Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tutorial: 3 Colour disruptive camo with silly putty

Yesterday I posted pictures of a completed Jagdpanther painted in three colour camouflage. In this tutorial I will quickly show you how I painted the camouflage stripes. This method was pretty fast. It took me about thirty minutes or so to paint the camouflage on this model. I used silly putty for masking. This tutorial uses an airbrush for most of the camouflage painting steps.

For this model I tried to recreate the camouflage of this Jagdpanther from Earl Grey's collection of camouflage patterns. My goal was to replicate the diagonal pattern and to end up with similar proportions of green and brown.

-Tamiya XF-60 Dark Yellow (or any other dunkelgelb colour)
-Vallejo Model Air (VMA) Burnt Umber (red-brown)
-VMA Russian Green (Medium-dark green)
-VMA White (to lighten Dunkelgelb colour)
-silly putty (or UHU sticky tack)
-airbrush (I use a Badger Renegade Krome)

Final model.

I first primed the model with white Vallejo Surface Primer. I then based the whole model in Tamiya XF-60. I then mixed in a little bit of VMA white to add some lighter areas on the tank. This is totally optional. I then covered the places that I wanted to remain dunkelgelb in silly putty. You could spray a gloss coat before this step to protect the finish. It is probably a good idea as you will handle to model a lot when using the silly putty mask. Use a picture to reference the general pattern you want for the shapes.

Now, spray VMA Russian Green (or any other green you want) over the model. Try to spray from one angle to get a hard edge to the camouflage. Don't spray too hard around the putty or it may move due to the air pressure. I also sprayed some freehand green and brown onto the road wheels. After spraying the model green mask areas that will remain green with silly putty. For this pattern you want to leave bands of uninterrupted colour.

Here you can see the sprayed green and where I put the fresh putty over the green.
After the mask has been applied, spray the brown colour over the remaining areas. Spray a few patches on the road wheels as well.

Looks great...
Finally, remove the silly putty mask. Take care not to remove the paint. You need to do this shortly after painting. If you leave any putty on the tank it will harden after a few hours and become permanent. At this point you should be left with something resembling this:

Remember that at this stage you essentially have an elaborately basecoated tank. It doesn't look fantastic. Everything will start to look better after you apply decals, weather the tank, and paint the details. If you had some minor overspray you can correct this by applying weathering over top.

Instead of using silly putty you could use sticky tack. Sticky tack doesn't get stuck to the model as much, making it a bit easier to remove. If you use sticky tack make sure to use a good quality brand so that it does not leave residue or get stuck to your model.

Update: Recently I have been painting tanks in a similar method using sticky tack instead of silly putty. Sticky tack is easier to remove and is more solid on the model. It is a bit more expensive though.

Panther G in sticky tack.

Finished model. You can see more of this Panther here.
Panzer IV J painted in a similar method. You can see more of it here.
Thanks for visiting. I hope this tutorial was helpful.


  1. Thanks for sharing it!!

    We're updating the miniature tutorials database to a new and fresher version.
    This is your tutorial link:

    We don't use any of your original content, and a link to your website and your name are always visible for the reader.

    If you don't want your tutorial to be in the database, please tell us so we can remove it!

    Thanks again!

  2. Nice work mate.

    Although...for want of an airbrush myself I'm glad the British kept things so dull (that's the way we roll, baby!).


  3. warzone-no problem. Feel free to add any of my tutorials to your database. I like how you just link to the tutorials.

    Drax-Thanks. I use the airbrush on my british models too. It is a pity (in my opinion) that there aren't as many interesting camouflage patterns for the British.

  4. Great tutorial, I've never thought to use silly putty. I've always thought that the "mickey mouse" pattern looks great.

  5. Silly putty is alright. If it is too thin it is hard to remove and if it dries it becomes permanent.

  6. That's an awesome way to paint camo Thanks!


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