Saturday, October 10

1/35th scale Jagdtiger Sd.Kfz.186 Early/Late Production (2 in 1 kit) from Takom - Pt.II: Painting & finishing

John Bonanni continues the build of his Jagdtiger #331 from Takom in 35th scale today. We left him at the construction phase, but now it is time to paint, weather & finish this beast off to a high quality. See how he did it in Pt.II today.

Build review Pt.I: Jagdtiger Sd.Kfz.186 Early/Late Production (2 in 1 kit)
From Takom
1/35th scale
Kit No #8001
- Photo-etched parts included
- Hatches can be posed open or closed
- Early or late versions of the Jagdtiger in the one box
- Tack jig included in the kit with Link & Length tracks
- Design of the kit by T-Rex Studios
- Boxart by Jason Wong
- Four marking choices included in the one box
Previous parts of this build:

1/35th scale Jagdtiger Sd.Kfz.186 Early/Late Production (2 in 1 kit) from Takom - Pt.II: Painting & finishing

We last left this model at the painting stage. The model pretty much fully built up and ready for undercoat, painting and weathering to begin. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the progress made so far check it out at this link.
Before we start painting the colours of the kit, a little look at the five real tanks that are included in the decals and markings inside this boxing, they are:

1 Kp., 653 Schwere Pz.Jg. No. 131, Schwetzingen, March 1945
2 Kp., 512 Schwere Pz.Jg. No. Y, Bad Driburg, April 1945
3 Kp., 653 Schwere Pz.Jg. No. 323, Neustadt an der Weinstraße, March 1945
3 Kp., 653 Schwere Pz.Jg. No. 332, Morsbronn, March 1945
3 Kp., 653 Schwere Pz.Jg. No. 331, Neustadt an der Weinstraße, March 1945 
Well, knowing that I was going to make the model I had the most history with that was an easy choice - Jagdtiger #331 it is...

The model was taken apart for priming. In this case, I attached as many pieces as I could prior to painting. Typically, I leave the tracks and wheels off in one assembly, but again in Blitz fashion, I wanted to finish this model faster than my normal builds to see what is possible when taking short cuts. 
I used a cheap hardware store aerosol paint to prime the model. After attaching the superstructure, it will be difficult to reach some areas with paint, but the black primer provides a great shadow foundation.
After painting the red primer areas where the side skirts were fixed, I applied an overall base coat of Tamiya XF-55 Deck Tan. I like adding a few drops of X-22 Clear when airbrushing Tamiya paints to help retard the drying time and create a smooth satin finish.
The camouflage colour added was XF-10 Flat Brown, thinned 50/50 with X-20A Thinner and a few drops of X-22 Clear. For context, this one coat took around an hour to complete and the airbrush at times was held less than a centimetre from the model’s surface.
To represent the green I used Tamiya XF-67 NATO Green, which was applied in the manner as the brown. At this point, the colours are very saturated and need to be toned down.
Once the ambush scheme dots were added with a 3/0 round sable brush the entire model received a filter of XF-55 Deck Tan. The filter is a uniform coat of a heavily thinned colour that desaturated the camouflage colours.
A Post-it Note was cut into strips for a quick and easy mask when the tow cables were painted in AK 3rd Generation Acrylic Rubber. This method was repeated for all the tools and details that required painting.
The kit decals were applied in combination with Tamiya’s Mark Fit Strong, which was added before and after placing the decals. Fortunately, the large flat areas were ideal for decals and resulted in no bubbles or silvering.
Once the decals had time to fully dry overnight, I added a uniform coat of Testors Spray Lacquer Dull coat. Typically, I use an acrylic-based clear coat but sticking to the Blitz theme I pushed the easy button and went with an aerosol can option. The label may say Dull coat, but I found the result to be more of a satin finish, which I prefer for the following weathering steps.
The first step in the weathering process was a wash and filter combination. Traditionally, I would apply a filter wait 24-48hrs for it to cure and then proceed to the wash stage. However, now I prefer to add a pin wash, in this case, Tamiya Panel Line Accent Color Dark Brown, followed by a filter to clean up the excess wash and add the subtle tonal difference. The warm brown filter was Winsor & Newton van Dyke Brown diluted 90% with Weber Odorless Terpenoid.
Tamiya’s Panel Line brush is ideal for a pin wash and picks out every recessed detail. The effects of the filter can be seen on the brown and green patterns.
Chipped paint was added in two steps, which began with using a sponge followed by a fine brush to complete the effect. Multiple colours were used, starting with a dark grey/brown colour for steel followed by the lightened camouflage colour to add dimensionality. To add further interest, I picked out bolts and other small details with the lighter tones.
Subtle post shading using a 50/50 mix of XF-1 Flat Black and XF-10 Flat Brown was airbrushed around recessed details and streaked on large vertical surfaces. Next, I tackled the wooden tool handles with a heavy coat of Oilbrusher Dark Brown and then returned after 10 minutes to create the grain texture by dragging a dry brush down the handle.
At this point, I was questioning my choice for the camouflage colours, which were just too bright in my opinion. To resolve this issue, I airbrushed an overall coat of Earth colour from the Nature Effects line. Immediately after application I flooded the surface with terpenoid and began to blend the effect in and around details.
Lighter dust effects were achieved with Oilbrusher Dust blended with a brush dampened with terpenoid. Vertical surfaces were blended using a streaking motion while horizontal surfaces were stumped. I also speckled a diluted mix on the upper surfaces of the vehicle to recreate random dust marks.
Heavy mud on the tracks was a one-step process using AK Interactive’s Muddy Ground Terrain Textures (AK8017). This water-based paste was applied using an old brush and then I rubbed my finger, dampened with water, to remove the excess paste and expose the contact points. Once dry, I airbrushed a very light coat of flat dark brown to vary the mud tones and cut down the glossy sheen.
The finishing touch for the weathering process was adding dark mud deposits around some of the larger details on horizontal surfaces. These areas are prime collection points for dirt and debris carried onto the vehicle by the crew. To accomplish this effect, I used the turned dirt heavy mud effect. The areas in the bottom half of the photo have not been blended, while at the top they have been blended using a brush dampened with terpenoid.
On every one of my models, I try to add a unique feature that makes a viewer take a second look. In this case, it was the characteristic tree branches seen on the Jagdtigers that surrendered at Neustadt and Iserlohn in spring 1945. To create pine tree branches I started with dried asparagus fern plant leaves I picked up from an online diorama accessory shop. These were already preserved in glycerin and ready to use. 
Next, I sprayed each branch with 3M Super 77 Multipurpose Adhesive and immediately added 3mm static grass via a static grass applicator. A coat of dark green finished them off and they were attached to the vehicle through thin strands of thread and with white stationery glue.  

Some photos of the completed finished model in a walk around
 - And in a little closer detail...
In the end, I really enjoyed building this iconic vehicle. Takom's "Blitz" kit presented a few challenges, but overall, it is a very good value when compared to the alternatives. I think everyone from beginners to masters will enjoy this kit.   

John Bonanni

Thanks to Takom for sending this kit to me to build and review...
Thanks also to AK Interactive for supplying some of the finishing supplies for this kit