I'm adding an early/mid war panzerkompanie to my DAK, and decided to start with some IV F1s. I also decided to document my process, and maybe help someone somewhere out with this tutorial.
The goal of these tanks is to get them done very quickly- I spent very little time on these guys but they look great on the tabletop!
So, off we go! Read on to see my tutorial!
The tools of the trade:
Various sizes of paint brush, Xacto knife, clippers, and an "artist pen". I use Faber Castell S, black. All paints mentioned are made by Vallejo.
Step one is, of course, make sure you have all the parts! Now it's time to clean them up. Using the Xacto and the clippers get rid of all the flash
Next, I spraycoat them. I just use cheap 99c Wal-Mart flat black spray paint and it's worked fine for me for 5+ years. Note I also went ahead and glued parts to the turret, but I did not glue the tracks to the chassis. I find they are too hard to work with when attached, and prefer to glue them together later.
Now I slap on the paint! It's okay to be haphazard, just cover the whole darn model. For my DAK equipment I use IRAQUI SAND.
After the base coat.
Now it's time to do the tracks. First, I just drybrush the road wheels and running gear as they're way too annoying to try to paint individually.
I do this for all of the tracks.
Then I go in with my small brush and hit the suspension. Note that I have left "black lines"- for the rest of the tank I do this with the artist pen, but for the tracks it's easy to just get in a groove and just do it by not painting the "seams".
Once the inner stuff is done, go to town on the rest of the tracks. Make sure to paint the "visible" areas of the backside of the tracks! After that's done, I drybrush GUNMETAL GREY on the treads.
Now that the tracks have been knocked out, it's time to put the tanks together. Hey look, we are starting to have a tank platoon!
Now comes the most tedious but (in my painting philosophy) the most important part: black lining. With the tip of the artist pen, I just cover all of the "seams" on the tank. Anything where two panels meet at an angle, or where there is a deliberate indention gets black lined.
End result of black lining. It really is not as much work as it looks.
Now that that's done, it's time to apply decals! I couldn't get my hands on any DAK decals so I just did some white turret numbers and iron crosses. Prior to putting on the decals, I painted the area GERMAN GREY to simulate the crews painting around the markings as they did early in Africa.
Weathering is up next. We're almost done now! See how easy this has been? I liberally drybrush the whole model with DARK SAND which both highlights and weathers these desert colors.
Now it's time to pick out the details- go back with black paint and hit all of the tools. I also dryrbush all the guns with a little black at the tip at this stage. This is pretty ahistorical since barrels never really looked all that dirty, but I've always liked the look so I take some artistic license :)
I then paint the tool handles FLAT EARTH and the heads and Co-Ax MG GUNMETAL GREY.
All that remains is the platoon commander. I chose to do him in infantry uniform using RUSSIAN GREEN. The color is just FLESH, his hat is IRAQUI SAND, and the radio is GUNMETAL GREEN.
The next step is to go kick some Tommie ass.
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