DAK Painting Guide

Here’s a step-by-step guide on the painting of my Afrika Korps models. It’s pretty straightforward; this approach allows me to get gaming as soon as possible with some colours on my models – and then upgrade the models using a few phases.

I’ll kick off by showing a progress strip of photos, then go through these steps in order: basing, base colours, then finishing touches.

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  • Wood putty, slate
  • Sand, PVA glue
  • Agrellan Earth (Citadel Technical Paint)

Two steps in basing. The first being to use wood filler to blend the model’s base into the base you’re mounting it on. I add some slate at this point because I can blend it into better.

Wood putty was applied using a plastic DAS tool, which was picked up in an art store. After loading the wood filler onto the base I use a dab of water on the end of the DAS tool to help smooth it. Because the DAS tool is plastic it is flexible and so is perfect for the role.

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The second step is to add some sand, through which I have added some larger bits for more variety. An area on most of my bases was left without sand, to which I then applied some Agrellan Earth (Citadel’s excellent texture paint).

Once this has dried overnight I seal it using a watered down PVA glue (add water until it’s a milky consistency) which basically bulletproofs the base and means the sand doesn’t come off.

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  • Dunkelgelb (The Plastic Soldier Company’s Army Sprays: WWII Armour)
  • 70.879 Green Brown, 70.887 Brown Violet, and 70.977 Desert Yellow (Vallejo’s Model Colour range)
  • Rhinox Hide, Abaddon Black, Boltgun Metal, Tallarn Flesh (Citadel)

Again, two steps here. Firstly I applied an undercoat of dunkelgelb from The Plastic Soldier Company’s Army Sprays range. As you can see above I kept a brown theme while building so that I could kid myself that it was okay to play test games with unpainted models; with the addition of dunkelgelb I could see these guys tramping through the desert… even if my opponents couldn’t.

One nice even coat did it. Loved the spray and would certainly recommend it.

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Second stage was to get the base colours onto the model. I chose Africa Korps over 8th Army because of the wider variety in uniform colours due to sun bleaching. That said, I kept a tight palette to retain some coherency across the force. My primary colours were taken from the Vallejo Model Colour range and were Green Brown, Brown Violet, and Desert Yellow. As the latter was used for my support weapons and armour this tied them to the infantry.

The only rules I used when applying these three colours were that (1) I would use less of the ‘new uniform’ Brown Violet through the force, and (2) All helmets and most of the caps would use Desert Yellow.

This go the force ready for the gaming table in short order and when applying the 3-foot rule gave satisfaction as a ‘fully painted’ force. I was happy enough with this start on the army.

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  • 70.879 Green Brown, 70.887 Brown Violet, and 70.977 Desert Yellow (Vallejo’s Model Colour range)
  • Rhinox Hide, Abaddon Black, White Scar, Karak Stone, Boltgun Metal, Tallarn Flesh (Citadel)
  • Agrax Earthshade, Nuln Oil, Ogryn Flesh, Gryphonne Sepia (Citadel)
  • Bushes / Clump foliage (Woodland Scenics)

Getting a wash over the models will give contrast and immediately make your base colours look better. My preferred method is to apply washes and shades by hand so that I am not reliant upon a single tone to do all the work.

The main wash here is a generous application of Agrax Earthshade (was Devlan Mud) across all cloth, and weapons and equipment. The skin received the Ogryn Flesh, Gryphonne Sepia was applied to all metal painted with Desert Yellow, finally any metals received a coat of Nuln Oil.

Finally, the base received a drybrush of Karak Stone all over, except any previously applied patches of Agrellan Earth which received a wash of Gryphonne Sepia. (NOTE: I am thinking to go back and apply a wash of Agrax Earthshade as I am not entirely happy with the lack of contrast.) The base is finished off with a rim colour of Abaddon Black.

Again at this stage the models look good on the tabletop, although personnaly I would prefer to advance the basing as below.

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Highlights were then applied. Skin took a layer of Dwarf Flesh, then a second layer of Elf Flesh with a dab of Dwarf Flesh in it (ratio approximately 3:1). Everything else had one highlight applied, but because I previously used a wash and the highlight was slightly watered down it can give the impression of a lot more work!

The trick here was to add Karak Stone to every base colour to create the highlight colours (this was a 1:1 ratio) and of course to leave the shade and some of the base layers showing. Using Karak Stone as my mix-in for all colours (1) ties all the colours together, and (2) keeps the colours drab. If I was painting more vibrant models I may use a Bleached Bone as my mix-in colour; I avoid using White Scar as a mix-in as I do not like the artificial wash-out of the base colour that happens using white.

The rocks on the base received a drybrush of Karak Stone + White Scar – one of the few times I’ll use white as a mix-in colour!

At this point the models are looking super-good for gaming, but again I would add the final base stage, below. The base of the model can lift any paint job!

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Details are something that makes a model stand out. For me this falls into two categories: faces and iconography.

We’re predisposed to looking at faces, so practice painting eyes! This predisposition is also why I applied two highlight layers to the face rather than one.

Finally I added iconography, such as epaulettes, buttons, and such-like. Looking at these photos I can see that I missed the red dot in the middle of the cap badge and the collar bars. I’ll get these done and re-edit this post later…

Some bush foliage was added to the base to complete the desert scrub look I was aiming for. The green gives something else to an otherwise bleached out base and I feel this lifts the models which are pretty brown themselves!

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I hope you found something of use in this. Why not leave a note in the comments.

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DAK: Painted, Based, and … Oh-so-almost-there


As discussed on Home Guard Radio, my 750 point list hasn’t changed since I swapped out the Medium Mortar Team for the Anti-tank Rifle Team. That was three months ago and so the list has been getting a fair try out since then, with a fair share of victories – some more worthy than others. It’s quite a defensive set-up with a counter-strike ability which makes certain scenarios a little tougher for me when I have to play aggressively, such as Envelopment or Demolition. At the moment they look a bit small, but I will be adding an LMG Team to each squad for my 1,000 point list, so I will end up with 9 men per squad which is pretty beefy.

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The basic Reinforced Platoon of Lieutenant and two Infantry Squads are complete, the centrepiece of the army – the PIII Ausf G – has the basic colours shaded and highlights applied, but is awaiting minor weathering and of course the all-important iconography! I have several sheets of transfers on order, but the turret has so much detail I reckon I’ll have to do the numbers by hand. Oh well, I’ll sharpen the brushes!

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These remaining models are certainly ready to grace the battlefield, but I know that there is still some work to do on them. Some of them need hair and the black needs highlighted. Oh, they also need some rank insignia, but I’m researching that at the moment, so it shouldn’t be long before that happens. I very much recommend Painting War issue 1, by WxW, in this regard as it’s full of tips for painting many elements of the German Infantry of World War II, including the ranks and insignia.

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Before and After

A quick follow-on to the previous post about Bolt Action. I have applied shade and highlight layers and some to one of the squads as a trial. The base has also received a highlight. The photo on the right shows a base-layered model next to one that has has shade and highlight layers applied.

Work In Progress
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Additional to this I have also been working on Nick’s 101st Airborne. Below is an example squad before unit markings (the basing will be completed by Nick). Again, the photo on the right shows a base-layered model next to one that has has shade and highlight layers applied.

Work In Progress
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The Bolt Actions

What with one thing or another we have been playing a lot of Bolt Action recently. Driven by our enthusiasm for this fun game we’ve also been podcasting to go along with it. Home Guard Radio (Ep.1 + Ep.2) is unleashed on the world and is hosted by 6s2Hit.

Bolt Action (Warlord Games) is an historically flavoured rule-set. It’s a tea & curry kind of game being that it is rules light, simple, and given the unit activation mechanism you have park your serious side for the duration. I have found that my favourite tactics can still be applied and this makes me happy.

In terms of painting & modelling I have decided to go with the Afrika Korps (Perry Miniatures) with tanks by Blitzkreig Miniatures because (1) I am a huge fan of the Perry twins’ work, and (2) It allowed me to do mixed colours on each model due to the nature of their uniforms and the effects of sun bleaching. To get them onto the table I have applied base colours to all the models. Further work will be the usual application of a shade and one or two highlights, then unit markings.

The following comes to 750 points on the nose. I used the online list builder for Bolt Action by EasyArmy.com to generate a pdf for game play.

Work in Progress
The minimum two squads and HQ for the Reinforced Platoon. These are fielded as Veterans in the game.

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A third squad and the two MMG Teams made legal by using the Rommel’s Defeat list; also Veterans. You will notice that I have been having fun with the basing so far. The models went onto the base and gaps disguised with liberal application of wood putty (picked it up in a tube from a local DIY centre), add some slate for rocks, sand, and leave the occasional space for application of Games Workshop’s Agrellan Earth technical paint. (This cracks when drying!).

I undercoated the models with a liberal coat of German Dunkelgelb (Plastic Soldier Company) which gave me a great starting point.

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An Anti-tank rifle team, 37mm PAK 36, and PIII Ausf G; all Regular.

The game has a counter-draw mechanic to activate units. The effect is that you can never be sure when your next unit will activate: real fog-of-war stuff. Caroline’s Classics makes embroidered dice bags and, through her partner Nick (a regular gaming buddy of ours, if you’ve read previous posts), has supplied some of us with terrific pieces of work. Here’s the surprise they presented me with:

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Game On!


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LotR Scenario 6: The Grey Pilgrim and the Black Riders

And we’re back to The Lord of the Rings. On Wednesday I pulled together my fully painted – but not yet weathered – Weathertop for Scenario 6: The Grey Pilgrim and the Black Riders: Tom, Digby, Callum and I playing Gandalf at various points, and Ian choosing to rock the Ringwraiths.

This scenario sees Gandalf fending off The Nine while he awaits the arrival of Aragorn and the Hobbits at Amon Sul. He has to kill (or knock out of the playing area) four of the fell servants of the Dark Lord. This seems like quite a task until you read the buffs that he receives in the Special Rules and that only two of the Nazgul start the game on-board, with others entering play on a roll of a 5+.


Guess who can’t roll 5’s… I spent the entire game with Tom hoping to lose my models so that I’d receive the automatic reinforcement. Choosing The Witch King for his Your Staff Is Broken ability I planned to (1) get rid of Gandalf’s free Will point every turn, and (2) deplete his Will pool while doing so. Guess what Your Staff Is Broken is cast on? Yup, also a 5+. All I did was burn my own Will pool! Four Ringwraiths on: all four handily despatched by the Grey Rider.

This was pretty much the same against Digby and Callum. Finally I played Gandalf against Ian’s Ringwraiths and that was a much tighter game with Gandalf being taken down to only 1 Wound remaining – I knew that the breaking-of-the-staff gambit was a good idea!


Final result: Good 4-0 Evil. This is a terrific ten-minute scenario with fast play and a lot of laughs. Gandalf’s Special Rules buffs really help turn him into a total monster in the game. It was impressive to see the challenges that multiple Ringwraiths could present to the Good player and so that for play as a one-off game I would suggest either modifying the reinforcement roll to a 4+ or guaranteeing a Ringwraith every 2 turns to make it tougher for Gandalf. It is just fine as it is for the campaign as Gandalf takes a couple of knocks, but should survive.

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