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SparksMurphey

CAV Dictator Digital Camo Fail

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Okay, to clarify, when I say "fail", I mean it didn't work out how I intended it to, and while it came out quite interesting, I doubt I'll use the same technique again.

 

One of my players, who I've offered some of my spare Bones CAVs to (hey, I've got to have an opponent) was interesting in seeing what digital camo would look like. I found a tutorial and we agreed that while it didn't look like actual digital camo (which would be much finer size on a figure at CAV scale), it was certainly a pleasing effect.

 

These are the steps we followed.

 

Firstly, the mini got a coat in tanned leather. Once that was dry, pieces of masking tape cut to 90 degree angled patterns were stuck over it.

FDWx9YL.jpg

This was where I began having my doubts, which is why I didn't end up following along with the arms (that, and the fact that I'd used up the masking tape I'd cut so far and didn't want to cut more just then). As you can see, the masking tape wasn't sticking very well in several spots, such as the outside of that left leg. Still, I pushed it down as best I could and soldiered on.

 

With the tape down, the model got a mostly complete coat of grass green.

OurVCrO.jpg

 

And once that was done, another round of masking tape shapes, in different positions.

j2wU5Wf.jpg

 

More tape sticking problems. Well, it's a prototype, right? So I might as well finish it and see what happens. A coat of yellowed bone went on next, then more tape, then a coat of peacock green.

HCH7CBa.jpg

By this point, I was having serious doubts about how effective this was going to be, as you can probably tell by the arms in the background there which have picked up a partial coating of peacock green without undergoing any of the arduous tape+coat+tape+coat+tape+coat business. Maybe I needed stickier masking tape.

 

Once the peacock green was dry, it was time to carefully take the plastic surgery bandages masking tape off and see how it went.

9leykql.jpg

Huh. Well, it's not really... digital. It's completely missing most of the sharp, crisp edges and 90 degree corners that define a digital camo pattern. What seems to have happened is that the masking tape has wicked (past tense of wick, not adjective meaning evil) the liquid paint underneath, which wouldn't have been a problem in the tutorial since they were using an airbrush. Unfortunately, my airbrush is about a thousand kilometres away, and tends to disperse quite a lot over that distance. But the effect is still somewhat nice, even though it was something I could have basically done in half the time with a little patience and a fine brush. Which is what I did on the arms, in the end.

 

TkSHdSI.png

J0uhEvh.png

I've added some fine black edges to some of the borders between colour splotches. Metallics are a blend of black, stone grey, and Vallejo Gunmetal Blue. Next stop, a little clean up on the lettering, some sealing for the paints (including some gloss varnish on the canopy) and a mixed sand and grass base.

 

But yeah. Even though it turned out nice in the end, I'm not planning to do this again the same way.

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Oh yeah, that's definitely an airbrush technique.

 

I wonder if anyone has tried using liquid frisket as a mask on miniatures. That might prove a better seal than masking tape, if one is not using an airbrush.

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Oh yeah, that's definitely an airbrush technique.

 

I wonder if anyone has tried using liquid frisket as a mask on miniatures. That might prove a better seal than masking tape, if one is not using an airbrush.

 

That is a thing, though I've never tried it myself.  Anne and Jen talk about it on their DVD, and Vallejo sells it in dropper bottles.

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Digital camo is going to be tricky at this scale - the little squares are just so darned tiny!

 

I applaud your first attempt. It looks like you're well on the way to a good camo scheme, even if it doesn't quite look digital yet.

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Personally, I would just do it freehand using a tiny flat brush instead of a round one.

 

This figure looks pretty camouflaged, but not really crisply digital.

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the best mech digital camo I've ever seen was done with stamps carved out of cheap rubber erasers. This looks like it might have worked with an airbrush, or maybe even a stippling brush, but yeah, not quite what you where going for. Still, Finish up the rest of the detail, see what you end up with. It might look very cool all the same.

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Personally, I would just do it freehand using a tiny flat brush instead of a round one.

 

This figure looks pretty camouflaged, but not really crisply digital.

When it came to freehand painting the arms to match, I found I actually had to work to make it wobbly enough to compare to the rest. I think my 10/0 is definitely the way to go next time.

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One way to stop bleed under when using masking is to paint the edges of the masking with your base color, and let it dry before applying your second color. That way the paint that bleeds under the mask will be the same color as the base.

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Nice camo but not digital. I would try a liquid mask, or... just try what Pingo said.

 

Well, looking back up the thread, that's all been said. I beliiiiiieve there's modelling masking tape that historical guys use, but I'm not sure.

 

Electrical tape is wayyyyy more flexible and might stick to the curves better if you feel like trying again. Even then, I'd pick my battles and only try to mask straight lines on flat runs or a smooth curve.

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Nice camo but not digital. I would try a liquid mask, or... just try what Pingo said.

 

Well, looking back up the thread, that's all been said. I beliiiiiieve there's modelling masking tape that historical guys use, but I'm not sure.

 

Electrical tape is wayyyyy more flexible and might stick to the curves better if you feel like trying again. Even then, I'd pick my battles and only try to mask straight lines on flat runs or a smooth curve.

I hadn't thought about electrical tape. Between that and kristof's suggestion to edge the tape with the base colour to prevent bleed, this may still be viable.

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What if you got some Liquid Frisket, but applied it with those square stamps made of eraser material?

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Liquid frisket is hard to work with. To do a square mask it with it it would be easier to just paint it freehand. A flat #2 white nylon brush is a great way to do this or checkers or whatever. Or try the masking tape again with an airbrush or rattle can just make sure not to go too heavy or the paint will run under your tape again. 

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Maybe you could try on a Tiamat first. The "big" flat area on the top of it may simplify the process as there are less curves.

Free-hand non-digital camo seems more fitting for those N-scale CAV.
But keep on trying new stuff and share your results. I'm always eager to learn good working tricks :;):
 

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