Thursday, April 18, 2013

15mm Disc Camouflage Panther

This paint job was an experiment. I have seen a few attempts to recreate the disc camouflage pattern in 15mm scale but none that I feel have really created the feel of the distinctive pattern. This model was my first attempt to recreate this pattern across an entire model. The Panther model used is the Plastic Soldier Company 15mm Panther G model. The model was painted using an airbrush and a variety of masks and stencils.

A few weeks ago I posted a tutorial on one of my tests for painting disc camouflage. The basic methods outlined in the tutorial were used to paint this model.

Here is an image of a Panther in disc camouflage from

Here is the Panther I painted using this method:

This model was a lot of work to paint and I am very pleased with how some of the techniques worked. I am not sure how I feel about the whole disc camouflage scheme and I am really curious to get feedback on what people think of it. I think it will be quite polarizing. I am not sure if it manages to recreate the overall effect of the pattern or if it just looks like a polka dotted tank. I am really looking forward to hearing feedback. This is one of the first models I have painted primarily as an experiment and to try to find a way to do something in a scale that I haven't really seen done before. Please leave me some feedback in the comments section!

As I mentioned above, I tried a few new techniques on this model. This was my first time using oil washes. I used an oil wash to pin wash the lines on the vehicle. A pin wash is when you just let the wash flow into the cracks on a model. I think it created some nice depth and was much easier to apply than an acrylic wash. I also used a lot of colour modulation to lighten the model overall. I added white to Tamiya XF-60 to lighten the dunkelgelb colour on raised panels and applied a bright line highlight. I also added some shadows by spraying (carefully!) some brown wash through my airbrush onto the shadowed areas.

Here you can see the colour modulation.
It was pretty hard to mask some of the shapes.
I would love to hear what you think of this model. I'd like to hear what you think of the technical execution of the painting and what you think of this attempt at recreating disc camouflage. Thanks for your help and constructive feedback!


  1. Really excellent results, Cameron. I really am going to have to get an airbrush!!

  2. Very nice. One of the best examples of this camoflage that I've seen.

  3. Thanks guys.

    Sidney-I really like airbrushing. There is a bit of a steep learning curve but I find that it really speeds up most of my painting and allows me to do things I can't do with a brush.

    LeadLegion-Thanks. I am not totally satisfied with it but I hope it gives the overall impression.

  4. I think that it's a good attempt at recreating a difficult camo pattern. I like the modulation and how it looks on the finished piece. I'm not sure that you've got it spot on, however I like the way that it's abstracted. You can really see the discs, which I think is very important.

  5. Yeah, looking at pictures the circles should be smaller and more connected. I'm not sure how I could recreate it though without going completely crazy. I thought about maybe making a set of two stencils that overlap to provide more coverage. I will have to experiment with it. Even this method is really tedious over the full model.

  6. It's lovely.
    Plastic Soldier Company makes some nice minis, but you made that one look divine!

  7. Thanks SinSynn! I really like the PSC (plastic soldier company) models. They go together so nicely and have really crisp lines. I think they work very well for airbrushing as they look quite precise.

    I don't see too many 15mm PSC models that have been painted beyond tabletop level. It seems that for 15mm modellers, PSC models are used mostly to bulk out armies cheaply so it seems that most PSC models have been painted quickly for this reason. I haven't seen too many examples where people have really gone to town on them (Breakthrough Assault's wonderful T-70s are an exception!). They are great models to paint up and I'm hoping to see more people painting them up in the future.

  8. They look amazing and I can't even imagine how long that would have taken. However in my opinion you might want to consider using a darker colour for dunkelgelb. I know you were doing colour modulation but maybe start with the darker colour and then go darker again? Another thought would be to maybe do some swaths of the dunkelgelb over the discs like on the turret in this picture.

    I'm going to start painting better from now on.

  9. Thanks Sean. It did take a long time. I think I spent about four hours just airbrushing this model. A lot of that time was spent fiddling with the stencil I made.

    On the colour, I know that slightly darker is a bit more historically accurate. I really wanted to try going lighter to create some more light areas on the model. Maybe next time I will start a bit darker or add a dark shadow before I start adding the highlights. The lighter colour was a bit of an experiment. It is definitely a stylized look (the colour modulation).

    I tried spraying patches of dunkelgelb afterwards on one of my test pieces. It behaves a bit different when sprayed over the green and brown and it is hard to make it look good. I decided to omit it mostly so the rest of the model would look more coherent and a higher quality paint job. I thought the random blotches might just look messy.

    I will look forward to see what you paint up! You have a few full armies painted up so now you can work on the other models at your own pace. I'm going to "finish" my British and then slowly work through my German models. I don't have my airbrush at the moment though, so I am going to work on some infantry for a bit.

  10. All of these interesting comments make me want to build another panther and really go to town on it. Maybe airbrush most of the dots individually... Maybe I need to find a 3/32" hole punch somewhere so I can get the perfect sized holes. Ahhhhhhh. This camo pattern drives me crazy!

  11. You got it wrong. The stencil for the camouflage pattern describes the space between the circles. Your stencil does the opposite.

    You can even see where the pattern cutter hasn't rounded the outside curves and it is a light colour over a dark ground and not a dark colour over a light ground described in the documented photograph.

    1. I've written a big discussion piece on a few different methods I have tried for painting this pattern. It will appear here tomorrow morning (April 22nd). I'd be interested to see which method you like best or which other method you would suggest. Thanks for your comment, it really spurred me to write this next post.

  12. That is true. I tried making a mask and spraying the holes between the template through it but wasn't satisfied with it. I'll post some pictures up of the different ways I have tried in another post. I'd be interested to hear which method you thought produced the best results.

    1. same poster as above (you got it wrong)

      This may help you. Not my product I hasten to add. But having seen a number of b/w photographs this solution is most likely the best one for documented accuracy. However mix oil and dried mud and that is paint and it can be applied with a broom. So I suggest there is no definitive solution.;_ylt=A0oG7kgz_H1R5BIAfkCl87UF?p=disc%20camouflage&fr=sfp

      Here is another solution to disc camouflage

      Best of luck

    2. I posted another discussion on some of the methods I've tried on test pieces: I'd be interested to hear which method you thinks works the best.

      That first product looks great but is likely far too big for this scale. The 15mm tanks are about 1/4 of the size of the 1/35 scale tanks when you are shrinking all of the dimensions. I've tried some dots on some small test pieces but it drives me a bit crazy. I guess I could try it for a one off model, doing the dots over a few nights. Hahaha.


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