Thanks for the recommendations. I will be happy to try Scale 75 on my next build. I’ll also check out the AK matte varnish. I purchased a paint-on matte varnish from a fantasy wargaming line. Unfortunately, that brand wasn’t matte at all and it turns out more like a semi-gloss. So I’m glad to have another recommendation. I have also been branching out to some of the fantasy oriented paint lines due to the rich variety of green paint tones they offer, but I haven’t tested them out extensively.
Regarding the cigarette smoke, I did use cotton wool. I actually pulled it from a Q-Tip rather than a cotton ball. I thought I would have to fuss with it quite a bit, but once I had what I felt was the appropriate amount of “smoke” for a cigarette, it virtually made itself! I considered dipping the “smoke” in scenery glue to keep it rigid, but there was no need. It kept its shape after I glued it to the end of the cigarette. I then placed a dab of scenery glue at the rim of the helmet to keep the top part of the “smoke plume” anchored lest it start to droop over time.