Confessions of a sinner – Building and painting the Czech 38t

I’m going to let you all into a not so secret secret – the main reason I do painting posts is so that when I come to add a new unit to an existing army I can find my method nice and easily…

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Anyway enough with that and back to the models. So I have a couple of the 38t boxes, and whilst Ben did a review back in December I just thought I’d reiterate how great this kit is! Whilst I’ve only built the 38t, the kit also has all the bits needed to make marders, it fits together pretty well, has few lines, and is all in all an awesome kit. I’d bought the PSC stowage box too, but really don’t think I needed it, ammo boxes, jerry cans and spare track were all included – just spare wheels missing really! My only gripe about the kit was fitting the two halves of the turret together, but apart from that it was a piece of cake. 

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Anyway having assembled these guys I moved onto the painting, I started with a coat of Vallejo black primer, I’ve not used black as a primer for a while as I’ve been painting a lot of lighter colours, for this project I wanted dark recesses so brought the black out again.

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You’ll notice the stowage on four sticks, basically I always try to limit my colour palette, and each stick with be a seperate colour, one will be the same grey as the tank, another a lighter ‘metallic’ grey, the next the track red colour, and the final a green/grey colour. 

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I’ve done bad modulation with two (once three) colours, this time I want to challenge myself, I picked up the dunklegrau modulation set by MIG- there are some great surfaces for this, but I won’t use it on every one (some are too small – but the excellent how to paint models book told me that was ok…) so I’ve started with the dark grey base, trying to avoid a few recesses left with black.

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I also got on with the stowage etc. Now I first took the MG’s and some other ‘metal’ pieces. Normally I go for a light grey, but that was too similar to one of the modulation colours – so I went with a really light grey (Vallejo air wolf grey) and then added white for the highlights, this was too light so I added some gloss varnish and a black wash to it – before attaching the MG’s to the tank (I also did the same to the MG on the hull)

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Next up having masked and modulated, I broke out the Blue for Grey enamel wash – things I learnt here were that it is not the same as a Filter! I applied it to a turret and it obscured everything, I had to wipe a fair amount off – read the instructions and mix some with some thinners to get the right consistency for it!

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Whilst drying I tackled the stowage,  again I’ve semi modulated to keep the colour palette restricted for these models. The track links are flat brown with some sand added, and the green is camo green with medium sea grey added.

Right back to the tank, with the wash now dry I’ve used some black panel line wash to go into some of the more obvious recesses, whilst at one point I thought about doing ever rivet, I realised I was not a masochist so just went for selected areas!

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With that dry I also tacked the tank tracks, using the flat brown above, with a buff/flat brown dry rush, and some MIG track wash after – I possibly need the tracks lighter to make more of the wash I feel. Whilst this was happening to the hull, I applied some army painter Matt varnish to the sides of the turret before applying the decals and leaving them to dry. 

The eagle eyed will notice the crosses on the rear of the turrets, I don’t like these as decals, so I dug out my anarchy stencils to airbrush these on in white.

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Next I broke out the MIG rust streaks, I previously tried to tie dirt/rust to chips on models such as my T55’s or shilkas – I very deliberately chose not to chip these tanks, the rivets and my plans for stowage meant I felt they would be lost. So I applied streaks off rivets, and other details, with a few streaks down the turret side/hull side as well. I also applied a few dabs around random spots. I applied a little thinner after doing the streaks to help shape them better.

Whilst that dried, I mixed up some MIG pigment brick dust with some white spirit, and applied the granular mixture to the tracks and wheels and lower hull – whilst not the exact effect I wanted – it gave some good ‘clumps’ of deposits where I wanted them.

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Having let the rust and brick dry I then attached the stowage – top tip for next time – attach turrets first, some stowage got removed so the turrets could get into the right position, and most will never turn cleanly now!

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With that done I now returned to the brick dust, as a dust. I applied it on the lower hull again to give a deep deep red, and parts of the upper hull and turret for accumulations of dust. Had to be careful to not completely loose the paint underneath, nor all the rust streaks. With that done it’s just the Testors dull coat!

And here you go! I’d always aimed for a Blue grey panzer, offset by red – and whilst it’s more grey than blue grey, the red is vivid and contrasting! I’m pretty damn happy with the results, and can’t wait to tackle the rest of the army now!
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