Merkava Mk. IV – Detail painting

This model has a lot of details. Painting them in different colors greatly enhances its appearance and gives satisfying results.

After completing the base painting, I put the airbrush aside and took the paintbrush, finishing the smaller details. Since the camouflage is quite plain, I decided to paint some elements in red, as often seen for tanks shown on display, in order to give more life to the overall look.


I used a 3/0 paintbrush and the following colors:

  • Vallejo Model Color
    • 70.919 Foundation White
    • 70.950 Black
    • 70.957 Flat Red
    • 70.965 Prussian Blue
    • 70.967 Olive Green
  • Model Master
    • 1780 Steel
    • 1782 Brass
  • Humbrol
    • 11 Silver
    • 94 Brown Yellow

Vallejos are acrylics, the other ones are enamels.

From the left: Foundation White, Flat Red, Prussian Blue, Brass.
From the left: Black, Silver, Steel.

Main gun

First of all, I painted the white "Yanush strip" on top of the main gun (it improves the tank commander's visibility at night, showing him where the barrel points to). I should have painted the barrel in white and masked the strip before airbrushing the base color, like I did for the battalion mark... but I forgot it! So I had to mask the barrel with Tamiya tape and color it with paintbrush. The result isn't the best after all, but it should look better after the next steps. Next time I'll pay more attention!

The reflective element casing of the "Muzzle Reference System" can be painted in red, as shown in some photos found in the Web.

The main gun muzzle is black:


I painted the metal parts in black, further on they will receive various degrees of dry-brushing with metallic colors.

I painted the ammunition belt of the .50 cal. machine gun with brass enamel, its handles in a wooden color (Humbrol 94 Brown Yellow).

Then I colored the fire extinguisher in red and white, the grenades in olive green:


I painted some elements in red (that looks much brighter in photo than in reality), whereas the rubber parts (mudguards and smoke discharger caps) are a mix of black and Prussian blue. The rings behind the tow hooks are in steel color, whereas I first painted the plates in black, then I dry-brushed them in white. Front projectors are in silver. Any painting mistake will be much less visible after the selective wash.

The visors are in Prussian blue, but I don't like how they look and I'll probably change them.

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