Hiding in Plain Sight: Modelling Camouflage Netting

Hiding in Plain Sight Hiding in Plain Sight:
Modelling Camouflage Netting
with Evan Allen

When we started working on the CVRT series of AFV models for Team Yankee Iron Maiden releases I looked for lots of imagery and other material for painting them as well. The camo nets were always going to happen for my CVRTs but what also showed up regularly in lots of images was the amount of local foliage applied over the top of those nets as well, probably a necessary survival practice for such lightly armed and armoured AFVs.

Some of them looked more like moving bushes than tanks so I planned on adding some foliage detail after applying the camouflage nets (link to camo net article here?) There are lots of different materials that could be used for this available so I searched through my stocks of basing products and came up with a solution that was:

a. looked the part
b. on hand
c. likely to be sturdy enough to survive gaming and transport / storage.

Hiding in Plain Sight
Assembly and Camouflage Netting
The first thing I did, after assembly, was to prime the Scimitar and then started my usual camouflage net process. I looked for lots of photos of in service tanks to get an idea of where and how they used the nets and tried to avoid covering up important stuff like vision blocks and the like.
Hiding in Plain Sight Hiding in Plain Sight
Hiding in Plain Sight Hiding in Plain Sight
Painting
Once I'd finished the construction phase of the camouflage net process I painted the Scimitar with a top coat of Chieftain Green (348) and Worn Rubber (302) stripes to get that standard British paint scheme.  I also masked out the tracks before applying the Worn Rubber (302) so they would remain all green.
Hiding in Plain Sight Hiding in Plain Sight
After the main colours were dry I went back to the camouflage netting and painted them to the same formula as I usually use. I also painted the 30mm Rarden cannon black as well.
Hiding in Plain Sight
Hiding in Plain Sight

I then painted the rubber tyres on the roadwheels, including the spare on the turret, the tracks a base brown primer and the stowage items like jerry cans. I like to add a little bit of colour by painting the vision blocks as well.

When that was done I gave the whole tank a coat of gloss varnish, my personal favourite for this is the Vallejo Polyurethane varnish through my airbrush. Once that had dried overnight I added a pinwash of dark wash for green and brown paint around all the detail and over the camouflage netting as well.

Hiding in Plain Sight
Hiding in Plain Sight
After the pin wash was dry and I'd removed any excess I added some edge highlights and a spot of silver to the exposed portion of the 30mm Rarden cannon between the camouflage net and end of the muzzle. Once that was finished the whole thing was given a coat of Vallejo matt polyurethane varnish to protect the paint work and left to dry ovenight.
Hiding in Plain Sight
Hiding in Plain Sight

The Foliage
It's now time to add some foliage onto the tank. I used an scenic railway ivy type material for the base which has green material with fibres through it for strength and structure. I'm not sure exactly what brand it is but it's only one of several materials that could be used for this.

I cut it into small pieces then teased it out into flatter shapes and trimmed around the corners to get rid of any square shapes. Using superglue, sparingly, I attached to to the front and sides of the tank. Once I was happy with the amount I'd attached and the glue had dried I checked the turret rotation wasn't affected, a couple of small bits had to be trimmed away but overall it was fine.

Hiding in Plain Sight Hiding in Plain Sight

Once the base foliage structure was in place and I was happy with the placement and amount I went back to my Noch leaves that I used for the camouflage net construction to complete the foliage cover. First I added white glue patches to the base material, don't cover all of it, I added glue to about 50% of the base material so there would be several colours to the foliage. Once the glue is in place sprinkle the leaves over it and just press down gently so the leaf material sits a bit flatter against the base material.

Allow to dry for an hour or so then shake the excess leaf material off, don't be too gentle here because if it's not attached well enough it's going to come off any way in use.

The next step was to add some dust around the tracks and lower hull so out with the airbrush again to give a gentle dusting with some suitably dust coloured paint. Try not to add too much, just enough to dust up the tracks, front and back of the lower hull and the bottom of the foliage.

Hiding in Plain Sight Hiding in Plain Sight
Hiding in Plain Sight

The Finishing Touches
We're now at the end of the process and the last thing to do is give the entire tank another coat of matt varnish, I gave the foliage areas a couple of coats to help protect it. I don't like to use the white glue for this, like I did for the camouflage netting, so that it retains a more bushy texture and hopefully looks more like natural foliage.

Some crews obviously liked to cover pretty much the whole AFV with extra foliage, you can never have too much extra concealment from those marauding Hinds! But to me most seemed to concentrate on the front and sides which is what I've tried to follow here. 

The important points, after the actual look of the foliage, is to make sure it doesn't affect how the tank turret operates in use and that it doesn't fall off after one or two battles on the table top. I guess the final test to the efficacy of the foliage will be how many of these tiny AFVs get re-discovered during the table clean up phase after the battle!

~ Evan.


Last Updated On Wednesday, October 26, 2016 by James at Battlefront