The making of this Panzer 35(t) light tank has been quick and easy, and I had fun with the painting and the weathering too. For the first time, moreover, I painted a miniature.
This very good Academy kit has been quite a deal, easy to assemble and well detailed. Moreover, it has two miniatures, the driver and the commander.
The content of the box is shown below. We have 6 sprues in grey polystyrene, plus the lower hull as a separate part; a nylon thread for the towing cable, a decal sheet, an instruction booklet and a painting guide.
The assembling is quite easy, though making the running gear is a bit a time-consuming task. Notice that if you want to add the driver miniature, you have to do it before gluing the upper hull (a thing I didn't do...) because its shoulders don't pass through the hatch.
For the painting I used the very good acrylic paints Vallejo Model Air. The only camouflage used for this tank is Panzer Grey (Panzergrau), for which I chose the paint no. 71.052 German Grey, desaturated with 71.050 Light Grey.
Before the base coat, however, I primerized and pre-shaded the model, then I sprayed a white coat on the sides of the turret and on the engine cover; after this I masked some zones with masking tape and finally I applied the grey paint. Thus, I made the markings used during the invasion of Poland in September 1939, that used the solid white crosses. As a reference, I used the schemas in this page and the photos here.
I painted the scratches —using a fine brush and a sponge— with Light Grey, overlining the "deeper" ones with a dark brown, mainly on the edges and on the protruding parts. I painted the wooden parts in buff, the bare metal ones in black.
I coated the silencer with the True Earth Rough casting – Antiskid product (art. TEC 006), to render the texture of the metal oxidized by the heat; I eventually painted it in grey and partially covered it, using a sponge, in dark brown. Then, I painted the tracks in dark brown. Finally I made a final dry-brush using Reddish Naples Yellow oil color.
The weathering consisted in three phases: washes, filters and pigments. You can see the results in the next post.
I first sprayed a coat of clear gloss paint, then I made a selective wash with van Dyck Brown oil color. Then I applied an additional wash in Cassel Earth on the running gear. With the same color I also splattered some drops on the base wall, thus simulating oil and grease stains.
After a coat of satin varnish, I applied two distinct oil filters, the first one with the "dots" technique, the other with a uniform coat of ultramarine blue. In this way I managed to dim a too warm tone the vehicle had achieved.
As a final step I thinned some pigments in water, then I spread them onto the zones where the dust is most likely to accumulate. Those included for instance the running gear, the lower hull, the bevels and the crew passages. Once dried, I faded where necessary with a dry paintbrush or a finger.
I used Mig pigments, in particular Europe Dust and Light Dust for the upper part, and a mix of Europe Dust and Russian Earth for the lower hull and the running gear. I also used rust pigments for the silencer, whereas I rubbed a pencil on the scratched borders and on the track treads, to simulate the bare metal.
I added a flag on the engine cover. It was used to mark the presence to the air support, in order to not being struck by friendly fire. I made it placing a thin rectangle of Milliput White bi-component putty on the model (laying between some plastic food wrap to prevent it sticking on the surface) and I painted it once cured.
I censored the flag for obvious reasons. Even when respecting historical accuracy, I don't want give in any case visibility to symbols associated to criminal ideologies.
It has been the first time I painted a miniature, and I must say it's been fun! The kit had two heads for the commander, the first one with a soft cap (Feldmütze), the second one with a sidecap (Schiffchen). I chose the former, as it was the one used in 1939.
I used again Vallejo acrylics, with German Grey for the shadows and a mix of German Grey and Light Grey for the base, desaturated with 70.928 Light Flesh. For the skin, I used 70.815 Basic Skin Tone and the aforementioned Light Flesh. Boots, gloves, belt, earpieces and tie are in black, the shirt is in Light Grey. The buckle, the buttons, the badges and the Iron Cross are in silver enamel, whereas I painted the earphone band with a mix of black and steel enamel.