Painting hair on figures question

I’m working now on the figures for my Sd. Kfz. 9 Famo project towards completion. Although the instructions give colors for most of the building and painting for figures. It doesn’t give colors for painting the hairs of my figures. And I have no idea what colors to use for this. Could you help me out with this?

Matt black is a good start. If you want to do blonde, do Tamiya Desert Yellow then drybrush with deck tan.

I use Tamiya XF-60 for blond,and XF-64 for brownish red.

I find red brown to be most effective. Black to me always looks too stark and then you have the problem with shading - if you’re not careful they will all look like old men! If you use a red brown, you can blend it in with the flesh shading to give a more graduated effect. This looks more realistic with a short military haircut IMHO.

This is a good example that illustrates that sooner or later you will have to develop you “eye” for color and simply learn to select and mix stock colors to match your own ideas.

Pretty much any “earth tone” ranging from near total black to light browns and tans are convincing “hair colors.” The final “hair color” depends on what tones are used or mixed for the shading. For instance, you can start with a base color of a “desert tan” or “Panzer yellow” and add a burnt sienna colored wash to arrive at a “red hair color.” However, using that same base color with a raw umber colored wash will create a “medium brown hair color.” A third final color could be achieved starting with the same base and using burnt umber to create an “auburn hair color.” And so it goes…

Your starting color depends a lot on the technique you will use for shadows and highlights. The two most basic techniques are dry-brushing and washes.

If you want to use dry-brushing to shade the hair, then start with a darker shadow shade and dry-brush on the lighter highlight shade.

If you want to use washes, start with the lighter highlight shade and use a darker shadow color for the wash.

If you’re going to use a traditional wet-on-wet blending technique, then generally you want to start dark by blocking in the shadows, and then move to the average tone for the mids, and finally add the lighter highlights.

Figure painting is an entire scale modeling discipline in and of itself. Prepare yourself for learning to paint figures by concentrating right now on the basic skills for assembly (removing all mold seams and other molding blemishes, filling seams, and getting clean, sharp color demarcations with good brush control).

When you are ready to get “serious” about figure painting, study and choose one of the major mediums (water-based acrylics, hobby enamels, or artist oils). The painting medium establishes the specific blending and application techniques, so you really must learn how to use the specific techniques that match the medium that you want to learn to master.

I use artist oil paints over acrylic base coats for figure painting. I’d be very happy to share my techniques with you, but if you want to use different mediums, then very few of those techniques would be useful to you.

My recommendation is to study the work of some accomplished figure painters and find one whose work and style you admire. Then determine the medium that he or she uses and the specific techniques used to achieve their results. At that point, you’ll be ready to actually study and learn those techniques. Concentrate on developing your skills with that medium and look for variations on techniques that apply to that specific medium. As your skills grow, you’ll start to develop your own biases and preferences for shading and color use, and these will morph into your own, individual style of finishing.

(Much the same can be said about regular scale model finishing, but here the techniques, materials and mediums are much more collectively orthodox than the differences between the major figure painting mediums.)


Painting hair is as much about the surface texture as it is color. Maybe even more. Large out of scale locks tend to look either wet or coated in cooking oil.

Depends how “Aryan” you want your crew to look! :face_with_hand_over_mouth:
:grinning: :canada:

Philosophically, I start from the idea that all hair is ultimately different shades of brown (save grey hair, which is actually transparent…ask me how I know). Want a blonde? Start out with a base of a light tan, wash with a light brown, & drybrush with a sand color. Brunette? A deeper brown? Black? base with black & then drybrush with a very dark brown, etc. Simple techniques work well enough for me.


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I want the crew to look realistic.

Post pictures of the figures heads after being primed. It might make advice a little easy to give.

I’ve not primed the figures with primer. I decided not to do that because of the distance I had to leave to the object and the primer spray can. And because I have no respirator mask. I thought it would be better for my health. My spray booth doesn’t suck so powerful that everything get’s sucked into and gets out through the window outside.

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How about a liquid/brush applied primer? Is there such a thing anymore? I’m still using Floquil but when that runs out…?

To my knowledge, most primers are spray can. Only primer I know for airbrush use and brush use is Mr Surfacer from Mr. Hobby. Don’t know if there are others.

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