Picking up those brushes again.

Hi and welcome to the occasional mutterings of Dave Doc, a military modeller and some time gamer. Gaming and model making has given me a real education, History & Geography(obvious really), Artistry, Politics, Economics, Logistics, Project Management -you try building miniature armies without the last 3.

I will use the blog to record my creations & the odd occasion I actually do some gaming.

I have always been inspired by the aesthetic side of gaming. Playing on well constructed terrain using excellently painted units is always a joy.

Saturday, 7 May 2011


One thing guaranteed to ruin a completed figure is a poor face. Faces for me bring things alive , so I always do them early in any figure paint.

But how to do it?  Some people can and do achieve wonderful face effects including eyes etc and I have nothing but admiration for the talent and time committed. My own method is a step down from that , but is simple to achieve a good effect time and again. It works on really crisp sculpts, and ones less so and for larger wargame armies I have created is a good trade off on time/reward. Remember that these are small areas you are talking about so try to paint for effect. They are also generally going to be viewed at a distance of several feet away.  (a 28mm figure  1-64th scale for a 6 foot person - you try looking a someone 64 feet away can you see the whites of their eyes? So viewing even further away reduces the minute detail required)

Some basic principles , work from dark to light , inside to out. Areas that are import are Nose, Forehead, Cheeks, Chin, Lips, Ears, Facial hair.

OK time for some pictures . These guys are part of a 28mm vignette piece. they are prepared so far with dark grey undercoat all over ( black is too unforgiving IMHO and makes lighter colours hard work). they also have their headdress main colour completed - in this case black, and dry brushed for later once the face is done - I don't want to go near the face with a larger dry brush once completed in case of causing damage needing re-work. Another part of my philosophy, do it once, do it right re-work is wasted time!


STAGE1 - Dark Brown to (This Vallejo FLAT BROWN) all the flesh area, however if you want black, grey facial hair later then leave this uncovered

STAGE2 - Lighter Brown , starting with the nose, across the forehead , cheeks, ears, chin, and lips. Leave a little of the dark brown showing in the deep recess. If the figure has something cast deep in the eye , just flick across that with the light brown ( This is Humbrol 110 - Natural wood - I do also use Vallejo Khaki Grey too , both work well)

STAGE3 - Dark Flesh tone . Vallejo Dark Flesh - thinned slightly with water.. Again work the same area , but covering slightly less area , leave some of the light brown showing. Add some neat un-thnined dark flesh to the main cheek areas, chin, outer ear, if it needs lightening further.

STAGE4 - Light flesh tone . Vallejo Light Flesh - thinned slightly with water. just highlight the key areas, nose  top, nostril sides if cast well enough, cheekbones, chin , lip,, centre of forehead.

If no facial hair , your done!

STAGE5 - Facial hair base. Depending on the colour you want , then  use dark , then light combination. These are "grumblers" so I went for a Vallejo Light grey and used small strokes to highlight across the moustache, beard and sideburns.

STAGE6 Facial Hair - light. Using the lighter colour, use dabs, dots, or single stroked to highlight the beard, moustache and sideburns as required. - up close it can look a little odd, but move it further way it works.

Now you little people have some soul...time to get the uniform done!

And a distance view - this is taken from about 6 inches away

Colours used:-
Dark Brown - Vallejo Flat Brown 70984 - or Humbrol 170
Light Brown - Vallejo Khaki Grey 70880 - or Humbrol 110 or 83
Dark Flesh - Vallejo 70927
Light Flesh - Vallejo 70928
Facial Hair combo- in case Vallejo - Light Grey 70990 , and Off White 70820

I have used this basic face technique for 6mm, 15,mm, 20mm, 28mm across the years , the basic principle stands up well , you just need fewer colours the smaller the scale. It also works particularly well under a gloss varnish which picks out the light flesh highlight well.

Hope it is of use!

And with uniform

1 comment:

  1. Good stuff,
    Very helpful as I will be starting to do the odd 28mm Nap soon.


Work in hand


No more than 3 things on the PAINTING table at once. Nothing new added until something is finished.

PREPARATION work is done when I don't fancy detail painting. Cleaning up, converting, undercoating etc.

PLANNING is expressions of interest or things that have inspired me to be created with no definite timescale as yet.

28mm Sudan
28mm Necromunda

On the PREPATION table.
28mm Sudan
15mm WW2 Landing craft
1/200 ME262

WW2 D Day game