It all started on a bored Sunday afternoon… I was browsing Ebay, looking for bargains out-there. Although, I’m anything but a WWII Russian tanks fanboy, after shortly reading up on the reviews this kit got, I was willing to spent up to 10 EUR on it. Especially, since the same guy was also selling Trumpeter’s Sturer Emil in 1:35 so I could save on shipping costs and get two kits. Long story short, few days later the friendly postman dropped the package at our door.
I must say, every word of praise that has been spoken in the reviews all over the Internet are true to the comma. The kit builds GREAT, with close to no seems to correct. At the price it normally sells at (around 15 EUR over here), it is unbeatable.
As I said, I’m not specially interested in Russian tanks so I decided to try out a few new techniques on this one knowing it won’t be a big loss if I’ll ruin it. After shortly swifting through my reference materials, I finally landed at Javier Redondo’s KV-8 build from the recent Panzer Aces issue 45. What specially caught my attention were the damaged fenders, specially since these were done with the kit fenders and no aftermarket parts as most would do it.
Short time later, I set at my working desk armed with a sharp cutter ready to remove some plastic. Now, you tell me what you think about the end results…
As already mentioned, the kit was building up excellently so I was ready with most of the gluing in about two sit-down session of two hours each. It was also this point where I started seeking feedback over at the Armorama forums. Lots of friendly fellow builders that are ready to share their knowledge. Thank you guys!
The next step was to add a layer of Vallejo German Red Brown primer. After it was dry and I knew I was going to apply the hairspray chipping technique, a hairspray layer followed. It was all finalized by a thin layer of Vallejo Russian Green applied so that some of the brown color below was partially showing through. Kind of a color modulation done quickly, you know.
Being a big fan of the hairspray chipping technique, I usually tend to overdo it. This time, I was determined to get it right so I avoided using a brush to do the scratches hoping to avoid larger areas of paint being removed. So here I was riding off in the chipping battle with nothing but a couple of cocktail sticks.
It was looking kind of flat but I knew I was going to use some rust pigments and a third brown color (Revell 84) to do some color variations later.
Next up, a layer of Revell 01, clear gloss coat in preparation for the decals. To be honest, I was a bit concerned about how the large decals on the turret will conform to its shape and how easy it would be to cut out the hole overlays. But in the end it all went surprisingly easy. Another layer of Revell 01, clear gloss coat rounded up this building stage.
Next up, the pin washing. For this stage I was using Winsor & Newton oil paints, mixing Lamp Black (30%) with Burnt Sienna (70%). Once this was done, I turned my attention to the muffler applying some Vallejo pigments on it in several layers to achieve that typical look of heavily rusting metal parts.
At this stage, I was ready to do some overall washing and dusting. For this, I used a mix of Vallejo Dark Yellow Ocre and Sienna Natural pigments, mixed with water and IPA. This was generously applied with a large, flat brush. Once it was dry, I went over it with cotton swab to make it look more natural, removing accumulations that were in the wrong place or simply too heavy. Once all done and everybody was happy, this stage was concluded with a layer of Revell 02, clear matt coat.
The next step in the building process were the tracks. The kit contains both styrene and vinyl tracks (great gimmick, if you ask me). I decided to go with the styrene tracks because they have molded “sack” on one end and they were really easy to assemble and glue in place, on the other end. The level of detail on these is also great (as it is on the vinyl version, too)!
The first step was to apply a layer of Revell 09, anthracite then a thin layer of Revell 83, rust followed by several layers of generous pigment washes with the previously mentioned Vallejo Dark Yellow Ocre and Sienna Natural pigments. After mounting the tracks in place, I also applied some “mud” made from a mix of a generic hobby glue (Patex Hobby), water and some sifted dirt from the garden. This last layer was applied rather sparsely, tough. Last but not least, the exposed sections of the tracks received some rubbing with a regular carbon pen.
Putting all bits together and blending them in with further washes concluded this project.
Please let me know your thoughts, comments, questions in the comments section below. It would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you for reading!