Fire For Effect!

  During a successful trip to Fall-In in Lancaster, PA a few weeks ago, I went with little money, but was able to pick up quite a few reasonably priced FoW finds. I started gathering the men and equipment to form my Armored Field Artillery Battery to compliment my Armored Infantry Company. I only held onto a couple of the items I bought, as it was strongly suggested by the wife that the remainder be put up for my birthday and Christmas.

  No problem, as I have plenty of other projects to complete. My Jeeps will definitely look better with crews in them. No more 1940's driver-less "Knight Rider" in my company! I also added static grass to all of my bases. In error, I had only used flocking on them previously. I'm very happy with the results. It really livens up the bases nicely.

   Here are a few pics of the two M7 Priests that didn't make it into my Christmas stocking. They are finished except for the MG's, crew and matte finish.  The GMC truck in the background is my test dummy for paints and finishes. Enjoy!


OP Sherman Update - 2 (Finale)

OK... so my tutorial is a little compressed. Sorry, but I get anxious to finish my projects.

After adding all the extra stowage, tow cable, etc. I washed the model in warm water with a few drops of dishwashing soap in it to remove any residue from manufacturing. Once dry, I spray primed the tank with Battlefront's German Armour. I use this on most of my FoW stuff.

In the order of application, here are the paints used. Unless specified otherwise, all of the paint colors are Vallejo:

1. Brown Violet - Heavy drybrush over most of the tank

2. German Grey - Heavy drybrush on tracks and contact surfaces of roadwheels, also for MG's

3. Calthan Brown (Citadel) - wooden tool handles, crates, etc.

4. US Field Drab/Khaki/Tan Earth/Green Grey/Brown Violet - any combination or mixture of these colors to represent the varying shades of US field gear on bedrolls, packs, etc.

5. Gunmetal (Citadel) - exposed metal such as metal parts of tracks, tow cables, fairly fresh battle damage, MG's. I will often mix German Grey to tone down the "metallic" shimmer

6. Red Leather (Vallejo)/Scorched Brown (Citadel) - very light to moderate drybrushing to represent rust

7. Graveyard Earth (Citadel) - very light to light drybrush for weathering

8. Ryn Flesh (Formula P3) - Flesh base coat

Those are the main paints and their applications that I use. Not included are the colors for crew uniforms or very small detail items (i.e. Taillights).

Once the basecoating is done (before weathering), I apply Gloss Varnish (Vallejo) to the areas where I am going to place decals. The order of the process, allowing drying time between each step, is:

1. Gloss Varnish

2. Apply Decal (removing excess water with the corner of a paper towel)

3. Decal Softner (Vallejo)

4. Gloss Varnish over the decal

5. Matt Varnish (Vallejo) over all areas that were coated with gloss varnish

This drawn-out process takes a little while, but is well worth it in order to hide the edges of decals. I also hand paint a name (if needed) on the tank with white (Citadel) at this stage. Once the top coat of matt varnish is dry, I take a small piece of foam torn from a Battlefront blister pack and VERY LIGHTLY dab on German Grey. I make sure to get some on the newly applied decals in order to further blend them in. This step helps achieve the "war-weary", paint chipped look I like on my models.

For the next step, I use a combination of watered-down Black Shade and Brown Shade (Vallejo) for my shading.I allow the shade to run into the crevices and bring out details. I very sparingly use highlights, if at all.

For more aging, I VERY LIGHTLY drybrush white or light streaks down the sides of the tank. I also will add fuel spills/drips around the fill points with thinned gloss varnish with a drop of black shade for good measure.

The final step is the dirt and dust weathering. This can be done very sparingly or heavy, depending on the area. I use Graveyard Earth. This is the same color I use for my infantry stands. The further up the vehice I go, the lighter the drybrushing.

I have yet to try it, but will be messing around with pigments to represent the carbon around the gun muzzles. I have also added antennas to many of my vehicles using 14-lb. test fishing line.

If you're still awake, I hope you've enjoyed this article, long-winded as it may be.