A quick guide to painting Bolt Action’s 28mm British Infantry: updated 08/05/11

As you may know, Chris and I are preparing to play the WWII skirmish game NUTS using Bolt Action Miniature’s 28mm figures.  So, whilst I park my FoW T34s, I thought I’d shame Chris into painting his dastardly pea-dot camouflaged SS louts by writing up a quick guide to British infantry.

Now, once again, this isn’t going to be a guide on how to paint the best, most ‘Kevin Dallimored‘ inspired figures :).  This will be more a ‘first-foray-into-28mm-figures-since-I- painted-up-some-Chaos-Space-Marines-for-my-step-son-last-Summer kind of a thing’.  I want it to be quick because I’ve got tons to do and time is short.  I plan to use a variant of Army Painter’s 4 Step system:

  1. Undercoat,
  2. Base Coats,
  3. A dip in ‘Dark Tone’,
  4. A spray of Testor’s Dull-Cote’,
  5. Basing.

Doh!  That’s 5 steps and done (hopefully).

There are a few guides available for painting Tommies in 15 and 28mm:

At this stage, I’m going for the following:

  • Helmet: 094 Russian Uniform,
  • Webbing: 101 Green Grey,
  • Skin: 021 Medium Fleshtone,
  • Other straps, ammo pouches: 115 Khaki,
  • Gas mask case: 082 Olive Green,
  • Rifle: 135 Beige,
  • Boots: 169 Black.
  • Mug (can’t forget the mug!) : Off White 004 with Oxford Blue 049 trim 🙂

This might changes if it looks wrong at this scale.

Step 1: Black Undercoat.

I’ve airbrushed on a thin coat of Vallejo 74.602 Black Primer.  Despite saying it can be sprayed directly through your airbrush, do dilute it with thinner and be prepared to clean your airbrush very carefully – it’s a buggar to get out.

Step 2: Base Coats.

I’m going to apply a range of flat base coats starting with Vallejo 141 English Uniform diluted in a ratio of about 3:1 with Vallejo thinner and sprayed on with an airbrush for speed, economy and coverage.  Make sure you get into all the nooks and cranies.  It’s at this stage that I realised that I hadn’t removed all the mould lines which are easier to see now the paint is on.  A sharp scalpel is called into play, but this oversight slows me down.  A second coat of English uniform ensures good coverage:

With all the base colours painted on, I’m ready to apply Army Painter Strong Tone.  I’ve cheated a little and added some highlights to the faces by applying 020 Sunny Skin Tone to the forhead, cheeks, nose and chin.  Otherwise, as you can see, everything is pretty flat:

After Army Painter’s Strong Tone liberally applied with a large soft brush:

As I said, they’re not going to win any awards but they are getting done.  Next, the decals and dull-coting.


9 Responses to “A quick guide to painting Bolt Action’s 28mm British Infantry: updated 08/05/11

  • Blimey that’s decent progress!

    I’ve only just got the corks to put my chaps on for painting.

    This is part of the reason for the delay. I had to drink a dozen bottles of vino :O

    • Thanks, they’re not fantastic, but they’re getting done. I’ve just got to tidy up the 7 others and then I’m ready to go. Oh, and read the rules 🙂

  • Thanks Hudson, nice quick guide. Best get on with mine really.

  • Allan Traise
    6 years ago

    Hi Justin,

    Did you guys ever take this 28mm project any further?

    I play FLames of War but have been keen to find a decent set of rules for 28mm WW2 gaming.



    • HEh…not really. We played a 20mm game and that was about it. Too much other stuff going on I’m afraid 🙁

      • Allan Traise
        6 years ago

        Thanks Justin!

        I caved and bought some 28 mm Brits and Germans from Warlord Games today – lol

        Will see how it plays out with Warlord Games new Skirmish Game Being Released soon!



        • Good for you, elt us know how is pans out! Personally, I’m tempted by “I ain’t been shot Mum!” but I think that would be stretching myself too thin…

  • The figures are wonderful, but mine are still in the box unpainted!

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