Week Three: The Tanks
I need three Panthers and three Jagdpanzer IVs.
The Jadgpanzers come only in blisters, so the hardest part is making sure I actually purchase the right model. That's Jadgpanzer IV, NOT Jagdpanther, and NOT Jagdpanzer IV/70.
I have more choice for the Panthers. BF makes a box of five sculpts sold together. There's Barkmann, and there's the Panzer Kannonen sculpt too. Plus, there are Panther blisters. The best move is probably to buy the platoon box -- I'll want more Panthers eventually as my army grows over time.
My first step is to clean all the parts with a knife or a set of shears. The resin may need filing. Assembly is pretty straight-forward. Just don't glue the turret into place. It needs to turn for FoW.
I spray everything black with a primer, then undercoat in a chocolate-brown. Then I take my base color (usually Vallejo's Dark Yellow, although you may prefer Middlestone) and drybrush it over the model, leaving the chocolate-brown in the treads and the lines of the armor.
Many people prefer to do camo with an airbrush, but I don't trust the hissing, spitting things. I paint everything by hand. (See Dirty Jon's Tutorial Here). I take a dark brown, with a little red mixed in, and a darkish green, and paint blobs or swirls or lines onto the yellow base-coat. You can find many good books on German camo patterns (including FoW's invaluable Art of War #2). But often the camo was painted on in the field, with whatever was available. (And probably by the lowest-ranking tanker available.) So there's no "correct" pattern. I find that on 15mm models, bigger areas of camo look less "busy" than thin lines.
I usually paint the treads and the machine-gun with a dark metal color. I then slop a mix of brown and black ink all over the model, so that it settles into the cracks and details.
Then I do highlighting. I take a 10/0 brush, and I mix up three lighter versions of the yellow, the brown and the green, by adding white. I trace the outlines of each area of color, along with the lines of the tank armor plates and other raised areas.
|An example of Tom's Technique|
German three-color vehicles are already quite busy, so I don't weather them. I leave weathering and mud for single-color schemes, like US or Soviet Armor or German Grey, where they can add a little contrast.