Monday, 2 May 2011

How to use pastels to do cammo on small AFVs

Hello guys, I have been asked a few times about how I use pastels to do cammo on small scale armour, so here is a short tutorial
6mm Scifi

1/72 armour

1) First paint the base (this really only works with a light base, so is good for late war German, it works well on dark yellow, sand, light grey etc, if the base is to dark the pastels don't show well) 2) Once the base is dry, crush pastel chalks into powder (or use pastel powders) apply the pastel in your desired camo effect using an old paint brush, a thin one for thin lines, you need to rub the pastel into the base paint a little, you will be able to make small to large lines, or smallish dots to large dots, you can also use a pastel pencil, by drawing on the cammo, this can give very thin lines of smaller dots, once applied blow any excess off, (be careful when handling the model at this stage as yo can leave pastel finger prints)
3) once the cammo has been applied seal with a spray varnish (I use a gloss so I can do my decal and washes)

4) apply decals etc, and washes.

5) then spray with a Matt varnish, paint any detail, paint any chipping/damage, then finish with your favourite weathering tech.

The model will now be able to be handled just like any other.


* once you get the technique down it is pretty easy to achieve very tight cammo patterns on very small models, I have do this on 6mm armour effectively.

* its cheap, no need to buy a spray gun or compressor.

* gives that sprayed cammo look.


* only works well with dark colours over light base coat.

* can be time consuming.

* need to avoid making a mess on the model at the pastel application stage, watch those fingerprints.


  1. Cheers Dan!, Very helpful.

    I had never really considered using pastels before but I have been getting a bit frustrated with having "hard lines" on my camo markings so this is definitely a technique i will need to give a try.

    Those Ghouls arrived yet?

  2. Thanks Dan for the tutorial,

    I just finished two days ago a T-26 for the SCW ,Pastel are really great for weathering and camo and worth every minute spend on it.

    Cheers and keep on the good work


  3. I tried using pastels several years ago and it didn't turn out well. I'm not sure what I did wrong. Thanks for the tutorial. Maybe I'll give them another go.


  4. Thanks guys
    Chris, make sure you use dark colours over light base, it will not work well light over dark, use some old kits or even just plastic card to practice first.

  5. well I have taken the plunge and bought some pastels chalks.

    I have a couple of German 1/72nd scale AFV's that I will have to try them out on!