Saturday, July 19, 2014

WW2 Diorama - Part 2

Hi everyone,

Today I continue talking about my new and over due WW2 project in 1/72 scale.  Today, I present the painted King Tiger tank. Before I start, I would like to say that I started this piece in 1/72 scale because I thought in would be easier and cheaper - at test run so to speak.  I was right on the cheaper side of things, but I could not have been more wrong on the painting side.

The truth is that it is quite harder to render a realistic paint job at this scale, than it is at 1/48 or 1/35.  I found myself thinking and measuring and calculating time and again before executing anything in paint or pigment.  A hundred mistakes after I managed to finish the tank.

Well enough prattle, let's get down to business.  The first item on my to do list was to give the tank a good primer and to check for any faults.  I did find some casting errors around the tank which I filled with putty and sanded down.
Afterward, I gave the tank another coat of primer and sanded down lightly.  When I was satisfied I rinsed it under running water and let it dry for the next stage.
After the grey primer, I primed the under-parts with a black primer and the top parts with a white primer to help with the modulation.  Like most late war German tanks, the base coat is Dunkelgelb or dark yellow, and applying this coat was the next step.

To further increase the range of modulation, I added white to the Dunkelgelb, and highlighted the top areas of the body and turret with 2 gradations.
Now for the interesting part - the camouflage pattern.  I was a bit torn here as there are so many to choose from.  Finally I settled for a hard edged pattern since it would be easier to reproduce at this scale.  The first layer of the camouflage was olive green.  I masked the tank with white tack and sprayed the base green, including the highlighted colour as well.

After the green I did the same with the red brown.  With the second step you have to be careful with placing the white tack in order to fit both layers of camouflage coherently. 
The last step is the weathering.  It is also the hardest step as it will make or break the diorama.  The name of the diorama is Germans at Rest, so I had to give the impression that the tank is at rest for some time.  The idea was to have mud at different levels of dryness and the application is not as easy as you might think.  The saying less is more certainly fits as an axiom here, but it is easy to get ahead of yourself and overdo it.

Well the tank is now finished and I hope you like it.  The next step is to paint up the first two Germans that will be accompanying the tank on the elevated part of the diorama.  When these two are done I can start with the ground work on the upper part.  But that is for next time.

Until then farewell and good health as always,


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