SU-152 – Painting

The flat green camouflage of this SU-152 allows me to try different painting techniques with both the airbrush and the paintbrush.

The Soviet WW2 tank camo are painted almost always with an uniform (and boring!) green. However, it's quite easy to vary a bit its color and to give our model more "life".

For this model I wanted to try for the first time the Tamiya alcohol-based acrylics. They impressed me a lot for their ease of use with the airbrush (compared with the water-based acrylics, as they seldom clog the nozzle), for their opacity and for their satin finishing. On the other hand, however, still respect to the water-based ones, their solvent is more volatile and, when using it for a prolonged period, it slightly irritates the eyes and the respiratory tract. Moreover, cleaning the airbrush is more difficult using them.

The colors I used were XF-13 J.A. Green for the base and XF-3 Flat Yellow for the lightening. The thinner was the X-20A of the same brand.

From the left: XF-3 Flat Yellow, thinner X-20A, XF-13 J.A. Green.

Base painting

First of all, I sprayed an uniform coat of XF-13 base colour, with a paint-thinner ratio of 2:1.

Color modulation

In the following step I wanted to try a new technique, that is selectively brightening the base color in some zones in order to simulate a light source coming from a certain direction. In this case, provided that the main gun points to 12 o'clock, the light should come roughly from 10 o'clock.

I sprayed the color more and more brightened (with XF-3), mostly on the parts that should receive more light. For the same reason, I left the running gear in dark. The mixing ratios between XF-3 and XF-13 were 3:1, 2:1, 1:1 and 1:2, and each time the thinning ratio of the mix with XF-20A was 1:1.

The wheels received the same treatment too. In the following photo those on the left, the brighter ones, will be mounted on the left side, the more "illuminated" one.

Protruding parts and details

In order to achieve more visual depth I highlighted, with a small paintbrush, bolts, rivets, edges, handles and generally all protruding parts. I used Vallejo Model Color paints, mixing 3 parts of no. 70.953 Flat Yellow with 1 of no. 70.894 Russian Green. Moreover, I painted the wooden parts of the external tools with a mix of 3 parts of Flat Yellow and one of no. 70.914 Green Ochre. Finally, I colored the bare metal parts in black, they will be dry brushed later with a steel colour.

In the following photos the Friulmodel metal tracks are also shown; they are already assembled but still not painted and only temporarily put in place.

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