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ACU Pattern

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  • Member since
    August 2006
  • From: University of Dayton
ACU Pattern
Posted by arkhunter2002 on Wednesday, February 28, 2007 10:37 PM

Hey guys,

 You may know me from the Helicopter forums, or possibly other websites (mostly ARC), but I also like painting the occasional figure.  Here are some pics of my attempts at the ACU camo pattern using the salt technique (or as I understand it) on two figures.  Please give feedback, as I am not exposed to the ACU regularly.

Thanks,

Austin

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Thursday, March 1, 2007 7:04 AM
Looks pretty good.   I have to give that a try.  Good job.

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  • Member since
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  • From: Green Lantern Corps HQ on Oa
Posted by LemonJello on Thursday, March 1, 2007 7:52 AM

That looks pretty darn good to me.  ACU's always seem a little more grey to me, but I'm used to seeing MARPAT daily.  I'm going to give the salt method a try at some point, probably when I build my LAV.  Thanks for showing your results.

A day in the Corps is like a day on the farm; every meal is a banquet, every paycheck a fortune, every formation a parade... The Marine Corps is a department of the Navy? Yeah...The Men's Department.
  • Member since
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  • From: Baton Rouge, Snake Central
Posted by PatlaborUnit1 on Thursday, March 1, 2007 5:43 PM

this looks very good and definitely worthy of giving a shot on my end. I have heard of the salt technique on a large scale for paintchips, but could you give us a breif rundown on how you did it on your figure? the patterns look very tightly controlled.

Thanks

David

 

Build to please yourself, and don't worry about what others think! TI 4019 Jolly Roger Squadron, 501st Legion
  • Member since
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  • From: University of Dayton
Posted by arkhunter2002 on Thursday, March 1, 2007 9:15 PM

Here is how I paint the ACU (example is the legs from "Kicking In Doors Iraq" from Verlinden").  The tools that I use include clips/tweezers to hold the figure, two clear plastic cups (one for salt and one for water), salt and water (both in cups), a toothpick, a fine paint brush, a large, soft-bristled paintbrush, and an airbrush.

First the paints (IDK if they are the accurate colors, or not, but they look good enough):

Then I painted the green on first, that is my base coat:

 

Then I waited until it was dry (in this case, it was atleast 24 hours, because I painted the green on, but walked away for a day or so), and I dipped it in a cup of water.  Let the water bead up and then sprinkle salt over the green.  Not all of it will stick, so then sprinkle some more.  If there is too little water, there won't be enough for the salt to stick, so, using a fine brush, apply water that way.  Then take pinches of salt to sprinkle over the wet area.  While the salt is drying, and you think you put too much in a certain area, use a tooth pick and move the salt around:

Once dry, spray the next coat on, but be careful so you don't blow away the salt.  I will have to look at the actual PSI that I use and get a good estimation of the distance at which I spray.  Then you spray your next coat, which, in this case, is the darker grey:

 

More to come as complete this paint job and clean him up as the weekend presses on.

 Hope you enjoyed,

Austin

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Ft. Sill, OK
Posted by beav on Friday, March 2, 2007 1:06 PM
It might just be your pics, but I believe the ACUs that you recreated look a little to 'cold'.  The examples that I have in my closet, besides being 10x better than the BDU's, have a lighter tone of green, a tan color, and a darker version of that same green.  But, since you are the one doing the model, they look GREAT.  besides, its 1/35, its not like they have to be perfect.

"First to Fire!"

Steven

  • Member since
    January 2006
  • From: Baton Rouge, Snake Central
Posted by PatlaborUnit1 on Friday, March 2, 2007 4:27 PM

Now THATS what I call a helpful tutorial! Nice photos and good descriptions. Im going to have to try this, looks good to me, Im interested in doing this on a larger scale for Ma.K. figures....very very cool!

 

thanks for the photos and text

 

David

 

Build to please yourself, and don't worry about what others think! TI 4019 Jolly Roger Squadron, 501st Legion
  • Member since
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  • From: University of Dayton
Posted by arkhunter2002 on Friday, March 2, 2007 7:44 PM

Part II. There is a possibility for a part III, but that is after I am done experimenting adding "cleaning up" the pattern by adding a color where it seems to be really lacking.

First, I used the small brush and "painted" on some water, and took a pinch of salt and sprinkled it over that area.  That took about an hour (I was watching TV, which slows work down a lot).

Then I sprayed the lighter gray, the third and final color.  I sprayed at about 10 PSI so I wouldn't blow the salt away from roughly 3 to 4 inches away.

I let that sit for a while.  Once it was dry, I started to wipe some loose sand away with the large, soft bristle brush.  For the more dry pieces of sand, I used a tooth pick.  I use both, but I am fairly sure that just a toothpick would do.

Just be careful, as I accidently broke off the foot while scratching the salt off with the toothpick.

 

Here are some problems that I picked up on with this technique though.  The first layer of salt tends to go in the creases (finished pic #2) and sometimes there isn't enough of that color in an area (halfway down the right leg on pic#1), and to my knowledge, I have no idea how to fix that, so I will be doing some expirementing.  I think that I may try and mess around with the colors, see if I can't get them better.

Hope you enjoyed,

Austin

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Friday, March 2, 2007 9:20 PM
Good how-to.  Now that I look at it closer though, the colors are off.  I agree with beav above.  The gray is wrong.  My ACUs have a dark green, light green, and a sandy gray color to them.  Other than that, they look good.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
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Posted by ssgkopp on Friday, March 2, 2007 10:34 PM
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Caput Mundi
Posted by Avus on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 3:26 AM

Great SBS, thanks arkhunter2002!
As said before, the colors don't seem to match but the method is very effective.

Mario Matijasic's article (the one on Historicus Forma) is on a 120mm figure. The colors he uses look definitively closer to the real ones.
Working in larger scale it was "easier" to paint the figure without using the salt technique.

Final personal note: weren't the armies that adopted a digital camo schemes thinking of us modelers when they made their choices?!
These schemes are a real pain to paint!

Klaus

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  • Member since
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  • From: Green Lantern Corps HQ on Oa
Posted by LemonJello on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 7:17 AM

The real pain on the 1:1 scale uniforms is trying to determine what the rank on the collar is from a distance (don't want to address a 1stSgt as MSgt or a MGySgt as SgtMaj!) as you're walking around. 

 Good tutorial, one that I'm going to remember when I take a shot at MARPAT.  Thanks!

A day in the Corps is like a day on the farm; every meal is a banquet, every paycheck a fortune, every formation a parade... The Marine Corps is a department of the Navy? Yeah...The Men's Department.
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 7:35 AM

Final personal note: weren't the armies that adopted a digital camo schemes thinking of us modelers when they made their choices?!  These schemes are a real pain to paint!

 I tried to tell the Army that, but no one would listen to me!!!!  Big Smile [:D]

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 9, 2007 9:47 PM
That's a great technique. You say the first colors go heavy on the creases is a problem, but one advantage could be painting with the darker colors first. So they will collect in the creases, and you do the lighter colors last, so they'll be somewhat heavier on the higlights. That can go a ways toward settling the question of "How do you shade cammies?" 
  • Member since
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  • From: University of Dayton
Posted by arkhunter2002 on Sunday, June 3, 2007 9:27 PM

Okay guys, here is my second go around at this.  Comments are very welcome.  I replaced the lighter grey with a sand color.  I gave it a wash in the first pic, and I went over it with the Tamiya's weathering set B(?) with sand and light sand to see what it would look like in an enviornment such as Iraq.

 

Take care,

Austin

  • Member since
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  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Monday, June 4, 2007 5:16 PM

 LemonJello wrote:
The real pain on the 1:1 scale uniforms is trying to determine what the rank on the collar is from a distance

Even worse, on the ACU, it's a single example just under the second blouse button--and embroidered on black thread can be hard to "read" at the dest of times . . .

Maybe if we could just convince DoA to wear "bright" if they are U/I and subdued if instructing . . . <not holding my breath>

  • Member since
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Posted by rob gutkowski on Friday, June 15, 2007 5:05 AM

excellent use of the salt technique, another "why didn't I think of that?" moment.

My only comment is that the dark green you are using is too dark, even brand new ACU's don't have a green that dark.  Sage green or foliage green is how it's usually classified. 

At a distance, the ACU usually looks fuzzy, and greenish-gray, (Desert Marpat comes off as light brown) and I think you have achieved the overall effect.

  • Member since
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  • From: Somewhere over the rainbow
Posted by m1garand on Friday, June 15, 2007 1:58 PM

Looks like you have found a good way of painting ACU pattern.  Other than colors being bit off, I think you have done a great job!  I need to find out exactly which paints will go well for ACU.

  • Member since
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  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Monday, September 17, 2007 3:50 PM

Great lesson here... since it does not look like the DoD is going to switch back to a single color uniform like OG 107 or Khaki anytime soon... Oh the strain they put modelers eyes through!!!Smile,Wink, & Grin [swg]

For the colors M1, I suggest Tamiya Deck Tan for the sand, Polly Scale RLM 02 Grey for the gray green, and Testors SAC Bomber Green for the green.

 

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  • From: Peterborough, Ontario
Posted by Townsy11 on Tuesday, October 2, 2007 8:57 PM
Anyone know if this tecnique can be used on modern british tankers?
"The object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his."-- General George S. Patton
  • Member since
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  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Wednesday, October 3, 2007 1:54 AM
Did the Brits switch to a digital pattern or are they still using the DPM? The DPM looks perfect for brush painting.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
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  • From: Peterborough, Ontario
Posted by Townsy11 on Wednesday, October 3, 2007 7:28 PM
my tamiya instruction sheet says DPM but i suck at brush painting
"The object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his."-- General George S. Patton
  • Member since
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  • From: Modeling anything with "MARINES" on the side.
Posted by AH1Wsnake on Wednesday, October 3, 2007 8:52 PM

Austin,

This is some outstanding info. Thank you very much for taking the time to not only describe your technique but also take photos. Much appreciated.

Andy

 

 

"There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and those who have met them in battle. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion."
  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Thursday, October 4, 2007 11:18 AM

Townsy, If you've ever seen the DPM in person, it actually looks like it has been brushed on. The salt technique here would not give that effect.

 

 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    August 2007
  • From: Peterborough, Ontario
Posted by Townsy11 on Thursday, October 4, 2007 8:26 PM
omg your right ok i guess id be able to do that. thanks stik pusher
"The object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his."-- General George S. Patton
  • Member since
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  • From: BC
Posted by Deputy_Brad on Saturday, October 6, 2007 12:59 AM
This technique looks like it would work for German Flecktarn and other small dot type camo patterns. If only there were some modern Canadian figures available though, then I could try CADPAT out on them.
My real name is Cam. Interest: anything 1/72, right now mostly sci-fi and modern In progress: 1/72 Sci-fi diorama (link in my web) 1/72 Leopard 2A5 1/72 APC Conversion to a MEGA DESTROYER
  • Member since
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  • From: University of Dayton
Posted by arkhunter2002 on Saturday, October 6, 2007 12:20 PM

Thanks Andy!

NVM what was here earlier.  It wasn't the IOTV...

Anyways, continuing on with the ACU, I tried to update the body armor to make it look like the ACU IBA (http://www.army.mil/-images/2007/10/04/8858/army.mil-2007-10-04-151215.jpg).  I started off with Trumpeter's IBA, and added some really small styrene.

 Take care,

Austin

  • Member since
    August 2006
  • From: University of Dayton
Posted by arkhunter2002 on Saturday, November 17, 2007 12:29 AM

Okay, so I want to continue trying to get this right.  I started off this time by using DML's Modern US Marines's legs, because I had them sitting there spare.  I sanded off the pockets and scratched my own from a two part epoxy putty.

I sprayed my base coat (I am using the grey/green as the base coat), more pics to come.  Again, I don't have access to the real ACU, so any comments are gladly welcome.

Thanks and take care,

Austin

  • Member since
    August 2006
  • From: University of Dayton
ACU attempt #3
Posted by arkhunter2002 on Sunday, November 18, 2007 6:54 PM

Here I go (again...)  How do you think they look? Personally, I think there could be a titch more tan in there.  I used the Tamiya's Deck Tan, MM acrylic's RAF interior green, and the grey-green is a mix.

 

 Take care,

Austin

  • Member since
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  • From: The Green "Mountains", Vermont
Posted by IanIsBored2000 on Sunday, November 18, 2007 7:24 PM
Looks great to me, the pockets and styrene on the torse came out great too, nice sculpting job.
"Scanlon: work your knobby hands on the table in front of you, constructing a make-beleive bomb to blow up a make-beleive world."

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