A question of colors

My current project is re-coloring my miniatures. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I dislike painting in detail, but I have always liked the idea of having straightforward ‘team’ colors. About six months ago, I bought some brilliant minis from meepleforge to augment my collection. I loved their long coat winter variations of the Germans and I desperately needed more Japanese infantry to play with owing to the lack of a second Pacific expansion.

A friend of mine left the country and I inherited about 30 spray cans of various colors, and several sizable boxes of pots of paint, again in various colors. I decided to spray my collection with these paints so that I could unify the colors. The meepleforge minis are in different poses, but when painted the same color they will nicely fit in with the official minis. I use double-sided sticky tape to attach them in rows on an old clipboard, and then I take it outside and give it a blast from all sides with the paints. For now, I am in the middle of covering everything with primer spray. I have to be careful with the timing because where I live is very humid and it is not ideal for painting at all. When the weather is right, I leave them out in the sun to dry naturally, and then I bring them in at night. I’m impressed with the results so far; I feel like the details on the models are pulled out by the use of the primer. I ultimately plan on coordinating each of the factions in the same color, including all the infantry, armor, artillery and new flight plan aircraft. I’m also going to take the plunge with items in the Equipment Pack expansion, although this is limited to things that have an obvious home, not the generic things that can be used in two or more different factions.

I happen to have quite a lot of Feldgrau, so that’s the obvious choice for my Germans. I think the Soviets will remain in a color similar to their standard color because it helps them to stand out. I’m a little stuck on how to differentiate the British and Japanese, so I am thinking a sandy color for the British, and the Japanese and Americans will be kitted out in in yellow-green and bolder green, respectively. I also have quite a large collection of French (light blue) and Italian troops (not sure), and some Finnish ski troops (white).

I’m still at the priming stage, so any thoughts on color schemes before I break out the paints?

Sounds like a great plan you’ve got. Good question about how to paint the Japanese (which are about the same color as the British) and Italians (which I paint as light grey).

Differentiating between the British and the Japanese is especially important in the Campaign Book #2 that covers a number of the scenarios where they fight. There’s two different things I’ve done to better differentiate them.

The first approach was to keep them the same color and to paint the base of the Japanese soldiers black. The second approach was to paint them a glossy yellow-green. Either way differentiates them, especially if you use glossy paint.

If you’re looking for other figures with some different poses, you can also check out Airfix, Revell, Italeri, and others.


Nice to see you again Major! Fundamentally, I am a time-poor lazy painter, so just blasting them in a color is an easy solution. There’s no reason why I couldn’t add detail later, especially if I stick with vaguely military colors. I suppose that’s my juxtaposition really- I don’t want them to be bold primary colors because I think they should retain somewhat in a military color, but at the same time, I want to have sufficient contrast. The Japanese and British are notoriously similar in color, and for some people in certain light, even the blue and green of the base game Americans and Germans are rather similar. I have run into similar problems with Axis and Allies too- their Italian and Soviet colors are far too similar.

For me, the MeepleForge option has been the best because I like the consistent bases, they are exactly the same as the official Memoir '44 bases. It makes it easy to blend the official minis and the MeepleForge minis within the same unit, especially if they are the same color. I have got a fair amount of AirFix and Italieri minis etc., but I couldn’t get past my bases being too different.

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I’m not totally down with the military colors because in reality things are going to look too similar and the German/American miniatures do drive me a bit crazy and I’ve played a huge Guadalcanal scenario all with German miniatures by mistake. :upside_down_face:

Ultimately you’re going to be limited to your paint can selection and make sure you note the paints used in case you need to paint more miniatures down the line.

I was planning on some kind of lighter, spumoni green (Italian Flag) for Italy/Hungary troops.

France/Finland/Greece/China/Romania/Poland I was going to go with some kind of compromise blue.

Japan/Belgium/Vichy would also share the same color.

Best I can tell these groupings work well since Poland does not take on China etc.

The sticky point is do you have the grey equipment pack miniatures? That creates issues. It feels great to have everything matching on the board and I really liked the feel of having my German and Italians in seperate colors. I suppose wanting everything in one color makes a great case for only using badges and not buying the Equipment Pack. I play some really big scenarios at times and it ends up being quite a lot of specialist miniatures for each side.

If you really want to pontificate on the color choices you might check out the Axis and Allies colors. Here are the ones from the Anniversary edition:

combines two games. It has distinct colors for the basic 5 of Memoir 44 plus France, Italy, ANZAC, and China.

Thanks, Meles!
I have the Axis and Allies global 1940 sets and I think that is what has inspired me to keep to faction colors rather than detailed painting for ease of use. On the whole, I think the A&A scheme is good, and there is not too much of a clash, at least for sides which tend to oppose each other.

I never thought about the lack of need for certain nations to be in distinct colors. I think that’s an excellent suggestion. I suppose with a small number of scenarios as exceptions, the simplest option would be to denote just two colors representing the Axis and Allies factions, respectively. A quick database search tells me there is an Italian as Allies scenario and a Soviet as Axis scenario in Campaign Book 2, and I don’t see any more.

I do have the equipment pack and while there are certain things within it that can be painted according to faction colors (Tigers, Nebelwerfers, etc.) there are indeed some bits and pieces in there that would have to stay as a generic color. I think the machine guns, mortars and anti-tank gun are added to the infantry units rather than replacing them outright, so they can be painted in either lifelike colors or a generic black or something. The snipers are a little more specific, but I use prone Airfix and Italieri minis for them anyway.

I suppose I could opt for red vs. blue or black vs. white, but I think that would take me too far away from the theme.