Tuesday, 25 August 2015

How to paint Astra Militarum tank camo patterns- Quick and Easy

I recently purchased some Astra Militarum tanks to add to my collection. In the army overview post, I gave a brief overview of how I do the camo pattern on the tanks. With the new purchases, I thought I would put together a post on how I paint the pattern on my tanks with some photos this time.
Step 1: Undercoat in black. I find that black works better as an undercoat for my guard. I would normally leave the crew off and paint them separately, but as this was an ebay repaint job, they were already glued in place.

Step 2: Give the entire tank a basecoat in the lighter colour. In my case, this means a coat with Steel Legion Drab. I don't worry about being too neat at this point as I will be re-painting any of the metal areas once the camo pattern is applied.

Step 3: Cover the tank in blu-tack where you want the lighter camo pattern to remain. I find that two packs of blu-tack provide enough material to sufficiently cover one guard tank.

Step 4: Paint the uncovered areas with the darker camo colour. For my tanks this is Castellan Green. It may take a couple of coats to cover the lighter colour.

Step 5: Give the darker camo colour a wash. I use Nuln Oil for the green.

Step 6: Apply highlights to the darker camo colour. I use Loren Forest for the first highlight and Straken Green for the second highlight.

First Highlight.

Second Highlight

Step 7: Remove the blu-tack from the model. Be sure to get any small scraps that are left on the hull of the tank (you can use a larger ball of blu-tack to remove these easier).

Step 8: Give the areas of lighter camo colour a wash. I use Seraphim Sepia for the wash.

Step 9: Apply highlights to the lighter camo colour. For the first highlight I use Tallarn Sand, for the second highlight I use Karak Stone.

First Highlight.

Second Highlight.
Step 10: Paint the metal areas of the tank and imperial insignia Abbaddon Black. Once dry, drybrush the metal areas with Boltgun Metal or Leadbealcher. Paint the imperial eagles with Skull White. Any other details can be picked out as required.

The finished tank:

Hope you found this useful for painting your Astra Militarum tanks. As the title says, its quick and easy using the blu-tack. I am able to get them painted quickly and to a decent standard in a day or two (the wyvern in the pictures took less than 48 hours to fully paint).


  1. Really nice work man. Really effective.

    1. Thanks, it's a nice simple technique to use. I want more gaming time rather than painting time in my 40k!

  2. Simple and effective, you could do all the lighter highlights and washes before the blue tac and spraying the green. This would be a quicker process, although you would use more paint that would eventually be covered by the green.

    Also the highlights you do now all start in the middle of each light area, which allows there to be a darker faded edge towards the green, whereas if you highlighted beforehand you'd get a universal highlight across the model and not just in the brown areas. It's swings and roundabouts but I just thought highlighting first would by a little quicker and easier

    1. Might be worth trying on my next tank (I have another punisher base coated and waiting to be painted). It was just a paint-saving step on my part, though it may look better with a more even highlight.

  3. Love this technique, I've been wanting to do an army (not guard mehaps) in a proper camo scheme and this technique would save bundles of time geting a tabletop force together.

    Awesome sauce man.

    1. Thanks Rob. I've only ever tried it on tanks and vehicles, never on infantry before. Not sure how well it would work on them, but can't see why it wouldn't, just on a smaller scale.