While I’m working on the T-44, another blast from the past… I present you ICM’s Panzerbeobachtungswagen Panther.
OK, try to say this word three times. Panzerbeobachtungswagen
(If you manage it, something worse than Beetlejuice will come.)
The vehicle itself is not a “real” tank: it does not have a main gun. The thing you see sticking out of the turret is a dummy gun; it’s there to make sure it “blends in” with the other tanks, so that the enemy cannot single it out. Why is it important to hide what this tank is? Well, it’s an artillery observation vehicle. In itself it’s not dangerous; however, in place of the gun it carries a lot of extra radios, and the turret is equipped with special optics and a range-finder – this tank poses danger by acting as the eyes of the artillery. (I’ve read somewhere that even the turret was fixed in place. Somewhat dubious, since the optics would require the turret to be turned occasionally, but perhaps true.)
I’ve built this kit straight out of the box; unfortunately I did not document the building process. Back in those days (about 8 years ago) model kits from Eastern Europe had a reputation. Sub-par plastic quality, lots of flash, fit issues, low detail… in general, poor models. Well, this kit put all those things to lie. It was an incredibly well designed model. It could use some PE -especially the screens protecting the engine deck- but otherwise it’s a great kit.
I’ve chosen a Dunkelgelb camo, as was depicted on the box, and experimented with pre-shading, oil washes, pigments and filters. (This was my first model where I used filters, by the way.)
Surfacer 1000 base coat followed by some pre-shading
Lots of wheels. Lots and lots of them.
The base-coat of Dunkelgelb is on. It’s slightly greenish, but that’s how it’s supposed to be, apparently. I used Tamiya’s paint lightened with some Buff.
Added dirt using chalk powders. (Cheaper than pigments.)
A very thin mixture of burned umber was spread on the surface with a downward streaking motion with a flat brush. It acted as a filter, and as a very subtle wash as well, since it got into the crevices and nooks.
Some earth colored pigment mixed with white spirit was added directly onto the lower points of the chassis and mudguards, and a slightly wet (with white spirit) brush was used to spread it upwards.
In a similar fashion I’ve treated the top edges of the tank – to make darker stains running down. I’ve used more black than brown in the oil paint mixture.
Dot-method of filters was used as well using brown colors.
The bloody antenna broke more times than I care to remember.
Using a sponge I’ve dabbed some dark-brown/black oil mixture directly onto the tank to simulate paint chips. I’ve concentrated around the edges and hatches.