Wednesday, December 30, 2015

30DEC15 ACU in 15mm Followup Comments

Here were my first choices for replicating ACU using acrylic paint.  My cover, with SFC rank (a rank I obtained with the Alaska State Defense Force, I only ever made SSgt. in the USAF on Federal Active Service) was worn a lot and reflects a bit of the UV light exposure and field conditions with some cleaning done on it.  Obviously, it was nowhere near as bad as the cover I wore in Iraq that I sent to the USAF Museum along with my ACU's....  

Delta Ceramacoat Ivory, Dark Forest Green, and Hippo Grey mixed best to replicate the 1:1 scale reference source.  Ivory was the best base coat, mixed in with drops of grey or green as looked good at the time under a full spectrum Ott Light I use at my desk.

Here is the Khurasan US Army 15mm miniature that I have painted to be a USAF TACP (Tactical Air Control Party, AFSC 1C4X1 or the old 275X prior to 1994 or so) to fulfill Force on Force game role of TAC (terminal air controller).  Base coat was Ivory with some Dark Forest green (I'd venture to guess 15 parts Ivory, 1 part or less Dark Forest Green).  I used strait Trail Tan to paint the Interceptor Body Armor (IBA), boots, and backpack along with any web gear pouches.  Why?  Well, in 2005/2006 when I deployed with the 172nd Stryker Brigade, we had ACU uniforms and DCU or Coyote Tan everything else.  That means IBA covers, backpacks, web gear, and PPE (personal protective equipment like goggles and knee pads) hadn't caught up to the new ACU Universal pattern.  Boy, was there ever a mix of uniform camouflage schemes.  Wargamers simulating the "Surge" era and just prior shouldn't feel compelled to make US Army forces all wear the same gear types.  Depending upon when a Brigade Combat Team arrived in country, there were huge variations in uniforms.  Black, woodland, and DCU components can be spread liberally along with ACU Universal pattern for that period of 2005 through 2007.  Marines even had variations in uniform types, our ANGLICO counter parts wore desert pattern Marine uniforms with Coyote Tan IBA and web gear, but had the usual Marine camo backpacks as per 2nd MARDIV SOP at the time.  They go special permission, with their critical mission, to wear Coyote Tan assault packs to carry radios.  Uniformity has its limitations and disadvantages.

On my foreground mixing palette, you can see my base coat of the Ivory and Dark Forest Green.  I also tried, and I emphasis TRIED Foliage Green and found it mostly useless for the time being for ACU.  However, the gloves on the other hand might be painted with this color as it matches the Nomex or Kevlar gloves a lot of guys wore.  Gloves can vary even more so than other uniform components.  I've seen crazy mechanics gloves on Infantry grunts before.  Have fun!  

When I painted equipment, I added black to the Hippo Gray until I was happy with the color.  I figure I shouldn't use strait black on the miniatures themselves, and this will help with highlighting later.  I obviously opted for NVG's on all but my heavy weapons guys (who fires and AT-4 or Javelin with NVG's up anyway?  Well, I never did, so if you did, sorry, I ran out of NVG's and didn't put them on the Javelin guys or Sniper/Designated Marksmen).  I think they add a bit to the miniatures along with getting the point across that most, if not all, US units went out with NVG's when I was in Iraq (a result of lessons learned in Mogadishu, yes we ALL watch "Blackhawk Down").  Pardon the Transformer toy in the background.  Optimus Prime is watching over these fellas.

So far I'm pretty pleased.  I might use more green in my base for future ACU miniatures, or hit these guys with more of the green.  You really cannot see my efforts to put some of the light foliage green using a higher percentage of green in my Ivory base.  That is a problem.  Right now, they look like DCU's or Marine Desert more than ACU universal.   

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