MERCS CCC Yellow Jackets

I’ve had these models for quite some time now and have been really struggling to get the yellow to look ok. On several occasion I had considered going with a completely different colour scheme but yellow is something of a nemesis so wanted to try and get it right. After quite a bit of trial and error and a few baths in Nitromors to clean things up I have managed to get something that I feel happy with.

To start with I primed everything with Vallejo Grey Surface Primer (74.601). This is a bit of departure from my normal black but I’d been advised this was a better starting point for yellow.

Uniform Cloth: For the coverall that goes under the armour I started with Vallejo Heavy Charcoal (72.155) which was highlighted with Vallejo Medium Sea Grey (71.049). This was then washed using Vallejo Grey Wash (76.516) which helps to blend things together. A final highlight of the Medium Sea Grey was then applied to the areas that would catch the light.

Armour: This is the bit that has taken me the longest to try and sort out but in the end this is what I have gone with. To start things off I used Citadel Zambesi Desert which gives a nice natural, muted yellow. The next stage was a mix of three parts Vallejo Interior Yellow (71.107), two parts Vallejo Gold Yellow (71.078) and two parts water which was washed over the top of the Zambesi Desert. This has the effect of keeping the natural look whilst lightening the yellow and at the same time it smoothes the colour making it look more natural. Highlights were done using the Gold Yellow and then on the areas where the light would catch I used Vallejo Fluo Yellow (71.103). To tie everything together I washed everything with Vallejo Dark Yellow Wash (76.503) followed by a final highlight with the Fluo Yellow.

Webbing, Pouches and Rucksacks: I started off using Vallejo US Flat Brown (71.026) which goes on very thinly and so needs several coats to get a good coverage. Once that was dry I used Citadel Orgryn Flesh Wash to darken everything up and really get into the recesses and details. This actually took two coats to get things as dark as I wanted them. The next step was to do the first highlights using the original US Flat Brown.

Flesh: To start with I first used a watered down Vallejo Dwarf Skin (72.041) that goes on a bit blotchy and streaky but just work around everything a couple of times and it will work nicely. Once the base colour is on it’s time to give everything a couple of coats of Citadel Orgryn Flesh wash to darken things up. This gets into the recesses and really starts to add some definition to things. It also helps to show you where the highlights will work best. The next step is to go back over things with the Dwarf Skin Mix used in the first step but this time we are starting to pick out the highlights. Then work up through the highlights using Vallejo Elf Skintone (72.004) again thinned 50/50. The final highlight was done using Vallejo Pale Flesh (72.003) which was again thinned down 50/50 with water. This highlight was really about picking out the bits that would catch the most light.

Visors & Lenses: For the helmet visors and lenses in goggles I decided to go with a blue effect. To get this I used Vallejo Aluminium Metallic (71.062) and then went over this with Badger Ghost Tint Plasma Fluid (D6-180) which gives a sort of transparent metallic effect. My thinking is that it is something like Oakley would make. Once everything is weathered and sealed I went back over the lenses with a gloss varnish to give them a bit of a glint.

Weapons: For these I wanted to go with a modern polymer feel on the lines of the H&K G36 so I started off with Citadel Abbadon Black. I gave this a very heavy highlight (almost a dry brush) of Vallejo Charcoal Black (72.155) then a highlight of Vallejo Medium Sea Grey (71.049). All of this was given a wash of Secret Weapon Soft Body Black before going back with a final highlight of Vallejo Barley Grey (71.051). The tip of the barrel was then painted using a 50/50 mix of Citadel Leadbelcher and Citadel Abbadon Black.

Bases: For the bases I have gone back to the trusty Micro Art Studios and used their Old Factory bases. The idea for these was to go with a concrete feel so different shades of grey were the main colours. I primed using Vallejo Black Surface Primer (74.602). Over this I gave it a heavy dry brush with Vallejo Charcoal Black (72.155), followed by a dry brush of Vallejo Medium Sea Grey (71.049) with a final dry brush of Vallejo Barley Grey (71.051). I then used the Barley Grey to go over all the lines and edges. Once this was dry I washed the brick sections with Vallejo Grey Wash (76.516) and the rubble sections with Vallejo Dark Grey Wash (76.517) so that there was some nice contrast on the base. I then went back over the edges that would naturally catch light with the Barley Grey.

Weathering: Weathering for these bases was simply a good dusting of Secret Weapon Ash Grey to help tie the figure into the base.


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