To The Finnish – Part 3 Painting Infantry

Today I’m going to show you how I am painting the Rifle Infantry for my Finnish Force. As I have over 60 teams to paint I have had to think about not only my palette but also the process of painting so as to not spend the next year doing them. 

Like all painting projects, before I began I did a bit of research and found a couple of good source images to help guide me in what I wanted to achieve, plus I carefully had a look at the Battlefront guide in Bagration Axis-Allies.

As the hobby time available to me is limited, I wanted as streamline an approach as possible to get a figure that would look good from three feet away but that I can come back to, if and when I have more time, to add extra detail to.

The first step was to plan out the process I would need to take.
I write all this down, keeping notes of the steps needed to get a completed table top ready minature in my hobby notebook. Then I picked my colours using the reference images and BF painting guide.

My Pallette

  • Primer – Greenstuff World (GSW) Pale Grey Matt Primer
  • Helmet – Vallejo Model Colour (VMC) 887 Brown Violet 
  • Skin – Citadel Kislev Flesh
  • Tunic – VMC870 Medium Sea Grey
  • Trousers & Caps – VMC866 Grey Green
  • Belts, Pouches, Water Bottle & Wood – VMC872 Flat Brown
  • Bread Bag & Rifle slings – VMC821 German Camo Beige
  • Boots – Army Painter Matt Black
  • Metal – Colours of War Dark Gunmetal Grey
  • German Equipment – VMC882 Middlestone
  • Black Wash – Citadel Nuln Oil Shade
  • Matt Varnish – Windsor and Newton Acryllic
  • Collar Tabs – VMC850 Medium Olive
  • Highlights Wood – VMC875 Beige Brown
  • Highlight Bread Bag & Sling – VMC884 Stone Grey
  • Highlight Tunic – VMC989 Sky Grey
  • White – VMC 951 er…White

Overall my method has 12 steps to complete each figure and I usually paint for an hour or so after work each day;  long enough for me to do a single colour on an infantry unit of 12 teams (44 figure).
So 12 steps means 12 days per unit,  which should be a pace I can keep to and get my all my infantry units finished in two months.

  • Step 1 – Prime
  • Step 2 – Exposed skin
  • Step 3 – Trousers and caps
  • Step 4 – Boots
  • Step 5 – Wood, belts, water bottle & ammo pouches
  • Step 6 – Bread bag and strap
  • Step 6 – Metal parts
  • Step 7 – Helmet
  • Step 8 – Helmet straps and gun slings
  • Step 9 – Tidy up jackets if needed and black wash
  • Step 10 – Black Wash
  • Step 11 – Color tabs and any uniform markings
  • Step 12 – Highlighting
Figures after Step 3

In my first step, I normally use a black primer but, as the Finnish summer uniform is a light grey, I made a change to my usual choice and utilised a pale grey primer from Greenstuff World that is identical in tone to the Vallejo tunic colour suggested by Battlefront, saving a vast amount of time. Any over spill from surrounding colours could just be tidied up with the tunic colour. The primer was sprayed on using my battery powered airbrush to get a nice smooth finish to it.

I then went step by step through my process, one colour at a time for the entire unit, until I had done each colour. After all the colours were on the model they look a bit flat and unfinished as there are no clear shadows and highlights. I left them a day to allow the colours to set well and then gave them a light black wash which added in all the shadows, working from the bottom of the model upwards. By leaving the models a day to dry this stops the wash reacting with the paint and changing the colour significantly. I don’t put on a varnish layer as I like the dark look allowing some reaction to occur gives. I don’t want a pin wash or panel lining effect for these.

Once the black wash was dry I gave each minature a coat of matt varnish with a brush. I always do this with my infantry as I find it helps stop any chipping, especially with metal models. Once they are based they will get a coat of Army Painter anti-shine matt varnish. 

Once I had completed Step 10 I decided for my basic teams this would be the end of the process, for now at least.

For my HQ platoon I decided they needed a bit more effort so I added an extra step before varnishing. I added highlights using lightened versions of the basic basic colours (adding white or German Camo Beige) and the few extra colours listed specifically for highlighting .

My Force leader (an old Lauri Tourni figure) fully highlighted showing off his medal

Well thats my guide to painting Finnish Infantry. I hope you find it informative even if you are not painting Finns.

Happy painting – Martin

Category: Early WarEastern FrontFinnishFlames of WarLate WarMid WarPaintingPainting GuideTo The FinnishV4

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Article by: martin turner