A last Ourah!: finishing off my LW Tankovy
A criticism levelled at Soviet armour is that it’s just too, well, green. This applies as much to individual AFVs as the horde. If you’re not in to black lining your models there can often be a lack of definition and, if painted in the same base colour, there will also be a lack of contrast. Whilst a vast green sea of Soviet army sweeping over the grey shores of the Whermacht is no bad thing, it could be a little easier on the eye.
Over the last 2 years, I’ve painted my Soviet armour in 3 phases as my confidence and technique has developed.
When I got bored with painting my Strelkovy, I went out and bought some IS-2s. Don’t ask me why. They were big and impressive with a high points value which meant I could field 1500 at the local club quicker than I’d initially expected. I painted them VMC 096 Russian Green and dry-brushed them Russian-Green mixed with white. I stuck the decals on and they were done:
When the Strelkovy were ‘finished’, I decided to paint up a Tankovy. I painted T34/76s and 85s in Russian Green and experimented by air-brushing Camouflage Light Green over the upper surfaces to try and achieve some contrast. I gloss varnshed, struck the decals on without silvering and experimented with filters. I dry-brushed Russian-Green mixed with white to highlight. Mostly satisfied, I added a little variety by attempting to paint a rusty old warhorse:
Finally, and on the last batch, I think I’ve found a layering technique that gives me a finish similar to the effects of modulation but is easier and quicker for me to achieve at this scale. This time, I was painting SU-100s, ISU-152s and the remaining T34/85s:
As before, I base coated with Russian Green:
Then I applied clumsily applied a thinned coat of Vallejo Air (VA006) Camouflage Light Green mixed with Russian Green over all the upper surface panels and about half-way down the chassis:
I concentrated on painting the centre of hatches, the tops of cupolas and other raised surfaces leaving the original base colour around the edges. This gave an initial sense of depth. When dry, I painted a thinned coat of Camo. Light Green to the centre of the areas already highlighted further enhancing the sense of definiton. This sounds complicated, but is relatively straight forward to do and I didn’t have to be too precise (but it does help). Finally, I airbrushed a light coat of Mud Brown (VA037) over the tracks, lower chassis and running gear. This ended up in something resembling a sandwich of light green, dark green and brown:
To blend the colours together, I brushed over a couple of coats of MiG P245 Brown filter before gloss varnshing and applying a MiG Dark Wash pin-wash in all the fine details, groves and recesses. Decals applied, I dry brushed VMC 082 Olive Green and then VMC 079 Golden Olive over the upper surfaces and picked out the details:
I like the final effect. It gives a pleasing variety of tone and definition and contrasts with my existing armour (perhaps a little too much – ho hum 🙂 ). I went abit overboard on the mud on some of the SU-152s, but I’ve still to master master my airbrush after 2 years.
Just got to apply some pigments and these chaps are done.
Think I’ll try this technique on my Shermans when I get round to them.