DML Tiger I- Hairspray technique

I always liked the look of this camo pattern, so I decided to finally build one of these tanks. The problem was I only had the Ausf E version in 1/72, and did not wish to buy yet another Tiger model. ( have two more in 1/35 waiting for me in storage at home.)

It was kind of fortunate that I did have this particular kit, though, because it has a lot of parts to build an early version (the largest exceptions were the road wheels, which were all-steel). I got the toolbox leftover from a panzer IV conversion, swapped the road wheels from another DML Tiger (as I said I did have more of these kits than it’s healthy), and made some efforts to backdate the kit to an earlier version. Purists will find it lacking, but I am not a purist, so we’re in luck. I just wanted to do the camo.

 

Once the build was done, I painted it panzer gray. Since I would be heavily weathered, and most of the gray would be covered with the remnants of the whitewash, I went for a deliberately streaked finish (less work now, less work later). YES, I KNOW THE SHOVEL SHOULD NOT BE THERE. I like the way it looks, ok?

The next (less fortuitous) occasion was the leaving of my (then) girlfriend. She was moving back to her country after finishing her degree, so she was leaving most of her stuff behind. Hairspray included. (If you want to try this technique, don’t let your girlfriend leave. Easier just to buy the damned can.)

I was a bit apprehensive how it would work out, but I covered the whole thing with hairspray. It became somewhat sticky, and very shiny. After waiting a week or so, the stickiness disappeared, but the shine was still luxurious, just as the advertisement said it would be.

Next step was the whitewash. I used Vajello’s white primer, and applied with a brush. This is why I was worried, because most of the time the layer after the hairspray is airbrushed -I was worried the water in the paint would already dissolve the hairspray below. I chose the primer because it was really thick with a good coverage. I left the approximate areas clear of white.

On top of the white I used some brownish colors to lightly drybrush the larger areas: mud and dirt staining (and being washed off) the vehicle.

Next step: bring out the cotton swabs. I wet them (not too much), and started to rub them against the surface (very carefully). Sure enough, the paint started to flake of, like a charm.

At this stage the contrast by the  wear and tear looks a bit too stark: the gray is too clean. After drying I sprayed a matt varnish over the tank to seal the hairspray.

Next step of the weathering process: oil filters. First-  white. I put drops of the oil paints onto a piece of cardboard, and left them there for about 20 minutes to draw the linseed oil out. Using a toothpick I put dots of white all over the model, and then a flat, broad brush wetted with mineral spirit was used to remove most of the paint with downward motions. This deposited a very fine layer of white onto the surface.

After drying the same was repeated on the lower chassis using browns (burned umber, brown). A soft pencil was used along the edges to give it some metallic shine, some pigments (white, and different mud colored ones) on the running gear and the tracks, rust colored pigments on the exhaust pipes, and I called it a day. All in all, it looks pretty good for its scale.

 

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