Wednesday, October 9

Pt III: Construction Guide - 1/35th scale M-46 Patton from Takom

John Bonanni has finished his model of Takom's new 35th scale M-46 Patton to a wonderful looking replica of the real thing. See just how he finished this kit off so well in the third part of the story. 

In-Boxed: M-46 Patton
From Takom
1/35th scale plastic
 injection moulded kit

The kit comes with 9 marking choices
Product Link on the Takom Website
Previous Parts of this guide from John:
Construction Guide: 1/35th scale M-46 Patton from Takom
Today: Painting & Finishing Guide: 1/35th scale M-46 Patton from Takom
I really enjoyed the build of Takom’s M46 Patton but now it was time for the real fun to begin. My decision on what vehicle to model was made when I saw the box art. How could I say no to the iconic tiger face? Well, I couldn’t - so let’s get started.

This first step in the painting process was to apply a primer coat over the entire vehicle. The primer unified the vehicles finish and enabled the accompanying paint layer to adhere better. In this case, I choose to use a nondescript hardware store aerosol can. 
Tamiya XF-62 served as the base for olive drab. Korean War vehicles, Patton’s in particular, wore varying coats of olive drab. In some cases, they were very dark while in others they were very light. The vehicle I was representing appeared very dark in black and white photographs.
Despite being a dark vehicle I thought the straight XF-62 was still too dark. To lighten olive drab I prefer to use yellow. The two basic colour components of olive drab are yellow and black, so add yellow to lighten and black to darken. Adding yellow will also retain colour saturation as opposed to adding white which will start to bleach the colour. Additionally, XF-60 Dark Yellow can be used to lighten olive drab.
I painted the canvas cover with XF-49 Khaki, which I thought could influence the final yellow coat. However, the difference is negligible and next time I won’t worry about making the distinction.      
After exploring several options for masking the turret roof I settled on by far the easiest solution, which was Masking Putty by Mig AMMO. I rolled out the putty into a worm and outlined the turret followed by filling in the turret roof. The hull sections and muzzle brake were masked off using painters tape. The straight lines and uncomplicated masking didn’t require the use of more expensive Tamiya tape. 
Tamiya XF-3 Yellow was used for the base of the ‘Tiger Face’ scheme. Unfortunately, I broke off the tip of the antenna at this point. 
With the aid of Micro Set and Micro Sol, Takom’s decals settled onto the models surface with no silvering issues. I found cutting and removing a small section of the mouth decal was the easiest way to get the decal around the towing points. 
Black and white tiger stripes were hand-painted with acrylics. It took several layers to build up the opacity and ensure brush strokes were not visible. 
Areas where the decals were cut were touched up with acrylics.
A layer of Tamiya X-22 Clear, thinned 1:1 with X-20A, was applied to protect the finish and decals before the weathering process began.
To add definition to details a pin wash using Dark Wash by Mig AMMO was applied with a round sable brush. The prior clear coat helped enable the capillary reaction to carry the wash along and around details. After letting dry for 15 minutes or so I returned and removed the excess wash with a clean damp brush.
The dark wash on olive drab areas didn’t have nearly the effect as it did on the yellow areas. 
Chipping began using a sponge, placed in self-locking tweezers, loaded with Chipping Color by Mig AMMO. During this process, if large unwanted chips occurred I let the chip completely dry and then removed with a toothpick.
Darker streaks and grime were recreated using Starship Filth and Dark Brown Oilbrushers. With a fine-tipped brush, I painted lines along the vertical surfaces and blended with a damp brush. The size and intensity of the streak can be controlled by how damp the brush is and how close to the line you blend. By blending next to the painted line with a barely damp brush the grime intensity will remain. If the brush floods the surface and is blended over the line the result will be very subtle. 
Thick mud on the suspension was added using muddy ground acrylic paste. It’s a rather messy task for the tracks but it was certainly the easiest. The first step was to stipple the paste all over the face of the track. Next, while the paste is still wet, I rubbed my finger along the track face. As a result, the rubber chevrons were left clean while the dirt had accumulated in between them. I kept a paper towel dampened with Windex during this process to clean my hands occasionally.   
On the right side of the image is before blending and the left is after blending. Blending, in this case, was accomplished using a damp brush. Again, the thinner added to the brush the more subtle the effect. Alternatively, having less thinner you can create more concentrated dirt patterns. A stumping motion is the best way to create random effects, also use an older brush. 
Armour weathering is all about layering and adding textures, which pigments are an important aspect of the process. The first step was to apply pigment deposits dry around details and in crevices.   
For me, the scariest part of weathering is creating tide marks. In the past, I have found fixing pigments to the surfaces the most prone time for tide marks to appears. An easy solution to this potential issue is to speckle thinner or pigment fixer over the entire vehicle. As a result, there are no tide marks and speckles create an extra layer of random dirt patterns. 
Success! No tide marks. Now it’s time to add wet effects and snow.
The first layer of snow consisted of a mix of embossing powder, Future floor wax, and a few drops of white acrylic paste. I got the idea of embossing powder from Chris Jarrett. After mixing the three components together in a slurry I used a very long bristled fine-tipped brush to apply it. Sorry, can’t share the exact ratios because I played around with the mix a lot to get the right consistency. I can say I filled a small mixing tin with Future, 1-2 drops of white paint, and then added embossing powder until I was satisfied. 
To add more volume and opacity to the snow I applied Wilder’s water-based snow product. This time I used an older brush and water to blend the acrylic paste. 
Using both products in concert created a convincing scale snow effect.
To cap off this project the last step was to add wet effects with AMMO’s Wet Effects. This enamel-based project was brushed along the snow patches. After thinning, I speckled it over the vehicle's surface to create random moisture patches. 
Finished - some of the finer details of the completed model...
...And a walkaround of the whole thing.
Final Verdict
Takom has delivered another winner. Nice touches include two track choices and a plethora of vehicle marking options, which allow a modeller the chance to make a unique vehicle. It’s also nice to see a model from the Korean War, a conflict that doesn’t get too much attention in scale. This was a very enjoyable kit to build and paint through and through.  It’s sure to be a hit with armour modellers. 

John Bonanni

Thanks to Takom for sending this kit to Jon to review and to build.