login   |    register

Painting Airborne Miniatures 120mm USMC Sniper and Spotter

Since the end of major ground combat in Iraq, model companies have been slowly producing ďnewĒ vehicle kits from that area of operation. Figure kits have been trickling in little by little as well. Maciej Rebkowski of Airborne Miniatures cranked out four such figures under his label. This article covers one of them, the USMC Sniper and Spotter.

Let me start by saying the detail found on Airborne Miniatures figures is outstanding. Clean up and assembly was typical for a figure of this quality. I did run into a couple of minor problems; the barrel of the rifle and the rifle itself are floating. The barrel was a tad warped and while trying to straighten it, I snapped it at the bend. Easy fix, I will replace it with some aluminum tubing. Iím not sure if I placed the arms incorrectly, but their current position results in the rifle floating off the wall. Another easy fix, as sand bags will be added. The last minor problem I ran into was the sniper not snuggling down on the base. All I did was carve away some of the plaster until he fit snug and his legs where not floating above the ground.
Painting Flesh tones
Now, letís dive into the painting. Before getting into the uniforms, Iíll give a brief description on how I paint skin tones. You will find many different methods of painting skin tones from various modelers here on Armorama, using various types of paint. This is just one more technique to add to your library. Like many others, I like to use Windsor and Newton Oils. As you can see from the photo (1), there are five basic colors I like to use: Burnt Sienna, Titanium White, Cadmium Red, Burnt Umber, and Raw Umber.

Start by coating the skin areas with Polly Scale Israel Early Tan #F505342 (2&3). Once dry, spray on a coat of Testors Dullcote.

Next, cover all the skin areas with Burnt Sienna making sure to get complete coverage (4). Let this sit for about five minutes.

With a clean flat brush, wipe most of the Burnt Sienna off, leaving it in the crevices (5). It will also stain the tan slightly.

Now, start blending in white until a good skin tone color is achieved. More white is used on the high spots (cheekbones, bridge of nose, chin) (6).

Once you get the look you want, use a touch of Cadmium Red for the lips (7). The Burnt and Raw Umber is used for five oíclock shadow or, in the case of the spotter, stubble on the head.

Once you are finished and the paint is dry, spray another coat of Testors Dullcote to seal the oils. After the Dullcote is dry, go back with Vallejo acrylics and pick out the eyes and paint the hair.
Painting 3-Tone DCU
I covered painting 3-tone DCUís in my other article, ďPainting 3/6 Color DCUís & Woodland BDUísĒ which can be found here:

Painting 3/6 Color DCUís & Woodland BDUís.

So, I wonít bore you with details again. Iíll just list the paints I used and show you the photo (8). Here are the Vallejo colors used: 819 Iraqui Sand, 986 Deck Tan, 917 Beige, 940 Saddle Brown, and Polly Scale # F505206 Mud (used for the wash).
  • Pic1
  • Pic2
  • Pic3
  • Pic4
  • Pic5
  • Pic6_7
  • Pic8

About the Author

About Pete Becerra (Epi)

I am 48 years of age. I have been modeling since I was around 8 years old. As you can see from my signature, I am retired from the US Army and Texas Army National Guard. I served 6 years in active duty from 1989 to 1995 and in 1998 I joined the Texas Army National Guard and been serving up unt...