The main point of this post is "repainting". The whole camo pattern has received a second coating, part of the previous spitting has been covered and some new has occurred. Of course. If I say something to defend myself, this looks better than what I did on my first airbrushed model, the Sturmpanzer IV. I think I've learned something, even if this is my second freehanded camo scheme.

The signs of personal development
I'll drop in a couple of pics from the main directions, so you may see the difference to the previous round. The most notable improvement is the rear of the tank that finally has all of the three colours of the scheme on it. Cough.

Tracks are installed and the big kitty's on the move
Yeah, I forgot to mention that I also installed the tracks after the second round of painting. I've finally learned how these floppy tracks are installed without a hitch. You glue all wheels except the drive sprocket (and maybe the first road wheel, if needed) on their places. When the set of wheels has been cured, put the drive sprocket to one end of the looped track and pass the other end of the loop around the already attached idler wheel and road wheels. If the first road wheel was unglued, it's attached now. Finally a bit of glue is applied to the connector of the drive sprocket and stretching the track a bit by pulling the sprocket to the fron, locked to its rightful place.
Rinse and repeat on the other side whenever you dare.

And now what?
Just for the fun of it, I took a couple of pics with the remaining main pieces just hanging on their final-ish places. It's to show how it might look and if it's a good idea to begin with.

This potentially confusing final pic the point is those filter frames of the engine's air intake vents. I didn't get to cut the adhesive strips to attach the filter mesh, that's why the frames are alone. Originally my idea was to keep them plain green ut they ended up sticking out a bit so I added a couple of grey stipes on them. The result looks a lot better.

Final words
I don't know if there's anything mentionable to paint anymore. Of course the insignia and unit markings are to be painted, but that's small beans. Mess-making - also known as weathering is also to be done, but that's the final step :)

Somehow I don't doubt that these words will come to bite me in the ass - yet again...


The stripes of the Royal Tiger

What does a normal, young male do when he gets out of his workplace on a Friday afternoon in good time and there's nothing special planned for the weekend? I don't know about the rest of them but I rushed home like a madman and started my compressor the first thing after I had got my shoes off. Then I started painting the primed tank with a nice coat of Moss Green. Hey, you've got to use the time you have as well as you can, right?

Confusing contrastlesness
When the tank was finally completely green, including all the random pieces, it was time to start making a mess. Obviously. The shape is to be broken, say the people who know something about these things. So, from my two options I chose the Sand Brown (what a weird name, to me it looks a lot more like Chocolate Brown) because I reasoned that if I start with these brown splotches and areas here and there, it's so easy to paint the borders with the sandy color (the container says just Grey).
Ok. That's what I started doing over a couple of rounds. While the paint was still damp, I was admiring my handiwork. Things were progressing nicely indeed.

But what happened then?
Before this afternoon's stripings I was juggling the pieces around in my hands and wondering, how tiny the contrast is when the paints have dried. Not that was a problem, because the tank wasn't going to be painted like a children's coloring book ("Color the boxes that have number 1 with color a"), but something completely different. If the green, brown and grey were mixed, intersecting and all that, it'd just look more natural.

After the inspection I took out the grey paint and started spraying with a noticeably smaller opening. My severe lack of skill led to the paint pooling a bit in a couple of places. Yes, I know, I was spraying way too close to the model sometimes. The end result isn't even close to the scheme of the Finnish Army, but had it been a German with OKH's standard colors, it'd been right at home.

Maybe I had thinned the paint wrong, set the pressure wrong (too high?) or both, the airbrush still spits a bit. You can tell from the pics. It doesn't look bad at all from a small distance but up close... oh my no. It looks obscene to me.

Would you buy it if I claimed that I was going for a movement effect?
I didn't imagine I'd get it done on the first go, so I was prepared for a fixing round or a few. The next step may be that I add some stripes to the rear of the tank, the rear that I completely forgot after spraying the right mudflap a bit. Maybe. Otherwise I'll go for the green and brown areas that could be fixed where the grey went in a funny pattern or covering too large an area.

I forgot to add stripes to the rear. Oopsis.


Let's see how the fixing goes. Does it go nicely or do I just ruin what I have achieved? Maybe I crash like a tank that's driving blindly into a thick forest. But hey, who cares if the tank weighs 70+ tons? Brum brum brummmmmmm 8)

It doesn't actually look bad from this angle...


Finally I got to the painting phase

Groundwork, it's not spectacular
Hah, for a change I begun with a pic of those pieces I've been talking about for a couple of weeks. To clarify this to those who can't read my mind and those who don't find my mind's workings as clear as I do: those pieces on the foreground are the armor parts that I cut down a bit, in the upper right corner you can see the Combat Engineering Equipment Boxes and on the top you find a bunch of those infamous wheels & co. All the unpainted core parts are naturally those places where the connecting bolts go, I haven't forgotten them. To be more exact: I'm not so demented yet that I'd paint even those even if I knew that they'd be completely blocked by the bolts, glued shut and that no one would ever see them. Ever.

Look into the horizon
Ok, so I finally grabbed myself by the neck and started priming the model. The turret and the hull were two obvious main stars in this phase. In addition to them I left the engine intake mesh screen frames (!) out, as well as those molded rope things. Somehow I managed to break one of them so this tank shall get along with only two.
I had decided that these pieces were clearly separate and that they'd be camo-painted separately from the rest of the tank, too. Or that's what my painter sargeant does, silence in the back!

Next to the rest of the junk you can see how the tank was earlier today. Or what you can see of it in this pic, anyway. Of course there's a bunch to be cleaned but most of the gaps in the paint cover is because my workspace is pretty badly lit and that there's no natural light to help me in the evenings. What a surprise at these latitudes in the winter. Anyway, things progress how and when they do, I'm not in a rush or anything :)

Damn, that flash makes the surfaces pretty ugly, they're a lot cooler when viewed with a plain eye and it looks a lot more like Panzergrau. Hmmmm... That doesn't sound bad, either, even though it would be completely historically unrealistic and I'm already doing something else.

But a Panzergrau King Tiger is not a bad or an ugly idea at all...

I spent a few moments last evening fooling around with those tracks, mostly I painted the "teeth" metallic and then drybrushed the wearable parts of the outsides. Perhaps I'll get carried away and muddify and dirtify them at a later point which would mean that I'd need to redo the metallification. I don't mind, if they look good to me, that's what matters.

Behind the watchful eye of the camera
After I had taken these few pictures to show you, I took it to myself to coat it all (or almost) with the Moss Green from the Lifecolor set. I got a big part done, but the rest will have to wait for the daytime during the weekend. After that I can start pondering on what kind of a camo I want to paint on it. And in the end we'll be wondering "what the hell is that and why doesn't it look like anything that I had imagined?"

But that's how it usually goes, it's a learning process and will stay that way until the very end, I imagine. I just hope that you can see some kind of improvement at some point, during these years :P


Advancing slowly

During the last days my project theme has (still) been this set of different wheels and finishing their painitng. Now they have cool steel surfaces, marks of wear and tear and all! At this point I won't touch them for a while, they'll just sit and wait for the hull's painting to be finished.

While I've been doing that I've also mutilated the skirt armor to fit in with the Combat Engineering Toolboxes. Before I get to apply the basecoat, I'll need to fill in the now useless holes (thanks to the CEToolboxes) and to clean up the rest of crap from the sides and top of the hull.

Then I get to paint the hull, turret and a couple of other pieces. Of course the basecoating needs a couple of iterations because the bottom and top parts are to be done in separate runs. Naturally. But that's fun and easy: just put the pieces in the painting box and let go.

The missing painting box
But I threw my old, slightly modified, large Dragon's Ju-88 A/4 painting box away when we moved! If my memory serves, I even thought that I won't need to haul it from one almost-city to another almost-city because I have three models with their boxes just waiting to be utilized. Fnarg.

Of course I haven't got to do that. I don't have a new painting box. So that's what I got to do before I can enjoy the purring of the compressor and the whizzing sound of the airbrush. Maybe tomorrow.

"Why do today anything that you can easily postpone until tomorrow?"


Those damn wheels

I've spent quite a while working on the road wheels (+ those other two pairs) indeed. This makes if even clearer: the next thing I'll work on is going to have less wheels, I'm about to get annoyed by these tiger-like setups. But if I put some real effort on them the result should be a lot better than if I do it as usual. That being, "I'll fill the gaps later"... yeah, right. This time I shall not be a lazy bugger with the most annoying details.

For some reason I was browsing through a pile of reference pics, I just don't have the faintest clue of what I wanted to find anymore. One of them, showing the front hull, reminded me of a cool detail that I had already forgotten. Again. The power cable for the searchlight. So I fixed the light and glued it in place. When the glue had set I dug out my roll of jekkulanka (no clue what it's supposed to be called in english, it's just metal wire used for random engineering things in the army). The stiffness of jekkis caused a bit of swearing because it was always bending the wrong way, but in the end I emerged victorious. Just a little bit of effort gives a neat - and to some, essential - detail.

If things go this way I'll end up trying how the airplane modelers feel when they add the break line cables, dozens of different cables and wiring for the engines and even those wires that go behind the dashboard. Behind the dashboard, inside the hull where no one will ever see anything anyway. But the cables are there, where they're supposed to be. So there!
I guess that's why they do those things. Or because they're insane. I'm not sure yet. Whatever the reason, they do some impressive stuff.

The archived treasures
While I was hunting for my jekkulanka roll I was going through the bits box, just in case I saw something interesting. Surprisingly I came across some 122H63 (a Soviet howitzer, D-30) ammo crates. That model I had built almost a decade ago. Those crates weren't tiny and they could actually fit on the rear-side part. With a bit of fooling around I think I found a nice place for them.

Untouched for almost a decade.
I guess they'd work nicely as the containers for combat engineering equipment, such as shovels, crowbars and whatnot. In them all the random stuff would be also nicely out of way and could stay a bit cleaner than on the deck. If my faded memories serve me well, keeping stuff clean was the #1 priority, neat order being the #2.
At least I'd believe that :P