I posted this awhile back on the Flames of War forums, and thought it might be worthwhile to post it here for anyone who might be interested…
I’ll try and outline how I do the nets and foliage step by step.
1) The netting is from Antenociti’s Workshop. It’s the brown netting. It’s just much more convenient to use than what I was doing before. But if you don’t have access to it, then Cheesecloth works just as well, it just takes some prep time. I don’t use gauze…the gauze I’ve found around here is double ply, and rather fuzzy when torn apart, and it’s just the slightest bit stiff. Cheesecloth just works so much better, and you can get, basically, a lifetime supply of it at fabric stores, craft stores, even grocery stores. The netting look itself is looser than the netting from Antenociti’s Workshop, but it works fine. But it takes some prep-
A) Pick out the color you want the net to be, then find a paint that’s slightly darker than that. I use Vallejo 941 Burnt Umber.
B) Mix up a bowl or shallow tray of this color WELL watered down. Wash-thin.
C) Cut out a piece of the cheesecloth, and place it flat into the wash.
D) Let it soak in this for a few hours. Overnight is perfect.
E) Take it out, and set it on some paper towels or on a plate (I use a small cookie tray) and let it dry.
F) Viola! Camo-net!
-Alternate method (and the one I use now)-
A) Skip all the mess, hassle, and time, and get nets from Antenociti’s Workshop.
2) Once you have your net, look at the model and plan out where you want the net to be, and where on that net you want the foliage to be. I’ve made many a mess by throwing it on, and realizing that I put it somewhere inconvenient or unrealistic or whatever, and having to start over.
3)Cut out pieces of netting to cover the parts you want. Do this in sections. By overlapping smaller pieces, you can get a better effect. For instance, on ,most of the StuGs in my photos, there are three or more small pieces. This allows the net to confrom a little better the what it is supposed to be hanging off of.
4) Practice the placement with dry netting to make sure its going to cover what you want. You want the pieces to be larger that the area you want to cover, because it’s going to fold into crevices and hang with slack. Make it even larger if you want it partially rolled.
5) Mix up some PVA (white) glue with water. You want this to be really thin. I’m not certain of ratios. Skim-milk consistency is good. Mix this up in a plastic cup or a leftover blister-pack piece. Also get an old, large paintbrush that you don’t mind trashing. The one I’ve been using is a cheap size 5 round from a bag of cheap brushes I got for dry brushing.
6)Soak the netting piece in this, take it out, flatten it out on a piece of paper towel, and then press it between that and another paper towel to “dry” it a bit.
7) Now, place the net on the model. You’ll want a couple of toothpicks and/or some tweezers here. The key to placing the net is to give it it’s general placement, and use the toothpicks to shape that placement. Let the net hang down across open areas, and pile into itself in spots where it would do exactly that in real life. For example, on my StuG, the net comes off the hull and across the shurzen and then hangs off the side. Though you can’t see under the foliage, it’s piled up between the hull and shurzen.
8 ) Use the brush, lightly dipped in the glue mix, to apply glue to the net and add more weight to the net where it hangs down to give a gravity effect to the net that would be seen in reality, especially on the barrel or off the sides of the tank. Brush the glue right onto the net, using a toothpick or tweezers to hold it in place and then to shift it around once it’s wet. Also brush more glue onto spots where the net is piled up to flatten it out a bit. Basically, the extra painted on glue and the toothpick and tweezers are your shaping tools. As a shaping example, the net on the barrel is a long thin piece of net wrapped around the barrel, brushed on with more wet-glue, and then lightly pulled down with the toothpick from the bottom while being held in place on top, so that it hangs instead of wrapping tight. Also, where the net hangs loose in a large section, such as the rear side of my StuG, take a toothpick and pull out a couple spots while wet-gluing down others, to give a bit of a natural “ripple” effect.
9) Once you have the net placed to your liking, let it dry THOROUGHLY! Give it a couple hours at least. Once dry, it should still be somewhat flexible to touch, but, obviously, not wet.
10) Time to dry brush. Do a heavy dry brush (almost a wet-brush) over all the netting of a color lighter than the net. I use Vallejo 988 Khaki. Especially brush areas of piled up or rolled netting, to bring out the net detail so it doesn’t look like a big lump of string.
11) Highlight raised areas of the net with an even lighter shade. I used Vallejo 819 Iraqi Sand.
12) Go have a beer. You’ve just netted a tank.
1) I use a mix of Noch leaf flake, two shades mixed together, olive and dark green. Antenociti’s Workshop sells some also, premixed. To this I add a little bit of crushed up thin sticks and some crushed up dried flower stuff that my ex-wife picked up at Hobby Lobby and then left behind. (She gets the 40″ LCD, I get dead flowers. Hooray!). I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s the same stuff that comes in the box set of Woodland Scenics forest canopy box set. Anything dry and brown and crumbly should do, though. The idea here it basically to get some sticks and stuff that looks like dead leaves in the leaf mix. You can skip this part if you like. It’s not that important. And you’re really not going to use much anyway…just a pinch in the leaf mix.
2) I take some brown dyed lichen from Scenic Express, and cut and tear it into very small pieces, dip them in PVA glue (not watered down), then dip this into the leaf mix, and then set them off to the side to dry. These will represent branches stuck into the netting. You can also dap glue onto spots of the lichen and then dip it, or glue the lichen to the netting first, then dab on glue, and sprinkle leaves on top. I use all methods depending on what seems to suit where I’m planning on placing it
3) Pick out where on the tanks netting you want the foliage to be. I looked at it from the perspective of “where would the crew shove branches”. I don’t think you can really go too overboard on this. I’ve seen picture of German vehicles that looked like giant mobile bushes.
For further inspiration, see- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zekiZYSVdeQ
4) Once you have picked out the spots on the netting where your branches will be, dab on some watered down glue in those spots, sprinkle on some leaf-mix, then tap off the excess. The idea here is you want leaves right on the netting, under and around the branches, sort of like a “base” for the foliage itself.
5) Let everything dry a bit
6) Dab on some more glue on top of the placed foliage, and then place the leaf-covered lichen or your bare lichen on top. If it’s bare lichen, dab on some unwatered glue on the “branches” and then sprinkle on leaf-mix and tap off the excess.
7) Dry some more.
8 ) Very lightly bush on some watered down glue on top of and around the foliage. Some of the leaves are going to come off…that’s fine. Sprinkle on more leaf mix. You can keep building up layers this way until you’re satisfied with the result.
9) Let everything dry.
10) Very lightly dry brush a little tan-yellow over the foliage (optional…I do this on the highest points on the foliage…it’s pretty subtle).
11) Seal. I use Testors Dullcoat. If you find the leaf flakes off after this dries, give it another coat. There’s always going to be a little leaf-loss, but it’s not major, and can be fixed quickly if need be. I’ve played 3 games so far with these StuGs, and havent had any noticable loss of leaves.
12) Search around your house frantically tying to find your now camouflaged model (hint- it’s the inconspicuous tiny bush on your desk in front of you)
Hope this helps. Most of this is tips I picked up from this forum.