US Infantry Tutorial

This will detail the steps I take in painting up my 20mm US Infantry from AB Figures. I will update the tutorial as I progress through stages with this first entry focusing on basing and the initial base coating of the figures. So lets get cracking!


I pretty well base up all my figures in the same way these days primarily because I have gotten quite quick and comfortable with the technique I use. There are literally countless ways this can be done and a whole slew of materials that can be used but this is how I go about it.

These images show a progression post the initial miniature cleanup which I do with small jewellers files and wet and dry sandpaper. Firstly I select a standard washer size (20mm diameter for 20mm miniatures) and glue the figure. For the larger “teams” I use 40mm or 50mm round Renedra (2mm) plastic bases. Next step is a quick primer coating then I hit them with a base texture. I utilise “Polyfilla” a pre mixed wall plastering material that comes in a variety of texture variants…I use a coarse texture. You can water this down a bit if you find it easier to apply but never go beyond toothpaste consistency or your in for a mess! Finally once the base texture coat is dry I use 50/50 PVA and water dabbed around in places then sprinkle with fine textured sand adding a few larger “rocks” in select places (keep your PVA full strength for these). Here are a few progress shots using a selection of 20mm figures from my collection.

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Normally I would finish my bases off last when painting although it really doesn’t matter if your careful enough. In this instance though I decided to knock them all over first except for the base edges which get handled a bit during painting. The benefit of the Polyfilla base texture is that it takes watered down paints very well. Its porous and paint really wicks into the product so a quick coat of in this case CITADEL Dryad Bark (watered down 50/50 or more) goes on in no time. I paint the rocks and all at this stage. You can substitute paint range and colour for whatever base colour you desire. Next step is bringing out some detail in the rocks themselves. I do a quick wash with diluted CITADEL Snakebite Leather (very watery and mainly only to tint some areas) over all the rocky ground. Once dry its then a simple matter of dry brushing up the colours first using CITADEL Tallarn Sand over all the rocks then selectively highlighting with CITADEL Bleached Bone and lastly a few high points with CITADEL Ceramite White (use this sparingly). That’s about it for the bases and once you get a little system going they are really quick to pump out. Foliage and tufts take up a bit of base real estate so the base dirt colour is fine. You can add bits of twigs for logs ect. if feeling adventurous. More Progress shots to this stage.

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Pretty straight forward part here and something I’m still working through at this stage so I will put up two parts of the miniatures that have been done and the colours and go into more depth once they are completely base coated. Highlighting changes the colours to a fair degree so don’t be overly concerned if they seem dark to start out. I should point out from the start that I paint with very watered down paint regardless of brand. The norm for me is at least 50/50 paint to water or even more dilute than that, building up colour over a couple of layers rather than one quick detail obscuring coat. You will notice I use a light undercoat primer and its for this very reason that I do. The jackets and trousers below have had two quick coats each over the white primer base and you will find that even doing that you will get defined shadows around deeper recesses as opposed to thicker paint. Right then on to the colours!

Trousers are base coated in VALLEJO MODEL COLOR (VMC) US Field Drab and USA Olive Drab (50/50 mix). The jackets are painted with VMC US Field Drab. More to come and a pic of what were aiming for!

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