Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Weak Attempt at 15mm US Marine Desert MARPAT

Last month I finally managed to paint my Peter Pig marines in what turned out to be a really poor attempt at the USMC desert MARPAT camo.  My reason for posting the pics isn't so much to showcase my lack of painting skill, but to share some thoughts on color choices.
When I prepared to paint, I posted online for some guidance and searched out various forums with helpful posts.  Unfortunately, I found that a lot of people were using brands of paints different from the Vallejo paints that I had available for their desert scheme.  I ended up reviewing a ton of photos of figures and  Marines online, and some in books, and came of with some paint selections to use.  I can't claim that my choices are particularly right, but after comparing them to slightly used Marine Marpat uniforms and gear at the local surplus store, I think they are not far off the mark at worst, and thought I'd share the color choices.

The photos show the figs in in two lighting conditions, the darker ones matching the background color that I used while taking the poics pretty closely, the brighter ones showing the contrast of the lighter colors a little better ( I think), but look a bit too yellow .  Here are the pics:

Okay, you can stop laughing now.  Think colors, not painting quality. The paint is all Vallejo brand and is described below:

Base Uniform:  Custom mix of two parts #847 Dark Sand to one part #70987 Medium Grey.

Uniform camo colors: #70987 Medium Grey, #70988 Khaki, #873 US Field Drab

Vest/web gear/pouches/packs: #70988 Khaki

Boots: #890 US Tan Earth

Goggles: #70994 Medium Grey

Goggle Lenses: #70994 Dark Grey

The color choices above reflect what I saw with the greatest frequency in photos. Goggles in black and other tans were not uncommon, and gloves in green, tan (some with the back of the kuckles reinforced in black material), and black were also common. Many Marines also had green pouches and whatnot.

The figs are the Peter Pig US Marines from their Line 17.  I got mine through Brookhurst Hobbies in the US.  Anyway, hope this might be of help to some or provide a good laugh to others.


  1. Don't be so hard with yourself!
    I bet they look pretty decent on the gaming table.

  2. Coyote brown is not khaki, and the webbing needs to be coyote brown, which as the name suggests is more brown than khaki as the latter has a greenish cast to it.

    Green pouches will date your USMC to prior to 2001 approx. Alternatively, use woodland webbing with Desert uniforms as that was pretty good to go up to the invasion of Iraq. Afterwards coyote brown webbing was standard issue.

    Hope that helps?

  3. The colours look alright! And don't worry about the painting quality, they ARE 15mm afterall and pretty tricky to paint, even for the expert! I'm going to paint my 15mm Peter Pigs Americans today so you'll have to check my Black Powder blog for the results later on!

    I think I'll be using 'Dark Sand' straight off for my uniform, maybe with an ink wash or stain.

  4. Thanks, I appreciate the comments.

    The gear that I looked at was just slightly darker and slightly more green than the "Khaki" paint sample, but both struck me as being an earthy, brown-mustard yellow. They looked very close, though not a perfect match. Originally, I thought an Israeli Khaki would do the trick, but it was both darker and more green than the gear.

    Consul, I'll keep a look out for them.

    Again, thanks, I do appreciate the input.

  5. Earthy, brown-mustard is a good description of coyote brown. I have a load of USMC kit for airsofting, so I know what this looks like in the flesh.