Sunday, March 9, 2014

Step-by-Step: Painting Sci-Fi Stealth Camouflage

On the continuing journey to build up a couple of 10-12mm sci-fi armies, the time has come to add some air power. I have some Dropzone Commander aircraft on order, but while I'm waiting for them to come in, I went out and bought a 1/144 scale Chinese stealth jet, the J-20. This stealth fighter is due to enter service at the end of this decade. So, seeing as it's not in service yet, it looks high tech, and is generally unrecognizable to North American eyes, I figured this model makes a good sci-fi jet.

Not a complex model...particularly since I was going to paint over the canopy and build it with the landing gear retracted.

Here the model is built and is ready to take it's primer coat.

The base color was black. Over top of that I sprayed dark grey to give it that matte look. Next I started planning out a muted camouflage pattern. The Chinese jet, like some of the American stealth aircraft, is a matte black. However, as a sci-fi piece, I have the luxury of just making something up. So. I decided to do a patchy black/dark brown/dark green camo pattern.

So, the first order of business was to mask off the black patches. I used some tacky putty.

Next, I over-sprayed a dark brown and then highlighted that with a medium brown.

I peeled off the putty, which left a very cool looking dark camo scheme. To add the green, I marked off the patches with more tacky putty...

...and then filled in the spaces between the patches with tape.

After spraying with a dark green and highlighting with a pale green, I removed all the masking material. I was super happy with the result. The scheme feels familiar, but has a good military sci-fi aesthetic. Familiar and not at the same time.

All that was left to do was hand-paint the engine nacelles, canopy and running lights. The model got an over-spray of floor wax and a few decals were applied. The final dullcoat spray sealed everything up, and the model was done.

I'll mount it on a flight stand later.

Hopefully, I'll get those next Dropzone Commander models in this week and have them on the table for next weekend.

'Til next time.


  1. ooohh that's very nice. Only I was expecting to see a plane covered in reflectors as adaptive camouflage :-)

    Lovely colour choice, I might well borrow those.

  2. Nice job. I always liked delta wing planes (swedish ones from the 1980s, mostly). Looks very sic-fi.