Learning to paint German Oak Leaf camo

//Learning to paint German Oak Leaf camo

Learning to paint German Oak Leaf camo

I’ve been working on a Waffen SS Steyr 1500 Radio Car conversion for quite a while. I’m getting close to the end and started working on the figures. I’m not a great figure painter, but I really wanted to use some figures who happen to be wearing the Waffen SS reversible smocks. These smocks are patterned with the Oak Leaf camo pattern. (For more information, check this page out) Since I have only painted a couple figures, so of course the natural next step is to attempt a pattern that is super hard to do…. yeah. Not sure what I was thinking, but here we go. I thought I’d share a few thoughts about how my progress went. I googled high and low to find tutorials, and I found some good stuff. But not easily.

Here are a few key points I’ve learned about the oak leaf pattern:

  • This was only used Waffen SS
  • The pattern was only used on smocks, not on pants
  • The smocks were reversible, with a orange/brown autumn pattern and a green/brown summer pattern
  • When painting your figure, you need to make sure you keep the seams of cloth in mind. Each smock, like any garment, is made up of a series of panels sewn together. So the pattern should conflict at seams.
  • Colors are a rough estimate, given the wide variety of producers and variables for fading.

At the end of the day, it would seem that the most crucial task in painting these patterns is the getting the design of the ‘land masses’ blobs right. Let’s look at my first effort. Please don’t judge…



Yeah, this sucks. Good thing I was trying this on one of my test figs, eh? Don’t worry, another spray of primer and we’re back in the game.

Displeased, I started consuming photos of the real camo to figure out the pattern better. I also changed techniques: rather than trying to paint the orange dots with a brush, I switched to a toothpick. Much better results!


The trick with the toothpick though is that you can’t get it too much paint on the end or your dots will be too big. I’m not satisfied, but I’m on the right path… now to try again and hopefully get the blob design right.

Wish me luck.

UPDATE: Round 3, and we’re getting somewhere!

DSC_3990 (1)

So a few things I changed up:

  • I painted the darkest color blobs first, and much larger. (The Timelines forum article starts with orange and I just can NOT figure out how they make the pattern with outlining the
  • Toned down the orange color and lightened the base brown
  • Added a mid-brown color (per instructions in this post)

Next step… try it for real on an actual figure I want to put in a vehicle! Wish me luck. Again!

By | 2016-10-29T19:09:34-05:00 April 18th, 2014|Build Logs|0 Comments

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