Thursday, November 1, 2012

Simplified Multicam - A Tutorial

It has taken some time, but I´ve not forgotten the request about a tutorial on how I painted my American troops. They are supposed to be wearing multicam pattern, a fascinating camouflage that adapts to the background in different terrain features.

Its a very difficult task to paint a 20mm mini with this camo, not only due to the fact that it has 6 colors but also because the pattern itself is very hard to distinguish, with small splotches all over the place. This is why I decided to simplify it a little bit, due to the fact that I´m not a distinguishes painter and have reactivated my skills in this regard only recently after leaving them idle for a while ;)
This is why my version of multicam is not the most perfect interpretation I´ve seen, but the best that I was able to paint my minis with. It´s the quick and dirty-approach, able to get your minis painted up quickly for a decent result. In my opinion, they could be a bit more greenish (whenever I see multicam I am reminded of that fact - mine look more grey than green...)

If you are looking a more advanced tutorial, try this one:

For this small tutorial I took some photos while painting the next batch of minis - it´s not the most perfect outcome I´ve ever achieved, but its okay and you should get the idea.

To get things set up, we need 4 colors:
-Vallejo Medium Grey
-Vallejo German Camo Bright Green (or a similar greenish tone - feel free to experiment)
-Vallejo German Camo Black Brown
-White (either Citadel Skull White or Vallejo Dead White - I guess any other white will do as well)

First, we paint the mini in Medium grey after priming it black.

Base Color: Medium Grey

Next step is to add the skin color and some blacklining to the mini to highlight the shape.
This mini will get gloves, so no skintone to the hands.

Skintone & Blacklining

Next step is to add green splotches all over the uniform:

Add German Camo Bright Green

After finishing this step, you´ll have to add  German Camo Black Brown. This is where things start to become more difficult - try to get some overlay with the green parts, but don´t overdo it.

Apply German Camo Black Brown
After this step you should repeat the green phase if you want a better looking result. Just add some more green to reduce the regularity and disrupt the shape of the black splotches. If you are not too concerned with details but just want the mini to look good from a distance, you can also leave this step. 

 Finally, to finish the camo pattern, we need some white. This is probably the most difficult step of all - you have to be very careful with applying the white dots - its best to use a very fine brush for this task. Don´t add too much white, or your pattern is ruined! My example almost has too many white dots. Try to apply them on the Black Brown parts of the uniform - but again, not exclusively on those. 

Final Uniform
 If you´ve added too much white, you can try to correct it by using the other colors and reducing the strength of the dots. They should be very tiny and almost invisible (more like on the lower parts of my example).

After you´ve finished the uniform, you can add the remaining details. As you can see, my mini still needs some greyish highlighting on the rifle and probably on the knee protector as well.

 To give it the final touch and improve the look of the mini in a significant manner, you should simply paint the basing material, e.g. sands & stones in the appropriate uniform colors. Adding some areas of medium grey, black brown and small white grains on the base makes a tremendous improvement on the impression of the mini! I´ll show you the effect on my Machinegun-Team, as they have a bigger base and are thus better suited for demonstration purposes: 

Coloring the Bases

I hope you can see that they blend into the background much better after adding similar colors to the base. This actually makes the pattern stand out less, which improves the overall look.
However, I still believe it´s too much grey and not enough green... maybe I´ll have to experiment some more.

I hope this gives you a good impression on how I´ve done this and enables you to replicate my approach. It´s a quick and easy way to paint the pattern, but certainly not a perfect one. But thats the price of keeping it simple ;)

One final picture to show you how well the guys blend into terrain:



 If you have any questions, just ask!

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