Making Tarps


Article by Rob Haelterman

There are many ways to make tarp(aulin)s. One of the best known is the paper towel and white glue method, which I have used to good effect. However, sometimes you want the tarp to drape naturally over your vehicle. One technique I use for this is based on Gallery Glass Window Color from Plaid Enterprises (which is basically the same as the better known Kristal Klear from Microscale). I only have the transparent version, which will allow to make water, small windows etc., but for this application one of the colored variants of this product might work easily well.

So, what do we need:

  • Gallery Glass (or Kristal Klear)
  • Acrylic Paint (in my case Vallejo Stone Grey)
  • A tray to mix it in (glass works better than plastic because the Gallery Glass (GG) doesn't stick to it as much, which is important as we will see)
  • Something to mix the paint and the GG together, like a toothpick for instance.

The principle is very simple:

  1. Put the GG in the tray. Even out the surface and make it as thin as possible. Varying the thickness will create different effects of draping; you might want to experiment with this.

    A thick sheet that won't drape as nicely.
  2. Add a drop of paint, stir to an even mixture and smoothen out again.
  3. Let dry for a couple of hours. It needs to be dry enough to peel off, but not 100% cured, so don't let it dry for weeks.
  4. Peel off.
  5. Drape over the AFV.
  6. To enhance the effect, submerge the vehicle in water (which will soften the GG).
  7. Gently wrinkle the GG and push down where needed.
  8. Let dry again.
  9. Weather as needed, e.g. with oil paints.

A possible end result can be seen here.

Back to Articles Page Back to Home Page

Article Last Updated: 24 April 2015