Monday, March 26, 2012

Painting MultiCam Tutorial

Following up on my tutorials for ACUPAT, MARPAT, and Desert MARPAT, this is my fourth camouflage tutorial, focusing on Crye Precision's popular "MultiCam".

This pattern is used by select US units in Afghanistan, various police forces around the US, various international military and para-military forces, and paintball and airsoft enthusiasts everywhere (I'm one of them).

That's me on the right, wearing my MultiCam ACUs

A modified version of MultiCam is being tested as a replacement for the DPM pattern for British forces as well, under the name of Multi-Terrain Pattern.  This tutorial should be suitable for that pattern as well.

MultiCam is a complicated 7-color pattern that is designed to blend into a variety of different environments.  At first glance, the pattern is pretty daunting to consider painting.
However you can break it down into several overlapping patterns.  The first thing to do is to eliminate the seventh color, a pale lime-green that is very subtle so we can safely do away with it.

For the remaining six colors, the pattern can be visualized by simplifying it and imagining it in parts.  The base of the pattern is irregular areas of green and brown, each color taking up perhaps 50% of the total area.  The green areas consist of a yellowish-green that blends smoothly into a medium green.  The brown areas consist of a medium brown that blends smoothly into a khaki color.  Overlaid on that are smaller irregular patches of dark brown and off-white.

If that's still confusing, hopefully it will become clearer as the tutorial proceeds.

Step 1:  I started with a plastic Cadian guardsmen from the 5-man snap-together kit.  I cleaned up the model, then glued him to the base and put some sand and small rocks on it as well.
Step 1 - Cleaning and basing

Step 2:  Then I primed him black.
Step 2 - Priming

Step 3: I painted the cloth and armor of the guardsman Gretchin Green.  (Note:  I could have just as easily started with a basecoat of Knarloc Green, Khemri Brown, or Kommando Khaki (see below), and just adjusted the ordering of the other colors.  This was just my choice to start with this color first)
The boots were painted Vallegjo 914 Green Ochre, but they easily could have been painted Citadel's Desert Yellow.  I gave the boots a watch of Devlan Mud to tone them down a bit.  The skin was painted Tanned Flesh with a Tallarn Flesh highlight, then given a wash of Devlan Mud.  

The webbing, helmet insignia, and chinstrap was painted Vallejo 988 Khaki.  Graveyard Earth or a 50/50 mix of Graveyard Earth and Kommando Khaki could probably be substituted for this.

The edge of the base was painted Graveyard Earth, and the surface of the base was painted Scorched Brown with a highlight of Graveyard Earth.  The rocks on the base were painted with Adeptus Battlegrey and highlighted with Codex Grey. 
Step 3 - Basecoat

The lasgun was painted to match the scheme of the FN SCAR.
The stock and receiver were painted 988 Khaki and the magazine was painted Vallejo 879 Green Brown.  The barrel and other parts were left black.

Step 4:  Irregular patches of Knarloc Green were then painted over the areas of Gretchin Green, with a sharp transition on one side, and fading out until it blends naturally with the Gretchin Green on the other.  For this and the next two steps, remember the different "layers" of the model.  The coat, trousers, and armor may all the same camouflage pattern, but they are overlaid on each other.  So don't have the camouflage pattern flow right over from one piece of kit to another--the blotches should stop at the edges.
Step 4 - The Greens
Step 5:  Next I painted on irregular blotches of Kommando Khaki blending it into Khemri Brown.  On my palette I had a blob of each color next to each other, and mixed them up together on the palette so I had a nice gradient from one color to the other.  I then transferred this into patches on the miniature.  In some cases I painted right over places where the two greens mixed, in others I stopped the browns at the hard edges of the Knarloc Green.  This give the illusion that the browns aren't just overlaid on top of the greens, but rather that the colors are interlaced, with the green on "top" in some places, the brown in others.

 Step 5 - Adding in the Browns
Step 6: Next is to add in the tiny blotches.  I used Charadon Granite for the dark brown (Scorched Brown is too light--a 50/50 mix of Scorched Brown and Chaos Black might work).  For the light off-white I used Bleached Bone.  For each color I put very small patterns of dots and short, irregular lines over the other colors.  Most of these little patterns go in generally one direction, but occasionally some go roughly perpendicular. (see the MultiCam swatch at top of this article)

Step 6 - Overlaying the small patches

Step 7:  All that's left is to tidy up.  I painted small lines of Devlan Mud at the edges of some of the armor plates where they meet with cloth, to give small indications of detail.  Painting the armor with the same pattern as the cloth is more realistic, but the result is that the detail on the model is more difficult to pick out.  Of course, this is part of the reason for camouflage in the first place!

If you don't like the lack of contrast between the armor and the cloth, you can always pick a contrasting color to make the details stand out more.

Finally I put some static grass on the base and gave it a coat of matte varnish.

Step 7:  Finishing Touches

The pattern may take a while to do, but I think the results are worth the effort!


Cawshis Clay said...

Great tutorial! I followed a similar path when painting my Tau Pathfinders. I went with armor that matches the rest of my Tau force, but was really pleased with how the camo pops on cloth. It's a bit more work, but the end result is totally worth it for special units.

Great pictures by the way! I really have to practice more with my camera.

Cory T said...

Great tutorial, this inspired me to do an Imperial Guard army myself in a MultiCam pattern. The Idea is to do a modern looking U.S. Airborne army, so I ordered some ballistic helmets from Pig iron productions, and got reaper paints that are equivalent to the citadel ones you use.