Painting almost by Numbers

Colours of War II hits the shelves of your local gaming store in a couple of weeks and here at Breakthrough Assault we have been making the most of the advance copy of this excellent new book to paint up the forces ready for the UK Open day on June 28th.

Battlefront have already posted up a great overview of the book but we thought it worthwhile making a few observations as when compared to the original Colours of War there have been some subtle adjustments in some of the guides, as well as the big changes with the return to the Vallejo paint range and the addition of the painting guides for World War III Team Yankee.

A good example of the subtle changes can be found in the Basic painting section for faces, no longer is the suggestion flesh, skin wash (a red brown), flesh but we now have flesh, black wash, flesh this will create a change in the look of a model. Also the advanced faces section has similarly been revised. 

Something I particularly like the addition of some really useful expert tips on how to bring out the best in certain colours by using different coloured undercoats. If you want smooth bright yellows use a flesh coloured undercoat just for that area, who’d have thought of that? I tried this for a P-47 markings and it proved a much better option than the whiute undercoat I had always used for this.

Overall the book breaks down in to a series of sections the first covering assembling models, general painting techniques, basing and painting common equipment, before moving into World War II with nation specific sections which also include additional details on camoflague colour schemes through time, unit/formation numbering, using transfers and how to weather certain colours specific to that nation. This sequence is repeated for the World War III guides. The book covers almost every type of unit fieldable in mid war and some that are going to be available in the upcoming late war release like British and American paratroops.

Finally the book not only contains all the painting and hobby guides currently scattered across the range of books and the Battlefront web site but also a rather handy guide to the entire Vallejo Model Colour range right at the back of the book, this has been invaluable as if like me you keep your paints for years (I have usable pots dating back to the early 1980’s) you often find you end up buying new pots of paint because the names change not realising the colour is infact one you already have so using the colour number references you can utilise the guides with older pots with differing names, for me this is has been one of the more useful aspects of the Vallejo range when compared to some others.

Overall Colours of War II is a really useful book with lots of clearly laid out information I’ve been using it to paint some german grenadiers to defend the Atlantic wall with (oddly enough I’ve never painted a basic german infantryman before) and it has proved an invaluable guide. If I had a critism of the book it would only be a minor one that there is nothing on gun teams and how to specifically paint them, true they aren’t too complex but it would have been nice to include maybe half a page on painting them.  However as I say that’s only a small point to a highly useful and detailed guide sustainable for new and existing players alike.

6 thoughts on “Painting almost by Numbers

    1. The VMC range is massive that is just page 1 of 2! Plus they have the primers and model air range equivalents for the airbrush users. The only concern I have is there seems to no longer be any spray cans for base colours, which is a bit of a shame if true.

  1. Thanks for the update there’s no mention of these in the book but they look just the ticket.

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