Friday, 4 December 2015

Finnish camo painting tests - Part 1

I've done several posts about my attempts to understand the Finnish 3-Colour camouflage. I am hoping this is my final tussle with the issue. On the face of it, the job of painting a model of a piece of Finnish WW2 armour should be fairly straightforward - but as I have mentioned before there are a lot of varying interpretations of what is meant by the well-known colour recipe of Grey, Moss Green and Sand Brown. Here are two examples of how this simple recipe can get a little complicated...

This wonderful Finnish T-26 is by Ray Peterson. The colours - even though
weathered - are still quite vivid renditions of the Finnish 3-colour format.
On the other hand, here is an example of Tamiya's relatively new Finnish 'Sturmi'
Stug. This is one of Tamiya's own demo models (photo by Jens H. Brandal). As
you can see, it's quite a contrast to the T-26's colour scheme.
I decided that the easiest way to get a handle of what might look right would be simply to try out a few test models. This might sound a bit drastic but Zvezda makes some very cheap 1/100 models (£2.50) that are ideal for practising and experimenting with colours schemes and weathering techniques before applying them to your full-sized models.

First of all, I created a set of colour swatches so I could see some of the possibilities
available to me. As usual, the colours indicated on the bottles or in manufacturers
literature don't precisely match what comes out the bottles. Colours also 'change'
depending on what other colours they are painted onto so seeing my choices on
a mid-olive was quite an important starting point.
Reference source notes: This first variation attempt at the Finnish 3-colour camo is based upon modellers reference guides, the painting instruction of some model manufacturers and their box art and upon the work of other modellers. It's a vivid interpretation but in a literal sense conforms to the official description of the Finnish colours as being 'Moss Green', 'Sand Brown' and 'Grey'...

So, let's have a go...

I happened to already have an example of Zvezda's 1/100 scale T-26 light tank. This snapped together in less than a minute and I began my painting test with 'a' version of the Finnish Moss Green. I used Humbrol's acrylic 'Grass Green'...

This is pretty striking compared to the usual military olive drab or dark green. However, part of this experiment is to see how these various colour combinations or choices changes during weathering.

After the Moss Green I added the Grey element of the camo pattern. My choice for this was Vallejo's Model Color Pale Grey Blue [907]...

And finally, I added the 'Sand Brown' - which I interpreted in the form of Vallejo's Game Color Beasty Brown [72043] mixed with a little Model Color Burnt Umber [70941] to create a brown somewhere between the two browns used in the example models I show at the top of the page...

Well, that's my first attempt. Not so sure about the vivid green, but we shall see after the weathering stage (it might tone it dow a bit). The grey is a bit bright as well (in its pristine form) but I am quite happy with the brown.

Next I shall try out my alternative scheme - which will be a little more subdued - and then I can compare the looks and choose what I think it the most authentic.

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