WWII Australian Jungle Division Painting Guide

Bryan’s step by step painting guide

G'day fellas! Welcome to a painting guide for the Australians fighting in the Pacific from 1943-45. The miniatures I am using are the Warlord Games Independent Company Commandos. The minis are fantastic sculpts, very accurate and a pleasure to paint. Read on for a step by step painting guide you can follow to paint your own Aussies.

Step 1 - Coloured spray primer

As the heading says, I sprayed my miniatures with Army Painter Desert Yellow. This spray is rather thick compared to the rest of the range, so be careful to use short sweeping bursts. This spray will be the primer and one of the main colours in one step, so saves you a lot of time. To save even more time, be sure to add any basing material to your mini prior to applying the spray primer. I added polly-filla and small rocks to texture my bases.

Step 2 - Base colours

I start off by painting on some of the lighter parts of the model which are also harder to reach later without making mistakes. This means we don't have to clean up as the darker colours that come next cover up any mistakes in this stage. I have used a mix of Vallejo and Citadel (Games Workshop) paints.

Beret, webbing pouches, gaiters: Khaki (Vallejo)

Flesh: Cadian fleshtone (Citadel)

Step 3 - Base colours continued

Now we finish off painting the base colours. The jungle green uniforms worn by the Australian troops in the pacific varied widely in colour, due both to the various manufacturers in Australia, as well as the effects of the climate on the material. Weeks of rain, sun and sweat tended to fade the material and most uniforms would literally rot away and need replacement after 3 months of frontline use in the New Guinea jungles. To represent this I have chosen to paint to different hues of green randomly across the trousers and shirts of the various models.

Jungle green uniform variant 1:  Olive Grey (Vallejo)

Jungle green uniform variant 12: Brown Violet (Vallejo)

Wooden gun stock: Flat Brown (Vallejo)

Metal gun barrel: Leadbelcher (Citadel)

Slouch hat and water bottle: English Uniform (Vallejo)

Boots: Rhinox hide (Citadel)

Bases: German Camo Medium Brown (Vallejo)

Step 4 - Washes

Wash the entire model in Army Painter Strong Tone acrylic wash (not the dip). Then wash just the metal areas with Nuln Oil (Citadel), or any other black wash.

Step 5 - Highlights 1

Once the washes are dry it's time to apply highlights to the raised areas of the miniature. For this I use a fine detail brush (size 0). Be sure to not paint over the recesses in the darker areas achieved by the wash.

Beret, webbing pouches, gaiters:  Khaki (Vallejo)

Flesh: Cadian fleshtone (Citadel)

Jungle green uniform variant 1: Olive Grey (Vallejo)

Jungle green uniform variant 12: Brown Violet (Vallejo)

Wooden gun stock: Flat Brown (Vallejo)

Slouch hat and water bottle:  English Uniform (Vallejo)

Boots: Rhinox hide (Citadel)

Step 6 - Highlights 2

To build up depth I highlight a second time with a lighter shade than the previous step. Be sure to paint an even finer highlight this time and not cover up the previous two stages work.

Beret, webbing pouches, gaiters:  German Camo Beige (Vallejo)

Flesh: Kislev flesh (Citadel)

Jungle green uniform variant 1: 70/30 mix of  Olive Grey (Vallejo) & Iraqi Sand (Vallejo)

Jungle green uniform variant 12: 70/30 mix of Brown Violet (Vallejo) & Iraqi Sand (Vallejo)

Wooden gun stock: Tuskgor Fur (Citadel)

Slouch hat and water bottle: Khaki Grey (Vallejo)

Boots: Doombull Brown (Citadel)

Step 7 -  Highlights 3 & glazes

In this stage I apply a final highlight to the largest areas of the model. I also paint on a watered down glaze over Jungle green uniform variant 1 and the flesh areas. This adds colour back to the highlights (which are a bit pale and pastel at this point) but keeps that great contrasting depth achieved by the highlighting.  

Flesh: Highlight Flayed One Flesh (Citadel), then wash with Reikland Fleshshade (Citadel) (or any sepia wash)

Jungle green uniform variant 1: 50/50 mix of Olive Grey (Vallejo) & Iraqi Sand (Vallejo), then glaze with Biel-Tan Green (Citadel) (or any green wash)

Jungle green uniform variant 2: 50/50 mix of Brown Violet (Vallejo) & Iraqi Sand (Vallejo)

Wooden gun stock: Tuskgor Fur (Citadel)

Slouch hat and water bottle: Khaki (Vallejo)

Step 8 - Final details

Almost there! Time to add the final details.  

Eyes: Paint a horizontal white oval for the eyes, then finish off with a black dot for the pupil. Eyes are not easy, use the smallest brush you have and don't be afraid of holding the mini on it's side or even upside down to give your brush better access to the face of the model.

Blonde hair: Base coat of English Uniform (Vallejo), highlight with Iraqi Sand (Vallejo)

Brown hair: Base coat of Rhinox Hide (Citadel) base with a Flat Earth (Vallejo) highlight

Bases: drybrush German Camo Medium Brown (Vallejo), then drybrush Brown Sand (Vallejo)

Step 9 - Jungle bases

To achieve a jungle effect on the bases I collected as large a variety of materials to use as I could. This includes grass tufts from Gamers Grass, lichen and clump foliage from a hobby shop, and finally plastic aquarium plants. With these I used side cutters to clip off the individual leaves from the larger 'plants' to glue on to each base.

Thanks for checking out this painting guide, hopefully it has helped you paint up your Pacific Theater Australians or inspired you to collect some.

If you want to check out the opposing side than here is my Imperial Japanese Army painting guide.

As always, if you have any questions, just comment below!