Armor Painting Technique

What is Needed:

  • Paint (See my post on paint).
  • Armor (Mine is made by the late RKD, sadly his armor is no longer available). Visit The Dented Helmet to find some armor, such as FettPride.
  • Black Acrylic Paint
  • Toothpaste (or masking fluid)
  • Optional: Transfer Paper

Step 0: Test

Ask for a piece of scrap plastic when buying your amor. It’s great for testing. This is a layer of silver, then a layer of yellow, and then a layer of green (without black washing).

Step 1: Silver

First layer was the silver, or ‘metallic aluminum’ (but not actual metallic, see my post on paint colors used).

Coat all the armor in a nice even layer of silver.

Step 2: Masking

Using toothpaste (or masking fluid) cover the parts that you want to keep silver. Using accurate images for reference. I used a combination of the 501st CRL and templates found on The Dented Helmet.

I eyeballed it but I recommend printing out the templates and using the transfer paper to get it more accurate.

Step 3: Yellow

Using the weird inverted can I covered it in ‘Strping Yellow’ paint.

Step 4: Masking, again

Wipe off the previous masking fluid, trace your new paint chips on, and recover in toothpaste/masking fluid.

Step 5: Green

There is a little debate over which color to use here. For ESB it seems “Spruce Green” paint is closest where as for ROTJ/SE “Hunt Club Green” paint is closest.

Note that if you want to be more accurate there is a layer of “Olive Green” (by Krylon) on one chest piece and the ab plate.

Step 6: Black Washing

To get that shine down and make everything darker you need to black wash. To start black washing, mix black acrylic paint and water and then brush it on. Waiting a few seconds and dab the black off.

Comparison of mine vs. 501st CRL vs. before black washing.


My name is Brandon Owens, 501st Member BH/DZ-51512 and MMCC OM#1793. I have an approved Tusken Raider (ANH) and a Boba Fett (ROTJ) that I spend years researching and building. I'm here to share my progress, methods, and findings.