Painting tanks for parade: A how-to guide

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350z
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:43 am
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
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Painting tanks for parade: A how-to guide

Post by 350z »

Or perhaps more accurately; how to spend multiple hours on every single model!

I've had a few requests on here and on Facebook to give an overview on how I paint my models, I generally follow this same process for everything just with different colours based on the effect I'm trying to reproduce. I tend to find myself using a mix of Vallejo Model Colour and Citadel Contrast paints. I like the more muted military colour range of Vallejo and the Contrasts are a very interesting alternative to washes and glazes.

I documented the process for these two BMP-1s both with a different colour pattern, inspired by photos found online.

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To start I primed both models with Games Workshop's Zandri Dust spray, honestly any beige, khaki or grey colour will be fine just get a nice basecoat down to prevent any paint rubbing off.

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Basecoat the lighter model with Vallejo Iraqi Sand (70.819.) Camo is left in primer since I want a darker base however I added patches of Russian Uniform WWII (V.M.C. 70.924) randomly across the hull.

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Next is an all over wash of GW Skeleton Horde Contrast paint and Contrast Medium mixed 50.50. Camo gets the previous mix with a little Wyldwood Contrast added to darken it further. A nice diluted mixture that won't pool on the flat surfaces or leave tide marks, thinning with the medium is definitely recommended as water doesn't work near as well.

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Both models were carefully pin washed with Wyldwood, be fairly careful here particularly on the larger panels but clustered areas of detail can get an all-over wash since they'll be fully highlighted later on anyway. I finished up the turrets at this stage to clarify I was happy with the result hence why they've jumped onward.

Before I start the highlights I also add a black wash to the track recess, I tend to use Black Templar Contrast with the deepest areas getting a little thinned black to darken them completely. Doing this now prevents any painful re-highlighting if the brush slips onto the wheels!

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Next the panels are all picked out with Iraqi Sand, this is where being careful with the pin-washing stage pays off as it takes much less time to get everything looking neat. Camo gets the body colour done with Khaki (V.M.C. 70.988) and the patches cleaned up with Russian Uniform where required.

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Finally I add a couple of edge highlights progressively lightening the Iraqi Sand with pure white. Camo gets the same progressive highlight process just with Khaki and Rus. Uniform mixed up with Beige (V.M.C. 70.917). Adding white tends to make greens too desaturated so a yellower white is needed.

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The final near-white highlight is used very sparingly on the sharpest edges and details to really make everything pop.

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All that's left to do now is finish off the details and paint the tracks (I like just black highlighted with grey for mine.)

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And that's them finished! I tend to lightly varnish them with some matt varnish and add a little gloss to any vision ports or lights that I'd like to have some shine. The matt finish tends to dull out metallic paints so some gloss brings back the effect.


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A pair of happy little BMPs.

Hope this is useful for some, it's obviously a serious undertaking to paint any sizable quantity this way but even for command vehicles or such it can be a nice upgrade. The high contrast finish makes the models clearly visible at table height and really takes advantage of all the wonderful detail on GHQs models.

Cheers
Chris

350z
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:43 am
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
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Re: Painting tanks for parade: A how-to guide

Post by 350z »

Reserving a spot for a small guide on German armour colours.

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Cheers
Chris

nashorn88
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Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 1:15 pm

Re: Painting tanks for parade: A how-to guide

Post by nashorn88 »

They looks amazing! I’m always a fan of that look on a gaming table.
Thanks for the tutorial!

redleg
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Re: Painting tanks for parade: A how-to guide

Post by redleg »

That's fantastic Chris! Thank you for sharing your techniques!
Time on the recce is time well spent!

BurtWolf
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Location: Rochester, NY

Re: Painting tanks for parade: A how-to guide

Post by BurtWolf »

It is so cool to see these wonderful, excellent paint jobs. And I like the way the different masters have different techniques. Yours is very interesting.

A few questions, what is a pin wash and how is it done? And what are the standard contrast pants you use for World War II vehicles on both sides? I’d like to try out your technique as I typically only use one wash color and not multiple. Thanks for sharing and I hope you keep posting.!

350z
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Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:43 am
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
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Re: Painting tanks for parade: A how-to guide

Post by 350z »

Thanks so much for the pin! Really glad this is helpful to people, currently putting together the German armour tutorial whenever I have some free time. Hopefully get some camo patterns on show too. If it takes off I can look at doing a series perhaps!

To answer a few questions:

By pin wash I mean painting the shade directly into the recesses rather than doing an all over wash. It's more time consuming but there's minimal clean up versus an all over wash. An alternative would be to prime in a dark colour and paint the individual panels in the final, lighter shade but I imagine that would take even longer!

I don't have exact recipes for any other WW2 factions right now since the Germans are my first but my go to for the panel lining is Wyldwood Contrast thinned with a little of the Contrast Medium (basically just a clear version of the Contrast paint.) I imagine this would be suitable for almost all colours other than maybe German Grey that could do with something less brown, perhaps the Black Templar Contrast as it has a colder tone.

If anyone has other questions fire away and I'll do my best to answer them.


Cheers
Chris

BurtWolf
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Re: Painting tanks for parade: A how-to guide

Post by BurtWolf »

Thanks Chris! Seeing your excellent results, I went out and bought those contrast paints and have been trying my hand at pin washes. I have about ten packs of duplicate/old GHQ vehicles so they are my test subjects... anyway I think it will take practice and patience. Thanks again and looking forward to more posts - especially since I’m painting German WW2 now.

nashorn88
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Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 1:15 pm

Re: Painting tanks for parade: A how-to guide

Post by nashorn88 »

Just wondering how long it took to paint these?

pmskaar
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Re: Painting tanks for parade: A how-to guide

Post by pmskaar »

350z, those vehicles look really nice! As someone who spends a fair amount of time painting a vehicle, I can attest to the effort it takes to make these little vehicles really shine. You have done that.

The Real Bill
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:55 pm

Re: Painting tanks for parade: A how-to guide

Post by The Real Bill »

Thanks for taking the time to post your step by step photos! Those really look nice, and seeing each step really helps someone like myself break it down into the order of operations. So many times I see beautiful minis, and can't figure out what they did to get it there. These really help. Thanks!

Splod
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Location: Townsville, Australia

Re: Painting tanks for parade: A how-to guide

Post by Splod »

Absolutely gorgeous work Bill, and a fantastic guide.

I was curious as to what approach you'd take with the contrast paint to IDF Sinai Grey? Would you use the se bone/wyldwood mix as you used on the camo BMP, or something else?
Splod's Arab-Israeli project: Wargaming the 1967 & 1973 wars

“A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.”
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