Easy Paint and Finish Steps By Jeff

1. When it comes to AVFs with skirts, I generally paint the lower hull, running gear and tracks after they are assembled and then mask this area off with paper and tape before moving on to the upper hull and turret.

2. Using a sandable primer such as Mr. Surfacer or Tamiya Grey helps to find minor flaws and establishes a firm foundation for coloring. Stay away from enamel-based primers. They will lift or wash away when petroleum-based thinners are used during the weathering process.

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3. Adding basic color and highlights. For the T-64, I used Vallejo AFV Painting System 78.408 for this T-64 and just followed the directions on the back but the same basic principles are always in play.

Start with a shade darker than the basic color. From there, add the base color overall, still leaving some of the shadow area showing. Highlights come next using two or sometimes three shades. Last of all, protect the paint! I like to use Pledge (It used to be Future) floor polish for this. It also provides a smooth surface for decals.

4. Apply markings. Mr. Mark Softer is my favorite for this. It seems to work best on a wide variety of manufacturers. I still keep some Solvaset handy though as it comes in handy for some stubborn decals. Always apply a layer of Pledge over the decals when the application process is complete.

5. Chips and Scratches. For basic scratching, I generally apply the highest highlight shade with a foam sponge. For wear down to the bare metal, I use Vallejo SS Camouflage Black Brown just like anyone else.

6. Detail Painting. I like to use Vallejo Acrylics for this. I keep a small cup of Windex handy to fix any mistakes.

7. Dot filter and streaking. I use oil paints diluted with Turpenoid almost exclusively for filters. Turpenoid is generally easier on the paint than Mineral Spirits or White Spirits and I have less problems with paint lifting or washing away.

This is not to say that commercially available filters aren't effective but I'm an old guy and stick to waht works for me.  I usually let the model dry for 24-48 hours before moving on

8. Detail Wash. Again, I like to use oil paints diluted with Turpenoid for this. My favorite colors are Raw Umber, Olive Green and Sepia.

9. Vallejo Flat. I generally apply some Vallejo Flat varnish thinned with water to get rid of any gloss and to protect the work I have already done before applying the dirt effects.

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9. Add dirt. There are lots of great options out there for adding dirt effects these days but I still like to use a slurry of pigments, oil paints and Turpenoid for this. One important thing I have learned lately is that paint thinners such as Turpenoid and Mineral Spirits tend to make the pigment colors appear lighter when they dry while using pigment fixer makes them dry a little darker.

Any questions, comments or cutdowns can be addressed to jeff@ampersandpubco.com