Monday, 6 February 2017

Three T-72A tanks

I revived my 15mm Chechen war project after discovering that Battlefront had released some T-72A tanks for their Team Yankee game. You can find more detailed reviews elsewhere. I’ll just say that it’s good model but some corner-cutting here and there stopped it from being a great model. Here’s the tank assembled straight out of the box:

The most irritating thing is that the machine gun is in the wrong place, on the side of the cupola (presumably so it can face forward to keep 40k fans happy), fixed to the turret by a part that doesn't seem to even exist on the actual T-72. I cut it off.

To put the gun in the correct location, I drilled a hole underneath it and inserted a thin piece of wire. I then snipped of a piece of brass rod...

...and inserted the other end of the wire into it, like so:

After drilling a hole into the turret behind the cupola and inserting the rod, the tank was ready to paint.

I repeated moving the guns twice more:

I undercoated the tanks with Humbrol’s matt ‘chocolate’ spray paint.

Having learned from my mistakes when painting the first tank in this platoon, I changed the order in which I worked. I blocked in the colour on the tank tracks with Vellejo Model Colour ‘Oily Steel’, then flocked the base with sand and sealed it, then blocked in the colours of the wheels, hull and turret with Vellejo Model Colour ‘Cam. Olive Green’. Here they are, ready to work on:

At this point, I started taking better photos. To add some definition, I applied a thinned wash of the trusty FolkArt ‘Dark Grey’, and lightly drybrushed some of the edges of the tank with Vellejo Model Colour ‘Olive Grey’. For the first stage of weathering, I used Vellejo’s Model Colour ‘Leather Brown’.

Here is the imaginatively-named Tank 1, which is the ‘out of the box’ build of the T-72:

Here is Tank 2. I removed the front skirts and part of the side skirts. I chopped up and repositioned the remaining parts of the side skirts so it looked like the tank had received a battering. I added more Vellejo ‘Oily Steel’ to the sides.

And here is Tank 3, from which I removed the front skirts and drybrushed with Vellejo ‘Oily Steel’:

As a former Soviet republic, the Chechens fielded the same tanks as the Russians. They whitewashed the turrets to tell them apart, giving rise to the name ‘White Crows’ or ‘White Ravens’ (depending, I think, on how you translate it). So I did the same, slapping on a load of off-white paint straight out of the pot. At this point, I was starting to think this might have been a bad idea...

Fortunately, another wash of FolkArt ‘Dark Grey’ toned down the white. All three tanks are inspired by photos I have seen from the first Chechen war. Tank 1 has some blue at the back of the turret:

Tank 2 has blue and white all over the turret:

Tank 3’s turret is only white:

Next I added patches and streaks of rust with Vellejo’s ‘Leather Brown’, Americana’s ‘Burnt Orange’, and DecoArt’s ‘Clay’ and ‘Golden Brown’, and some muck round the exhausts.

The final stage was to add mud to the tracks and hull. I used the same mix of paint, PVA glue and bicarbonate of soda that I tried on the trial tank, which you can see in my previous post. However, this time I used more bicarb and the results were a bit pale and the texture somewhat ‘biscuity’ when it dried. A wash of the same paint used in the mix over the top improved it though.

Here are the tanks, weathered and ready for the final touches:

This is a picture-heavy post, so you will find the finished tanks in my next post...

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