Today Mark shares his secrets for creating camouflage nets for both your artillery batteries and tanks.
For those who have never had the pleasure of being under a camo net you are missing out. While it is obviously a net with zero protection from any incoming there is something about it that makes you feel safe. It’s really hard to describe but it feels like your little home whether sitting outside your command post or with your crew on a gun. Making nets is something I have always wanted to do for my artillery but something I have never found the time for until now….
Creating the netting
The first step, whether you are creating camouflage nets for tanks or artillery, is to get make the netting. Now I had many cunning ideas to do this, most of which were aborted as well….they were rubbish.
Dyeing with tea does not work (Well maybe for the Desert?)
However I have got there in the end. So how do you make your net?
- Go to your local pharmacy and buy a roll of plain white gauze. Unravel it and separate it (you will find there are normally 2 layers)
- Dye it with a nice green dye. I used a olive green designed for teddy bears (not sure who wants olive green teddy bears?)
Make sure you don’t splash it anywhere are it will stain your clothes!
- Let it dry over a radiator.
- Cut it in to 30cm by 30cm pieces.
- Lay each piece out on a tray and paint it with watered down PVA. The aim of this is to make it stiffer and more durable. I tried dunking it in PVA solution but what you find happens is that it sticks together as you pull it out of the pot. Therefore I find painting it while flat with an old brush works well.
- Once dry apply a dry brush on a few areas of English uniform to create some brown areas and give light dry brush of khaki.
You now have camouflage netting material ready to go. Also keep some dyed gauze back with out applying the glue and paint. That will used for your tanks.
I am currently working on a new army for ETC that has 16 guns in (Yes I am that guy!). However I really want them to stand out from the crowd, so decided to make camouflage nets for each battery. Its something you rarely see but really gives character and realism to your army. Here is the process.
- Completely finish the painting and basing of the model.
- Drill a hold in each corner of the base and one roughly in the middle. The hole should be wide enough to fit the end of a cocktail stick snugly.
- Cut cocktail sticks in pieces, you want 4 of roughly the same height and 1 slightly longer for the centre. Make sure the sticks are higher than your gun and the crew.
- Super glue the sticks into the holes.
- Paint with any green you wish (I used NATO green).
- Cut a piece of netting from the sheets you made earlier. Make it a bit bigger than needed, don’t worry you can trim it down afterwards.
- Apply super glue to the tops of the poles and stick the netting down. Once stuck I also apply some super glue on top to really seal it on.
- Take a pair of small scissors and trim the excess netting off
It really is that simple and after a bit of practice I can knock one gun out in about 10 minutes. As you can see get a battery together and it really looks great.
After seeing some pictures of Churchill infantry tanks in Normandy with camouflage nets draped over them, I decided to also apply the same principle as the gun batteries to tanks. Again the process is fairly simple.
- Fully paint and weather your model.
- Decide where you want camouflage netting.
- Cut out small pieces from the netting (The stuff which hasn’t had glue or paint applied).
- Dip the netting in a solution of PVA and water.
- Dab the excess of with kitchen roll and then drape on the model Again wipe away any excess solution.
- Sprinkle on some model leaves (optional)
- Leave to fully dry.
- Apply a dark brown wash and leave to dry.
- Heavily dry brush khaki.
That’s it; repeat for the rest of the platoon.
Here is the results you get.
I hope you found that useful, and please post up any pictures of your own successes (of failures).