Painting and Weathering
The big thing was the tiger face. I had a copy of the Fine Scale Modeler
article, so I followed the author’s advice. After first painting the kit a nice,
flat Testors OD green (my choice of base for all US tanks) I masked off the
portions I did not want to paint and air-brushed on two coats of acrylic white
as a base. I had found the perfect yellow at a local hobby shop and after some
thinning air-brushed that on over the white, putting on 2 thin coats. To my
surprise it came out looking like it should, a sort of faded, to scale color. I
then painted over all a coats of Testor Clear Flat and let it dry overnight.
Now the tough part started. I had to decide whether I would use the decals.
After some soul searching I decided that I would try to hand-paint the face,
except for the eyes. First I removed all of the masking and cleaned things up.
Using a silver pencil I then outlined where I wanted the stripes. Next I got out
my Games Workshop Chaos Black, a very thick, good covering flat paint with a
nice consistency and picked out a good brush. After taking a deep breath I began
painting the stripes. It worked better than I could have hoped and soon I had my
stripes, shaking hands and all.
I let those dry and touched things up a little, including some overspray and
leakage under the masking. The mouth was next. I painted it all, knowing that
the tool mount would cover part of it, as this allowed me to get the proper
proportions. Using the decal as a guide and visual pattern I painted the white
outline, then the red, then the teeth. The claws on the fenders were next. I
used Bone White of the same brand as the black. It covers very well and dries
quickly and thoroughly. After letting all of it dry I used a very thin brush and
did the black outlines and a little more touching up.
Letting it dry I put the tool bracket on and painted that. More touchup and it
was pretty much done. I had neglected to weather the muffler the way it should have been so that was next, using a combination of Testors Jet Exhaust and an old tin of Humbrol Rust
I made them look over-heated and corroded. I painted the headlights and
taillights next, the center hubs of the road wheels and a little silver on the
ends of the tracks.
Minimica antennas filled it out. I may do more weathering and put some tarps and
boxes on the beast, but the tank is as done as it ever will be. I even have a
base made for it and intend to mount it for posterity. It was a fun kit,
requiring all of my meager modeling skills and planning. I recommend it to
anyone wanting a modeling and artistic challenge. With the new Tamiya kit out,
which I have not seen, we should be seeing lots more of this uniquely painted
Copyright ©2002 - Text and
Photos by Lance Mertz (2-2dragoon). All Rights Reserved.