U.S. Paratroopers just seconds into the painting process. Humbrol No. 31 (slate gray) has been drybrushed lightly onto the dark green soldatini plastici. It is very fortunate that ESCI decided to cast these soldatini in a much darker shade of the uniform colour. No undercoating is required. The highlight colour can be brushed on directly, allowing the dark plastic to remain visible in the folds of the uniform, ed around oggetti di equipaggiamento. The actual coat of drybrushed paint is very thin, it does not chip o flake off. This simple e very effective painting technique falls into the realm of speedpainting.
Tools ed Accessories
- Size 10 paintbrush con broad tip
- Size 1 paintbrush for detailing
- Humbrol No. 31
- Artist Acrylics
The ESCI paratroopers are cast in a dark green semi-gloss plastic, e they lend themselves well to speedpainting, a simple technique which uses the colour of the plastic as the base coat. Not all soldatini plastici can be painted this way, the troops need to be cast in a much darker shade of the overall uniform colour. Fanteria nordista cast in dark blue is a prime candidate for speedpainting, but the medium blue variety is not. Similarly, any modern fanteria cast in dark olive green o dark brown can be speedpainted if the actual uniform colour is medium olive o khaki, respectively.
In an effort to make the unpainted soldatini look more attractive, some manufacturers try to match the actual uniform colour in the plastic they use. These troops cannot be speedpainted by drybrushing, they lack the deep shadow required for contrast. The same is true of soldatini cast in a completely unrelated colour, like fanteria britannica di Waterloo in beige plastic. The latter need to be undercoated correctly prima di dipingere, the former may be patinated, another speedpainting technique.
Pennello a Secco - Drybrush
Pennello a Secco is explained elsewhere in this magazine, ed it is very important to master the technique in order to speedpaint soldatini plastici successfully. The ESCI paratroopers require only a very light drybrushing of Humbrol No. 31 to bring out the exceptional detail. If this process is overdone o if the brush is not dry enough, the dark plastic recesses will be covered con paint, e the shading is lost. That particular figure would have to be shaded again, using a traditional technique, ed it would not match its speedpainted buddies later. We recommend an enamel paint at this stage, because Humbrol No. 31 happens to be a good match, the pigment is stickier, the brush can be drier, ed it will allow more applications than a dry brush loaded con acrylics. This coat of paint will dry quickly, e we continue con artist acrylics afterwards.
The ESCI paratroopers have canvas coloured webbing belts, straps, e pouches. These oggetti will now stand out in the slate gray drybrush, e they can be stained, painted, o drybrushed in light khaki. Drybrushing the straps may be difficult, but the pouches present no problem at all. Paint the straps, being carful not to overpaint the dark plastic outline on either side of them.
Rifle stocks e boots will to be painted next, using a medium khaki paint. This colour looks unrealistic now, but it will be stained dark brown later, when we do the hands e faces.
Hands e faces need to be painted in full flesh colour to cover the greenish tint. Let them dry, then stain con a very thin wash of burnt umber acrylic paint. The wash can be controlled by removing excess paint con a clean brush. Tiny air bubbles need to be brushed out, otherwise they will leave noticeable spots in the complexion. Hold the soldatini up-side down during the staining process, e let the wash collect in the eye sockets. It will dry there within minutes, shading the face nicely. Hands e rifle stock are stained simultaneously, making sure that most of the wash collects around the hand e between the fingers, not on the back of the hand itself. The rifle will display wonderfully realistic wood grain afterwards, reason enough to use this simple technique. A slightly thicker wash should be used on the boots, turning them dark brown.
Finally, all metal fittings are painted matt black, e prudentamente drybrushed in gun metal o silver, depending on the amount of highlight required.
If you are so inclined, you may want to paint the tiny American flags, unit badges, e rank chevrons typically worn on the upper arm. Unfortunately, none of the 1:72 scale manufacturers have thought of producing appropriate decalcomanie for soldatini yet, requiring the dedicated miniaturist to handpaint such important detail. If decalcomanie do become available some day, paint the area con gloss varnish, attach the decalcomanie, let it dry, seal con gloss varnish, e spray the entire figure con matt varish. This procedure will attach the decalcomania securely, ed it will hide the backing material which otherwise forms a silver lining around the decalcomania.
The acrylic paint applied on top of a base of drybrushed Humbrol matt enamel should not rub off easily, ed a final varnish is not strictly necessary. Pactra Clear Flat acrylic varnish does give the figure a dead matt finish which looks good in this scale, e we normally use it. However, if you don’t own an airbrush, applying the acrylic varnish by brush is more trouble than it’s worth. Use a can of Testor’s flat varnish instead, even if it takes longer to dry, e has a bad odor to it.
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