A tutorial on a Clan Nova Cat scheme makes it a good time to learn about painting camouflage. Its what we’re named for here on CamoSpecs!
I begin with an assembled miniature that’s been cleared of visible mold lines, washed in a Pine Sol bath to remove oils and dust, rinsed with water, dried, glued a hex base, and spray painted with a thin coat of light gray pimer. These preparatory steps are pretty well covered in other tutorials here on camospecs.com so I urge you to consult them if needed.
My basecoat color is Reaper Master Series Driftwood Brown (09162). I apply this with somewhat thinned paint in two coats. Make sure to get it into every nook and cranny, under those armpits, and behind those knees. Of the miniature I mean, of course. A larger scale brush is good here, but too big may make your coats sloppy, and too small a brush will make the basecoating too time consuming.
I’ve chosen a three-color camouflage, and my first color will be Reaper Master Series Rust Brown (09072). I use a finer brush to allow me more detail. Just blotch the paint on (without being too rough on the brush bristles). My intent here is to cover much of the surface with irregular patches. A key to good camo painting is to make sure the surfaces of the miniature have an even spread of patches. This can be harder than it sounds. I find myself blurring my vision to get a sense of the overall spread of color from different angles. If I see areas where one color is too dominant or too vacant, I can retouch the colors a bit at this stage. Be sure to get the undersides and the back of the mech too!
I then apply the third color, in this case Vallejo Model Color Dark Green (979). Like the previous color, its important to keep the colors spread out and of approximately the same size of splotches. I also apply a ‘rule’ to this scheme, that every patch of the rusty red will be touched by two patches of the dark green. Real world camouflage schemes can often have these types of rules that they follow too.
Over the next few steps, I paint the metallic areas of the miniature with Reaper Master Series Blackened Steel (09205), and a few touches of Scorched Metal (09125) break up the monotony.
A Clan Nova Cat decal from Fighting Piranhha Graphics is applied, and because of the crowded panel lines on this ‘Mech, I use some Microscale Industries Micro Sol solution. This fluid softens decals allowing you to stretch and press them into the surface details (I use a soft, damp cotton swab). But be gentle! Rough handling can tear or distort your decal out of shape. Even with the extreme panel line in the center of this decal the Micro Sol does its job.
For weathering, I go with the tried and true drybrushing method. A lighter color than the basecoat is needed to produce highlights, so I use Valljo Model Color Deck Tan (70986). Drybrushing is done by dipping into the paint, the tip of a preferably old and ragged brush, then wiping it on a paper towel to remove almost all of the paint. I use a motion over the miniature as if my brush was a tiny feather duster, but instead it leaves behind paint on the raised edges of the panels. To reduce the effect somewhat, I go back with my camouflage colors and retouch some spots where the drybrushing turned out too aggressive.
Another weathering method arrives as my nearly last step. Washing. Contrary to its name, washing will add some grunge to the ‘Mech and add shading into the recesses of the panels. With a mixture of water, Reaper Master Series Walnut Brown (09136), and Future Acrylic Floor Wax, I coat the miniature’s entire surface. This will usually tone down a good amount of the drybrushing too, softening that effect.
My base is coated with Reaper Master Series Russet Brown (09199), drybrushed at the same time as the rest of the mech with the same color, and also washed with the same mix on the mech. I glue down some autumn mix flocking to really go with my camouflage colors.
I also apply some dabs of silver paint on the ‘Mech’s weapon tips, and then a quick dab of transparent red paint. This particular ‘Mech has no cockpit, so that saves me the trouble of working on it.
When my wash coat is very dry (any hint of moisture will ruin this step), I spray on a good layer of Krylon Matte Finish and let that dry too.
This tutorial works for any era of Clan Nova Cat. It could easily be applied to pretty much any unit that uses camouflage. Feel free to mix up the color choices and patterns, that’s what camo is all about. Hopefully your opponent will lose sight of your forces on the gaming table and make fatal errors in his strategy!
Good painting to you!