Painting and Finishing Military Figures

Rob Henden


Available from Compendium Films

In this DVD, Mr. Henden, Master Painter, is going to share some of his painting secrets. He uses advanced techniques that some of us may have never even thought of using. This DVD is also unique in the way it is set up for viewing. The DVD begins with the selection of Programme, Index, and Extras. Choosing Programme will play the Introduction and the entire Programme of Seven Chapters (which is listed further on in this review). When you choose Index, (also listed further on in this review) you will be able to select and click on a specific topic, which will take you to that place in the video for immediate viewing. And don’t forget the Extras, you’ll also enjoy them.

The DVD is introduced by Mr. Richard Windrow, Best-Selling Author and Modeler.  Mr. Rob Henden, begins with discussing “Scales and Models”. He takes us through a quick tour of collector scales and different models by showing us some of his impressive collection. Mr. Henden, also shows us the miniature that he has chosen, which is a late World War II figure of a 200mm German SS Fallshirmjager in full camouflage, from Warrior Scale Models.  Mr. Henden has won numerous awards for this figure.


The next sections of the DVD shows us how Mr. Henden is going deal with the Kit Construction, Priming, and Preparation of the kit, since it is a resin cast figure. Here he shows us different ways to get rid of the casting plugs on the resin pieces. He cautions that this is a step in which we should be very careful, especially, if we are going to use power tools. He also shows us the method he uses to clean off the mold lines and get the figure 100% ready for construction and priming.


Mr. Henden, also shows us the kit construction and begins building the figure and pinning different pieces. You see him test fit every piece, making sure that each piece is as close to a perfect fit as possible. He also shows us how he primes his figures using an air brush. You can see that Mr. Henden takes great care in the preparation stage of figure construction and how it pays off in the end result.

The first thing that Mr. Henden paints on this figure is the trouser area. Here he begins to discuss his color selection and the paints that he will use. We see him using an air brush for the base color on the figure and he tells clip_image008of his approach to painting this kit.

Next, we see some of his research for “Real Camouflage”. He has in his possession a real camouflage jacket that he uses as a guide to painting the figure. He provides detailed insight into his selection of camouflage and the way it should be laid out on the figures jacket. We gain some detailed information in this section of the DVD that is useful, as well as seeing the techniques that he employs using an airbrush that are invaluable. We watch him in the next Chapter apply the camouflage to the figure and how he evens out the look of the camouflage make it appear natural. What is particularly intriguing, in this section of the video, is how he applies the rain pattern. His hint on applying this can be seen in the film clip that Compendium Films has been nice enough to allow me to post. This short post should give you a good look at the quality of the DVD, as well as the usefulness of information that can be gleaned from this video.

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The last chapter deals with the Head and the Eyes, which is unlike some videos, that advise you to start painting with flesh colors, whereas, Mr. Henden has decided to let them wait towards the end. While he feels this area of the figure is important, you get the feeling that it is no more important than any other area of painting this figure. His instructions on painting the face, especially, the eyes are excellent and the video reinforces his instruction on producing an award winning figure.

Painting and Finishing Military Figures takes you behind the scene of what really goes into creating a world class figure. Painting and Finishing Military Figures is a great video, the Index and Extras are fantastic additions that make this video even better.  The Index is a further breakdown of the Chapters that allows you to find any subject you want to review quickly and simply. To fully understand the depth of the Index let me list the individual Chapters and then the full Index.

The Chapters are:

  • Choosing Scales and Models
  • Kit Construction
  • Priming and Preparation
  • Painting the Trousers
  • Real Camouflage
  • Tunic and Camouflage
  • Head and Eyes

The specificity of the Index is much more detailed in its presentation and usefulness for reviewing the video to find particular subject matter. The Index includes:

Attaching Pouches



Drilling and Pinning

Dry brushing

Drying Paint

Eyes – Glazing

Eyes – Iris

Eyes – Pupils

Eyes – White

Fine Lining

Flesh Undercoat

Green Cammo

Green Masks


Kit Contents

Masking – General

Model Scales


Rain Mask

Red Cammo

Removing Masks

Shading – Face

Shading – Tunic

Shading – Trousers



Finally, we come to the DVD Extras. As you know, many video DVD’s come with extras these days and I am happy to say that Painting and Finishing Military Miniatures does not disappoint in this area either.  The DVD Extras are:

  • Making Leather Accessories
  • Additional Parts
  • Detailed Finishing
  • Correcting Common Mistakes
  • Rob Henden Profile
  • Sources & Reference
  • Model Panorama

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The first four DVD Extras deal with the miniature that Mr. Henden has painted. You see him make a leather strap using a method that is unique and easily copied. The Additional Parts shows how he finishes off the figure by adding grenades, etc. The Detailed Finishing are those final touches that Masters put to their figures to make sure they stand out; and in the Correcting Common Mistakes he shows you what to do when you have an ‘Oops’ as your finishing a figure.

The next four Extra items are more generic but still add a nice value to the DVD. In Mr. Henden’s Profile you learn about him and his passion for the hobby, which is interesting. Sources and Reference are the books and materials he uses for this miniature. The Model Panorama is a slow look at Mr. Henden’s beautiful work. Looking at the work that he has painted adds more weight to the question is painting miniatures…art.

The final section provides credit to the companies that have supported Compendium in the making of this DVD. Here a detailed list of the tools and materials used in the course of this video as presented for your reference.

As with any DVD, I recommend that you watch the entire video before jumping around in the Index section. Once you’ve viewed the entire DVD you’ll understand how the specificity of the Index is such an added bonus, as compared to the Chapters, for quick referencing. For this reason, I believe that you’ll be utilizing this DVD as often as you would any reference book. This video is so filled with skilled information that I could hardly have covered all of the material. Mr. Henden presents the detail of his work, correct ways to employ an airbrush and advanced techniques in figure painting. In this video he has showed so much more than just a superficial look at painting a figure; you will pick up advanced techniques and subtle ways of doing things that you may never have thought of utilizing.

I hope that you can see, as I did, that “Painting and Finishing Military Figures” is NOT just another painting DVD. It is an up close and personal look at the way that Mr. Rob Henden created a masterpiece.

Available from Compendium Films

MSRP $24.95