Ambush camouflage on 28mm Bolt Action Hetzer – Part I

Another great collaboration, in this occasion from our friend Jose Luís Diez “Porta”, who shows us how recreate the mythic ambush camouflage used in Hetzer tanks, using the Bolt Action model in 28mm (1:56).

ambush camouflage in german tanksWe are going to paint our Hetzer with a camouflage pattern with disc shapes, characteristic of the final years of the war, when it was needed German tank hunters go unnoticed.

In order to recreate this kind of camouflage, we’ll need so much patience. Technically is not complicated, indeed, probably it’s more complicated painting a tritonal camouflage with fuzzy edges to hand raised.

1. I  start applying the essential primer layer. In this case I´ve used grey color to get a neutral base to the three colors.Bolt action Hetzer2. After studying with attention the documentation, and above all the camouflage pattern in different views (I’ve use the material provide in the 1:48 Hetzer kit from Tamiya), I decide apply first a general layer of green color, because the total amount of this color and because his distribution. Like base color I use Olivegrün H405 from Hobby color, diluted with isopropanol (fast dry and fine spray).ambush camouflage in german tanks3. I apply lights with two green from AK-Interactive, 716 and 715, both from the German Late War Color set. I apply smooth transitions, following a zenith illumination, but without generating too contrast (in my opinión, excess contrast can muddy the final result in this kind of camouflage). I apply the last light in rivets and hatches, using AK 715 and pastel green 885 (Vallejo).

ambush camouflage in german tanks4. Now it starts the fun….with a 2mm puncher and mask tap from Tamiya we prepare a lot of cicles (I’ve done about 250!), on a plastic sheet.

ambush camouflage in german tanks5. I start to mask the part I want to be green, following always the camouflage pattern. To save time and circles, en the big areas we can use Maskol (liquid mask).

ambush camouflage in german tanks6. Now I paint the brown color, using AK 717 and 718 and following the same pattern of illumination used in the green color. I don’t paint some zones because these will be painted in dark yellow.

ambush camouflage in german tanks7. Once again, I mask those areas we want to hold in Brown using circles and liquid mask.

ambush camouflage in german tanks8. I paint the Dunkelgelb, using the LiveColor modulation set.

ambush camouflage in german tanks9. Once we have painted the three colors, it’s the moment to remove the masks….and realize some problem!. Green and brown colors have chipped in determinate areas, without a logical explanation. In some areas, even the primer layer has chipped. It’s frustrating…

ambush camouflage in german tanks10. but we can solve. To the big brown areas I use transparent adhesive mask, which I drill using the puncher. I use a transparent one because I can put the mask exactly in the interesting site, following my camouflage pattern. And I apply again the brown color using an airbrush. And I use a brush in small areas.

ambush camouflage in german tanks11. With green colors and Dunkelgelb, using a brush, I paint the areas that are not masked by discs. The circular shapes of this marks are the consequence of the application of circles on each others.

ambush camouflage in german tanksComing soon the second part!.

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