Orangeville, ON (James Doan) Choosing the type of paint for model figure painting is a personal decision. Initially, it might be a good idea to try all the available media and then use the one that gives the results you prefer.

The most common types are flat finish hobby paint which is thinned with mineral spirits, acrylic paints which can be thinned with water or alcohol-based thinners, and artists oil colours which are thinned with turpentine.

When starting out, rather than buying every colour for your palette, work with a basic set of paints. I have found that you can limit your set to include just five colours: red, yellow, blue, black and white. (OK, black and white aren’t strictly colours). With this preliminary set of paints, it is possible to create almost any colour you will require.

Some useful examples for military figure painting:

* Brown – 1 part black, 1 red, 1 yellow.
* Tan – 2 black, 2 yellow, 1 red, 8 white.
* Khaki – 3 black, 2 yellow, 1 red, 8 white.
* Field Grey – 3 black, 1 blue, 1 yellow, 6 white.
* Olive Green – 2 black, 1 yellow
* Olive Drab – 2 black, 1 yellow, 1 red.

When you first blend a shade, be sure to note the proportions used. If you have to prepare additional amounts of a particular colour, it will be easier to obtain a match if you know what was used for the original batch.

You can augment this basic paint set with a selection of metallic paints: gold, silver, copper, brass, chrome, etc – as and if you need them.

Some shades of pink and purple can be difficult to blend successfully, so you may need to purchase these special colours.

Regardless of the type of medium you work with, you can always select a compatible set of colours.