Painting the Gringo 40’s Marines and North Vietnamese figures.

Marines advancing with M-16’s.

I promised to share a bit of my experiences painting these excellent miniatures, just in case you were searching for a way forward.

Let’s start with the Marines. They are more challenging than the NVA because they are laden with more stuff and have more detail.

The Marines are really well sculpted figures with no major mold marks and a minimal amount of flash. Occasionally little bits of flash will accumulate where there is a crook in an arm, right under the armpit, or other enclosed spaces on the figure. It’s easily removed with a hobby knife.

I primed my figures with Army Painter primer. I had about a quarter can of the Desert Yellow. It makes a good undercoat.

RTO operator is just a treasure. Lots of great detail on this guy, including his M-1 carbine.

After painting the basic face fleshtone I worked on the helmet cover. Apparently Marines in Vietnam had helmet covers that were reversible. One side had a green base, the other side had an earth base. I chose the earth side because I had photos that could help me a bit. After painting the base Vallejo Tan Earth, I created lots of splotches that ran together using Vallejo colors Flat Brown, Green Brown, and Camouflage Olive Green.

Marine snipers with Remington rifle.

Then it was on to the basic uniform color. While I have many Vallejo Olive or Green colors suitable, it was recommended that I try Russian Uniform WWII as a base color. It really worked well and I’m pleased with the result. I used your basic Ceramcoat black for boots, however a friend asked me about jungle boots, those webbing and leather footwear the grunts wore in the Pacific and in SE Asia. After a headslap and some research, I realized my mistake. Future Marines will wear these. Finally, the last major clothing item is the flak vest. I painted these Vallejo Iraqui Sand. Buttons would later be painted Neutral Grey.

3.5″ Super Bazooka crew. Because everyone needs a really big bazooka.

All these items required some highlighting. For the basic uniform color I just drybrushed some of the lightened Russian Uniform color, but Khaki would probably work too. On the boots I used Neutral Grey which is a several steps lighter than black and gives a nice contrast. On the flak vest I lightened the Iraqui Sand and washed with Vallejo Brown Wash. They didn’t quite cancel each other out.

Three marines with M-16’s. Lots of varieties of your average leatherneck with your average M-16.

There are lots of great detail bits. The M-16’s are nicely detailed. I try to avoid metallic bits so I painted the stocks black with charcoal highlights. The metal bits I painted neutral gray and picked out some of the nice detail with black lining. The RTO radio has batteries to detail Lots of batteries are khaki-ish, but there are photos of red ones and white ones too.

Most of the detail, however is the webbing-belts, canteens bandoliers, strapping, etc. I painted Vallejo Violet Brown, which is really a German aircraft color and a somewhat darker green. I dry-brushed with Khaki which nicely draws out the detail.

I’m very pleased with the finished product. The Gringo 40’s Marines are perhaps the nicest figures I’ve ever painted.

I also received a few of the North Vietnamese Army figures. Though the miniatures are quite nice, they are very different from the Marine figures. Anatomically, they are quite slight but well-formed. Unlike the Marines they aren’t swaddled in gear, though there is some of that. Their AK-47’s are quite nice. Painting them was a bit of a question for me. I knew absolutely nothing about NVA uniforms. I actually bought the Osprey Elite book on the NVA and Viet Cong forces and found it to be among the least helpful of any Osprey title.

NVA Colonel with female runner.

When in doubt do what the kids do: Google NVA Uniforms 1968. I learned the uniforms are generally green with tan equipment. Both would have faded with time and dirt.

NVA Infantry with AK 47’s

I hoped to use a Vallejo Game Colour–Camouflage Green and I had to order it. My paint ended up almost a chartreuse color, so I decided that wouldn’t work. I reached into my bag of tricks and used US Light Green from the Vallejo Air range. I like the color a lot, but as with all of the Air colors, it’s intended for use in an air brush and quite thin. I did three coats to get sufficient coverage. I lightened the paint with white for dry brushing.

A few more North Vietnamese regulars with AK 47’s

The equipage was a mix of Vallejo Khaki for back packs and assorted gear. I used Iraqui Sand for ammunition and grenade belts. I drybrushed over the Khaki and used Vallejo Brown Wash over the sand. This batch o’guys are all armed with AK 47’s. I’ve kind of avoided using metals on guns, so the wood parts of the rifle are Flat Brown, and I used Ceramcoat Charcoal for the barrel and magazine. They were great to work with and I enjoyed painting them a great deal.


February progress at Mid-Month

1/300 Aircraft 6/150 Zero, zilch, nada. Haven’t touched a plane since the first week of the year. Never fear, these numbers will change. Yes, for the better. Don’t be a jerk.

Ships 11/50. Yep, I finished what I have handy. I’ll post about these later. But I did paint up three WTJ American cruisers and a couple of Spanish ships by Brown Water Navy. I do have a significant order I’m waiting on from Wartimes Journal but they’re taking their sweet time getting it out to me. When these are done all my current orders for 1/1250 figures will be complete. I do have some other naval stuff to work on including some 1/600 ACW ships and some 1/1000 scale Houston’s ships.

28mm figures. 66/400. Most of my attention this year has gone to painting 28mm figures. Some of these are the Gringo 40’s guys, but the rest are Old Glory Woodland Indians. I’ve finished 48 of the 60 I have, and will wrap up the last 12 this week. These are for my America Rampant project. Not sure what I’ll pick up next, but whatever I work on will include my Gringo 40’s figures.

I have ordered a few things in February. I placed a third Gringo 40’s order last week. This was evenly split between figures needed to fill out squads of NVA and Viet Cong and adding a few missing types from my Marines, specifically NCO’s. More interestingly is I’ve ordered a set of 3D printed Hue buildings from Vulcan Printing. I hope to share more about these in my month end wrap.

One comment on “Painting the Gringo 40’s Marines and North Vietnamese figures.

  1. Pete S/ SP says:

    Those look really good.



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