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Questions about AFV Modelling!

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Hi all! I came back to modelling a while ago but have only been working on modern jets since then, and have now turned my attention to WWII tanks... but finding the model a big departure from what I'd become used to with the jets and a bit overwhelming for now, and I'm only at the planning phase.... So I'm going to ask some probably very stupid and obvious questions here, but if anyone can bear with me and answer even one or two that would be so much help! I've bought a few magazines and books to prepare, like the AK Tanker stuff, but I just have more questions now than before!


I'm building a Dragon 1:35 Tiger I Early Production 'Tiki' Battle of Kursk... ideally it will be slightly battle damaged and a tad dirty, of course.


1. So I think I understand what a filter is finally, but I've read that it should be applied over a matt/flat finish and not gloss, is that true? If so, at which stage is the gloss coat applied? I think this is one of the biggest things to get my head around.. the stages of coat application seem quite different to what I've been doing with jets. I have no idea when I should be using gloss or flat and what effects can be applied over what coat. For example, should chipping be done only on a flat surface?

Also... what exactly is a dot filter? Still not clear on that one.. what effect does it add?

2. As far as the chipping technique goes.. which is better (or easier for an AFV beginner), using foam to simulate the chips, using a pointed brush, using a toothpick/blade and picking the paint off or a combination? I know that there are also things like Mig's chipping fluids, but that seems a bit beyond me for now. I'm planning to use Vallejo Model Color 118 'Middlestone' as the revealed surface colour, filled in darker in the centres.

3. Which colour of primer is usually best? This one has me confused because I've seen so many different ones.. from a rust colour to black to various greys.. does it really matter? I'm not a huge fan of pre-shading on aircraft so it wasn't important to me then.

4. I haven't used pigments all that much, so in relation to using them for dirt effects on the roadwheels or exhaust rust, for example.. how are the pigments sealed in? Just with some thinner?

5. And finally... a really specific question more about the model than techniques in case anyone should happen to know, but what kind of earth colour would one expect of the Kursk region presuming it's wet? Lighter or darker soil?


Thanks if you made it this far and can offer any advice, even any that isn't asked for!!

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Evening Loose Seal,

                             firstly, welcome back to the fold!

Not an Armour modeller, but I think modellings modelling, whatever the end result!

Rule 1. DON'T stress! It's a hobby, if it suits YOU that's good enough.

Caveat, with Tanks, you can cover up an awful lot of errors, just throw more mud at it!

Seriously, it has to be remembered, Tanks were 'home' to their crew's, so when withdrawn from the line,

the first thing would be to remove as much of the detritus as possible, good housekeeping.


I would suggest you have a look here:-

To take your questions in order,

1. To me, the term 'filter' is another word for faded / worn paint! Apply over the matt finish, THEN apply your finishing coat.

Chipping is applied to areas of high wear and tear, as an example, if you build a Sherman, my Dad drove 'em, along with others,

and he used to say about running up the glasis, hooking his arm over the gun, spinning 180 and dropping into the drivers seat!

Also worth remembering, if it's a 'modern' vehicle, quite a few have 'non slip' surfaces, which tend to be a rubberized.

My take on the 'dot filter' with armour, it shows things like rain, is also used to mute camo colours, and show a degree of wear and tear,

where the need for 'bare' metal isn't so pronounced. The process can be used on other things as well, like aircraft!


2. Have a look at the 'work in progress' above, John seems to favour salt as a weathering medium.

Good call, work smarter rather than harder!


3. Whatever colour you want! Bear in mind, if the main colour is Dunkelgelb (dark yellow) and you use a dark primer, you will darken the final finish.

You've been building modern jets, have you built any in a Natural Metal Finish? If so, and I know that Alclad (other NMF products are available) recommend black,

you can find it varies the finish if you use pale through dark grey to vary the individual panels. Use the undercoat to help you vary tone.


4. Again have a look at the link, above.


5. The battle at Kursk took place in July / August, and many photo's show tanks ploughing through fields of corn.

My take would be a lighter, 'dusty' type of soil, toward a light sand colour, you could always try using 'dry' pastels, grind some down

on a scrap of course 'glass' paper, apply with an old brush, and if happy, 'fix' with an old paintbrush and your preferred thinners.


Hope the above is of use? Give it a day or so, someone who knows more than me will be along!




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