Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Finnish T-26 m1933 - Part 3

After a bit of umming and ahhing, I decided how I would equip my Finnish T-26 companies (2 x light tank units of 3 T-26s each). The Rapid Fire rules specify the inclusion of the Finn's T-26E variant, but I can't find a model that reflects that accurately. So I have settled on a unit configeration of two of the cheap Pegasus T-26 m1933s plus one very nice Mirage T-26 m 1939.

Anyway, back to the kit. I'm starting by doing a 'pilot' example of the Pegasus m1939, but noticed a couple of niggles (nothing big).

The tracks of the Pegasus model stick out a bit - they are supposed to be flush with the mudguards. So I ended up sanding down the stubby axels so that the tracks sat closer to the chassis. Also, the 45mm gun is a little bit weedy looking (and a bit bent). So, in this case, I am going to look and see if I can find a replacement metal gun on the internet.

I primed (or base painted really) the tank with a bright green - Humbrol's Grass Green - because I thought it might give a nice glow to the top coat which I am doing in my 'Finnish green' mix (a darker green). Be nice to see what effect this has.

I was brave and experimented with a 'washy' application of the dark green! It's a streaky in places so you can see the bright green undercoat in places. This might be quite nice as it gives a nice variation in tone (I suppose were this a 1/35 scale kit I would have created this effect a little more smoothly by pre-shading with an airbrush).

Does it work? Well, my preference I think is for a flat dark green though I know other might prefer the hint of the brighter green as it conforms to the idea of the Finnish designation of the colour as being 'Moss Green'. Here's a reliable reference photo from the excellent

Finnish T-26 m1939 on display at the Finnish Armour Museum. This clearly
shows the green as being the dark 'blue-green'. Picture source and copyright:
© Copyright by Andreas Lärka, Finland.
I'm going to see how this runs when I apply the other camo colours - I can always return to my flatter dark green for the rest of my T-26s (and subsequent Finnish armour) if it doesn't 'wash'! ;)

Note the 'creamier' tone of the Finnish 'grey' on this tank. This is the warmer tone of grey I have been trying to reproduce by adding Vallejo's 'Stone Grey' to my mix. But notice how it is nowhere near the sand colour that some model manufacturers use in their painting instructions. (My recipe for my Finnish 'grey' is now about a 60/40 of Stone Grey to Pale Blue Grey paint.)

I'm quite pleased with it.

The results of my recent painting experiments, culminating to my 1/72 T-26.
My 'final' Finnish camo recipe..? So close, but not quite there yet.
I'm a little less pleased that my rough handling of the model during painting has rubbed off some of the dark green. But, then again, I do finish my painting process with a touching up session. Still, I'll have to try and be more careful.

As to the brown, I'm a tone too light and too red - I need a more flat-chocolate brown mix (I will tweak it to be a smidgen darker on my T-26 production run). In fact, I was greatly heartened by an email from Andreas from who said:

Quote: "The Finnish WWII camo was quite dark, so that is a thing to consider (even with the scale-effect)."

This reinforces my belief about the green and the brown. And while the grey is still quite light it will be calmed down a bit once I weather the model.

I continue to be annoyed with the weedy gun though...I will have to do something about that!

Credit: I would like to thank Andreas Lärka - of the excellent fame - who has offered me his assistance (and importantly larger copies of his reference photos) which have helped me identify the colour hues that I am after.

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