The first of three Panzer platoons finally made it onto my workbench over the weekend. I really should have painted these weeks ago as they’ve been primed and ready to go for a while now, and it’s only other distractions such as the Knight and Ent which pushed them down the list.
As I’ve a number of tanks to paint for this list, I mixed up a pot of the dunkelgelb in advance which should mean all will match, even though they will get painted in separate batches. The mix is the same I used on the Halftracks and consists of 80% Tamiya XF-60 Dark Yellow, 20% XF-2 Flat White mixed 1:1 with Tamiya X20A Thinner. I deliberately chose to start with a pale yellow to give me wiggle room when I add the filters and rust washes which will darken the overall impact.
After airbrushing this mix as the base, I masked off the drive and road wheels and airbrushed the tri-tonal camo in Tamiya XF-67 Nato Green and XF-64 Red Brown.
There isn’t much in the way of additional painting to do by hand other than blacking out the rubber of the road wheels (a rather laborious task) and painting the tracks. For the exhaust cover I tried a slightly different method and mixed rust coloured pigments into some Vallejo Dark Flesh. This created a really nice flat rust finish which I will probably repeat on all the other tanks from now on. The tracks looked a bit of a shocking flat grey/silver at this stage but that’s by intention. In the past I’ve kept the track weathering to a simple reverse palette. What I mean by that is I normally paint the tracks a dark mud/rusty brown and then highlight with graphite to show the underlying metal. Basically it’s a trick of the light to fool the eye. Battlefront’s plastic tracks however have some great detail and it seemed a shame not to make the most of it, so for that reason I started with a thinned base made up from 50/50 GW Boltgun Metal/Charadon Granite. Once the tanks were satin varnished ready for weathering I flooded thinned track and dark mud enamel washes into the wheels and track links. When dry, this gave me the tarnished base I was aiming for. The final finish will be to add a layer of dry pigments, but at this stage I’m just dealing with the oil based effects.
Prior to all of that however I painted the crew and applied a tri-tonal filter from MiG to all of the armour. A coat of Klear was then airbrushed on to seal it all in and protect the acrylics. Finally the decals were added to the turret and front track guard. I’m at the stage now of using a black oil pin wash to re-profile the detailing and consider how much I want to add in the way of rust and grime, before moving onto the dry pigment stage and sealing it all in with a final matt varnish. The Panzer IV has been on my painting wish list for long time and I have to say I have loved every minute of assembling and painting Battlefront’s new plastic variant; it’s genuinely a joy to work with.
On the construction front I’m pretty much ahead of the game now with plenty in the pipeline ready for painting. Two new additions to the family however include a second Battlefront Panzergrenadier boxed set and a box of PSC StuG III which I picked up from my local hobby store over the weekend. More assault guns was just too tempting, plus I haven’t assembled any PSC ones yet so wanted to see how they measured up to the three included in the Open Fire starter set. That’s enough procrastinating if I’m to get these done by the weekend, it’s back into the workshop to wrestle with the rust effect.
Until next time, have a great week.