Camouflage Netting, Foliage, and Hessian Tape on Tanks and Guns

1:72 Scale Modelling Techniques

Heavy foliage camouflage on a Romanian Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H

Panzer IV Ausf. H serving with the Romanian 1st Armoured Division in 1944. The vehicle carries heavy foliage cover, because of Soviet air superiority in its sector of the front. The editor used white glue to attach irregular patches of olive green army gauze bandage to the vehicle, breaking up the silhouette. This camouflage netting was sprinkled with green flocking to simulate small branches stuck into the netting. The flocking was painted dark green, and drybrushed light green, assuming that the crew has taken care to add fresh foliage to the vehicle regularly.

The camouflage netting is visible in places where it has not been covered with foliage, giving the vehicle the desired disruptive pattern. Hatches and vision ports need to be left uncovered to allow the crew to operate the vehicle without hindrance, but the frontal glacis should have received a little foliage to break up the obvious lines. A more serious oversight is that the gun barrel has not been wrapped with netting, it sticks out like a sore thumb when viewed from the air. During road marches, crew members should be outside their hatches, acting as spotters in order to provide some advance warning of approaching aircraft.

Tools and Accessories

  • White Glue
  • Plain Paper
  • Gauze Bandage
  • Flocking
  • Paint
Gauze bandage and flocking applied to a German Bundeswehr Marder 1 Infantry Fighting Vehicle.

Painted, detailed, and weathered German Bundeswehr Marder IFV with olive green army gauze bandage and flocking applied, ready for painting.

German Bundeswehr Marder 1 Infantry Fighting Vehicle with painted and weathered camouflage netting in place.

The same Marder IFV with painted and weathered camouflage netting. The vehicle was carefully dusted with an airbrush.

Hessian Tape

A common camouflage practice on British vehicles was to have permanent netting rigged to the hull, turret, and gun barrel, with liberal use of dangling Hessian tape. Here is how Francis Liew simulates Hessian tape in miniature:

  1. Crumple a piece of paper into a ball, and then spread the paper back; cut it into shreds about 1 mm wide.
  2. Apply white glue onto desired surfaces.
  3. Sprinkle paper shreds onto glue area.
  4. Brush over gently in different directions with stiff brush, before the glue dries.
  5. Paint Hessian tape by dabbing it with a short-bristled brush dipped in Khaki, Khaki Drill, and Olive Green paint.

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Modelling Techniques