Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Easy Camouflage Patterns with Silly Putty Masking!

Old School here to share a quick tip for those of you who want to use camouflage in your armies. I have struggled with tape and paint-on stuff for some time and never got the actual camo effect I have seen on various vehicles in my military career. I read about using Silly Putty for masking on a WWII forum and decided to give it a try ...
... First off, it's cheap at $1 a piece. I like to have plenty of material, so I splurged on three of them! Big Spender!

Now, you want to paint your tank the basic color you want it to be. In this case, the DUST M2 just happens to come green to begin with. Once you have one color on, you want to lay the putty down in any pattern you want your camo to appear in. You want to press it down on the edges so that it is flat. This will give you nice clean lines later!

Make sure you get your weapons and turrets too. For skinny things like barrels, it can be helpful to use a lot of putty to help keep the surface you are painting from touching the counter (or book or whatever). Remember, what ever you cover with putty will be your base color (green in my case) when you are done.

Next, you down your second color! This is best done with a spray. For me, I used Karnak Stone out of the Iwata airbrush I own. I had to spray two coats to make sure it was nice and even, but all in all, it took more time for the paint to dry then it did for me to actually paint. This is important: Don't mess with the putty until the paint is dry and you are happy with the result. If you lift it and then decide you need another coat, good luck getting it back into the exact spot it was in!

Once you have it just right and you peel off the putty, you will have the beginning of a wonderful camouflage paint job! You may wonder what happens to the putty. I washed mine off in warm water and put it away. It's all good! You may also get a lip here are there where the putty caused the paint to ramp up and make a little wall. You can rub these spots off with your finger or carefully trim them with a knife. I fingered mine and was done in seconds (lol).

You can use this same technique again to add a third color too. You are only limited by your pattern and the space you have to work on the model.

Overall, I am happy with the putty, it is sticky enough to mask your model. It comes off just as easily as it goes on and leave no residue. It's cheap and reusable as well. I plan to make putty a regular tool in my tool box.

Also, just because I used a DUST model here doesn't mean it can't be done for 40k models or Flames. I think a Badab War camo pattern army could be done easily using this method.


  1. Damn that looks REALLY good... so noted, will most likely use this for my Vendettas

  2. I've had a wad of Silly Putty for probably 20 years. I don't know why I kept it. Now I can use it for something productive! Good tip, OST!

  3. No problem. When it comes to techniques, I like to keep things simple. This is my Barney Style way of achieving high brow results.

  4. I use to use this method when I was just building and painting models. My old mad liked to build world war 2 boats and tanks. Its pretty easy and lets you really control the camo pattern.