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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Bolt Action - Camouflage without an Airbrush


By Dennis,
It's been quite some time since I've been able to get some solid hobby time in, even longer for writing articles or giving DIY advice. I've got to say, I'm pleased to finally get back into the swing of it.

Airbrushes can be quite daunting and expensive for anyone starting in the hobby, so today I will walk you through a simple way to get a great result on you armored vehicles without one.



Preparation was quite simple, the tank is actually a resin Blitzkrieg Panzer IV F1 with the a spare cannon and schurzen modified to fit from the Rubicon plastic kit. Resin was washed in warm soapy water and primed with a enamel grey, this was given a quick coat of Army Painter Desert Yellow and a over spray of Army Painter Bone.

Now we will make the 'tool' we will use to 'airbrush' the tank.

You will need the following:
A Old Paint Brush
Blister Pack Foam  
Super Glue
Scissors
Take the brush and cut off any bristles with a hobby knife, cut a piece of foam in a small strip, add a bit of super glue to the paint brush and wrap the foam around the brush head.
Now, grab the scissors and trim it to a new foam brush head so it looks like the pictures above.

I made two, one with a square head for larger areas and one pointed for finer details.
I started off with the green of the camouflage (I used Vallejo 888 Olive Grey), using a stippling motion, apply it to the tank.

Just take the new tool and dab it in a bit of paint, you wont want it full like a paint brush and ALWAYS test dab the foam on something else first. If you have too much paint in the foam it wont give the stippled effect and the foam will streak like a brush.
You can even do a practice run on some paper first as a trial if you like.

Once the hull was done I moved onto the schurzen, using the detail foam brush in the same dabbing motion as before.

I then went through with the brown (I used Vallejo 826 German Camo Medium Brown) in the same manner, the foam easily washes out. Use some paper town to get the excess paint and water from it when changing colours.


Tracks and wheels were next, I went simple and rough here with a regular brush, it will be mostly covers in mud anyway so i wasn't too worried about it. I used Vallejo 822 German Camo Black Brown

Once dry, the tracks were given a quick dry brush to give them a few flecks of silver and the whole model was given a brushed on coat of Army Painter strong tone.
I left this over night to dry, up next is the mud.

I use a simple mixture of PVA, Burnt Umber Acrylic Paint, Tea Leaves, Sand and a little water. It will look more like a paste then a liquid.

I add generous amounts to anywhere mud would collect on the tracks and the hull of the tank.
Leave it to dry over night again, you cant really work on it with the mud wet.

Now you can start on the final details, I took the original colours and touched up the centers of the camouflage markings.
This makes the pattern pop a little more after inking, you could go up another layer of high lighting at this point if you wanted as well by adding a little sand to either colour, and dabbing the highest points of the armor.  I didn't and the end result was a little dark, but this has a lot to do with the colours I'm using.

Next was chipping and decals. Chipping was done with the blister foam as seen by the other guys in previous articles, decals were left over form the Rubicon set.
Lastly I grabbed a mocha coloured acrylic and dry brushed the mud areas of the tank, this is a very light dry brush. It's better to brush a little at a time then ruin your work.
That's all the basic steps you'll need to know get a tank to a good tabletop standard, with a finish that doesn't look brushed on. 

Please use what you like from this article and by all means improve on it where you can, I'm always happy to receive feedback. 

Until next time - Dennis


1 comments:

ahschmidt said...

This article is great! I used to use a similar technique with my Flames of War tanks before I acquired an airbrush. I love my airbrush, but its good to see this out there. There is a great historical tie in here as well. Some German panzer units would recieve their tanks in a factory coat of 'dunklegelb' then the camo was applied in the field. There was a ton of variation & different ways to apply the paint. Often it was sprayed on but ither times it was applied woth a mop, boom, or oter tool used like a giant brush. Your technique captures this perfectly.

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