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Adam Wilder demonstrates the techniques behind his STZ T-34/76


Part Two - Painting

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the first part of this article I discussed the assembly of the STZ T-34. I explained with the aid of photos how I backdated the DML T-34/85 mod. 1944 kit, to represent a variant manufactured at the Stalingrad Tractor Works in 1942. I then explained how I constructed the base and adapted the models suspension to its uneven bricks.
With the model and base completed we can now move on to the fun and most important part of this project - painting and weathering. In my opinion, a complex and the most extremely detailed model is only half complete if it lacks a carefully researched, planned, and executed finish. Lets start by viewing some reference pieces I obtained at a local vocational school.

In

Looking at some references


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right is much rustier, probably as a result of different storage facilities. The reference pieces of steel in photos one

Steel forms a gray finish when manufactured. This thin coat responsible for this color is called mill scale, which is a result of impurities in the metal boiling to the surface when the metal is hot. Depending on how steel is manufactured, colors of the mill scale can vary greatly. Photos 1 and 2 display each side of the first reference piece. Note the difference in gray tones on each side as well as the chips in the mill scale in photo one. Different oxide rust colors and chips in the mill scale can also be seen. Photo 3 gives a clear view of a flame cut edge and heat-affected zone, which results from the heat of the cutting process. This photo will be important. Photo 4 shows some pieces of sheet metal weldments. Note how the weldment on the

through four show just how different the color of steel plates can be. Steel color variation can be a result of thickness, storage, manufacturing processes, and transportation to the factory. Notice the different faint blues, whites, and rust slightly visible on the mill scale. As modellers, these color variations give us a unique opportunity. These color differences will allow us to paint all of the models steel plates (or ingots), castings, and components with different shades of grays and oxides highlighting each detail resulting in an extremely dynamic appearing finish. Other references used for the tanks castings will be shown as the article progresses. Lets start painting.

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Photos 5 through 7 The models gray base coat was first painted using acrylics thinned with tap water. After spraying the base coat, different shades of gray were then sprayed on each part of the model to represent the different shades of mill scale. Filters using enamels were also used to further break up the models different plates.

onto a dinner napkin or you will apply too much hiding the oils applied in the previous step. You only want to give your model a metallic sheen with the different oil colors still visible. I used an artist color sharpener to get the graphite into those difficult-to-reach places.

component of the turret before the graphite was added. This is what makes this models finish so unique. Notice that I used more of a red oxide colored oils on the turret to further distinguish it from the hull. Photo 21

Photos 12 through 17 After the enamels dried, graphite was also All of the cast components of the tank lightly rubbed over all the castings. Photos 22 through 23 All of the models bolts, fasteners, and hinges were painted with acrylics and rubbed with graphite. Photos 24 through 31 Steel is not covered by a consistent metallic gloss. Areas will oxidize from the elements and rust or get covered with soot in the manufacturing process. To simulate these areas, random sections of thinned oils were again added around the model. Different blues were added to the grays. The gun was masked and airbrushed. Note the different shades of steel on each Large areas of rust were added to further break up the different larger ingots, and

Photos 8 through 9 In the next step, I used oils to add the different blues, grays, whites, and oxide colors I pointed out in photos one through four and fused them with brush cleaner. You only want to fuse the colors and not completely blend them as shown in photo nine. Use different amounts of the oil colors on each ingot of steel on the tank. Remember, each plate will differ in color. Give the oils a day to dry. Photos 10 through 11 Next I rubbed graphite from an artist pencil over the model. It is important to first rub some of the excess graphite off your finger

were painted a mild oily steel color using acrylics. The lighter sheet metal components were painted black. After letting the acrylics dry, different shades of black and oxide colored enamels were spotted onto the castings. After drying for about five minutes the enamels were fused using a brush dampened with thinner. If your brush is soaked you will get a wash resulting in a less convincing result. Oxide filters were bushed onto the lighter sheet metal components. Photos 18 through 20

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smaller areas of rust were also placed. Note the different shades of rust added to the turret. Picture 31 shows all of the steel ingots and castings of the model. Photos 32 through 34 Because of reasons regarding storage, straight lines of rust sometimes appear on steel plates. While masking and airbrushing the lines of rust, other areas of the model such as the turret were lightly airbrushed. After airbrushing the lines different oxide enamels were painted over the rust lines and blended like on the castings in photo 16. Photos 35 through 39 The next step is the most tedious and time consuming. As I discussed in photo 3, heat affected zones appear around the cut edges where the steel was heated during the flame cutting process. Four steps were needed to simulate this process. First, a light metallic gray line was painted

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around all of the flame cut edges. The size of this line will be wider on the thicker pieces. In step 2, a mixture of Humbrol color no. 15 and black oil paint were painted over the metallic gray line then blended using a brush and straight thinner. The same Humbrol enamel-artist oil mixture was painted over all of the flamecut ends. In step 3 different areas of rust were spotted over the discolored edges. Follow the reference pieces. Photos 40 through 41 To complete the flame-cut edges I rubbed a little more graphite over all of the heataffected zones. Graphite was also rubbed over the flame cut ends using the color shaper.

Some of the edges of the rust spots were mapped using a lighter gray enamel and artist oil mixture. Random spots using the same mixture were placed around the model representing scratches in the mill scale.

sheet metal parts as a result of the stamping process during their manufacture. Next, all of the metallic gray edges were mapped using a mixture of enamel and artist oil oxide colors. Photos 48 through 53

Photo 45 With all of the different steel parts of the When assembling structures the fabricators and inspectors will mark the metal with chalk to display notes and dimensions. Most of the components are also numbered upon arrival at the plant for inventory reasons. I simulated these chalk markings with a colored pencil. Make note of these makings throughout the rest of the photos. Photos 46 through 47 tank detailed, dust was added to all the welds. After viewing the dust that results from the welding process on the weldment in photo 48, I mixed a dust color using pigments manufactured by MIG Productions. First I carefully placed the pigments over the weld seams with Humbrol thinner. Next using a different brush, dry pigments were carefully brushed over the weld seams to represent more fine dust. As seen in photos 49 and 50, always brush the dust upward as it traveled resulting from the heat produced during welding. Only a little dust is needed

Photos 42 through 44 Using a mixture of Humbrol metal coat Like the lines and spots of rust, oxidization will also randomly appear on the steel. 27001 and 27004, chips of metallic gray were placed over all edges of the formed

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for the small components. If you are feeling brave, you might want to add a little weld spatter as seen in photo 53. Photos 54 through 58 Now for some minor but important details. First, stains from the coolant used during the drilling of the rear plate where simulated using a new post-shading product soon to be released by Mission Models. Lay the stains on flat as the plate was during the drilling process. Next, oxide pigments from MIG productions were added to represent new rust. Very light shades of earth colored pigments were brushed on different parts of the model to represent dust. Note how I focused the dust around the details to further highlight them from the rest of the model. Photos 59 through 62 Airbrushing on a coat of buff was the first step I used to start weathering under the hull. I then used a mixture of Humbrol

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chocolate, burnt umber oils, brown pigments, and plaster to add a random darker coat of mud. The dark mud was blended with enamel thinner then different earth colored pigments were brushed onto the hull after the thinner and oils dried. With the tank weathered, I moved onto the wheels and tracks.

Photos 63 through 66 I decided to mix my own color of acrylics as a base for the wheels. Tamiya acrylics are the easiest paints I have ever used during airbrushing. After letting the base of acrylics dry for a day, different oxide colored enamels where tapped on the wheels in spots and blended like on the castings discussed in photos 15 and 16.

Apply different shades of rust between each of the gussets to break up the wheels. After the rust was simulated, areas and chips of worn steal were added using a mixture of enamels. Photos 67 through 69 Oxide colored pigments were then added and graphite was applied to obtain the final steel result. Photo 69 shows the

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wheels on top of the reference I used to paint them as well as the rest of the models castings. Photos 70 through 72 After adding the graphite to the wheels, I applied a light random coat of buff. Do not cover the wheels completely with the buff. Next, scrape off the areas of the wheels and torsion bars where the glue will be applied during assembly. Testors liquid cement is thick and slow drying, which allowed me time to position the wheels properly in relation with each other and the model. Photos 73 through 79 The tracks were painted just like under the hull in photos 59 through 62. View photo 75 to observe the placing of the dark earth on the inside of the track. Also look at photos 76 and 77 for the placement of the graphite then the light earth pigments. Photos 80 through 82 After the glue on the wheels had dried overnight, I started adding earth colored pigments using Humbrol thinner. I applied dust to all of the areas on the wheels air brushed with buff acrylics. Adding some grease around the hubs using a mixture of oils and enamels finished the wheels. Spilt fuel was added to the hull top using a similar mixture at this time.

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Photos 83 through 84 The gun was the last part to be detailed. I first added many different colors of rust and steel using acrylics then finished with different washes and filters using enamels. For the final touch, the undersides of the model were painted with the post shading spray soon to be released by Mission models. Photo 85 The remaining photo displays the

completed model. Note the models dynamic appearance with all of the visible different colored components. With the model finished, I painted the base. Conclusion In the second part of this article we discussed painting the unpainted Stalingrad T-34/76 and its base. Although readers might find it easier to perform some of the weathering steps in a different order than demonstrated in this article, I

stress that your base coats should always be done using acrylics. Another point I would like to mention once again is that lots of dust should always be present on vignettes and dioramas with destroyed buildings and shell marked landscapes.

References:
Jimenez, Miguel. Rarities Euro Modelismo. Copywrite: Accion Press S.A. C/Ezequiel Solana 16 Bajo, 28017 Madrid Spain.

In the next Issue - painting the base

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