Thursday, October 24, 2013

Painting Israeli Tanks

I posted this on the Flames Of War site, but thought I would put it here too...

When Fate of a Nation changed status from being a project that I hoped would one day happen, to an actual project with Phil working on it I found myself quickly volun-told to paint the Israeli vehicles. 

What colour is Sinai Grey?
The colour of Israeli tanks is the subject of almost as much debate as what is the correct colour for Dunklegelb (WW2 German tank colour). Over the years Sinai Grey has also changed numerous times to make it more appropriate for the battlefield and once you add in slight regional differences caused by local commanders and the effects of weathering it gives you a lot of scope to pick and choose. Trawling through books and internet sites (most of which disagree on the “perfect” colour) I’ve come to the conclusion that you should pick the colour that you feel is right and in our case we have chosen Green Grey or German Camo Beige as the base colour.  

Step 1: I undercoated the vehicles black and then put a basecoat of Green Grey (886) on the tank. I airbrushed the base coat on for speed, using a 2/3 to 1/3 mix of Green Grey to Mr Muscle glass cleaner (think Windex). The Vallejo went through the airbrush nicely, although it did need a good clean afterwards. I now have an almost empty spare Tamiya bottle of my Sinai Grey mix that needs topping up!
Step 2: Grab your biggest brush and give the entire tank a dry brush of Stone Grey (884). This will help the details pop out a little and give some early contrast to the model.
Step 3: Recently I’ve been experimenting with the MiG Productions and AK Interactive range washes. I carefully pin washed the model with MiG Dark Wash, then used a spare brush (with a little white spirits) and cotton bud to clean up any excess wash. I was quite rough with the clean-up as I quite like the effect of a little bleed around the areas you are washing because once you add a couple of layers of light drybrushes and a final weathering over the top it helps to give some nice colour depth. As you can see in the photo it really helps to define the detail of the model as well.
Step 4: Next I painted the tracks, road wheels, exhausts, .50cal and tank commander black. The tracks (and .50cal) were then given a light dry brush of Black Grey (862) and then Oily Steel (865) whilst the gun mantlet cover was painted English Uniform (921) The whole model was given another dry brush of Stone Grey. This helped to tidy up any spots where the wash had gone astray.

Step 5: On to the finishing steps, I painted the exhausts Flat Brown, and then stippled a little Light Brown. The tank commander was painted Khaki (988) and Leather Brown (871), whilst the Searchlight had a little blue and white at the top (I prefer the slightly more cartoon look for glass).

Step 6: Decals maketh the tank! I put chevrons on the skirts, battalion rings on the barrel, number plates on the right side of the lower turret and on the underside of the hull (below the spare track links) and a great big platoon/tank number on the rear of the turret. I didn’t put air recognition panels on as I have not seen any photos of Centurions with them, however I have seen Sherman tanks, Magach tanks and M3 halftracks with and without them so it stands to reason that some Centurions (or Sh’ots) would have had them.

Looking online there are plenty of places you could put decals, especially number plates and brigade symbols. I chose to put the decals in these positions as they seemed to be correct for 1967, but like everything to do with the Israeli army there is a fair amount of secrecy surrounding markings so you should feel free to have a look on the internet for inspiration and once again do what looks right (or cool) to you.

Step 7: This last step is optional. I chose to break out the airbrush and give the model a little weathering with Iraqi Sand, thinned down a little with glass cleaner. This helped to make the decals look like they were more natural as they were then covered in dust and sand.
All finished!
Close up of the Searchlight after a little gloss varnish
Platoon decal on the rear turret bin

1 comment:

Tony said...

Great tutorial - a very difficult colour to match.