First attempt at WW2 German camouflage uniforms

The topic subject is not 100% percent true, 20 years ago when I was in my teens I did some German camouflage wearing troops but this my first attempt 1) as an adult and 2) using acrylics rather than Humbrol enamels.

The figure on the left is supposed to represent Pea Dot and the figure on the right Oak Leaf.

I think the Pea Dot is passable but the Oak Leaf has too many open areas but I’m tempted to leave as is for fear of making it look messy by trying to “fix” it.

I’d appreciate any comments from those of you more experienced in this area of painting as to how I can simply improve the finishes.

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No guts, no glory. I’ve been afraid to try painting camo jump smocks on some paras from the HG division in Tunisia. Bravo for what you have done.

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Looks like you are off to a good start. Do you have any color references or art work of this camouflage? It might help to copy a specific garment. But it looks good so far, you might want to make the dots smaller but the colors look ok.

I have this book and several others and they are an excellent source for German camo uniforms to copy. Keep up the good work!

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Keep rolling . There seems to be a repeating pattern on the camo in real life .
This is better than what I could do

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I think they look pretty good. Perhaps putting a filter on it to diminish the contrast some?


@DAKjunkie - it was certainly a big leap away from different shades of field grey :joy:

@metalhead85 - I’ve got quite a few colour reference books. Dots were an issue; the tiny dots are barely visible, then some of the slightly larger dots merged together. I tried with a fine brush but some of them ended up being more brush strokes than dots, so used a cocktail stick for the rest. I think I need to thin the point of the stick or find an alternative method of application.

@Chris_Bryan - I did start by trying to replicate a pattern repeat, more so on the Pea For but then got excited by getting the colours pretty close to those shown in the books and I lost my way! :roll_eyes: I’m thinking on the next one I’ll mark the pattern repeat spacing with light pencil marks before starting painting.

@phil2015 - thanks. My intention was to paint all the camo uniforms then do the filters and washes etc. at the same time on all of them. Just got to work out how filters differ from the old school washes I learnt how to do a couple of decades ago :grimacing:

You’ve probably seen videos already, but here’s one on doing german splinter camo that helped me figure out a unifying filter for that color scheme:

splinter camo filters with andrea paint

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This very subject is why one of my builds ended up of the Shelf of Shame a.k.a. became a shelfqueen. I “hesitate” to start those patterns. So I am watching and learning. What acrylics do you use?

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In my opinion…I think you have done a great job for a first attempt. I would love my German figures in cam to look like that when I try them. I particularly like the pea dot one, it looks very good. Once they are toned down with a filter/wash and everything is blended in they will look even better. Well done :+1:

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This is pretty good for a first attempt. Don’t get too anal about colours on the “pea” pattern uniforms, the fabric used and the dyes were both pretty shoddy. I’ve seen numerous genuine outfits, as opposed to re-enactors and they were all different colours, due to age, wear and fading, ranging from quite a “pink” appearance to a dull ochre. There are also two forms, the more higher quality early uniforms are Herringbone Twill and the colours look better. There was plenty of mix and match, so e.g. a “pink” jacket and ochre trousers are fine. The registration of the patterns was not as good as the early smocks either and you sometimes see a white outline to the dots in life size (NOT in 1/35th!). “Oakleaf” pattern was not used on the M1944 Camo suit, they were all “pea pattern”. The original M1938 and later smocks were screen printed and very high quality garments made from cotton duck. They take the dyes well and the colours tend to look brighter and clearer. If I can give any advice, I’d say aim for the “look” of the camo rather than trying to get it exactly right. Also, to help with shading, try putting the dark colours in the shadowed areas, the creases of the uniform. A thin brown wash after painting and careful highlighting with a light grey should make them “pop”.

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Don’t re-do anything trying to make it better. These are pretty good for a start.

The more you paint, the better you’ll get. Your skill and technique with the brush will improve, and that make getting the details and accuracy better. It just takes time.

Settle on a specific medium (hobby acrylics, hobby enamels, or artist oils) and study the work of others WHO USE THAT SAME MEDIUM. Understand and appreciate that each medium has its own particular working qualities and “best practices” for use. Different brushes, thinning, mixing, shading, etc. techniques that might be just right for one medium either will not work or are needlessly difficult to use with other mediums.

Pay attention to and learn the particular methods and techniques for your chosen medium, and then paint, paint, and paint some more.

Polished and skilled applications of the techniques, like brush control, cutting tight, clean lines and creating subtle, smooth blending just takes time to learn and time to do.

In the end, you just have to master the “hairy stick.”


Thanks for the kind comments, support and advice guys!!

I use Lifecolor acrylics.

@Hohenstaufen - Oak Leaf Man is wearing an M43 uniform from what the Tamiya box says. I’m sure I’ve seen images of 2 piece uniforms made from oak leaf material. I’ll have to go back through my reference books and if I’ve been mistaken will repaint him as another pea dot.

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If you are planning to do a lot of these, you could get hold of “Modelling Waffen SS Figures” by Calvin Tan, it’s an Osprey publishing book, so not expensive. He includes the cam patterns that are most encountered and gives samples and paint codes. Here’s some that I did previously, there’s an assortment of uniforms here. Note they don’t compare with Calvin Tan’s! But hopefully will show the points I’m trying to make in the above post. BTW they are all done with Humbrol…
2Cm Flak 1
2Cm Flak 2
Kubel 3
Berge 1
If you want to see some really well painted SS figures, look at Jerry Rutman’s here: Operation “Epsom” details - Armor/AFV / Dioramas - KitMaker Network


@Hohenstaufen - I’d completely forgotten about that book, which I do already own!!

I’ve been lurking on the forum for a good while and watch Jerry’s creations in wonder.

Looking back through references, oak leaf 2 piece uniforms were worn but were “home-made”. I’ll make sure I don’t do too many of them!! :man_facepalming:

Yes, you can never discount anything in German WW2 equipment and uniform! I’ve seen a photo of a M44 short tunic made in Oak Leaf, obviously from a Zeltbahn or Zeltbahn material. Of course officers had the ability to have uniforms tailor made for them. In the same book as the M44 uniform I just mentioned (the Steven/Amodio “Waffen SS Uniforms in Colour Photographs” mentioned by Metalhead 85) there are pictures of a Waffen SS officer wearing what is obviously a private tailored camo jacket as it duplicates the M37 uniform completely including the pleated breast pockets. One issue is after the Berlin Wall came down all sorts of weird Nazi stuff was “found” in what was previously the Eastern block. Much of it may well have been spurious stuff manufactured to cash in on the Western militaria market, even if it used stocks of period material. I remember reading of one collector cutting open a spool of “genuine Waffen SS thread” to find “Made in India” in the middle!