Hobby Focus: Painting camouflage

Blood Angel scout with camo cloak

I found this picture on one of the newer FTW Blogger Group member sites the other day. It comes from The Land O Misfit Toys and was part of a series of posts showcasing a great looking Blood Angels army.

The reason it caught my eye is because of the camouflage scheme on the cloak. Wow. Not only does it read as camo, it reads as a certain pattern. By itself, camo patterns can be tough to do, but getting it to look like a particular pattern is even more impressive.

And to top it off, he's accounted for the folds in the material and the pattern being different when you see the next fold.

I think the reason camo is so tough is because of the scale we're working at. I've given it a go before with passable results. Nothing to write home about though.

Dark Angel scout with camo cloakMy attempt was feeble at best. I used a few washes to create some variety and give it the impression of a pattern. Maybe... if you squint your eyes and wave the model around in circles.

This was really to help me escape having to paint all the folds in the material.

I've posted about "how" one would go about painting camo before. Well not me, but I enlisted the help of a couple of guys who knew what they were doing. Admiral Drax and Col. Corbane helped me out with their two cents on the topic.

Adding camouflage patterns to troops or vehicles for that matter is one of those things you need to get right. It's worth looking around to find some good examples and maybe even do a test model before trying it one your whole Imperial Guard army.

That being said, if you get it just right, it's an amazing effect that adds tons of character to your force. My example is not the best, but the one up top is spot on.

4 more FTW Member camo examples

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
How to paint camouflage
4 things to keep in mind when painting camo

Ron, From the WarpIf you've got an example in your own work or a trick/tip about this kind of thing, let's hear it.
Make sure to check out the other Hobby Focus Articles too!


  1. I gave up on the camo cloaks. Now I just paint them green, 'paint' over that in PVA glue, and then 'dip' them in flock. The result looks like ghillie suits, which works well enough for me.

  2. I really like the technique for the last one, it's very simple and easy to do. Must be interesting to see that on a vehicle though.
    Also, looks like the third image's link is broken.

  3. Oh, more interesting camo discussion. These posts really have gotten me thinking. Once I can find the time I'll be doing some experimenting of my own. Luckily I just found a bunch of outrider cloacks that should work perfectly.

  4. Haven't really tried camo yet, but this article in GW seems quite interesting: http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/content/article.jsp?aId=2400008. It discusses several different environments and it appears easy to follow.

    Anyone tried it yet? Thoughts?

  5. I find that grey and brown are fairly easy to get a good "camo" scheme with but green is much harder to define without getting blurry and indistinct (in real life that would be ideal right but on a model it just sucks).

  6. See, digital camo would look awesome! I'm just definately not upto the task. I'll think I'll go for a more traditional urban look for my scouts. Darn it!

  7. Darkwing over at Arcadia Prime has done a lot of work trying to get real-life camouflage patterns (ACU, MARPAT, etc.) to work at a 40K IG scale. Some really good results, too, although I wouldn't want to attempt it on dozens of miniatures...

  8. Tempor: If you notice in the GW article, they use a main basecolor, have one additional color for the blobs or splotches and then a final third color that is for accents. It keeps the patter from becoming overwhelming.

    Anon: With greens, I suspect it's a matter of working with the different shades of green until you find something that works and fits in with what you're trying to do.

    Jack: Thanks for info!

  9. Hey Ron

    Found all your articles on camo really useful, I ended up combining painting un the pattern and then using your method of selective washing to put the shading in afterwards. Here is a tutorial I did for my method.


    cheers Rob

  10. rob82: Wow! Those cloaks look great. You did a wonderful job with the pattern and shading them to look like cloaks without killing the camo pattern. Thanks for sharing the link.


If you've got a relevant tip, trick or link, make sure to include it in your comment for the rest of us to check out!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.