Russian Vehicle Commission II

Some more progress on the T-72s. I’ve finished cleaning the wash, but unfortunately there’s a couple of things I would do differently next time. The first is applying a gloss varnish before the wash. This protects the underlying colour and also provides a smooth surface that makes controlling the wash much easier. Because I didn’t do this I found myself rubbing off the green in some parts and also struggling to re-activate the wash with the thinner. Another error here was leaving the wash to dry overnight on a number of pieces. This wasn’t so much a deliberate choice, but more a result of having 11 tanks to paint and sometimes needing sleep. After spending far too much time removing wash and repairing with the base colour I was finally done with the washes.

The next step was to apply a drybrush. I find, if you are careful and avoid the centre of large flat areas that drybrushing is still an effective way to bring out the smaller details. Particularly at such a small scale (1:100). After the dry brush I applied chips to the tank, I focused on some of the areas such as the tanks and the side-skirts which would be made of thinner material and at the extremities. I prefer to use a yellow-green rather than just a light green or bright as I feel it better shows the edges. Lighter colours can make everything look chalky and a bit odd, while bright greens can just look plain weird. The pictures don’t show it particularly well (probably the turret in the second picture gives the best look at it.

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Next I painted on some scratches and chips. This gives the tanks a lived in, used, feel. At this scale it’s super quick and easy. I simply take a piece of foam and tear the end off (I find the left over pieces from pluck foam perfect for this). I then dip this in a black-brown paint and random press it down. The result is a number of small random marks that represent paint chips from the use and abuse that working vehicle receive. I focus attention on areas that would receive the most abuse: exposed areas like the fuels tanks and corners, mine-plows, side-skirts, hatches and the like.

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This is one of the pieces of foam I used. It’s just been torn off to give the rough surface and a couple of longer pieces trimmed off with scissors to make it easier to use.

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The tracks are pretty simple. I just base coat them with a dark (but not as dark as the chipping) brown and then coat them with a dark brown wash. I’ll be adding mud and weathering there is spades so there’s no reason to go too in depth. I’ll come back lightly with a drybrush of a dark metallic colour on some areas that would wear, but that will be post weathering. I also picked out the road wheel tires with a very dark grey. You can see the difference before and after the road wheels below.

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I then picked out a few other details, but there aren’t many on these tanks. The log at the rear and mantlet cover (which I believe is canvas – at least that’s how mine is painted) all got browns with different washes. While the turret MG was painted in a dark grey, then a black wash then a drybrush of metallic.

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The colours used in this update:

  • Drybrush: Yellow Green (VMC 70.881).
  • Chipping: German Camouflage Black Brown (VMC 70.921).
  • Tracks:
    • Base: Burnt Umber (VMC 70.941).
    • Wash: Track Wash (A.MIG-1002)
  • Road Wheel Tires: Black Grey (VMC 70.862).
  • Mantlet Cover:
    • Base: German Camouflage Pale Brown (VMC 70.825).
    • Wash: Brown Shade (VGC 73.200)
  • Bog Log:
    • Base: Brown Sand (VMC 70.876).
    • Wash: Track Wash (A.MIG-1002)
  • MGs:
    • Base: Black Grey (VMC 70.862).
    • Wash: Dark Wash (A.MIG-1008)
    • Dry Brush: Gunmetal Grey (VMC 70.863)

Here is one of the T-72 done, up until weathering. The last thing I want to do is give these guys a little more of a lived in look. They currently look like all they’ve done is drive out into the car-park.

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