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1914-1918

BEF G3 / G4 schema painting guide

BEF G3 / G4 schema painting guide

Postby Powermonger » 10 Mar 2017

Hi!
Want to share my guide to G3/G4.
It is in our blog:

http://www.thewargamespot.com/bef-g3g4- ... ing-guide/

But as usual, i translate it almost fully here on the Guild, which taught me everything i know.

This is my first attempt at a painting guide. I´m no expert painter nor had ever a great skill at it. I took ages to paint these BEF vehicles. Also keep in mind that my objective is to get 1/72 BEF vehicles for wargaming purposes, not modelling ones.

As most of you already know, the BEF main paint schema in 1940 was a base of G3 Khaki Green with contrasting angular patches of G4, a darker green.
I did invest a lot of research time trying to figure it out how to get the "real" G3 khaki green colour. There are a lot of different & differing opinions & painting guides out there. I followed three main sources for this:
- A) The books by Mike Starmer, an authority on British vehicle paint in WW2
- B) Personal advice received by Tony Barton from AB figures to which i owe a great deal of this guide, and whom i would quote repeteadly.
- C) MIG Jimenez paints (Ammo range), for which I have great respect, have a very nice and widly detailed range of paints. And most importantly, it is easily available here in Argentina.

A) The first source (Mike Starmer) give us two formulae to obtain the G3:
Image

- With Revell paints: 361+ 360 + 84 in ratios 12:5:7
- With Vallejo Paints: 7x921 + 1x888 + 1x822

But both mixes seem overly complex for me. There is also an additional Humbrol suggestion of enamels H155 with some H10 added. We must also take into account that for wargaming purposes, all vehicles seems to be "darker" than they really are if viewed from a distance (as in all wargames). So, always go for a "lighter" tone if possible.

B) Tony Barton, on the other hand, suggested not an exact formula, but just simply to mix 2 vallejo colours in some proportion. In Tony´s words:

"Two mixes look pretty good , using just Olive Yellow 70892 and English Uniform 70921.
If you want a greener version, try them at 2:1.
If you want it a little browner, try the mix 1:1"

I´ve found this advice very useful, flexible and straight simple. And above all, it allowed me to play with colour modulation in a much more easier way.

C) Lastly we have MIG Jimenez offer. His Ammo line of products has a ready-to-use mix, named G3 Khaki Green 113.

Image

My choice for G3 Khaki Green would be mainly to follow Tony´s advice, and chose it to be a little "greener". As I paint my vehicles with airbrush, my formula would be heavily thinned-down. Each time i refill my airbrush's cup, the mix would be:

- 10 drops of VJ921 British Unifrom
- 12 drops of VJ892 Yellow Olive
- 12 drops of VJ Airbrush thinner
- 10 drops of VJ airbrush flow improver

The flow improver is there not as much to "improve" but to retard the drying process. As i would paint 8 models at the same time.

Image

Guided by Tony again , here are two excellent colour photos, taken in 1942, showing a Crusader on exercise in Yorkshire.they seem to have been taken in early morning or early evening, in slanting light, which gives you two versions of the colour. To Tony's mind the second confirms that it IS G3, definitely a green , but the first, because of the light, shows how khaki it can look:

Image

Image

So it's up to everyone to choose what you think is convincing as G3.

STEP by STEP

I would build and paint these models:
- 3x PSC A9's
- 1 Millcast scout carrier
- 1 Millicast bren carrier
- 1 PSC universal carrier
- 2x Zvezda 2pdr AT guns w/crew

All are 1/72 scale except the millicast ones which are 1/76. Those little bastards are insanely detailed but utterly fragile. Also, there is noticeable size difference when fielded alongside the PSC 1/72 one.

BUILD:

Building these gave me no major problems besides some putty to fill gaps.
Image

PRIMING

All were then airbrush-primed with MIG grey primer.
Image

BASECOAT

As i said before we would use a formula of:
- 10 drops of VJ921 British Unifrom
- 12 drops of VJ892 Yellow Olive
- 12 drops of VJ Airbrush thinner
- 10 drops of VJ airbrush flow improver

As always with an airbrush, a little key factors:
- apply 2/3 thin coats
- always maintain a low pressure
- let dry thoroughly

When finished you will get a basecoat which appears to be very light green. But remember, the weathering process will tone it down a lot!

Image

HIGHLIGHT:
Then, once totally dry, we would highlight the exposed parts and some panels with MIG G3 Khaki Green, which, being lighter and "Khakier" would give a fine contrast and highlight to the basecoat.

Image>

Image

Image

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G4 Dark Green Disrupting Camo:

The G4 would be represented by 2 layers:

- One basecoat of VMC 979 German Camo Dark Green
- A Highlight of VMC 888 Olive Grey over the dark green basecoat

To make the correct camo disrupting pattern we MUST follow the AWESOME graphics in Starmer´s Book, which comes even with an original painting instruction from 1940.

To airbrush the disruptive pattern we would use the help of MIG masking putty. It would seem like a John Carpenter´s film, but is a really useful product.

Image
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It takes practice to put the putty, and can take a lot of time. But the results are worthwhile.

Image

DECALS:
I bought 3 different sets of excellent BEF decal sets from:

- ALERAN decals
- Mike Starmer decals
- Dan Taylor decals

For the tanks it would be a straight on work. Just remember to follow the steps:
- Gloss varnish on the surface. Let it dry.
- apply decals with Micro Set product. Let it dry only for 3 minutes
- smooth decals over surface with Micro Sol product

Image

For the flimsy carriers we have first to make little AoS (Arm of Service) plaques with plasticard.

Image

and then attach them to the carriers
Image

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SATIN VARNISH:
This is an EXTREMELY important step. As all the weathering would be enamel-based, we need some firm base on which to work. The satin varnish would provide a better surface to work than a matt one.
I´ll prefer MIG Satin Varnish, 1 coat is ok.

Image

All Weathering comes afterwards, and is detailed in the blog.

THE END RESULT
Image


Hope you enjoyed the read!
Lastly, i would like to thank Tony Barton again to enlighten me about the "right" G3/G4 formula.

Best Regards,

Diego
Last edited by Powermonger on 11 Mar 2017, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: BEF G3 / G4 schema painting guide

Postby juliofrann » 10 Mar 2017

:thumbsup: thanks for awesome report
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Re: BEF G3 / G4 schema painting guide

Postby Taylor » 10 Mar 2017

juliofrann wrote::thumbsup: thanks for awesome report


I'll second that :good: :good: :good:
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Re: BEF G3 / G4 schema painting guide

Postby Bluewillow » 10 Mar 2017

Great and useful guide

Cheers
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Re: BEF G3 / G4 schema painting guide

Postby Daryl » 11 Mar 2017

Very informative and easy to follow, thanks for taking the time to post it.
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Re: BEF G3 / G4 schema painting guide

Postby Gunbird » 11 Mar 2017

Brilliant, I will use this for my own BEF. Well made and easy to follow :)
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Re: BEF G3 / G4 schema painting guide

Postby SP> » 11 Mar 2017

Great post- thanks :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: BEF G3 / G4 schema painting guide

Postby desertraider » 12 Mar 2017

can the putty be reused or is it ruined after use???
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Re: BEF G3 / G4 schema painting guide

Postby Powermonger » 13 Apr 2017

desertraider wrote:can the putty be reused or is it ruined after use???

It can be re-used as many times you wish.
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Re: BEF G3 / G4 schema painting guide

Postby panzerfaust200 » 13 Apr 2017

a fascinating read! thank you!

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Re: BEF G3 / G4 schema painting guide

Postby Antonio Carrasco » 13 Apr 2017

Wow! Just wow! You have gave me a lot of ideas. Thanks!!
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Re: BEF G3 / G4 schema painting guide

Postby nickoftime45 » 14 Apr 2017

Lovely work and thank you for the very helpful guide. Early War is on the list....the long list..... :lol: :lol:
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