Ever since I saw a game of FNG being played at a convention last year, Iíve been intrigued with gaming the Vietnam War. Coinciding with my looking for figures and rules, Flashpoint Miniatures released their new 15mm Vietnam range of figures. I am now busily painting up figures for both skirmish gaming as well as the Flashpoint Vietnam Reloaded rules.
Until you begin to look at the actual photos and uniforms, you may be tempted to open a bit pot of olive drab paint and get started. But Iíve found that, as far as the infantry goes, almost nothing remained olive drab for more than a week. The uniforms and equipment immediately begin to fade and wear. The uniforms turn a faded bluish-green, while the webbing turns a variety of off browns at times even looking purple. So here is my own personal painting guide for a US Army rifle platoon. All colors used are Vallejo Model Color paints unless otherwise noted.
First of all I prime all of the figures black. I like the black prime predominantly because if I miss a tiny speck somewhere it shows up black and not white. But I also like to leave a small amount of black showing between equipment etc. so as to help define the details on the figures. I always paint figures from the skin out. So first skin, then clothes, then equipment worn over clothes, etc. My tastes are also for more natural highlights, and not the extremely stark contrasts used by some gamers. If you like more contrast in your figures, use darker base coats and add more to your highlights as well.
For Caucasian skin I use 929 Light brown as the darkest coat. I will later give this a wash and then highlight with Sunny Skin, but I will leave that until after all of the base colors have been blocked in.
For the uniforms I really like the faded look of 920 German Uniform. It is somewhat blue but still in the greenish family. It matches really well with a lot of color photos Iíve seen, and as strange as it may sound I think youíll find it really looks about right.
At this point the miniatures look something like this:
My next step is to block in the base color for the webbing. In this case I use a 50/50 mix of US Field Drab and