Friday, July 21

Pt.II Painting & Weathering Guide of Miniart's new 35th scale T54-2 in Ammo shades.

Miniart is making some great new models of the largest, toughest tanks to enter service in the last century, with a focus especially on the Post-WWII "T" series of medium and MBT's. Paul got his hands on Miniart's new 35th scale T54-2 kit, and we have already seen part I of the build and how it goes together - Today he paints it with AMMO shades in Pt. II of his guide...
Build Guide: T54-2 Soviet Medium Tank (mod 1949)
Manufacturer: MiniArt
1/35th Scale
Type: Multimedia Kit
Available from MiniArt distributors worldwide

Part I - Build Guide

Today: Pt.II Painting & Weathering...
With most of the construction now over, I can begin to start painting the tank. For this build, I chose to use Mig’s Russian 4BO Modulation set which consists of four different shades of green. I’ve previously found Mig paints to be a bit temperamental to spray with a lot of dry tipping, but this time I’ve thinned the paints with Mig’s own acrylic thinner and can report that my spraying experiences have been much better, although its adhesion is still quite fragile with the slightest nick of a fingernail scratching up the paint.
I started with 931 Russian Dark Base and sprayed the lower hull, inside, and under surfaces of the fenders and the overhanging section at the rear of the turret. I then sprayed the remaining surfaces with 932 Russian Base, and then went back to 931 Russian Dark Base to do some shading and especially areas that are less exposed to light.
I then used 933 Russian Light Base to start highlighting particular details and also lightly spraying over upper surfaces to add some tonal differences to the 932 Russian Base, and then finished off with 934 Russian Highlights to bring out individual detail. A clear coat now makes the tanks ready for decals.
There are six decal options provided in the box and are all 50th Anniversary of the Red Army vehicles which pretty much just consist of white turret numbers, although two have some Russian on the fender fuel tanks. I chose to use the 649 on the box art which also features a "III" in a black diamond in front of the numbers. Interestingly enough, the box art and instruction booklet cover show tank 649 with the AA machine gun mounted on, but the actual illustration of the schemes show the vehicle without.
I chose to mount the AA machine gun anyway and once again, MiniArt have excelled with the mouldings and the gun is superbly detailed, with both plastic and PE. 
A section of the ammunition belt is provided, although my one managed to disappear from my bench overnight so I had to improvise with some pinheads and a thin strip of tape.
The wheels have very short mounting pins which is why I haven’t glued them on until now. The tracks are the individual link type and there is some sag which is why I left the fenders off to make this a bit easier, although I didn’t need to because the guide horns are snuggly held between the road wheels so sagging them turned out to be quite easy and I could’ve glued the tracks to the wheels if I hadn’t glued the wheels on yet. The instructions for the positioning of the front idler wheels are vague because the mounts swivels in their bases which will affect the length of the tracks if they are not in the right position, so keying the mounts would have been helpful. I ended up gluing the right mount approximately in the 1 o’clock position, and alternately the left mount in the 11 o’clock position. The instructions call for 90 links to be used for each side, although I had to remove one link on the left side but this may be due to imprecise location of the aforementioned mounts. I painted the tracks with track primer and painted the guide horns and dry brushed the track details in a gunmetal colour.
Gluing the fenders proved to be quite a challenge although my painting of them before attaching them to the sides could have contributed to the difficulties. The fenders go straight onto the side of the hull with some dimples to assist in aligning them in the right positions, however the right fender is the length of the hull which is quite a challenge because the plastic is not strong enough to keep the whole length straight so aligning those dimples was quite challenging. The left side was a bit easier because it comes in two shorter sections separated by the exhaust array. The plastic tow cables were never going to work, although admittedly I didn’t give them a try, but I made new ones from picture hanging wire twisted together with a Dremel, although trying to thread them between a gap and the fender so that it wouldn’t interfere with the ditching log was quite a challenge.
To start the weathering process, I started with a light brown all over wash using Abteilung oil’s Wash Brown followed by a pin wash to bring out the assorted details with a generic mixture of black and raw umber paint. I didn’t want to weather the tank too heavily so a light misting of Tamiya’s Flat Earth and then picked out some details and washed the tracks with Abteilung Oil’s Basic Mud completed the tank and gave it a dusty look. A final matte coat finished off the model.

Here she is in some detail - showing all the painting and weathering effects in close up.
I was thoroughly impressed by this kit from MiniArt. The fit and engineering of this kit is outstanding, and this option without the full interior is definitely going to appeal to people that do not want a full interior but having to pay for it in the full interior kit. There are some tiny pieces and PE and some tricky assembly areas so I wouldn’t recommend it to beginners but I think this kit is a fine example of a modern kit.
Highly recommended.

Paul Lee
Thanks to MiniArt for supplying this kit to build and review