Friday, October 26, 2012

Experiments in Painting Camouflage, Part I

Painting camouflage is, quite honestly, one of the things that frighten me about doing WWII miniatures. Especially for German armor. So before I begin painting up any more Panzers, Panthers and Tigers (oh my!) I thought I'd conduct some experiments and get a bit of practice in.

Using the leftover side skirts from my first Panzer IV H, I set to work. The first was painted in that famous German tri-color camouflage pattern.

Using Dunkelgelb as the base color, I applied thin lines of red and green. As I progressed from left to right with the red, however, I found that drybrushing gave it the appropriate "feathered" look that the real tanks had. So I did this with the green too and was quite pleased with the results.

I then experimented with winterizing the camouflage. I applied masking tape over one side to keep it free from spray paint (I wanted to use the camo as a reference for the future, you see). On the uncovered side I dabbed on a little bit of toothpaste with a torn cosmetic sponge. After that was done, I gave it as light a spray of Testor's Flat White paint that I could. I ended up waiting less than 10 minutes for it to dry and took the skirt inside and gently began washing the toothpaste off. You can see the end result above, which I think was quite successful.

I repeated this whole process with the remaining side skirt. To keep it interesting  I used classic Dunkelgrau, or dark grey. I quite like how this turned out too. So much so that I think I'm going to go with this look for my Marder II's when they arrive.

This was an interesting experience overall, and I really like the way the side skirts came out. I've also read that applying salt instead of toothpaste works too, so I think I'm going to experiment with that method next time.

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