It seems like an eternity since I started this model (see Part 1 of the article here) but unexpected ill health has meant that I haven’t been able to do much these last few weeks. Luckily I now have to take it easy on Doctors orders, which is a bit like a prescription to paint models, so I’m hoping to catch up a little.
In this part I’m going to go through some of the stages I’ve used to complete the painting and weathering of my Grizzly tank, ready for use on the tabletop. Some of these steps actually overlap with each other but I’ll keep them together by part to make following things easier.
One problem with using decals is that they just look too pristine, they are too bright and uniform a colour and tend to have that new decal shine to them. One of the quickest and easiest ways to tone them down and make them blend in is to give them a quick coating of weathering powder. I use Tamiya as it’s available locally but there are lots of brands available these days. Once your decal is in place and thoroughly dry (absolutely make sure it is dry before you do this) just give it a quick rub down, I usually use a dark brown but it does depend upon your model.
While on the weathering powder it adds some nice detail to put a little black around things like engine vents and gun barrels.
Once all the work with the weathering powders was completed I gave the model a full varnish, this helps to tone in the weathering powders and stops them coming off on your hands while you work on the rest of the model.
Always a good thing to remember when painting lights is that the light has to go somewhere. In the case of the flood lights on the turret some of the light spill will illuminate the hull next to the light. To add this effect I just used a few layers of highly watered down yellow paint to tint the armour in front of the light. This is a subtle effect but is an easy way to add a nice detail to the model.
A lot of people don’t bother with antenna on wargaming models as they have a tendency to bend or break if made from metal or plastic. I find a great alternative is to use a cats whisker (I’m lucky enough to have cats with black whiskers), these are just perfect for the job and will bend and flex forever without breaking. Just drill a nice small hole, glue the whisker in place and trim to the desired length.
I always dislike painting tracks, no idea why but they have never been something I look forward to.
First steps are to paint the tracks with a dark grey (I never use black for this), I used Vallejo German Grey, followed by a dry brush with a Gunmetal colour. Once this is all dry I use a thin wash of Black ink to get into all the recesses the brush missed and blend everything together (why I don’t start with black).
Once everything is dry I give the blades a thin coat of a brown wash (I use a Tamiya Enamel wash), this just gives the blades an impression of being coated in soil.
Let this dry and then start to add some texture. For this model I’m using the same basing style as the rest of my Warzone army but you can make a convincing mud if you so wish (One version I use is described in this article).
I’ve glued on vivarium sand using regular PVA (School) glue, taking care to focus on the areas that will hold the soil as the track moves. Once this is dry I give it a soak with cheap Superglue to turn it into a hard lump. This is them painted to match the rest of my army bases.
Although a tank in use should be a well cared for machine sometimes a little neglect can help to make your model look more interesting and break up some of the uniformity. Looking at the Grizzly the area around the engine looked a little dull. It had nice pipes and some factory primed spare track links but really didn’t look interesting. To fix this I used some Tamiya Rust Wash, applied with a cotton bud, to add a little interest to the otherwise dull details.
As a final touch I used a soft graphite pencil to ass a few glints here and there on panel edges and other points of wear. This isn’t really necessary on a tabletop miniature but it only takes a couple of minutes so why not.
So here is the finished beast ready for a final light coating of varnish. It’s been quite a easy model to complete as there are very few colours and most time has been spent on weathering techniques.