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Richard

Three-Color NATO Camo

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I'm about to start painting a three-color NATO paint scheme using Tamiya acrylics. I'll be masking off areas using blue 3-M tape. How long should I wait between applying the various colors so the tape doesn't lift off the color underneath? Also, would it help (or hurt) if I applied a light gloss coat (Future) over each additional color before applying the next?

 

Here's how I see it going. NATO Green then a very light gloss coat...(wait a couple days)...mask off where I want the brown and paint it...(wait a couple days)...very light gloss coat over the brown...(wait a couple days)...remove masking over the brown...mask for the black areas...and paint...(wait a couple days)...very light gloss coat over the black...(wait a couple days)...remove remaining masking and give it one last very light gloss coat over the whole thing and give that a couple days to dry.

 

Normally, I do desert vehicles or straight green.

 

All help and advice is greatly appreciated!

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Richard,

In 20 years of service, the only thing we ever taped off were the optics. All painting was done freehand with an air gun. This was of course before CARC paint and then we were not supposed to do any painting, other than BII. I have had issues with blu tac and I do not think a waiting time would have changed that. I usually start removing tape once the coat has dried.

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Yeah, I get that. In the lead-up to ODS (before my unit got called up to go) I spent many a day painting vehicles in full MOPP 4 with brushes!

 

In the last couple of years there has been a rash of digital paint schemes on models thanks largely to China. I've also seen very sharp paint lines on things like the French LeClerc MBT. I like doing stuff that's different. There's only so many Sand, OD green or tri-color NATO vehicles one can do. I've done three color NATO schemes before; but they were always free-hand.

 

Thanks for the info!

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Other's may pipe in but I don't think a wait time is that necessary. However, a couple days drying time might help.

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I use Silly Putty to mask off my armor and aircraft. I have had no issues with residue, lifting or anything else. A clear coat between coats wouldn't hurt though. I use enamels so I can't help you with drying time.

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Nato Three color paint is not hard edge, so just free hand it. Lay down a fine line on the edges with the different color then fill in the rest.

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US vehicles' colors aren't hard edged. I've seen UK Scimitars and Challengers and French LeClercs that did. I get what you're saying though and appreciate the advice.

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US vehicles' colors aren't hard edged. I've seen UK Scimitars and Challengers and French LeClercs that did. I get what you're saying though and appreciate the advice.

Agree, In that case I do not recommend the blue painters tape. THe sticky glue backing is to strong and will sometimes pull up model paint. I recommend something along the lines of Tamiya thin Yellow modeling tape. Also as Mark suggested above the silly putty works well also. Hope this helps. As for the order of paint, green,then brown, and then black. No need to clear coat between colors. Just let paint dry fully. Here is and example if you go the free hand route.

 

AAP7005.jpg

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Very nicely done!

 

Thanks!

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Here are a couple of close up shots of an Abrams that is still in its factory scheme. If you look at the smoke grenade launcher mounts, I've caught an area where the three colors meet. There are lots of overspray and areas where the spray paint has missed because of the parts of the tank.

 

abl.jpg

 

You can see the areas where the paint meet on the side skirts really well. It's very rough to the touch and you'd be surprised how much dust will accumulate at the points where the paint lines meet.

 

abw.jpg

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Just some advice on the masking medium. Not the biggest fan of 3M Blue as I have encountered some lifting and seep issues.

 

Might I suggest getting a roll of Frog Tape Delicate Surface (Yellow). It's almost identical to Tamiya tape in lower adhesion and pretty thin. It is inexpensive ($5.88 at Wal Mart) for 60 yards.

 

So what is the subject?

Edited by RobMorales

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Col. G: Yeah, I remember practically having to blast the dirt and crud off our vehicles when we'd come back from Hohenfels or Graf. Same for when we were shipping our gear back to Germany from the Sand Box.

 

RobM: I saw some blue (or might have been green) Frog tape in Wally-World this past weekend and started to get it; but I couldn't remember if that one was the low-tack or not. I was starting to think I was just going to have to bite the bullet and buy the Tamiya tape; but now that I know Frog has a low-tack variety I'll get some of that!

 

Oh, and the subject? That's the Panda 1:35 scale 2S6M Tunguska air defense vehicle. It's got my favorite things: missiles AND guns! I'm going to do an Arctic camo pattern based on one for the Trumpeter BMP-T "Terminator" from a Russian arms show in 2013...white, gray and black. It's got really sharp, almost geometric swatches of color.

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