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Sturm

Getting the soft camo edges

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Let me start by saying that though I've been building models for a while most of my "camos" have been hand painted by a paintbrush and as we all know that looks far from a camo.

Now since I managed to get hold of a decent airbrush and compressor combo (badger external mix + revell compressor) I've decided to brave a camo scheme for my next few models (1/48 Bf109G10 , HS129B2)

Right now my 1/48 F-117A is a nice model to practice my general airbrushing but its not good to practice any camo techniques.

Now before I start on my next model I would like to hear some tips on how to achieve a nice soft edge between camos to achieve that blended in look.

Also would spraying a highly thinned amount of a base paint over the entire model after it has been painted further blend in the camo?

Thanks in advance

Edited by Sturm

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Get hold of some Blu-Tak (might be called Yellow or White Tak, or UHU Tac - it's the stuff used to hold up posters on walls). Roll it into lengths and place on the model where the camo demarkation is, then mask the areas you don't want painting. When you airbrush the Blu-Tak gives a nice soft edge to the camo.

Vince

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Get hold of some Blu-Tak (might be called Yellow or White Tak, or UHU Tac - it's the stuff used to hold up posters on walls). Roll it into lengths and place on the model where the camo demarkation is, then mask the areas you don't want painting. When you airbrush the Blu-Tak gives a nice soft edge to the camo.

Vince

What Vince said :woot.gif:

plus...make sure you spray at a 90 degree angle to the blu-tac 'sausage'. I've also used play-dough and other folks have used silly putty to achieve the same effect. Although the play-dough leave more residue than the blue-tac I suppose.

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What Vince said :woot.gif:

plus...make sure you spray at a 90 degree angle to the blu-tac 'sausage'. I've also used play-dough and other folks have used silly putty to achieve the same effect. Although the play-dough leave more residue than the blue-tac I suppose.

Thanks for the blue tac tip.

Lucky for me its available here.

Will airbrushing a very thin overall layer of base paint over the camos help also to blend them further in?

Edited by Sturm

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Thanks for the blue tac tip.

Lucky for me its available here.

Will airbrushing a very thin overall layer of base paint over the camos help also to blend them further in?

Not sure...however you should be spraying lighter colours before darker colours. So going over the darker with lighter later on might not work (if that makes any sense!)

I've also heard of people free-handing the edge after removing the mask, but this is going to be a bit of problem with the external mix (I'm assuming here that it can't spray as fine a line as an internal-mix gravity-feed). It also depends on what scale you're working in too I guess.

Edited by ThatJeffGuy

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Well my external mix is certainly no match for a internal mix airbrush but it is possible to some free hand camo and touchups if Im careful.

I work only in 1/48 from now on.Maybe soon to 1/32 with a Trumpeter MiG29M

My current 1/48 kits in stash/building are:

ROG F-117A

ROG F/A-18E (Italeri rebox)

ROG Bf109G10

ROG HS129B2

ROG MiG25PD

ROG Bf110G2/R3

ROG F-15E

ROG B17G

Academy MiG29A

Dragon JU88C6 nightfighter

As you can see almost all of them will need some sort of camo so these tips are extremely useful to me.

Edited by Sturm

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Will airbrushing a very thin overall layer of base paint over the camos help also to blend them further in?

Let's change the wording a little: Using a very thinned MIXTURE of the base coat will help to blend in the colors. You'll want to use a lot of thinner and very little paint. You can also use a very thinned and faded mixture of the darker camo. color to do the same thing. And I've heard of people using a drop of white in their dull coat final finish to also blend the colors.

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A variation of the Blu-Tac approach is that if the camo scheme is made up of large sections (Such as WWII RAF schemes) is to cut out the pattern in heavy paper, then use masking tape rolled sticky-side out to hold the paper up off the model. Some model kits, such as some Tamiya, even have scale drawings with the camoflage patterns as part of the instructions. I've made multiple copies and then cut out the pattern.

The distance the masking medium is from the model itself would determine how hard or soft the edge is . . . far away would be softer, closer would be harder. And again as mentioned, it's important to spray at a right angle to the mask.

The idea of overspraying with a thinned base color to blend the whole scheme is an old technique, although it's recent been renamed "Filter" or "Filtering" by the armor modeling community. As mentioned, the trick is to use very, very thinned paint, so that you're essentially "dusting" the model with the last coat.

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Here is my favourite method...Buy a 3" wide roll of 3M Blue painters masking tape. Draw the patterns of the areas to be covered on the tape and cut out the patterns.

Paint the model topside lighter colour first.

Use sewing thread and run it about 1/8" in from the sticky side edge. The thread will keep the edge of the tape mask raised from the surface

Lay the masking tape in position and press down from the centre to the edges with the thread spacer.

Spray at 90 degrees to the surface with the darker colour

Remove tape and you have a beautiful scale soft edge.

Using this method and Polly Scale paint, I finished a 1:48 Spitfire in under 2 hours from base coat to finish.

Barney

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A variation of the Blu-Tac approach is that if the camo scheme is made up of large sections (Such as WWII RAF schemes) is to cut out the pattern in heavy paper, then use masking tape rolled sticky-side out to hold the paper up off the model. Some model kits, such as some Tamiya, even have scale drawings with the camoflage patterns as part of the instructions. I've made multiple copies and then cut out the pattern.

The distance the masking medium is from the model itself would determine how hard or soft the edge is . . . far away would be softer, closer would be harder. And again as mentioned, it's important to spray at a right angle to the mask.

The idea of overspraying with a thinned base color to blend the whole scheme is an old technique, although it's recent been renamed "Filter" or "Filtering" by the armor modeling community. As mentioned, the trick is to use very, very thinned paint, so that you're essentially "dusting" the model with the last coat.

That's my favourite way of doing camos. It's a bit more tricky than blue-tack and more time consuming (cutting all the masks and place them on the models, especially on corners and so on, such as the fuselage/fins joints), but it gives far better results. When doing this kind of work (for example on a 2 colors camo) I use the lighter color as the "base coat", then (after masking) I lightly spray the other color. As soon as the second color is dry to the touch I remove the masks and check for any "ooops". As the base color is thicker and fully cured it's easy to remove any oops with a fine brush soaked in a mild polish (such as Bare Metal or Novus) without affecting the base color.

Hope this helps

Yuri

An add on: standard paper is too thin, while cardboard is too thick. I found that envelope paper (the one in which they send magazines for example) seems to work just fine: strong enough not to flex under the air pressure, but flexible enough to follow curves)

Edited by Yuri

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