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Painting Armor 101

Hi everyone. This is a SBS I did for a Private forum of which I am a member. In this thread I will give you the basics of how I paint and a weather, then in another thread I will show you what it has evolved into.

Let me start by saying that I do not profess to be the best or know it all, but I have learned a thing or two in the 35+ years I have been doing this. So take what you want from this thread and leave the rest my feelings won't be hurt (too much).

First step. Prep the model for paint.

The first thing I do happens before construction, I wash and dry all the sprues in warm soapy water. PE frets in vinager, then soapy water. After construction is complete, I dis-assemble each subassembly and mount it for ease of handling.

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The turret, tires etc are mounted as well.



I then prime everything with Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black. If you made any booboo's you will see em now - go fix em if you want and reprime. Using flat black kills 2 birds with one stone. 1. since it is matt it does show all sorts of surface issues - if you have any, bout the same as grey, or good enough. 2. It acts as our preshade - ie it creates our artificial shadows. This will become more evident later. I use an Iwata HPA Hi-Line for general work and a Custom Micron SB for detail work.

Here is the primer applied:
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Next step. I am using Tamiya Paints - I have tried Vallejo and they are a super pain, constantly clogging the AB - and I have tried everything everyone has offered, the Tamiya is just better AB paint - for a regular brush Vallejo all the way baby!

First coat for German grey diluted 50/50 with Tamiya thinner. Note how I have stayed away from edges.

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The key here is to be subtle - no stark contrasts, but a blending of light to dark.

Next step, I add 50% Buff and dilute by another 50%, then stay even further from edges.

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This is a comparison shot, wheel on left has one post shade, right is just grey over black. I know its subtle, but it makes a difference. Remember this is one post shade there will be more, we want some definate gradation so when we weather, some is still visable!

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Next step another 50% Buff and 50 % dilution - each step the paint is getting thinner and thinner - this is on purpose so it gives a ghost affect.

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Final Coat repeat dilutions, at this point its almost tinted buff. This coat goes on the wheels, and lower hull fairly heavily - its the begining of the "dust" layer, then the whole model gets a dusting with this from about 3 feet away, spraying top down, so as to hit horizontal surfaces only.

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Next Step Dunklegelb Camo over the Grey!

 

 

Ok update time. I have applied the camo using Tamiya Dark Yellow diluted 2:1 Thinner to Paint. I then post-shaded this with a 1:1 mix of Buff and Dark Yellow which was then diluted 4:1 Thinner to paint.

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Ok next step tools: As you remember I glued most of my tools on durning construction!!! Well here is how I wood tone and paint them in position.

First step is to cut some post-e-notes and slide them under the tool best u can to protect the underlying paint. Then using a flesh tone from Vallejo - any of the 6 or 7 will do, paint the wooden parts.

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Take some burnt umber oil paint and squeeze some out on some cardboard to soak up exess linseed oil. Then apply this thickly to the wood areas.

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Let set 20 minutes. Then with a flat brush just damp in turpeniod stroke the wood part along the grain. Be gentle don't wipe it clean! clean brush and repeat. It may take 4-5 passes to get it right. Make sure to clean and dry the brush between each pass! It should look like this!

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Here are a couple other items I have done with just slight variation in style.

For these paddles I left the oil paint on for 2 hours before wiping, its gets a more polished look:

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Here after I finished the graining I took a 5/0 brush with turpinoid and "painted" the curvy grain in.

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On this one I did it the same way but with different greys insted of flesh tones and burnt umber, then used light sand to distress the wood

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Ok next step is to apply some future, for the 38(t) I just spot coated as I am not going to add rain streaks, If I was I would have given it an overall coat similar to this:

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I then apply the decals using Micro Sol/Set, then another coat of future.

Then flat coat which brings us here - decals that look like paint:

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I have also started to muck things up a bit by adding a mixture of Earth color pigments mixed with some flat base and acrylic matt media. I also added some with a toothbrush to give it that splattered look.

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I have buffed out the lower hull and road wheels to get it dusty. This was a 2:1 thinner to buff dilution as I wanted it pretty opaque. The tires have received a grey drybrushing to bring out the damage, the wheel hubs, with the tires off got the edges of the rim rubbed with HB graphite as the tracks rub here. I have also shown you the back side of the roadwheels - they got a coat of red primer, then the buff dust as well as the graphite.

I have also blown the axle seals. I applied some india ink to the wheels while spinning them in the moto tool. I did some before the buff coat, then went over some again after. This way some were fixed but stains remain, and others are leaking again since the accumulation of dust.

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Adding wear on the wheels:

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Last step is to paint and finish the tracks. I base coated the tracks with burnt umber, when set I gave them a black wash, then a rub down with graphite in areas that would receive wear, then a final dusting with earth tone pigments. They were then installed on the kit, and the whole she-bang given a final buff over spray from about 2 feet away. This was a 2:1 thinner to paint dilution.

That's it!

Here is the final pic:

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That pretty much ends the SBS.

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