The Decent Looking Tank Tutorial

I'm sleep-deprived and my hands are riddled with caffeine.  I squeeze in my painting an hour at a time after the kids are in bed.  Despite these personal and logistical deficiencies I don't want an army that looks like shit.  Thus I present the following tutorial for people who want decent looking tanks but have neither the talent, time, or disposition for 'best-in-show' paint jobs.

For this tutorial I'm using 4 Plastic Soldier Company T-34/85s.  I need to add these to my existing collection for Karl's Winter in Minsk tournament.

Here are the tanks assembled and primed with Soviet Armor from Army Painter with the tank tracks painted black.

The next step is to add your decals.  I use Battle Front Late-War Soviet decals as well as some from ebay.  Each tank gets a red star, a number, and a slogan.

Dry brush a bit of metal, not much, onto the tracks at this point.

The next step requires a bit of courage.  Give the tanks a heavy wash of Devlan Mud (or whatever name it goes by these days).  Make sure you get in the road wheels and the crevices in the tracks.  Don't spare it.

Let it dry over night.  They'll look better.  The decals have a nice weathered look now.

Next apply a heavy dry brush of Luftwaffe Green.

Now, very carefully, apply the lightest drybrush of a bright green.  I use Scorpion Green (or whatever it's called these days).  You're focusing on the hard edges and hatches.  Take it easy here.

From another angle:

Almost finished.  The next step is to apply a rust oxide pigment to the tracks.  You see I don't have much time or talent but I do have the right material.  It makes all the difference.  I mix the pigment with a tiny bit of water so it goes on smoothly.  Let it dry over night and fix the pigment on with a couple of coats of matte varnish.

The second pigment now goes on for the mud.  I use another vallejo pigment.  Whereas you want to apply the rust oxide pigment like paint, the dirt pigment should be applied profligately.  You'll also fix this with matte varnish but it will come off gradually through use and transport.  Voila:

Ready for action!

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