I had an idea for my future Soviet BT-7 diorama: I want it to feature an abandoned german tank (stuck in frozen mud and snow maybe).
I needed a small tank, so it doesn’t grab all the attention away from the soviet tank. A Panzer II would be just perfect.
Since It will most likely be beaten up, half buried in mud and snow, I was reluctant to purchase a brand new model kit for this project.
So, here’s my idea: I happen to have an old broken and badly painted Panzer II in my spare parts box. I will fix it, repaint it and weather it appropriately.
Recycling an old kit!
How old is it, you might ask? The kit was made by Tamiya in 1971. It’s a tank I’ve put together in the 80’s… Yeah, THAT old.
So here is the poor little guy: painted in a disgusting rose-beige color (what was I thinking?), with dark grey “camouflage” and a lot of pure silver paint for chipping.
It was also covered in dust and sand (an early attempt at weathering).
Oh! And the main gun is missing…
I started by cleaning it in soapy water (using a toothbrush). I used some plastic pieces to fill the holes and the underside of the fenders. I drilled the hole in the machine-gun and used a bit of filler and sanding here and there.
It is far from being in an acceptable state, but I find it strangely satisfiying to fix this old piece of plastic.
Anything I do to it will improve it: It sure can’t get in a worst state 🙂
More work on the color modulation for the winter white wash (with oil paints). The effects are subtle, but I think there is more richenesss to the tints.
There is also some lovely dripping, streaking, chipping and accumulations that help selling the idea of a badly weathered winter camo.
I’ll be ready to add mud and dirt!
My favorite part (it’s oddly satisfying to mess-up a good paint job!).
Ain’t life great? 🙂
Yep! It’s improving!
I added some chipping and a dark brown wash. I used white oil paint to correct and improve the contrast of some areas in the winter wash. I also used very light touches of burnt sienna oil paint to simulate rust. Artist’s oil paints are marvelous to work with, but take a long time to dry. I’ll have to leave this model alone for a few days to let the paint dry (it is applied VERY thin, mind you, otherwise it could take weeks or even months to dry).
When the paint will be dry enough, I’ll give the model a clear coat (Tamiya Flat Clear) and I’ll be ready for the next steps (including pigments and mud effects).
So far so good!
PS: The pictures in this post are a bit yellowish because I swapped a del light bulb in my lighting setup for an incandescent light, without adjusting my camera. Doh! Anyway, I think they’re good enough for now…
Just a quick update on my BT-7.
I applied the winter wash and did the chipping effects with hairspray. I am not 100% satisfied with the look of it, but some color modulation with oil paints and some weathering will probably do the trick.
More to come real soon.
A very recent build of mine for the beginning of the year: A 1935 BT-7 Soviet Light Tank from Zvezda.
The tank was easy to put together. I just had a hard time with the engine grill. They are made out of the nylon (I presume) mesh provided with the kit. This mesh is very springy and quite tough, so it was hard to cut it to the right dimensions and bend it to shape. The end result is ok, but I gave up trying to make it perfect…
Another problem with this kit was the tracks. I had to remove half a link to adjust it to the wheels, so I had to cheat a bit to hide the fact that the succession of guiding teeth is not even. It’s a minor detail and probably hardly noticeable but… A bit frustrating anyway.
I added a few details like some missing rivets, clear glass lenses for the headlights (not visible on the photos yet), raised details on the eternal fuel tanks, etc.
For the painting and weathering, I decided to go for a winter camouflage (Defense of Leningrad, 51 Battalion winter 1942/43). I found very little references for this type of winter camo on soviet tanks, but from the sources I had, it looks like it was a field applied white wash. I could be wrong, but I think it will look cool.
For now, the little devil is painted with Tamiya XF-67 Nato green, with subtle highlights of a 50/50 mix of Nato green and XF-4 Yellow Green. A filter of oil paint (Windsor & Newton Oxide of Chromium) was also applied on the whole model to make the green a little bluish.
Decals were applied, as well as one coat of varnish (Future floor finish). It is ready for white wash and weathering!
Wow! It’s been a while since I posted anything!
My 2020 resolution: post a little more than in 2019…
Beginning with this completed diorama for my Panzer 35(t). I tried new techniques for the weathering, using very diluted enamel paints (Humbrol) to create dust accumulation effects.
For the diorama, I also tried using a static grass applicator (battery powered). The result is ok, but I think I will need more pratice to achieve better looking results.
I wanted to suggest a scene in france at the start of the war, hence the road sign for Lisieux (printed on an ink jet printer).
The fence is an accessory from an old Tamiya kit. I used the hairspray chipping technique on this to get a well worn look. The ground is made with 2 part epoxy putty (Apoxy sculpt).
Enjoy the pics! And keep an eye on this blog: another post is coming soon!
Here’s a new kit, mostly completed: Dragon’s Jagdpanzer IV A-0 (kit no. 9059).
It’s a really nice model, with very good details. It includes photo-etched schurzen. It also includes a metal barrel but since the end of the barrel is still a plastic part, I figured It would be easier to glue the plastic barrel instead. Once painted, it will make no difference.
This version of the Jagdpanzer was a pre-production unit, mostly used for training, but a few were used with Panzer Lehr Division in 1944. Some with zimmerit, some without.
I think I’ll go with the Panzer Lehr version and a standard 3 color camo, no zimmerit.
Distinctive rounded glacis on this version: the later models were more angular.
rubber tracks, just for testing
rubber tracks, just for testing