Monday, 14 March 2016

Finnish T-34/85 nearly finished

What a journey this has been. I started my 'easy build' T-34/85 building project way, way back when I started kit building a few years ago. I got distracted by other models and my PSC T-34/85 got pushed to the back of the shelf, coming to the fore every so often as a testbed for a painting or weathering experiment. But now, here I am finally bringing this long-suffering model to completion.

I am applying the first stages of weathering using cheap oil paints to bleach and stain the base colours. It all gets a bit messy and doesn't look all that attractive, but you have to persevere with oils...

A little messy, at this stage the weathering oils are applied broadly, more like
washes as you streak the colours into stains using a brush dipped in thinners.
Once you are satisfied that you have the basic overall weathered effect you are after (I am aiming for a moderately worn look) you can start to work into the weathering to 'neaten it up' and add finer weathering detail....

Close-up the painting isn't so pretty, but when seen at arms length the effect is far more agreeable. You have to remember to stop painting every so often and hold the model at arms distance to check your work. Some things look too much when they are right in front of you eyes, but at two feet away they look just right (and sometimes not, of course, so you have to readjust those).

I guess I have fallen into my 'style' of painting simply by accident and what feels comfortable. It's a tad 'theatrical' I suppose, I do enjoy weathering a little too much. I don't think I'll ever be one of those 'ultra-realistic' model painters - I'll always want to add more rust and scratches or mud!

I think what I am trying to do with my model painting is to tell a story...My models are caricatures.

The wheels and tracks
The PSC track components are one of the best features of this 'easy build' wargame quality kit, far better than the comparable track by competitors like Armourfast and Pegasus. The 'rollers', or road wheels, are a different matter as - like the rest of the PSC model - they are little on the chunky side.

The level of detail on the road wheels is OK and they represent the 'Full Spider' (very late and post war) T-34/85 wheels. They are just a representation, however, and only have 10 'spokes' whereas the real things had 12 raised reinforcing ridges.* Still, they are attractive enough for wargaming, but you have to remember (I reiterate) that these are a very late-war feature of this tank, so the PSC kit will not do for early/mid-1944 representations of this tank.

* I believe this is due to the PSC model being designed primarily for 15mm scale, the 1/72 version is simply a scaled up version so some features are a little too big really (or 'chunky', as I have described them).

Anyway, back to modelling...The wheels only required a dark green wash, some pin washing to pick out the detail and then - finally - a touch of highlighting on the raised areas.

The tracks got the usual powder-pigment treatment of dark earth colours, with the raise track pattern picked out with a graphite pencil and then some touches of silver paint. This gives the impression of bare steel and I may add little spots of rust here and there (I notice that the T-34 tracks are prone to rusting).

Next: Applying mud and dirt, making the base and mounting the model.

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