Last time around, the big Pz.38(t) got its whitewash.
In Part IV of the build log, it’s all about the weathering and the final stages of bringing the build together.
After being pulled away from the bench for a week or so to tackle a big work project, I came back and decided to go ahead and knock out the tracks. These were airbrushed with a mix of 75% Vallejo Track Primer and 25% Dark Gray.
Then washed with oils to add in some variation.
Let’s Go Streaking!
With the tracks at a baseline with the rest of the tank, I turned my attention to streaking and generally dirtying up the tank.
I’ve been reading praise of AK Interactive’s weathering products for quite some time now, and have even used some of their stuff a time or two, but never for all-out weathering. And I didn’t use them this time either, as in my test runs I found the streaking products far too stark, and not very keen to back off without creating a giant mess. So I went back to my trusty oils. In this case, raw umber, Payne’s gray and transparent white.
My method for streaking is simple. I dip the tip of my trusty airbrush needle into the cap, get a tiny bit of oil paint on it, and then tap it against the tank to deposit just a hint of paint. Do this multiple times.
Then, I pull out my not-so-secret weapon: the Aqualon Wisp. This brush has a “rake” shape to it that’s just awesome for streak work.
After barely wetting the Wisp with Mona Lisa Odorless Thinner, I swipe at the tank in quick, light, vertical strokes. This streaks the oil paint down the sides of the tank just so.
Additional oil staining was done on the flat surfaces, such as the fenders and top of the turret.
Time to Get Dirty
With the streaking done, I turned my attention to dirtying up the lower hull. I wanted it dirty, but not overly so (i.e. not caked in mud).
To get started, I mixed some MIG Russian Earth pigment with Woodland Scenics scenery glue (basically diluted white glue) and slathered it on the lower hull, then stabbed at it to create a bit more roughness, reminiscent of dried mud, rather than dust. Before I switched to Russian Earth, I tried MIG’s Dark Mud and Europe Dust. Both of them were very light and very red, and to me gave the impression the Pz.38 was trundling through Vietnam of East Texas, not the Eurasian steppe. Russian Earth is, I think, a far better pigment.
For the wheels, I did the same, only I mixed the pigment with water instead of glue, and painted it on that way. Once the water evaporated, I worked the pigments in with a wide, flat brush, and blew away the excess. The same was done with the tracks, and the tread areas were then “scuffed” with a #2 pencil to replicate the effect of metal showing through the dirt.
I was mostly happy with this, particularly with the running gear, but I didn’t get that build up, three-dimensional look I wanted. So back to it, this time with a mix of pigment, white glue, actual dirt, an some bits of field grass cut up and stirred in.
This worked a lot better (particularly when jabbed with packing foam to roughen the texture), BUT the stuff dried like the world’s weakest chocolate milk…several degrees lighter than the surrounding effects. So I painted over the lightness with my Vallejo Track Primer/Dark Gray combo, then went over that with pigment. MUCH better.
Next, oil stains were added to the wheels, per some reference pics, and additional pigment was added in certain areas. Then the tracks were added!
The Last Bits
At this point, the tank was mostly complete…save for the OVM tools that needed to be placed. Struggling with how to represent these, I did the following:
- Painted the metal heads of the tools with Alclad Steel.
- “Woodgrained” the handles of the shovel, sledge etc.
- Applied liquid frisket randomly as a mask, then painted the tools with Lifecolor RAL 7021 Panzer Gray.
- Removed the frisket masks, then hit the tools with True Earth Whitewash.
- Lastly, used Gun Metal, Russian Earth and Light Rust pigments to similar wear and corrosion.
The PE straps securing the tools on the port side were way easier to work with than the PE fender supports. They were painted in Vallejo German Chocolate Brown, then whitewashed.
And with that the Pz.38(t) build comes to an end. The final result: