Monday, March 4, 2013

Tutorial: German disc camouflage 1

In this tutorial I will show two different methods I used to try and paint German "disc" camouflage from WW2. For these two methods I used a 1/8" hole punch to create a stencil for painting the camouflage pattern. Tomorrow I will post another method for painting the disc camouflage using dots as stencils and creating a pattern of dots to spray over existing soft edged camouflage.

This is the classic disc pattern. The spaces in between the discs were sprayed by spraying dunkelgelb through a stencil. Image borrowed from Archer Transfers.

Here is a picture of a Stug with a variation of disc camouflage. Image borrowed from Military Models.
-Tamiya XF-60 (dunkelgelb)
-Vallejo Model Air (VMA) Burnt Umber
-VMA Russian Green
-thin plasticard sheet
-painters masking tape
-1/8" hole punch (3/16" would also be useful, I couldn't find one. I bought this one from Michael's with a 40% off coupon)
-plasticard shurzen or other test model

Method 1
Final product

To begin, I created the mask template by sticking some painters tape over a strip of thin plasticard (dollar store For Rent sign). I then used the 1/8" hole punch to punch holes in this pattern. I tried to keep small shapes in between the holes and was careful not to remove them with the punch. Note that I sprayed the sand colour schurzen with gloss varnish to stop the paint from peeling off in later steps.

Next, I stuck the tape over the area to be painted. You could also use the plasticard for this. Both work. I then sprayed VMA Russian Green over parts of the template.

I then sprayed VMA Burnt Umber over some of the areas. I didn't bother masking it as the original designs show a soft edged camouflage that has shapes that blend into each other.

Remove the template and you will be left with this spotty pattern.

After the stencil was removed at the factory, workers would spray on patches of dunkelgelb to break up the pattern a bit. I did the same here with my airbrush. I sprayed Tamiya XF-60. Do this slowly in multiple layers to get good coverage. I rushed a bit and made a spider web in one spot.

Method 2
This method is largely the same except that I created patches of camouflage on the original template instead of spraying dunkelgelb at the end. The advantage of this is that the light areas look a bit cleaner. The other method is maybe a bit more historically accurate though.

The template. I later added a few more holes as the spaces between patches is too big. In my opinion, you should aim for at least 75% coverage in the spotty areas.

Spray with VMA Russian Green and VMA Burnt Umber as before and you are left with this.

Tutorials for painting German camouflage:


  1. I never knew this camouflage pattern existed, and I like how easy it is for large flat surfaces like schurzen. Have you tried it with more, smaller holes by any chance?

  2. Glad you like it, Nick. I have a 1/16" hole punch but I think that would be too small. I will try to find a 3/16" punch as well to vary to size of the holes.

  3. Very impressive and informative thanks for the great post.
    Camo Stencils


More from Rust and the City:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...