Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Bofors 37mm anti-tank gun, camouflage

Bofors 37mm anti-tank
Time to experiment, you remember the ripped bed-sheets camouflaging the Finnish AT-gun. In order not to experiment my nice gun to pieces, I built a mock-up from plasticard and brass wire.
Ripped sheets – paper anyone?

Silk paper
I bought a couple of sheets of silk paper in an arts shop and I got more paper than I will ever use for less than SEK 20 (approx $3/£2/€2). I need white camouflage, and the paper was white.
I cut thin strips of silk paper with a new blade in my knife. After that I try to get them in place, and get them to look like cloth and nothing else. Sounds simple…

- Silk paper – dry
When I take my thin strip and try to wrap it around the gun, I quickly find that the down-side of silk paper is that it is ***** thin. To have a strip stay in a singular form is easier said than done. And the result… well, it doesn’t look like anything even remotely close to what I saw in the movie. And it falls off as soon as you stare at it.

- Silk paper - whet
To get an authentic fall of the “cloth” I had the excellent idea of wetting the paper-strip before wrapping it around the gun. Considering my previous statement about fragile silk paper, this was positively stupid. I might as well dip the gun into paper pulp. Would have been easier too.

- Silk paper –dry and wet
I started with dry paper, drape it around the gun, wet it to get a natural fall. Hey, that doesn’t look to bad. You can call me the Miniature Armani! Or not…
Well, not. Wet paper dries, and it turned out to be rubbish. But I might be closer to the solution.

- Silk paper – now with glue!
I got this excellent idea! I wet the silk paper strips with diluted white glue instead of water. Then I let them dry for a while, to get optimal strength, and I easily drape them over the gun to get an outstanding result. That’s my theory.
“There is nothing as practical as a good theory” I had a colleague once tell me. He was smart.
I guess he wouldn’t give this theory much credit. Fortunately I can rinse my mock-up, my hands and clothes…

- Silk paper – all in one
I wrap the bleedin' gun with dry paper, wet it with glue, and…
That will be a future project. It might even work.

Ripped sheets – why not plate armour
When I discussed this via e-mail with a fellow gamer (this is entirely your fault, Thomas!) he suggested metal foil. Let’s see how it turns out…

Aluminium foil
This should solve the strength issues I had with silk paper. Metal = high strength! Right?
I grab my trusted knife and carve me some thin strips.
- Kitchen foil
I wrap thin strips of kitchen foil (the type you wrap food with) around my mock-up. It looks just as if the Finns had wrapped their gun with plate armour, even when painted. Cloth doesn’t look like this, I’m sure. Not a good result.
- Champagne!
I will do everything for you, dear reader. I went out and bought a bottle of champagne, just to get my hands on the soft metal foil that is wrapped around the neck and cork on the more expensive brands. Hmm, hobby or pleasure, how do I account this? (Well, I’ve had this foil laying around in a bits-and-pieces box for quite some time. I knew I would find a use for it!)

Not too bad, it’s falling much more naturally. It looks just like the Finns had melted a long strip of lead-plate and draped it over the gun. I guess the gun would have been a hit in Ukraine nearly fifty years later (or Fukushima around now, when I translate this into English).
(The picture was so blurred you could think it was taken in Area 51, but believe me, you won’t miss anything.)
No more experiments with metal foil!

This is it for the time being. When my blood pressure is back to normal (in a couple of months) I’ll continue my quest for Finnish bed-sheets.

Note: No liver was damaged during these experiments


  1. Följer dina alster med intresse, ämnar dra många lärdomar av dina misstag :-)

  2. Man ska lära av andras misstag, för man hinner inte göra alla själv. Jag tar på mig att göra misstag med snö så länge.