How to Paint WWII British Paratroopers

Updated February 21, 2017

WWII remains a popular wargaming period, with everything from casual to serious players refighting old battles in miniature year after year. Because of this, the miniatures used are often made with a great deal of detail, from the uniforms worn to the weapons carried, especially for those in the main combatant armies. Painting the miniatures to match the historical details is a hobby in itself, and for WWII British Paratrooper miniatures, getting the right look is all about the proper colour scheme.

Prepare the miniature for painting by washing any moulding residue off with mild liquid soap and warm water. Make certain to rinse off all soap then pat the miniature dry with a clean cloth. Remove any plastic or metal flashing from the mould lines around the body of the miniature using a hobby knife or file. Take care not to remove any detail or gouge the miniature. Rinse in water and pat dry a second time.

Prime the miniature with a matt black spray paint. Shake the spray paint vigorously to mix the paint, then hold the can about 6-inches from the miniature. Spray lightly, leaving a slight layer of the paint evenly over the miniature's surface. Allow the primer to dry for two hours. This primer not only gives the top coat of paint an even textured surface to adhere to, but also helps bring out the shadows from detailed areas in the figure.

Paint the uniform of the figure a dark green using a light layer of the paint over the primer. Wait 2 hours for the green to dry.

Apply a camouflage pattern over the green jacket with a small detailed brush. Cover the green with splotches of chestnut brown and pale green to achieve this effect. Use the same pale green to paint the helmet and rucksack carried by the paratrooper.

Paint all accessories such as the equipment belt and any pouches a sand colour.

Use flesh coloured paint mildly darkened with brown paint for any flesh areas. Slightly darken white with grey paint and use for the whites of the eyes with a small dot of colour for the irises.

Paint boots and the rifle barrel black, then use chestnut brown for any wooden handles on the weapons or shovels. Paint any bayonets a light grey colour. Allow all of the topcoats 2 hours of drying time.

Dry-brush various surfaces to add highlights. Dry-brushing consists of dipping the brush lightly into paint then wiping off the majority on a paper towel enabling you to apply a subtle wash of colour to the figure's surface. Use a white dry-brush on the webbing and accoutrements, and a dark grey dry-brush on weaponry and bayonets. Apply a dark brown dry-brush to all uniform fabric areas, and a light brown dry-brush to the figure's flesh. Wait an additional 2 hours drying time.

Coat the finished figure with a layer of matt clearcoat. Use the same method used with the black base coat then let the figure dry for 48 hours before handling.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild liquid soap
  • Clean cloth
  • Hobby knife
  • File
  • Matt black spray paint
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paint brushes
  • Paper towel
  • Clearcoat spray paint
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About the Author

Larry Simmons is a freelance writer and expert in the fusion of computer technology and business. He has a B.S. in economics, an M.S. in information systems, an M.S. in communications technology, as well as significant work towards an M.B.A. in finance. He's published several hundred articles with Demand Studios.