Monday, April 10

Andy paints & weathers his KTO Rosomak w/OSS-M Turret from IBG Models

Andy Moore has already given us his insight into the 35th scale kit of KTO Rosomak w/OSS-M Turret from IBG Models in an Inbox review & a construction guide. Today he gets to painting and weathering the Rosomak in Part III of the story.

Painting & Weathering Guide: KTO Rosomak with OSS-M Turret
Manufacturer – IBG Models
Kit Number #35034
Scale - 1/35th
Price - ¥7,680 • $65 • £53 • €62 from Hobbylink Japan
Part II - Construction Guide
Part III - Paint & weathering guide
We left off in part 2 with the big Polish Rosomak mostly built up and ready for paint, but before getting started on the main painting, there were a couple of areas that needed some preliminary attention. First up, the inside of the commander's hatch needed some paint, as this area would be hard to access once fitted.
The other area that got some pre-painting was the chassis. The inner sides of the chassis rails and the prop shafts, diffs and suspension arms were all given a quick coat of black, together with those areas of the lower hull that would be hard to reach after the chassis was installed, such as the cut-outs behind the suspension struts. Once that was done the chassis was glued into place on the hull.
While I'd got the black paint to hand, I sprayed the insides of the headlight housings, before adding the light lenses. Although the instructions don't mention it, the two outer lenses are indicators and need to be painted in clear orange.
With everything now ready for paint, I gave the whole model a quick wipe over with isopropyl to remove any dust and grease, then masked off the glazing on the vision ports and the open hatches. For the commander's hatch and the big rear doors, I used squares of packaging foam, cut to fit the apertures, as these were quick to use and didn't run any risk of damaging the internal details.
The whole model then got a coat of AK grey primer to unify the finish, and provide a solid base for the rest of the painting and weathering. 
 Once the primer was dry (it's best to leave it for at least 24 hours), I gave the model some pre-shading using a dark green. Both of the two box schemes are all-over green, so it's important to introduce some variation to the finish to prevent the model from looking too flat, and the pre-shading will help to start that process.
The main hull colour is listed as NATO green, and for this I used AK-796. Actually, this is one of the few weak points in the kit, as IBG list a grand total of just two paint colours for the entire build, those being green for the body, and black for the tyres. There are no references for detail colours for the exterior, nor any at all for the interior, and I think this is one area where IBG could up their game.

The paint was applied in thin layers, allowing the colour to build up slowly and letting the pre-shading show through just enough to liven up the finish.
To further break up the monotone colour, I mixed AK-715 Resedagrün into the NATO green in a roughly 50/50 mix, and sprayed this in a mottled pattern over the various panels and details covering the hull, keeping the effect as diffuse and random as possible.
That paler paint mix provided some highlighting to the finish, but I wanted to add some darker tones to balance thing out, and for this, I used an enamel wash rather than paint. AK Dark Streaking Grime is ideal for this, as it has a green tone that won't alter the underlying colour. To apply the wash I used a piece of sponge, dabbing it randomly over the surface, after first removing excess wash from the sponge on a paper towel. This stage isn't really weathering as such. The aim is to provide some natural variation across the surface, without making the whole thing look too patchy.
With the highlights from the pale paint mix and the lowlights from the dark wash, the paint finish has started to look far more interesting than if a single colour had been used across the whole surface.
With the paint finished, the whole model was given a gloss coat ready for the decals. You get a choice of two schemes in the kit, both in overall NATO green. Both options are for vehicles operating with the Polish Army in Chad during 2009, one with EUFOR (European Union Force) markings and one wearing UN logos. I went with the EUFOR option, as the blue logos added a splash of colour to the model. This scheme also has a name for the vehicle, 'TORA BORA', although I'm not 100% sure how accurate the name is for a vehicle based in Chad, as Tora Bora is in Afghanistan, where the Polish Army also operated with their Rosomaks. I added the name anyway, as it gave a little personality to the model.
All the decals settled down perfectly with just one exception. The decal for the rear warning disc, was slightly too big for the kit part, and over-hung around the edges. After several applications of Micro Sol in an attempt to get the decal to conform, it finally started to break up. Rather than persevere with it, I decided to strip the decal off and paint the disc instead.
The result of the re-paint was far from perfect, but it was close enough for me to let it pass. You'll probably notice that the number plate has mysteriously changed though. That was entirely due to carelessness on my part. I masked around the warning disc to re-spray it, but neglected to seal the decal with a clear coat first. Predictably, when the masking tape was removed, it pulled up the decal, so I had to replace it with one of the optional number plates on the decal sheet. I replaced the front number plate too, and I did consider removing the 'TORA BORA' name but decided to leave it, despite it clearly being on the wrong vehicle now.
Before starting on any major weathering, I gave the panel lines a pin wash with AK Winter Streaking Grime to give them a little more definition. Most of the panel lines got a dust wash later on, which covered this initial wash, but it's worth doing all the same, as you don't always know how the later weathering will evolve (or at least I never do).
One other thing before the main weathering was to add the rear lights and side reflectors. These come in clear plastic and had the reverse side painted with silver before the fronts were tinted with the appropriate AK clear colours.
While I was dealing with the lights, I sprayed a light coat of clear green over the glazing inserts for the gun turret to represent armoured glass. These then dropped into place in the turret apertures and were secured with a little Micro Kristal Klear.
Time to get the weathering underway, and I wanted to go for a very dusty look, as Chad is a pretty arid environment. First off I used a mix of acrylics, applied neat, on the lower hull, then blended with a wet brush. Due to the fast drying time of acrylics, I only worked on small areas at a time, overlapping each application to soften the effect.
The same technique was used on the sides of the vehicle, but the paint was thinned more for those areas. Even when wet blending the paint, you're inevitably going to get some area where the paint dries too fast and leaves a harsh edge. This isn't a problem though, as the effects will be softened later with enamels and pigments.

For the upper surfaces, I wanted a lighter layer of dust compared to the lower hull. I switched to an enamel wash for this, applying it patchily over the whole surface, then blending it to remove any hard edges.
To make the details pop a little more, a pin wash was applied with AK's Light Dust Deposit which, due to the particles in the wash, dries to a nice crusty dry-dust look.
Now all the previous steps were softened and blended by scrubbing dry pigments over the surface. The pigments are pretty resilient once on, but to make sure, I lightly sprayed a coat of pigment fixer over them at the end.
I switched to working on the wheels now. They'd been primed, and the hubs painted in the base green at the same time as the hull. The hubs were now masked off, and the tyres sprayed with AK Rubber.
The same acrylic dust mix that I'd used for the hull was stippled around the inner edge of the tyre (step 1), then the same paint was thinned to a wash consistency, and brushed over the whole wheel and tyre to soften the dust effect (step 2). Some of the Light Dust Deposit wash was also added around the wheel bolts to further enhance the dry dust look.
The last step for the wheels was to dry brush a mix of acrylic and pigment over the tyre treads, then the completed wheels were glued in place on the hull.
At this stage, most of the weathering was done, but there were still a few details to add to the hull. I'd left the rear view mirrors off until now, as they're very fragile, and I'd only have broken them off if I'd added them earlier. As it was I still managed to knock them off several times before the end. The faces of the mirrors were covered with adhesive foil. Not quite a true mirror-like appearance, but better than silver paint.
Lastly, the rear doors and top hatches were added. Although the top hatches do have some detail on the inner sides, they're missing the latch handle. After a quick search through the spares box, I found a couple of handles that, while far from accurate, looked close enough. I also found two decals that roughly matched the placards that can be seen on the inner sides of the doors. It's a shame that IBG didn't include some of these smaller decals and detail parts, as they do add that finishing touch to the model.
And with those bits added, the big Roso finished. This was quite an eye-opening build for me as, at the start, I was expecting to find all sorts of fit issues and poor detailing, having no previous experience of IBG's kits. I was rather guilty of assuming they wouldn't match the quality of the more established brands, but in fact, the build experience was excellent. The fit was, for the most part, near perfect, the detailing was very refined, and the end result was a great looking model.
The subject's also a great one, as modern Polish vehicles aren't exactly common from model companies, so it's sure to stand out in your collection. If this version doesn't float your boat, IBG has two other options with different configurations and camo schemes, and there's the possibility of more versions in the future.
So, overall a great kit, a great subject and a great build experience. What's not to like!
Highly recommended

Andy Moore

Part I - "Inboxed"
Part II - Construction Guide

Thanks to IBG Models for sending this kit to us for Andy to build.
Thanks to AK Interactive for sending the paint to andy to use on this kit. Find out more about AK Interactive shades just go to their website.