Putting your soldiers in the mud is exactly what I have been doing for my Late War Soviets. Having got the look of my muddy, muddy troops down now I thought I would share with you all how I get this mucky look.
Before I go on any further, I would like to give a shout out to Stu over at Miniature Realms Painting Studio for giving me the recipe in the first place – admittedly it was for basing and not for tanks but he still did the hard graft in the first instance.
Paint your models. That’s right paint everything, apart from the tracks – decals, crew, stowage, the lot.
Grab yourself a pot of Scale 75 Petroleum Gray. This is a lovely, oily purplish-grey paint that will act as the base for your muddy tracks.
Paint your tank tracks with undiluted Petroleum Gray. Make sure that this coat is dry before proceeding to the next step.
Time to get messy! Get yourself a tub of Vallejo Earth Texture – Dark Earth and an old brush that you don’t care much about. Using the old brush smear and blob the Vallejo paste on the tracks and any other area of the hull where you want to look used, muddy and grimy.
Pay particular attention to the track and the back of the vehicle where mud may get churn up and gather and areas where it makes sense for mud to be dragged as the crew, or tank riders, might scramble on the upper surfaces.
Leave this paste to completely dry, preferably somewhere warm like an airing cupboard, overnight.
As the paste dries it lightens quite a bit, and as you can see it retains a nice texture.
Once you have checked that everything is nice and dry grab a pot of Vallejo – Thick Mud. This is a more tan coloured, thicked paste from Vallejo and includes other textures that look like straw or dead grass in the mix which gives a nice contrast.
Using the same old brush dot this lighter, browner paste on top of the previous Earth Texture – Dark Earth layer giving you a three-dimensional, two-tone patch of mud on the hull and tracks.
Again make sure to give this paste plenty of time to completely dry somewhere warm overnight.
Once everything is firm and dry you can already see that you have a nice mud effect and there is nothing wrong with stopping here if you want to.
I chose to add some definition to the muddy patches and make them look a little wetter.
Grab a pot of Citadel Shade – Agrax Earthshad and using a decent medium-sized base coat brush dot around the wash on the muddy areas. You don’t need to be too neat here and not every area needs this treatment.
Again, you need to make sure that everything is all dry before giving everything a coat of varnish to seal and protect everything.
Step 7 – The finished effect
And there we have it, a whistlestop tour through a simple and yet effective technique that you can use on any of your models – Soviets, Germans or maybe some upcoming Bulging Americans…
Until next time I hope you get the very best of mud for your models… that’s right, that’s right, that’s right…