this figure his sleeves are rolled up a little bit. Make sure to leave those painted Deck Tan, as on most uniforms the inside does not have the camouflage.

The last color is the opposite ratio of the second color; 90% Brown Violet and 10 % Khaki. Here, you want the Olive Drab color to be just a little lighter than its original color. Irregular blotches were painted here the same as the second color (12).

Once all three colors were dry, mix a Khaki wash and brush it over the entire uniform to blend in the colors. After it dries, mix a small amount of Vallejo Off-White with Deck Tan and dry brush the uniform to pick out the high spots on the folds and creases (13).
At first, I was afraid to paint MARPAT uniforms, but once finished I was very pleased with the results. Having a great looking, well-detailed figure such as this one from Airborne Miniatures can make a big difference. I hope this article along with my other one, will help you with painting modern US camouflage uniforms.
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About the Author

About Pete Becerra (Epi)

I am 48 years of age. I have been modeling since I was around 8 years old. As you can see from my signature, I am retired from the US Army and Texas Army National Guard. I served 6 years in active duty from 1989 to 1995 and in 1998 I joined the Texas Army National Guard and been serving up unt...