Monday, May 9, 2016

Tiger Tank, Part 3

I don't have all that much experience with weathering. For most of the model vehicles I've done, the weathering consisted of slapping one some mud colored paint, and if I was feeling particularly ambitious, making some paint chips, smoke marks, and rust streaks. Doing it the "right" way, or at least, more in depth than that, seemed pretty daunting.

I started with painting my Bolt Action Tiger tank with my airbrush, and things seemed to be coming out well so far, so I decided to go all in and do the weathering. Vallejo has a paint set specific to the purpose:

The set contains several paints, including Black Brown (for tracks & paint chips), Buff (sand/dust), Hull Red (rust), a wash for yellow vehicles, a wash for grey vehicles, a mud-colored Pigment, and Pigment Binder.

On the back of the box is a handy instruction chart that takes you step by step through the process.

Step 1
Paint the tracks in #822 German Cam. Black Brown...

I painted the tracks, chains, and pintle machine gun before I applied the decals.

...and once dry, apply a well-thinned layer of #976 Buff and #985 Hull Red.

Above is with the Buff layer. The instructions are ambiguous as to whether the "well-thinned layer of Buff and Hull Red" are supposed to cover the whole model, or just the tracks, so I played it safe and just went with the tracks. In some places on the tracks the Buff showed up very well, as I wasn't consistent with how I thinned it, but I suppose that's a good thing, as weathering isn't uniform. I thought I overdid it at first, but I reasoned that the next layers would tone it down.
And above with the Hull Red added. The Hull Red certainly did tone down the Buff, and the tracks are beginning to look more like worn metal rather than monochrome painted plastic.

I apologize for the different tints in the photos, as they were taken in different lighting conditions--the ones with the bluish backgrounds were taken in natural lighting conditions, while the more yellow-tinted pictures with whitish background were taken under indoor lights. In all the pictures the Tiger was placed on a sky-blue piece of posterboard for a background.

At this stage, also apply an overall coat of #513 Wash for German Yellow.

I coated the entire model with the wash...and things started to look a bit grimy, which is good. The wash also toned down the decals a bit too, which up to this point looked a little too perfect.

Apply small paint scratches in #822 German Camouflage Black Brown.  For this task you can use a small sponge and end the job with a brand new fine 10/0 brush.

I used small sponge to dab on the paint chips, mostly near the edges of the plates, but with some over flatter sections as well for some variation. At this point I began to feel that the model was starting to come together.

Step 2 Apply an overall wash in #513 Wash for German Yellow. For this task use a medium flat brush. Pay a [sic] special attention to the running gear and tracks.

I very liberally applied the wash all over the model, and as per the instructions, I paid special attention to the tracks and running gear. The grime was really building up on this thing, and it was starting to look pretty cool.

Apply the #104 Pigment well dispersed in #233 Pigment Binder. At this stage, make sure to pay special attention to the tracks and running gear.

I have had very little experience with pigments before, and none at all for the binder. The binder seemed like a great idea--as just putting the pigment on the model makes it look dirty, but it doesn't stay on by itself. I also found out that the pigment dissolves in subsequent layers of paint, so you could spend some time putting on the pigment, only to watch it all vanish when you put the next wash!

With that in mind, I mixed the pigment with the binder, but I had a very high ratio of pigment to binder, as I assumed that all of it would vanish after I applied. I slathered the stuff all over the model.

Uh-oh...when it dried, the "mud" really stood out. I definitely overdid it here.  I should have focused on the tracks and some splotches here and there, but I really covered the majority of the model. My brush strokes are visible in many places and look pretty terrible. Lesson learned: the binder does not dissolve the pigment, and actually protects the pigment from being dissolved by subsequent layers.

I was a bit disappointed here, but the model wasn't ruined--in the subsequent step I could try to fix the problem. On the bright side, the mud looked fantastic on the running wheels and tracks.

Step 3 Apply another coat of #513 Wash for German Yellow. This time around the most recessed and rasied parts. At this stage, also apply more fine scratches in #976 Buff and #985 Hull Red, just to add some color variation.
Since I wanted to tone down the mud layer as much as possible, I gave the entire tank a thorough wash--not just the recessed and raised area. It worked...a little. I did put a few scratch marks in Buff and Hull Red, but I did it rather sparingly.

Apply #104 Pigment directly from the jar and once in the desired spots, fix it in place with #233 Pigment Binder.

In order to break up some of the more egregious paint brush streaks, I focused the pigment additions in these areas and fixed them in place with the Pigment Binder. I think did some minor touch ups with the #513 wash. The last stage was to coat the model in Matte Varnish to protect everything. I loaded up my airbrush and sprayed the entire model.

The Matte Varnish also toned down a lot of the weathering--especially the pigment mud patches. Seeing as I originally overdid that step, the end result turned out pretty well, I think.

But wait! I didn't just paint up one Tiger. Tiger 211 has a pair of friends:
Turns out I have a platoon, ready for action. I'm going to have to bring home some Shermans or Cromwells to eat sometime soon. These big cats are hungry!


Zzzzzz said...

Nice job.

Dan Eldredge said...


Mordian7th said...

Those really look fantastic! Excellent walk-through - good stuff!