Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Dux Homunculorum Guide to Weathering Tanks

A couple of people have asked me recently how I do the weathering on my 15mm vehicles. I have developed a bit of a method that suits me, although I feel a total fraud when I compare what I bodge together with things like the magnificent weathering techniques that feature in the modelling sections of the Battlegroup rule books. Nothing I do approaches that standard, but if you're after a quick and lazy method that looks ok, this might interest you.

Step 1

Here's the basic model, a Zvezda T34. I just threw this together in a hurry, so didn't bother with extras like adding stowage or a bow MG. The model was spray undercoated with Army Painter white, then sprayed with Tamiya Olive Drab 2, which is my usual Soviet armour colour. The tracks, tires and tools were painted with Vallejo acrylics, then a hand painted slogan added ('For Stalin!') There's your basic painting done.

Step 2

Now I apply my secret weapon. Basically this is an acrylic equivalent of the Army Painter dip that I use. You can read about it here. Not only does the varnish make the tank look dirty and shaded, but it adds some protection as well.

I brush this on, but it does require a bit of patience. The stuff doesn't really like covering flat sections of armour much, but tends pool unevenly. However, I find that just brushing over the same section a few times eventually results in a reasonably even coat. I try to brush from top to bottom on vertical sections of the tank, and I stay on the lookout for puddles forming in corners. The important thing is just to take the time and not try to take a shortcut by splashing on loads of the stuff. It won't look good.

Step 3

Once the ersatz dip is dry I give the model a spray with Army Painter Anti-Shine. You need to be a bit careful here. If you spray too much, the matt spray reacts with the 'dip' and causes the surface to crack a little. What I have found though is that a certain amount of this can look pretty good, giving the tank's paintwork a distressed look. Experiment and see what you like.

Step 4 After the matt spray, it's time for highlights. I just tend to use the armour colour (in this case Vallejo Russian Green) lightened with Vallejo Buff (a very useful colour!), then get a flat brush and do some drybrushing over the raised details. You can see the effect in the comparison photo above.

Step 5

Finally, it's just a matter of dirtying the tank up. I always find this difficult, but usually add some soot to gun barrels and exhausts, then some dirt around the tracks and running gear. Lately I've been trying to give the mud a bit of texture by diluting Tamiya Diorama Paint, adding some lighter brown, and drybrushing it on with a very old paintbrush. Still deciding whether this works. The last step is a final very light drybrush of some brown, usually a sandy colour, to highlight the tracks a little more.

Here's the finished tank:
So there we have it! It's pretty easy, and although it won't win any awards, I find it a quick method to make my vehicles look a little better. Here are a couple more.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.