Wednesday, August 19

Build Guide Pt II: Painting and Weathering Takom's Panzer III Ausf.M mit Schürzen in 35th scale

The second part of Clayton's excellent build guide for Takom's Panzer III Ausf.M mit Schürzen in 35th scale is the subject of today's story. See how he paints, weathers and finishes the kit to such a high standard in the second part of his guide...
Build Guide Pt II: Painting and Weathering Takom's Panzer III Ausf.M mit Schürzen
From: Takom 
1/35th scale 
Kit No #8002
4 marking choices included from AMMO
Photo-etch + link & length tracks included
Hatches can be open and closed
Takom Website

Previous parts to this story: Construction review: Takom's Panzer III Ausf.M mit Schürzen in 35th scale

Today: Painting and Weathering Takom's Panzer III Ausf.M mit Schürzen in 35th scale

Most of you will have seen the build review for the Takom ‘Blitz Panzer III I did a couple of weeks ago. For those of you who missed it, but sure to check it out here -  In short, the kit scrubbed up pretty well, and it was now ready for paint. I left off with the tracks and wheels with a basic coat of paint and the top side of the model primed and ready to go. 
I wanted to try something a little different for the distressing of the paint. Whilst this looks like a form of pre-shading, it is actually setting the colours in place for the chipping process that is to follow. A mix of Red Brown and black are used for where some of the deep chipping will be visible, and Light Stone was used to present a lighter shade of Dunkelgelb. 
The model then received two coats of hairspray and was painted using Dark Yellow 2 from Tamiya. The paint was thinned using IPA rather than a lacquer thinner. Lacquer Thinner will make the paint too hard to chip.

After about 15 minutes the chipping process started by scrubbing and stippling the surface using an old brush moistened with tap water. 

The result of the lighter tones showing through the top layer was really encouraging and represented a deteriorating paint job nicely. The chipping looked as it was intended.  I was happy with the streamlined process as both these effects were achieved at essentially the same time. In reality, a lot of this distressing and chipping will get lost under subsequent layers, so it should be quite apparent at this stage. 
The running gear was soon to become obscured with the side skirts, so I needed to add some muddy / earth textures to the hull and tracks. Another experiment of sorts saw me combining the Neutral Earth texture from AK with a Warm Grey Gouache. A blend of static grass and natural scatter was mixed in the paste and applied to the underside of the tank. The gouache is activatable with water, so it added a degree of control to the application. 

It was messy work however, so, unfortunately, I neglected to take a photograph of this process!

The side skirts are now hung in place and ready for paint. A mix of Deck Tan and Dark Yellow was used to dust the textured paste we applied in the previous step. If you look at the tracks and the corners of the front plate you can see some of the effects the paste achieved. Looks like a dried muddy build up to me.
Following the kit supplied scheme as best I could, I set about applying the Real Colors Olivgrun patch pattern to the tank. I have purposely painted this a little blotchy to give the impression the camouflage was field applied and less than perfect.
The scheme calls for the Olivgrun patches to be outlined in a dark brown, so a mix using Black and Red Brown 2 was carefully sprayed giving us our outline. 
Here you see the muddy paste that was applied earlier with a splattering on Dry Mud. The product is literally flicked at the wheels using a stiff brush. It is all about adding layers to create an authentic result. 
The decals are applied after a couple of coats of gloss varnish. A mix of flat and gloss varnish with a drop of Dunkelgelb are sprayed over the model. This seals our decals and gives us a satin surface to work on for the next stage of weathering. The small drop of the yellow acts as a filter and softens the camouflage scheme. A pin wash using dark brown oil pint was to follow.
Small dots of various colour oil paints from Abteilung 502 are now applied to the model in manageable sections – Generally speaking light colours toward the top of the panels and darker colours to the bottom.
Then using a flat brush moistened in enamel thinner the dots are blended in a downward motion. The effect mirrors all types of naturally occurring effects such as rain marks, staining and rust. It also gives an overall faded and worn look and helps unify the paintwork.
A heavily thinned mix of Red Brown, Black and Dark Grey and used as a pre-shade. I really love this stage of the paint job. I feel the shading really brings the model to life. It is very easy to go too far with this technique, so err on the side of caution when trying this. 
Using dark brown and grey enamel paint, further streaking is added…again it is removed in a downward motion with a flat brush moistened in enamel thinner (white spirit).
I know I had mentioned earlier that I wasn’t going to go chasing reference photos, but given the kit came with a heap of spare track links I added them matching reference photos as best I could. That still counts as a ‘Blitz’ build doesn’t it?
Using a similar scatter mix I had used on the tracks I built it up in logical areas where dirt and muck would gather. The mix was then set in place with Gravel and Sand Fixer from AK. 
The effect was softened a little by dusting AK's Europe Earth pigment over the piles once it had dried from the previous step. 
Although a little hard to see in the image, splatters of Brown Earth Deposit are applied to the wheels and side skirts to simulate mud kicking up off the tracks. The effect is focused on the rear of the vehicle and applied in logical places. 
Then, to finish the model off the leading edges of the tracks are polished using a graphite pencil. 
Some basic stowage in the way of a chain, and old shell casing and some tarps sculpted with Tamiya putty are scattered over the model. As mentioned in the first part of this review, this tank should have had a storage box fitted to the rear deck (well, as far as I could tell from the photographs), but in the interests of the ‘Blitz’ kit, I chose to neglect that reference.

The figures are from the Wehrmacht Tank Crew Set by Tamiya. I had tried to source a more suitable figure set for this one with a tanker sitting in that side hatch but unfortunately kept hitting supply issues. Given there is pretty much no interior in this kit, and the fact I had posed the side hatch open, I had to fill the gap with something, so, for the time being, I placed one of the Tamiya figures in the space. It’s not ideal, but it will do until a more suitable figure becomes available.
There are a few minor fit issues with this kit, but once you start getting some paint on plastic and the model starts to take shape that all gets quickly forgotten. There is a lot to like about this model and this Blitz Range in general. The model is far from a beginner kit though, so don’t get lulled into a false sense of security…you will still have to earn the build and there is enough in it to keep most modellers entertained for a decent amount of time. 

Some close-up images of the completed kit
The Panzer III saw plenty of action as well as numerous and varied, field applied camouflage schemes, so the release offers the hobby a lovely platform to build on should you wish to start researching alternative schemes and markings.   

A walk-around of the complete model from all angles...
So, there you have it - The Panzer III Ausf M from Takom. I can now add a Panzer III to my showcase alongside some of its bigger brothers. This is something that had been neglected for far too long given it is one of my favourite Panzers. 

Clayton Ockerby

Thanks to Takom for this kit to build and review

Clayton mostly used AK Interactive paints & weathering products in this build - see more about them on their website
Abteilung 502 Oils were also used for this project...
See more of Clayton's amazing works on his modelling website "Workbench Hobbies" or his FB page