Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Skyrex 1/100 SU-122 - Part 3

Moving on from the priming, I've applied my now standard wash procedure for WW2 Soviet armour. A dark staining wash of Citadel Agrax Earthshade, followed by a light dry brushed highlighting of Vallejo Model Color Yellow Ochre.

It's a subtle process, but you might just be able to tell the difference if you study this photo. The unhighlighted SU-122 is on the left and the one with the yellow ochre dry brushing applied in on the right...

It just picks out the raised edges and corners and gives some small amount of 3-D tonal contrast on raised detail. At this stage it does look a little in your face (though I have seen some war-game modellers who like 'high contrast' stop at this point), so I prefer to take a step backwards - of sorts - and smooth out this contrasty highlighting with a overall modulating wash of diluted Vallejo Model Air Russian Green.

This - to me - ties together the underlying high contrast coats and flattens them out again with a rich semi-glaze (no it isn't actually a glaze, but the Russian Green is a rich colour that gives seem transparent jewel-like coating that tones down the contrasty undercoat). It's kinda hard to explain and - again - is subtle...But I am kinda liking the effect...

The underlying contrast of the shadow wash and highlighting dry brushing
is modulated by the overall wash of Russian Green. But, you still get the
faint mottling of the darker shades showing through.

In a way I am sort of a fan of the opposite of the airbrushed 'panel shading' effect that you see on a lot of models these days, where the modeller highlights areas of panels with lighter tones to give a '3-D effect'. I prefer to work the other way, with a darkening underlying effect as I never feel comfortable with military vehicles being too bright.

Decals - We Don't Need No Sticking Badges!
Being a Soviet tanks less is more regarding markings. As far as I can see, the SU-122s in particular - being something of a stop-gap - was one of those Red Army vehicles that only got the most    expedient of identifications...Principally a vehicle number.

Not exactly exciting markings but this seems to have been as complicated as it got for the
SU-122s around the time of the Battle of Kursk. Source: Tanks-Encyclopedia.com

I searched through my decal stash and found a couple of numbers that looked the right size (though they are not historically correct and are really meant for other Soviet vehicle types)...

My chosen decals - '106' went on nicely, but 'Red 3-24' had a very heavy film
and silvered despite my use of MicroSet. This particular decal was made by
ACE (for one of their kits) and they are generally of poor quality, sadly.

Because these are just for wargaming and indicate examples of types I don't think we have to be too fastidious when it come to markings (they are not intended to be models of specific vehicles from specific units at a specific time). So long as they look the part I'm happy.

Next: Tracks and Mud

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