The wing mirrors and the windshield wipersThese were the last pieces that were still waiting for their installation. Especially the wing mirrors were obscenely flimsy, so I left them whichever way they wanted to settle in. Either the driver had been driving like a pig (typical) or the driver was in the middle of a most peculiar twist-reverse maneuver.
After I was done with the solid pieces I washed the engine compartment with Citadel's black (Nuln oil). Then I drybrushed the leaf springs with Oily Steel (VMC 70865) and later washed that with Citadel's brown (Agrax earthshade). I used the same brown was on the axles and whatnot that I had painted grey much earlier in the project, to make them appear properly dirty.
While I was fooling around with the metallic paint I also painted the exit ends of the rocket launcher's barrels. I din't apply any sort of a wash there, I'd most likely do something else later on, if needed.
At this point I would've really loved to use the Vallejo motor oil stains -type of product that I had seen in some propaganda material at some point last year. But I had never encountered them either here or in Hobbyscapua, what could I do? In the Vallejo site it was called Engine Grime(73815), in the very end of the page.
The problematic glass piecesI had spent a good amount of time pondering on the destinies of the clear pieces. Either I'd glue them in at the very last moment and left them perfectly clear and clean - or then allowed them to get a bit dirty and used-looking under the general layer of crap. The latter option sounded much more intriguing, so I painted the bottoms of the transparents with the appropriate colours.
First I painted the reflectors of the headlights and the extra light with steel (VMA 71065 Steel). Then I painted the GP pieces before I detached them from the sprue: break lights with red (VMA 71085 Ferrari Red), all the blinking lights with orange (VMA 70733 Orange, fluorescent) and if I didn't say it before, the rest I left clear. As soon as the paints had dried I detached them and glued them on with white glue, as always.
At this point I remembered to do the only two decals that I needed. I had applied a bit of gloss varnish on the doors. This time the decals behaved nicely and that always manages to surprise me. A bit later I finished the decaling up with a layer of matt varnish. I wished it was always this easy...
I googled around to find out if the insignia was Soviet only (Soviet Guards) but ha! after following a few weird detours I found myself on a site that showed the same markings on the door of a bit more modern rocket launcher (BM-30 Smerch). What made this even luckier was that, according to this article, this rocket launcher was invading Ukraine, so that fit perfectly into my original theme of the little green men! Of course my vehicle was a version or two older than the one in the photo, but in my "what if" scenario the 439th Guards Rocket Artillery Brigade were using older equipment so that they could more easily claim that they were not Russian, as just about everybody had some of these trucks... which couldn't be said about the BM-30s.
The glass pieces looked good, great even. I really couldn't swear that the rear lights setup was completely authentic, this was the best I could do with the reference images I found. The same bit contained both the brake light, a blink (or turn signal) and a white reverse light. To be honest I couldn't honestly imagine why they'd have all these set all these blinking bright orange alarm lights and whatnot on a war machine, but as I always say: what do I know?
More filthAs a silly idea I cut off two windshield wiper -wide arcs off the masking tape and set them on the windshield so that the wiper's axle was in the center point of my arc. The result looked like a psychopathic Cars character knockoff from China.
I airbrushed dirt (VMA 71133 Dirt) around the truck from a good distance. As I may have said earlier, the idea behind this was to use it as a filter that'd even out the contrasts and maybe bring a bit of a natural look to the whole model. Or it could just make it look dull and boringly brown, but you can't please everyone.
But as I said, I started with the dirt colour but then thought that I could use some darker, fresher stains to the lower part, nearer the ground. I loaded my airbrush with some Camo Medium Brown (VMA 71038) and had at it. This darker shade was mostly applied on the bottom third, especially in the wheel wells or whatever they are called.
After the paint was dry I finally slipped the rubber pieces on to complete the wheels and took the photos you can see above. And no, I really am not interested in counting the times I knocked the wing mirrors off.
PigmentageNow I was under the assumption that the Russian truck was finished as far as the painting was concerned. So I dug out my pigment jars and the pigment binder and started making even more of a mess. I brushed some Carbon Black to the front and top end of the Field Rocket System, then applied some Fresh Rust to the moisture traps, nooks and the frame in general. Then I used at least Burnt Umber on the roof, the decks and stepping surfaces. All these were from the Vallejo pigments line, from the Tamiya Weathering Master set I used sand on anything that people'd walk on. Then I used some tiny amounts of fresh sand on a few highlight surfaces on top of the machine. And the wheels, those I messed up with hopefully liberal amounts of different browns.
Maybe a bit of all of those pigments actually stuck instead of flying around the airspace under the blow of my airbrush. I did use a much less lower pressure and airbrushed from further away, just like when I applied the Dirt paint. But this was the second time I tried this so I have plenty to learn still.