Painting Modern US troops
Figures are 28mm Mogadishu American Rangers from Britannia miniatures.
I have split my infantry figures into two groups, one group will be African Americans. I'm starting by painting the Caucasian troops because they take longer. Once both groups are done they'll be mixed up and based in groups.
The preparation stages are the same as for just about everything else. Everyone is temporarily based for painting using wood glue and scraps of plasticard. The casualty and vehicle crewman are drilled and have cocktail sticks superglued in to act as handles. As you can see, I have a block of polystyrene that I keep handy to hold figures on sticks. I basecoat all the figures by hand with Galeria Mars Black and then paint the flesh areas with Foundry Flesh 5B. the flesh is slopped on to ensure it covers the flesh, whether it goes on the surrounding area doesn't matter. Once this is dry I wash the flesh areas with Games Workshop Chestnut Ink. I chose to paint the hands as flesh because, although many soldiers wear gloves, it adds a contrast to the weapons where gloves would blend in too much. Since the figures are going to be camouflaged it's important to keep as much definition elsewhere as possible.
Everything else except the guns is painted with Foundry Base Sand 10A. Again, it doesn't matter where this paint goes so long as it avoids the flesh areas.
another wash of Games Workshop Chestnut Ink is applied to the uniforms.
The uniforms are highlighted with Foundry Base Sand 10A. The webbing is left because it's going to be green.
Final highlights are painted on to the uniforms using Foundry Base Sand 10B.
The flesh is highlighted with Foundry Flesh 5B and Foundry Flesh 5C.
The webbing is painted with Foundry Storm Green 27A.
Once the green paint is thouroughly dry the webbing is given a wash of Games Workshop Dark green Ink.
The webbing receives highlights of Foundry Storm Green 27B and then Foundry Storm Green 27C.
Now, an explanation for the camouflage. I want generic US troops and I don't want them to be specific to one theatre or campaign. Much like my WWII forces I don't go for complete accuracy with my modern figures because I like to distance the games I play from the unpleasant reality they portray. Consequently I have opted for the three tone desert camouflage, called 'chocolate chip' I believe, that I first became aware of during the first Gulf War. This, for me, sums up the look of modern Americans. It was used in Mogadishu by some troops, I have photos, so it's not too far removed from reality if you're one of those that craves complete accuracy. More importantly for me, I think it looks good!
The first stage of the camouflage is to add brown splodges to random areas of the uniforms and helmets. I used Foundry Spearshaft 13A.
Then I add small black dots, usually in threes, followed by small white dots slightly off-set from the black.
Here's a diagram of the process:
The last bits are the guns, knee pads, chinstraps and goggles which are all painted black and highlighted with Foundry Charcoal Black 34B. I also picked out knife and pistol handles amid the webbing and packs with these colours. Ammo belts were painted black and drybrushed with Foundry Brazen 36A.
Here's everyone finished and glued to their Litko bases awaiting texturing. The African American flesh was painted with Foundry Dusky Flesh 6A and then given a wash with Games Workshop Chestnut Ink.