Digital Camo (Digicam) Airbrush Tutorial

Here is a tutorial for anyone wishing to use digicam stencils on vehicles.  The stencils I used were from Critical Mass Wargames.

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The colours I use are Vallejo Model Air colours:

Light Grey
Medium Sea Grey
Dark Sea Grey

Obviously you can choose your own scheme, or copy this one.  The choice is yours.

The first thing I did was prime the aircraft white and preshade along the panel lines in black. With the amount of layers going over the preshading, you might not see the benefits of preshading on the dark colours, but it certainly helps to add depth for the lightest grey.

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The first layer of paint was applied over the preshading in the lightest colour. You can see the effects of the preshading here. (Ignore the wings, they were done separately).

NB: Let the undercoat and first layer of paint dry sufficiently before you start applying stencils. In an ideal world you would Prime and Shade one day, the first layer the next day, and second the day after, etc.

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The first layer of paint is the covered with stencils like this. Here you can see where the stencils ripped some of the paint up when I was repositioning it, hence my warning above.

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Here are the wings covered in the first layer of templates, ready for their second coat.

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Here is the main hull covered in the first layer of templates, before the second layer of paint.

Of course, it’s up to you to decide how much coverage you want, but the most important thing to ensure is that all the vertical and horizontal lines match up. It’s really worth taking your time over this to get it right.

With a model like a Valkyrie, it’s quite straight forward as Imperial vehicles are very blocky and angular. The tail boons were the only issue really. I can imagine Tau vehicles being a pain!

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The second layer of stencils needs to be carefully placed over the first layer after the Medium Sea Grey (or your middle colour) has dried. It’s important to overlap the first layer of templates. Try and break up as much of the natural shape of the model as possible.

You are now ready to spray your third layer of paint and wait for it to dry, properly.

Resist the temptation to peel off the templates right away, as you will only destroy your hard work. I suggest a sharp modeling knife to gently lift up each corner, and a pair of tweezers to slowly peel off the rest. Any paint you rip off can be later covered up with battle damage. (More on which later)

Anyway, with a touch of luck, you should end up with something like this:

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Be warned, this will take AGES if done properly. I half want to add more Valkyries to my Elysian army, but I’m not sure I can face more time putting little stickers onto the models! The surface area of the Valkyrie hull is larger than it seems!

– Ares

Templates are from Critical Mass Games

I must thank the guys at BuyPainted.com for their excellent and simple-to-follow tutorials on all sorts of subjects, but specifically for their Digicam one here.