Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Winter Tigers, A KG Hummel How To

I have no idea what that says.
Hey all, after posting up my blog yesterday I got some requests as to how I painted up my Tigers to look all winterized.

Not being one to pass up a chance to write, post pics and play a little show and tell I'll gladly share my secrets with you... But don't tell anyone else, I don't want it getting out ;)

Sadly, I don't have any WIP pics of the Tigers so I'm going to show some closeups of the tanks and explain how I got there.

First off, you need Tigers... Or any tank of your choice really... duh.

For Battlefront tanks I ALWAYS wash them in warm soapy water first. Why, well you'll occasionally see that white powdery stuff on there and that, my friends, is release agent. Release agent is a painters worst enemy, other than dropping the model it's one of the key ways paint gets chipped or rubbed off.

After the washing and drying go ahead and prime them. I use a paint on primer because I'm horrible at spray priming and I think you get a better more consistent finish with the brush on variety. Nearly all my stuff is based with a white paint-on Gesso. Gesso is a canvas primer you can find at your local Michael's, Utrecht, or other craft/art supply store for about 6 bucks a bottle. It'll last you WAY longer than spray on primer, in fact my current bottle has lasted about 3 years and I'm only about half way through it.  

 They end up like this, follow along after the break to see how I got there.

First things first, after priming give the while thing a base coat of Vallejo Middlestone.

Then wash the whole thing in Citadel Agrax Earthshade

Now, give it a white dry brush with P3 Morrow White (the best white I've found by far), making especially sure to keep the brush very dry. This is a key step for the zimmerite (the crinkly bits on the side of the body and turret) as you want the darkened Middlestone to show through. Dry brushing is best done with a large "tank brush" something flat and wide. Less is more always with dry brushing as you can always go back over something that's too light but if you splerch the paint on there it's much harder to fix. 

Now, do all of your detail painting except the crew. I used Vallejo Gunmetal Grey for the metals, Cavalry Red for the red oxide undercoat in places where the zim has chipped off and on the engine exhaust, Middlestone for the first segment of the gun this is likely an a-historical choice but it certainly does break up the barrel a bit and give you some visual variety, plus it allows your eye to key into the little flecks of middlestone showing through the zim and in other places. You don't have to do it this way, but I think you need something to say "there's middlestone under there"

Now, pull out your finest tipped brush (Raphael 0 or 00 is optimal here, as the belly on a W/N is simply to short to act as a resavour for washes) and some Secret Weapon Soft Body Black wash (seriously, I swear by this stuff). Fill in the holes in the muzzle break with the wash and then fine line around all the details, in the crevasses  over the engine ports, over the metals, around the stowage, literally any where where there is a crease, including on the parts with zimmerite. You'll notice it diffuse a bit into those little crevasses a bit but flow/brush control will keep that to a minimum an it will really make those turret side details pop out. And you can always dry off your brush and pull out the excess by simply laying the brush on the puddle (ain't fluid dynamics cool?)

Now, hit the engine decks, tracks and anything you painted cavalry red with agrax earthshade to give it some grime. 

Now here's the tricky bit, water down your P3 Morrow white to a consistency of somewhere between milk and melted ice cream and begin to layer it over the smooth surfaces of the tank, but certainly not on the zimmerite or engine grills. Cover up any place where the black wash splashed over a bit and do 3 to 5 of these very thin coats focusing most on places where the crew wouldn't walk or use stuff. Feel free to leave some places looking like that grimy undercoat of washed middlestone, but I do find it best to keep the most white towards the edges of things in order to contrast highly with the black lines. 

Finally, grab that cavalry red again and hit those red undercoat pieces to give the chips some depth/shading. 

A good example of what I mean by doing the black line wash and the engine deck. 

I dry brushed black over the tips of the cannons to represent the burninating that would come from repeated firing. 

Note that the wheels have only been painted middlestone, dry brushed with the P3 morrow white and then hit with agrax earthshade.  Also, the best way to get a broken up decal like you see the number "134" here is to apply it and then switch your razor blade on your hobby knife (no really, it should be at it's absolute sharpest so a new one is best) and then very gently cut the piece out using the tip of the blade. 

If you've got any questions don't hesitate to ask!

Thursday I'll (hopefully) post pics from the rest of the army.


  1. Great tutorial thanks. I'm definitely going to utilise some of these techniques when I eventually give it a shot.