The Great Italian/ANZAC recoloring project


  • 2017 '16

    Alright, I said this long time ago, and I actually did this project some time ago… I had some friends asking me about it and suggesting I post my results on the forum, so here goes.

    A brief recap… the colors WotC chose for both Italy and ANZAC has bothered me for a very long time… Italy the most, as its colors are just far too close to Russia who is both an enemy nation and one they are often in close proximity with (and often directly fight against)… Italian brown just doesn’t look like an ally of Germany, they look more like a satellite of Russia… it’s just wrong on so many levels to me… and being OCD as I am, it is probably “just me” that it bothers, but for a long time I schemed and plotted to get rid of the Italian brown and replace it with a color that would look nothing like Russia, be unique in its own color scheme, but still “mesh nicely” with their German allies. In the end, I chose a “Metallic Silver”… though really any grey would have sufficed, but I had a lot of metallic silver paint floating around from other projects and I knew the color I had worked well with plastic miniatures so I went with it.

    As for the ANZAC player, they weren’t quite as bad color-wise, but once again… grey just didn’t work for me (especially if I was changing Italy to silver/grey)… I always thought the ANZAC player should look something similar but different to the UK player. I really wanted something in the “khaki” range… a little darker than UK biege, but not dark enough to start looking like those brown Italians… obviously, if I was changing Italy to Silver, that opened up the “brown” hues a lot more… but I really wanted ANZAC just a few tones darker than the UK forces… in the end, I chose “Satin Nutmeg”… couldn’t really find a Khaki that I liked.

    Below are my results for the entire project and how I made it happen…

    20_All_Italy_and_Anzac.jpg


  • 2017 '16

    Below are close ups of the Italian Army in all its Metallic Silver glory… and YES, that’s a much larger pool of units than what comes with Anniversary… not sure about Global, but its  more than enough for my needs (on purpose, I never want to run short). These are all Global 40 Italian units, with the exception of six M14/41 tanks from Anniversary (combined wtih six M15/42 tanks from Global). I actually started this project as German-controlled “flavor” units for 1942, but when I got Anniversary, they just took over for Italy proper.

    21_Itally_All.jpg
    22_ItalyColorClose.jpg


  • 2017 '16

    This is the paint project in-work… here are the colors I used… primed with grey, painted with metallic silver and clear coated to lock in the colors and prevent flaking… I’ve used this metallic silver on other plastic mini projects before and it has performed beautifully under heavy use and never flaking.

    As for painting the units themselves, on such a large scale and to prevent units getting blown around by the spray paint and getting stuck in puddles of paint, I used a non-stick aluminum foil surface with low-adhesive quick-release tape with just enough “stick” to keep them from sliding, but not enough to take the paint with them when you remove them.

    This was a six-phase project… 1-primer gray one side, let dry… 2-primer gray other side, let cure… 3-metallic silver one side, let dry… 4-metallic silver other side, let cure… 5-clear coat one side, let dry… 6-clear coat other side, let cure…

    Yes, to make sure each cured before sealing with another layer, there was a full 24 hour cure after both sides were done in a certain color or coat.

    23_ItalySprayPaints.jpg
    24_ItalySprayBoard.jpg


  • 2017 '16

    These are my full-sized unit bins that I use for my other five powers for all my main Axis and Allies games (1941/1942 & Anniversary)… Had to make one for Italy, including a custom flag sticker for the bin.

    25_ItalyBin1.jpg
    26_ItalyBin2.jpg


  • 2017 '16

    Here’s all my ANZAC forces spread out… I have no clue how many come with Global, as I don’t own Global, but like my earlier mention that I had an idea to make a “flavor nation” out of the Italians for 1942, I had the same thought for ANZAC units in 1942, and as I’ve moved on to Anniversary, I still don’t have a proper ANZAC nation, but I still enjoy using flavor units for British/UK units in and around the ANZAC nations of Australia, New Zealand and Canada… so for my needs, I have all ANZAC units that get placed in and around those areas in Anniversary, plus a few extra in case someone builds a factory there… I do realize I don’t have things like Battleships or Carriers, but I just don’t see anyone building them for the UK in those places. For me, ANZAC are flavor units only just to spice-up the UK player and for that reason (once again) I wanted the colors to just be a tad-off (but noticeably different) than the default UK unit colors. I even went a little further to “subdivide” the ANZAC forces into ANZ with more British-type equipment and Pacific attire (you’ll see them to the left in the below picture) and more Canadian forces with American influence (you’ll see them to the right in the below picture).

    Oh, almost forgot to mention… I never liked the Australian infantry that came with Global… they were like 10-foot tall amazons… since I was repainting units anyways, I decided to go with some 1/72 model infantry and just paint them to blend with the other troops… I chose Airfix Australian Infantry…

    30_Anzac_All.jpg
    AirfixAustralianInfantry.jpg


  • 2017 '16

    This is the paint project in-work… here are the colors I used… primed with grey, painted with Satin Nutmeg and clear coated to lock in the colors and prevent flaking… I’ve never used this particular color before, I bought it specifically for this project… results were a little odd, I seemed to have to redo some units and the clear coat seemed to dull the color an odd way.

    As for painting the units themselves, on such a large scale and to prevent units getting blown around by the spray paint and getting stuck in puddles of paint, I used a non-stick aluminum foil surface with low-adhesive quick-release tape with just enough “stick” to keep them from sliding, but not enough to take the paint with them when you remove them.

    Like the Italian project, this was a six-phase project (just with fewer units)… 1-primer gray one side, let dry… 2-primer gray other side, let cure… 3-satin nutmeg one side, let dry… 4-satin nutmeg other side, let cure… 5-clear coat one side, let dry… 6-clear coat other side, let cure…

    Yes, to make sure each cured before sealing with another layer, there was a full 24 hour cure after both sides were done in a certain color or coat.

    31_AnzacSprayPaints.jpg
    32_AnzacSprayBoard.jpg


  • 2017 '16

    Okay… this is what isn’t showing up quite like I like it… I don’t know if its my camera, or my lighting or my eyes playing tricks on me… in these closeups the ANZAC units look lighter and closer in tone to the UK units than I see casually looking at them with the naked eye… to me (and others who have come over) the ANZAC units are several shades darker than the UK units, and are pretty close to khaki (kind of like the “all ANZAC” units pic a couple posts above)… but when I take a close up with the camera they look hard to tell apart… I assure you, in person they are distinctly different in shade and tone… I just can’t seem to replicate what I see with my camera… odd… oh well…

    Here’s some pics… first one with UK / ANZAC / Russian… second one is my storage trays for UK and ANZAC next to each other.

    AnzacColorClose1.jpg
    AnzacColorClose2.jpg



  • The Italian brown has always bothered me too. My father in law, who is in his 70s, is constantly confusing the Russians for Italians and vice versa. They should have just switched the Italians and ANZAC colors and it would have been fine.


  • 2019 2018 2017

    This is a very cool idea, and I like the way it turned out for you. Do you have any more tips or pointers on painting pieces?

    I have some pieces whose color I would love to change but I am leery of just going at them with spray paint for fear of ruining them.

    -Midnight_Reaper


  • Disciplinary Group Banned

    Nice job, and nice paint schemes. I really enjoy your presentation.

    I myself don’t like the Italian, and Russian color schemes. So i change their colors. For Italy is bright green because their flag has green in it. For Russia is red because of the red army. I should use your color scheme for ANZAC.


  • 2017 '16

    Thanks for the feedback…

    Had WotC just switched the color schemes of Italy and ANZAC I would have been content with that and never bothered with this project,  but they didn’t so I finally pulled the trigger on this project as it had bugged me for a long time.

    I was pretty set on using a tan/khaki color scheme for ANZAC all along… I wanted a shade sorta related to the UK since ANZAC has strong ties with the UK.

    As for Italy,  could have gone with a lot of colors… my main goal was to be nothing like allied powers they would come into contact with,  so UK tans, Russian browns, and yes, any shade of green would (imo) just make them feel like a US minor ally.

    I would have been fine with any shade of grey, as it works well next to German black, I went with the metallic silver because I had already worked with that color before on minis, and had great success.

    As for painting tips if anyone wants to do this themselves, I want to make it clear, I am a complete untalented hack when it comes to painting… some of the folks on this board have amazing painting skills… I AM NOT ONE OF THEM.

    I am however, quite happy with how this project turned out even with my lack of skills, and if you have no talent, but follow the tips I listed here, you will be fine:

    1. choose your colors and also pick up a primer can (so your color will stick) and a clear coat can (so your color won’t flake off).

    2. I think its really important if you’re mass painting whole armies to take a little extra time and stick the units to low-adhesive quick release tape… the reason is because most of the units are so light, the force from the spray can could send them flying and then it’s hard to spray the units evenly with coats… also a strong adhesive tape can take the paint with it when you pull it off… I did a lot of experiments with no tape, and various types of tape and found the quick release tape to work best.

    3. apply coats as I mentioned… paint one side,  let dry, paint other side, let cure for 24 hours,  repeat with next color coat.

    4. remember if you’re not comfortable painting minis and are worried about ruining your armies experiment with your technique with a unit or two until you feel confident to go full scale, that’s what I did on my project.

    Good luck if you choose to do this for yourself!



  • @Dauvio:

    Nice job, and nice paint schemes. I really enjoy your presentation.

    I myself don’t like the Italian, and Russian color schemes. So i change their colors. For Italy is bright green because their flag has green in it. For Russia is red because of the red army. I should use your color scheme for ANZAC.

    Red Russians is a great idea.


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