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Old 11-08-2007, 11:08 AM   #1
Tony Barton
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: York
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Improving DML's British Camouflaged windproofs :

British Camouflaged Windproofs :

The original camouflaged suits were on limited issue in the winter of 44/45 , to Infantry and mechanised troops ( not Tank troops, who had their pixie suits ), and used extensively post-war in places like Korea. There is no evidence I’ve found that they were used before the autumn of ’44 , so if you are doing a figure in Normandy , they are not appropriate .
The hoary old nonsense that they were some kind of Special Forces outfit is just that , nonsense .They were a cold weather item , of very thin but windproof fabric , and generally worn over as much other clothing that the soldier could find.
Judging by photos , Infantrymen issued with them tended to wear just the jacket , since the trousers were something of an encumbrance whilst marching.
There was also a snow camouflage version in white , and a stone grey version used by mountain troops .

The DML company , in their munificence , have made available British windproof suits with several of their recent British figures : these are very well tailored , and an excellent model of the real thing , apart from the rather obvious fact that the camo is wrong : they have used a version of the Denison camo , probably ( I guess ) because they have lots of the fabric , and it saves the expense of getting the correct one printed.

After mature consideration , I hesitantly offer this solution to the camo problem.
I ‘ve looked at all the pics I can find , made about ten mixes and tried them out , messed about with photoshop , and generally hassled at this problem for well over a year , and the shades offered here are the results of that work : I make no claim to authority. There is no doubt that the colours, not only of the originals , but also of my paint mixes, look very different in different lights.

The beige mix is very satisfactory : the problem is the pinky brown : the pigments are very " hot " , and tend to look very harsh in these photos : in the flesh , they don't look so fierce .

We could thrash about arguing about the shades for ever : it seems more important to do something , rather than just argue about it .

I have also personally examined an original 1944 jacket , courtesy Rick Forrest , and am basing my colours on the pics I took of that . There are also several replicas I’ve looked at , but feel that excellent though they are , they are not really evidence .

Here a two pics , taken in very bright sunlight , which has bleached the colours somewhat , of Rick’s jacket :

And another , of Royoboy’s very worn pair of trousers:

As you see , the colours appear somewhat different , the jacket tending to the pink , and the trousers to the purple .

What follows is a simple attempt to make them more accurate by using four paint colours to make two mixes: I’ve chosen Liquitex Acrylics because they seem to be available wordwide.

The colours are :
Alizarin Crimson
Burnt Sienna
White ( any flat white will do )

It helps to have something to keep your mixes in : I buy little screwtop plastic bottles from Squires : once you’ve made your mix you can keep it for future use.

The Mixes are :
Taupe 2 parts
Flat white 1 part : that makes the beige background shade .

Alizarin Crimson 1 part
Burnt Siena 1 ½ parts
Taupe 1 ½ parts : that makes the pinky brown .

Since the first pinky brown can look a little harsh , I’ve done a paler mix as an alternative :

The green and the Umber brown already printed can be left as they are .

The two mixes need to be thinned somewhat , but not so much that the paint runs around when you apply it .

Start by cutting some scrap card to make a flat form to stretch the garment on .
You can staple these in place through the fabric , and touch up later :

The first colour is the ground shade , a pinkish beige : this goes over all the pale greenish khaki areas , which should be entirely covered. You might need to second coat , which will make it lighter .Use a large brush with a good point : mine is a 7 .

Don’t worry about copying every detail of the little dots and splashes : just paint over them . The Windproof pattern was more hard edged than the DML pattern.

Once that’s dry , and using pics to guide you , add patches of the pink-brown at random .They can go over any of the other colours , and will thus produce a slight variation of shade. In the originals , the burnt Umber brown is produced where the pinky brown crosses the green .

When it’s all dry , if you think it looks too harsh , sandpaper the whole thing to weather it , then scrub the surface with some talc on a toothbrush . That will mute it satifactorily. Crumple it and rub it in the hands to soften the stiffening effect of the paint.You can see how different it now looks from the original scheme :

And that’s it : original items show colour variation even within the same garment , being pieced together from different rolls of fabric , so it’s impossible to be absolute about the shades : in some , the green is quite vivid , and the pinky brown is a deep purple, whereas in others the whole pallette appears much more burnt umber, with a slight yellowish cast , rather than pink.
These garments were probably produced in a hurry , by different manufacturers , so variation was not a consideration .

Here’s a little chap wearing the weathered version :the tie tapes were pale khaki :

I think these work pretty well , it’s not a long job, and the overall effect is much more satifactory then using them as they come from DML .

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Old 11-08-2007, 11:31 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 59
You Sir, are a marvel.

You're a constant reminder that if you set your mind to doing something and give a a real go then wonderful results will shine through. Thanks for excellent advice on painting camouflage onto a uniform. While my main area of interest isn't WWII your techniques will come in handy. I very much like the idea of rubbing talc into the uniform to mute the colours. ( Idea pinched for future use.)

As always a pleasure to see your work. Thanks for taking the time to share your techniques.

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Old 11-08-2007, 12:39 PM   #3
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He looks very happy.. very nice work. talc
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:47 PM   #4
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What a great tutorial, Tony: you missed your should have been an art teacher!
Many thanks-
"It's good to be the King..."
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:57 PM   #5
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Great tutorial Mr. Barton, thanks

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Old 11-08-2007, 02:24 PM   #6
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Thank you sir! Mind if I bookmark this?
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:39 PM   #7
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Location: Mobile, Alabama
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Mr Barton,
Thank you once again for another wonderful tutorial!
I always look forward to viewing your work and I ESPECIALLY appreciate your philosophy of doing what it takes to alter and repair innaccuracies to your satisfaction, rather than sitting on the sidelines and whining about why the manufacturers can't get it right...
The Nike people would appreciate your 'just DO it' mindset!
Thanks again,
" Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the war room!"
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Old 07-30-2008, 11:13 PM   #8
Join Date: Jul 2008
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just as a point of interest...

Excellent stuff, Tony.
Are you by chance familiar at all with this image?
A couple of Canadian boys in the Netherlands wearing the windproof tops.
It was, apparently, quite common with our guys and worn over top the BD for warmth..
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