Painting Khaki with Andrea Miniatures Paints

I’m painting up a bunch of Soviet 1/35 infantry from Tamiya and using a variety of Khaki colors for them. I am using Andrea Miniatures Paints and want to both put in a plug for them and share some info that I hope you find helpful. I had their Khaki paint set already. It comes with two different palettes of three colors each. Three I would call yellowish green and three I would call pale brown. The lightest of the yellow greens is what I wanted to use as a base coat for some of the figures but thought the others all too dark. I was curious about the Afrika Korps paint set which has two different palettes of three colors each. I hoped they would not be duplicates of colors in the Khaki set and they aren’t. And I wanted to share the colors I intend to use so hopefully you can see the differences.

From left to right is the Arika Korps Base B, Light B (these are part of what I’d call the sand triad), the Khaki Light A (lightest of the yellowish green), and Light B (lightest of the brown). The other Afrika Korps triad is an olive green color. I thought the Light B would be perfect for the cape as a base. Here is a slightly closer pic. (Yeah, the more I photograph the more I realize it’s time for a real camera….)

Why Andrea Miniatures? There is a bit of a story here. I think I’ve raved in the past about some of their paints, especially their blue set. I have used the black, white, and red also. All nice sets. Earlier this year, I found out I was using them wrong. I was interested in painting splinter pattern camo on Wehrmacht figures and came across this video from Dave Yonquist of Last Cavalry on how he paints them:

(I am not affiliated with Last Cavalry but had really excellent service when buying Andrea paints from them.). The interesting thing about his technique is how thin he puts the paints on. Amazing, and as he says in the comments he things them right down to a kind of filter consistency using nothing but water. I kind of couldn’t believe it but went and tried it for myself. The paints are amazing. I just kept adding water and they didn’t disintegrate but just got thinner down to a kind of filter consistency. So I’ve been doing a lot of different things with my Andrea paints as a result of learning this. (I tried it on some other popular acrylics without similar results. Many of those are disintegrated already when they come out of the bottle….).

Doing this reminded me of another video I had seen and kind of didn’t believe. Julian Conde did a blog of painting with Andrea paints where he airbrushed them onto a figure. I guffawed and forgot about it. I’ve never been able to airbrush acrylics of any sort and thought the dense pigment in Andrea would make it impossible to use them. So I took my thinned Andrea and poured it into my airbrush and the results were … not good. But I didn’t give up and went back to look at his blog:

There was obviously something I was missing. A little bit later I came across a post from him on a forum I visit and reached out. He responded very kindly and suggested I add some airbrush thinner and some slow-mo retarder from VMS to my mix for the airbrush. I tried that and after a bit of trial and error I think I have enough of the hang of it to start painting figures with Andrea miniatures acrylics through the airbrush! I did the above 4 that way in one session with no clogged airbrush. This is pretty amazing to me. The mix is roughly 1/4 paint, 1/3 water, 1/3 Vallejo airbrush thinner, 1/12 slow-mo retarder. Now I am just getting the hang of it so I say roughly. I had more or less paint in the various mixes just due to my imprecise measuring and it all came out well if a little different in consistency. That mix is very thin and I had to run about three coats to get a nice opaque finish but they look fantastic.

So shout out to Dave Yonquist and Julian Conde. I’ll be phasing out other acrylics I use as I add to my Andrea paints collection.

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