Camouflage
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Thread: Camouflage

  1. #1

    Default Camouflage

    I have a Tau army from Warhammer 40k, my question is in regards to camo. I have already painted up a few vehicles of mine, but they don't seem quite finished. They are painted similar to the way Games Workshop painted theirs with full camo. Now what I am thinking is highlight the edges of the camo where it meets with panels and edges on the vehicle. On GWs they don't have highlights from what I can tell, so I am not sure if this will look goofy or not or if it will help. I don't think highlighting all of the camo would be a good idea, nor would it make sense and they are essentially flat areas. What does everybody think, Highlight the edges of the camo on panels etc. Or avoid that and leave as is.

  2. #2

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    Need a reference pic before weighing in.
    It's only a flesh wound!!!


  3. #3

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    This is the GW model, but it's more or less the same as what I have painted. So look at the front of tank for example. The camo goes around some panel joints, do you think it would be a good idea to highlight only the edges of the colours along panel edges? Or leave it alone like GW seems to have.
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  4. #4

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    The idea of highlighting and shading a miniature is to accentuate the lines and shapes as the pieces are so small they don't cast their own light so obviously.

    By comparison your tank is quite a large piece. If you put panel lines in the it will give it form, however edge highlighting each panel could over complicated it and make it look messy. They are you pieces though and you get to decide how you want them.
    In the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

  5. #5

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    The lines I am referring to are not the lines of each individual colour of camo, but only the spots that touch against the panels of the vehicle. I cant explain this any clearer, I hope you can understand.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ghool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilddragon View Post
    The lines I am referring to are not the lines of each individual colour of camo, but only the spots that touch against the panels of the vehicle. I cant explain this any clearer, I hope you can understand.
    I would say no. I've done it before, and getting a colour that looks good as a highlight for all three colours is impossible.
    The only way it would actually look half decent is if you used a different, matching highlight colour for each shade of the camo. Then highlighted each panel section of each colour with it's own highlight.
    I say leave it flat, as the camo complicates the piece enough as it is. Adding a highlight will just make it look messy, confusing and/or weird.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the input, I am going to go with that then.

  8. #8

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    I think you missed my meaning. When I said edge highlighting I was purely talking about the edges of the panels, I don't think it needs it although I do think a darker colour between each panel to give it more shape like the above picture would help.
    In the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

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    Senior Member Ghool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyeayen View Post
    I think you missed my meaning. When I said edge highlighting I was purely talking about the edges of the panels, I don't think it needs it although I do think a darker colour between each panel to give it more shape like the above picture would help.
    This is the best bet for adding contrast, definition and separation for the armour plates.

  10. #10

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    OK, here are some options.

    I'd not panel high light this model. I'd go with a zenithal high light or simply lighten convex surfaces while shading a bit the concave surfaces.

    If you're willing to repaint and use an airbrush, then repaint by spraying the entire model green(*). This is "camo" color, not the "base" color, and you'll only keep 25% of this color. Use the airbrush to highlight the green with a lighter shade of green. You could edge highlight, drybrush, panel highlight, etc, since you're working in one color. I'd probably do zenital highlight just by spraying upper surfaces this lighter shade. If you're going to weather a lot later, push you highlights too far now.

    Next, mask off the small bits, about 1/4th, you what to remain green with tape or silly putty or poster-hanging putty (Fun Tak, etc). Now paint in your brown shade, again high lighting with a lighter brown. You can overspray pretty badly, you can drybrush sloppily, etc, and the tape protects previous layer. If you're going to weather a lot later, push you highlights too far again.

    Next mask the small bits you wan to remain brown (about 1/4th), and paint your base color, again using zenithal high lighting or whatever works for this model. If you're going to weather a lot later, push you highlights too far now.

    Peal off the masks. The colors you painted first appear on top of the colors you painted later. Really, it is really great to reveal the camo. For me, this is a really great moment.

    Next, vanish glossy. Apply decals. Decals come before weathering. Pin wash all the panel lines to create contrast between the armor plates. Oil paints thinned well seem to work best for this, as they are less likely to level water marks and are slow drying so you can use a solvent moistened swab to clean up.

    Finally, you have a high contrast, show-room ready model that hasn't seen a second of combat.
    Flat varnish now. Consider chipping (painting places where the paint as chipped off), oil stains, rust, dust, and accumulated mud. All that overdone highlighting you sprayed down before gets subdued under the weathering. Weathering a huge topic, but can add so much life to a model.

    This will work well for three color camo; I painted 20+ 15mm German tanks using this formula. It may not work well for this paint scheme with essentially value variations (darker and lighter shades) of the same base color.

    (*) Just a sample color.

    If you don't want to repaint, I'd look into pin washes and other ways to darken the lines between the panels to raise contrast.

    Finally, for at least 15mm models, vallejo Iraqi Sand is a sort of a universial dry brush color that can be used to raise contrast of most shades of brown and green. But 15mm involves creating strong contrasts due to the smaller models. It might not apply here.

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