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Ordnance 3: StuG III Ausf B SBS


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Next up is a layer of dirt; appropriately enough Reaper’s 'Basic Dirt'. This was applied as an overall wash (or glaze; in this case you pick your poison) over the hull sides under the fenders, the front and rear plates, the track return roller mounts, the suspension mounts and swing arms, and the details on the rear plate. It doesn't have to be an even coat, so a bit of unevenness is fine.


A second layer was applied to the lower third of the plates starting at the top of that third and stroking down to the bottom edge. When you lift the brush at the bottom there is a slightly higher concentration of color in the form of a puddle. Leave it alone. This concentration was also applied to the upper sections of the roller mounts and suspension components where dust and dirt might accumulate in the nooks and crannies.


The next washes (same color) were applied over the upper surfaces of the hull and fighting compartment. Most of these were concentrated in all the little recesses along the hull sides, the lights, the fender tops adjacent to the support brackets, and protected area in the gun mount area, inside corners – basically anywhere dust and dirt might get into, but not necessarily subject to constant removal. A few light patches were also added to open areas on the upper hull where human movement might be less (think away from hatch edges).


A wash was also applied to the drive sprockets, track return rollers, roadwheels, and idler wheels. I tend to put marginally higher concentrations of color on the road and the rear idler wheels. The roadwheels are closer to the ground and are riding on the tracks which kick up a lot of ground, while the idlers are subject to the dirt that the tracks kick up which can then fall all over the back end of the vehicle.


Once dry another (and higher) concentration was applied to the lower suspension mounts and swing arms. In all cases, the ‘higher concentrations’ are still in the realm of the wash or glaze. The beauty of this method is that an uneven, patchy appearance is what you’re going for. Dust and dirt does not accumulate in a nice even layer over an entire vehicle and it is subject to the effects of wind, rain, and human movement.








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The next step is an application of lighter dust coats. In this case a wash 1:1 mix of Basic Dirt and Leather Brown. The wash is applied in the order and manner of the previous wash then allowed to dry.


Next is a series of paint chips and scratches using a Prismacolor ‘Steel’ colored pencil. Short, irregular lines for scratches; larger irregular shapes for chips. Scratches and chips should be concentrated where crews and maintenance personnel are congregating around hatches or moving over edges, areas of damaged sheet metal such as the front and rear fender flaps, the ninety-degree angles of the outer fender edges, and the edges where the armor plates are joined together.


Old scratches and chips are next. I use a Prismacolor Dark Umber pencil for old rusty scratches and Terra Cotta color pencil for newer rusted scratches – all applied in a manner and location similar to the new scratches.










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This is the last of the acrylic paint washes (apart from any needed touch-ups). The idea is cover the rusty and some of the fresh scratches and chips with a layer of new dust and leaving a few of the newer scratches and chips relatively fresh. This is a 1:2 mix of Basic Dirt and Leather Brown which is followed by another wash of Basic Dirt and Leather in about a 1:3 or 1:4 mix – the latter mainly on the upper hull.




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The wheel assembly, put off in Step 5 of the instruction sheet, are done now. The metal portions of the wheels had been painted, washed, drybrushed, and dirt washed while still on the sprue (it made them easier to hold). The rubber portions were painted next, starting with the tire sidewalls. Most of the German rubber during the war was synthetic and appeared light black to dark gray to dark gray with warm tone. I mixed up a batch of Pure Black, Shadowed Stone, and Blackened Brown in about a 2:2:1 ratio respectively and applied it while the wheels were still attached to the sprue (again, easier to hold).


Once dry, the drive sprockets, roadwheels, track return rollers, and idler wheel were snipped off the sprues, the centerline mold seam was removed, and the rolling surface of the roadwheels and track return rollers were painted using the concoction above. When dry, all of these components were assembled.


The next task was simulate the wear on the metal drive sprocket and rear idler wheel as a result of metal-to-metal contact with the tracks. I used a dark gunmetal on the sprocket teeth and the smooth free rolling surface of the idler wheel. The sprocket teeth engage slots on the inner and outer edges of the tracks, while the tracks just ride on the idlers. I should also be noted that the guide teeth inside the tracks run in the space between the two idler wheel disks resulting in wear in that space as well. All of these coats were stippled on in order to give a patchy appearance.



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Continuing with the wheels… The drive sprockets and idlers do not have a uniform degree of wear, hence the patchy appearance mentioned above. The sprocket teeth and idler rolling surfaces are then given a wash of red-brown, brown, and a dust color to replicate cycles of wear, flash rust, ground in dirt, etc. The flattening agents in the paint also help to reduce the metal shine (although the camera flash isn’t helping matters).






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Thanks X!


Working the tracks now. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the tracks are a soft, flexible polystyrene plastic that can be glued and painted with regular model paints. I’ve had no issues using Reaper MSPs when applying them over an enamel model paint. The enamels (and lacquers as well) act as a primer and provide some tooth that allows the Reaper paint to stick. So far, so good!


The tracks were initially airbrushed with Mr Color Burnt Iron; a gun metal color with a slightly warm tone to it. This was followed by a heavy black oil paint wash. A heavy wash of Raw Umber was next. This forms the basis for a patina of patchy rust over the tracks. I used a hair dryer to speed the drying process for both washes.


Once the oil washes were dry, I applied a patchy wash of Reaper’s Basic Dirt and hit with the hair dryer. I then added a second patchy wash of Basic Dirt which was also blow dried. This was followed two washes of Leather Brown; both going under the hair dryer to speed things along.


Next, I mixed up a batch of Shadowed Silver (any similar color would likely do) and Adamantium Black in about a 1:2 ratio respectively. This was drybrushed over the cleats and raised detail of the tracks’ ground side. It was repeated over the guide teeth and the track shoes immediately alongside the teeth on the wheel side. This replicates a wear pattern resulting from the metal-to-metal shoe contact with the idler wheel. The mix was repeated with a new ratio of about 1:1 and lightly drybrushed over the cleats, guide teeth, and the area around the teeth. Patchy appearances are ok.


The last thing was another Leather Brown wash over the drybrushed metal. This does two things: it integrates all of the colors and worn metal, while the flattening agents in the Leather Brown reduce the shine of the bare metal areas on the tracks.


At this point, all of the wheels and tracks were set aside for later installation.











Edited by GlenP
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Thanks K!


In all likelihood, the greatest area of rust on an operational WW II tank is the exhaust system. Mufflers. Most mufflers were externally mounted at the rear of the vehicle and, in addition to hot/cold cycles of daily operation, were exposed to the elements. The mufflers were usually simple sheet metal and easily damaged. All this led to deteriorating, bubbling paint, and eventually rust.


The rust here starts at the bottom of the mufflers and is gradually working its way up the component. The older rust at the bottom is darker than the newer rust at the top. I used Reaper’s triad of Russet Brown, Harvest Brown, and Orange Brown in various mixes to depict the rust. Since the rust has a lumpy bumpy texture to it, I loaded the brush with the Russet Brown and then dipped it in a little pile of cleanser (Comet, Ajax, and Bon Ami all work equally well and are none-reactive to the paint). If there are lumps in the cleanser, I break them up with the butt end of an X-Acto knife handle before dipping; I only use the fine grains in order to maintain a scale appearance. The paint and cleanser are applied it to the bottom of the muffler, up the edges, and around the exhaust pipe. The amount of cleanser was gradually reduced as I worked up the back of the muffler with the lighter colors. This is the same mix and technique I used for the cheese grater in the Large Stitch Golem Project (Papa Golem’s Pizza) last year. Like weathering, the rust has an uneven patchy appearance.


Eventually, the rear plate and its components/rust will get another layer of dirt and dust.


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