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Painting primer with a brush has also other drawbacks - we will not be able to use more advanced techniques, such as color modulation primer.

Advanced Techniques Painting and Weathering Military Vehicles - Volume 1

Best primers for brush, are those based on acrylic lacquer, for example, Tamiya Surface Primer or Mr. Surfacer from Gunze Mr.

In order to avoid traces of the brush, we dilute the primer in a ratio of 2: 1 2 parts of primer to 1 part of diluent. We recommend using Tamiya Laquer Thinner, Mr. Hobby Leveling Thinner or oil paint thinner. Two layers of the prepared mix should be enough to prime your model properly. In my opinion, the easiest method of priming is to spray paint your model It greatly accelerates and facilitates our work.

We can immediately cover our model with chosen color eg. Tamiya offers sprays dedicated to the German vehicles. You should remember that the paint must be applied carefully to avoid stains or blotches.

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If the model will not be covered after first time — wait till paint dries and repeat. It's better to paint thin coats than one thick.


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You should also remember to use spray paints only in a well-ventilated area! Spray also gives us more opportunities to work on the reflections of light on the armor. We can first apply a primer in black, then gray or white, spraying paint from one direction. As a result, by applying a base color in thin layers you can achieve simple shading effect. This technique is called Zenithal Lighting.

How to paint a realistic tank

It is easy to make and adds a realistic look to the model. Airbrush gives us the broadest amount of possibilities when it comes to painting large surfaces. With its help, we can greatly facilitate our work at the beginning of our adventure with painting. It gives us opportunities to learn more advanced techniques of painting.

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Primer and first paint layers can be painted with several methods. First of all, we can apply primer with classical method, painting a model with one uniform color. We can also use Zenithal Lighting technique, described above when discussing sprays. But the showiest modulation methods are Colour and Panel Lighting.

For the first one, you have to choose several sources of light falling on the model. Then, according to our choice, we give all flat surfaces contrast, by making reflections at their edges. This method is more difficult than others since it requires the imposition of a few coats of paint, starting from the selected base color and finishing with brighter shades. With this method, our model gets more contrast and it attracts the attention with more vivid and bright looks.

The method similar to the modulation is the Panel Lighting. It consists in lightening the individual flat surfaces in the center. To achieve this effect, use several shades of your basic color. As a result, the viewer has the impression that the model is illuminated from all sides. Again, it attracts attention and greatly increases the contrast of the model.

Both methods mentioned above are often criticized as unrealistic, fairy, or even suitable only for fantasy or sci-fi models. In fact, lightened model seems very bright, but remember one important thing - at this stage, it is not yet finished. We still have to work with washes and weathering effects. Both will leave your model tinted and tarnished, which will make it less contrast, yet clear and attractive for the eye.

How to choose colors for these more advanced techniques? You can lighten your base color with white color, you can also choose a brighter color from the palette of the paints you use. If, however, you are only beginning the adventure with painting reflections, good idea is to choose one of the kits that are dedicated to the modulation method.

To show you some of the techniques of painting with airbrush mentioned in our article, we took tank destroyer model in scale from Tamiya - Jagdpanzer IV Lang. Below you can see subsequent the stages of painting. Painting with this layers of Dunkelgelb, skipping shaded areas. Panel Lightning method on top and left side.


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  4. Paints used during shading process, basic color lightened with Vallejo Model Air and white. Normally we use one method while painting single model, we used few of them just to show you effect. Our model is painted in primary colors, we can start working on the camouflage. In the previous article, we presented you different forms of German vehicle camo from the Second World War. In this section, we will focus on how to paint them using various tools and techniques.

    Earlier, we learned the method of airbrush painting, that allows us to modulate the colors to create light reflections. We can paint the camouflage the same way.

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    While painting camouflage there are some useful accessories and materials for masking. Be aware of a very important thing, regardless of whether we use masking fluid, Patafix or tape. After painting remove them at the moment when paint layer is not completely dried. If the paint dries completely, removing the masking material can damage the painted element of camo. Sometimes these colors occurred separately. Camouflage of this type can be painted just like base color was, with either brush, spray or airbrush. To paint those simple masking colors with the brush we do not need to protect the model.

    First and foremost we will need a proper brush. For veins and lines, the best one is a brush with sharps, long and pointed bristles, because it will allow us to accurately paint the longer patterns. The flat brush will be most suitable for spots, allowing us to paint broader shapes.

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    Working with a brush will require patience because we will apply several coats of paint. For a smooth and natural transition, we need to dilute the paint harder than usual. Before painting, you should try out your paint mix on a piece of cardboard or placard. The paint has to be so diluted that it covers a thin layer of the painted surface and would not drain. Using a spray or airbrush to paint camouflage requires us to mask the model. First, we must wait until the base color on our model is dry. If you are not sure that the paint will not be damaged during the subsequent steps, you can cover the model with a layer of colorless varnish.

    Next, you will have to choose a method of masking.

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    There are many products on the market dedicated to this kind of work, but most suitable ones for that camouflage pattern are Panzer Putty, Patafix or Bluetec and masking fluid. In the case of masking liquids we have a very wide choice Humbrol Maskol, Mr. We need to paint all the elements which we want to remain in the base color with a thin layer of liquid.