British Army »Mickey Mouse« Vehicle Camouflage Pattern, Europe 1944

AEC Matador Artillery Tractor painted in the British Army Mickey Mouse Pattern

This ACE Matador artillery tractor has been painted in the 1944 British Army vehicle camouflage pattern popularly known as »Mickey Mouse« pattern, because of the distinctive black mouse ears painted on or sprayed over the khaki drab base colour. If you look closely, you can see the top of Mickey's head immediately above the rear wheel. The pattern was used on many vehicles participating in the Normandy invasion and the subsequent campaigns in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The pattern is surprisingly easy to recreate in miniature, using an airbrush and a cardboard template with various clusters of small circular holes. The template was held against the truck body at various angles, and sprayed through with matt black paint.

Airbrush Templates

Cardboard pattern used for spraypainting the British Mickey Mouse pattern

The »Mickey Mouse« vehicle pattern ist difficult and time consuming to paint by hand, because the small mouse ears need to be perfectly round to achieve the desired effect. The author used a hole punch from an old leather working tool set to punch several clusters of holes into a long strip of posterboard. This template works very well for trucks and other boxshaped vehicles, but it may be difficult to apply to the rounded surfaces of tank turrets.

Some manufacturers of etched brass parts also offer stencils and templates which may be used to spray markings and patterns on 1:72 scale vehicles.

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British Miniatures of World War Two