Wednesday, April 20

Painting & Weathering Review: Clayton's build of Takom's AMX13/75 – French Light Tank

Clayton finishes his 35th scale model of takom's AMX-13/75 in the third part of his story about this versatile French Light Tank. See a little of the history of the Venezuelan version that he has modelled in Ammo colours, and how he got it looking so good in today's article... 

Painting and Weathering Review: AMX13/75 – French Light Tank
Manufacturer - Takom
Kit Number - #2036
1/35th Scale 
Plastic sprues, photo etched material
Decals for 6 variants inside
Price - £31.90, ¥5,600, US$46, €43 from Hobbylink Japan
With the build complete, it was now time to pick up the airbrush and get some paint on this lovely little model.

Given the AMX 13/75 featured in the military-led revolution, El Porteñazo of 1962, it seemed the perfect, lesser known conflict, to highlight with this lovely little model from Takom.

El Porteñazo (2 June 1962 – 6 June 1962) was a short-lived military rebellion against the government of Rómulo Betancourt in Venezuela, in which rebels attempted to take over the city of Puerto Cabello and its Solano Castle, 97 km from the capital. 

On 2 June 1962, units led by navy Captains Manuel Ponte Rodríguez, Pedro Medina Silva and Víctor Hugo Morales went into rebellion. The rebellion was crushed by the 3rd of June, leaving more than 400 dead and 700 injured, and by the 6th of June, the rebels' stronghold of Solano Castle had fallen. - from Wikipedia
The challenge here would be to try and extract some personality out of essentially a Dark Green tank, that hadn’t seen a lot of time in the field or a great deal of conflict for that matter.  So with that in mind, I started the painting process.

With the build complete, the model received an all over coat of ALCLAD Grey Microfiller and Primer. I took this step to ensure the subsequent paint steps would adhere properly to the photoetch parts, as well as just setting the foundations for a strong paint job.
The preassembled tracks now received a quick spray using AMMO ‘Dark Tracks’
The colour scheme called out for AMMO ‘Blue Green’ to be used for the overall colour of the tank. The tank was fully covered in this colour and was lightened through upper surfaces using British Sand Yellow as a lightening agent, mixed with the base colour. My fear was that if I didn’t create some artificial highlights, the dark tones of the Blue Green paint would consume the model.
After the base colour was applied and left to dry, a generous coating of Alclad Gloss was applied, and once dry, the water slide decals were then fitted. I do like the brighter colours of these markings on the dark base. It was starting to give the model some interesting points.
A heavily thinned mix of Khaki paint was then applied, mainly to horizontal surfaces, to give the illusion of fading and introduce more artificial highlights.
The model was sealed using a Satin Varnish from the AMMO range. Once completely dry, a thinned mix of ‘NATO Camouflage’ enamel wash was applied to the recesses and details around the vehicle. This will help define the detail and give the shadows some further depth.  The results speak for themselves.
A mix of ‘Africa Dust and Europe Earth’ pigments were now worked into the model. Special attention was paid to the running gear and the upper surfaces of the tank. The pigment was then fixed in place using white spirit and enamel paint.
‘DRY MUD’, and new product in the AMMO range is now applied to the running gear. The old brush is loaded up with the product and carefully blown onto the model using the airbrush. The random splashed is what we are looking for in the step. It can get away from you very easily though, so make sure you have a few practice runs.  For my own curiosity, I tried the application be flicking the paint using my finger rather than the airbrush. Similar results, just a matter of preference.
Further applications of a heavily thinned ‘Africa Dust’ enamel and applied around details on the horizontal surfaces. It was my hope that a layer of dust may give this model the feel I was looking for.
Again I felt the need to add a few more highlights as the weathering was bringing the contrasts down a little for my liking, so I went about applying more of my lightened Blue Green / Sand Yellow mix.
Although subtle, further enamel washes were applied to select details.
The tracks now received a treatment of thinned Dust pigments and the highpoints were buffed using Gun Metal pigment once completely dry.
The wheels and tracks are now fitted and a selected wash using Burnt Umber Oil paint is now applied.
A light dusting of thinned, earthy toned acrylic paint along the bottom half of the model as then a good couple of coats of Satin Varnish from the Ammo range would just about see this one over the line.

It is my intention to set this model in a little vignette, with the soldiers crouching behind the tank, similar to the actual pictures of the revolution of ’62. In the interests of completing this painting review, I will leave that for another time and call this one done.
In Conclusion
I really enjoyed this model. The AMX13/75 is an interesting little tank and the Venezuelan military revolution of ’62 provided an interesting little glimpse of history that could be perfectly recreated with this kit.
There are a number of very fragile parts around the model, so great care must be taken when handling it. Unfortunately, I managed to lose a few tiny pieces and didn’t even realize until reviewing some of the finished pictures. I will revisit some of these tiny parts when the vignette makes its way to the workbench, but for now I am satisfied.
It sounds odd, but painting the single colour scheme was a little more difficult that you might imagine..especially given the depth of the colour, and the limited battle time this subject saw. For me, this is where the challenge was in this model.

This is a lovely little kit, and with Takom offering the 3 variants, there really are so many options when considering a paint scheme for this type of tank.

I highly recommend this offering, and really enjoyed the entire process. Congratulations again to Takom for continuing to bring these exciting new releases to the hobby. 

Clayton Ockerby

Part I of this review - the In-Box section is here at this link

This kit is now available from Takom’s Distributors Worldwide. Thanks to them for sending this kit to build & review.
See more of Clayton’s work at his website “The Workbench” or join him on his Facebook page