Monday, 1 May 2017

T-72BMs with cage armour – finished at last!

It's only taken three years and four months, but here are the finished Zvezda T-72 tanks at last. the machine guns and cage armour are homemade. You can read about the various stages of assembly, painting and weathering here, here and here.

Tank 1

The commander is from Peter Pig’s ‘AK47’ range of modern miniatures. The driver came with an Old Glory BMP-1. I’m pleased with how I managed to cut away and rebuild the driver’s hatch and the commander’s cupola. However, this was my first attempt at adding figures to models that weren’t made to accommodate them and I made a bit of a mess of the driver.

I sited the gun barrel unusually high so that I could turn the turret a full 360° without it getting stuck on the driver’s head. It looks odd but I believe a real T-72 can elevate its gun that high.

If I knew then what I know now about Russian tanks and their operation, I would have had the turret facing backwards and the tank commander facing forwards, so that it looked like the tank was travelling rather than in combat. Oh, well. Maybe I’ll do that for another project.

The driver’s hatch is made from scratch. But it is upside-down! The driver hatch pivots on a spindle, instead of flipping up on a hinge. It makes perfect sense to me now why it would be made like that, but I didn’t know much about tanks when I started this project.

Best not to look to closely at the driver, whose has lost part of his face under a blob of epoxy resin…

Tank 2

Tank 3

Tank 4

And a group shot of the four finished tanks:

Next on the list is a pair of Russian MT-LBs and a platoon of Russian BMP-2s. I painted them all last year but haven’t got around to finishing the bases yet. My vehicle box is beginning to empty and I have a horrible feeling that I can’t put off painting the infantry for much longer…

T-72BMs again

Waaaaaay back in 2013 I added some homemade machine guns and cage armour to a set of Zvezda T-72 tanks (the posts are here and here). It’s only taken me three years and four months but I’ve finally painted the models as a Russian tank platoon.

Here they are in January 2017, just after receiving a green undercoat:

I more or less repeated the way I painted my Chechen tank platoon so I won’t go into detail in this post. You can see the colours I used and a detailed walkthrough of the stages here and here.

For the first step I added a wash of thinned FolkArt ‘Dark Grey’ paint, gave them a light drybrush to highlight the edges, then added some rust to the cage armour. Then I tried adding some mud to one tank. The mud is made of thinned PVA, paint and bicarbonate of soda (more about that here). Here it is when I first applied it:

As it dries:

And the following morning, after the mud mixture had dried:

Here is a group shot after I added sand to the bases and sealed them with thinned PVA. The weathered tank is second from the right. The others had only received a wash and drybrushing. At this point I looked at the few reference pictures I had for T-72s in Chechnya with cage armour. I realised that the armour was unpainted and quite dark with rust in almost every shot!

I decided to go over the armour and make it really rusty this time. However, work got in the way and the tanks got shelved again. After languishing in a drawer for three months, they made it back on to the painting table a week ago. Here they are, with rust and stains:

The final stages were to add exhaust stains and more mud, then add static grass to the bases. You can see shots of the four finished tanks in my next post.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Three T-72A 'White Raven' tanks

Here are the three finished ‘White Raven’ T-72A tanks. You can read a walkthrough of how I painted them in my previous blog post. The finishing touches were to add some mud and static grass to the bases, and to drill holes in the turrets to insert flags.

Tank 1

This one shouldn’t have front skirts, but once I had assembled the first tank model I discovered cutting off the skirt was too difficult. Oops.

Tank 2

I have only have seen pictures of the rear of this tank, so the rest is artistic license...

Tank 2

I have only seen pictures of the front of this tank. My first attempt at modelling this tank is covered in two of my earliest blog posts here and here. That was some of my first painting after a break of nearly twenty years so I’m pleased with my progress since then. A better camera and lighting helps too!

Next on the list to paint is a platoon of Russian T-72BM tanks with scratchbuilt cage armour. You can read a walkthrough of building them in older posts which are here and here.

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