Time to paint her up! This is a little historical for me as the first time I’ve ever painted a soviet tank. Luckily for me, the paint schemes used by the PACT are very easy to do- just a layer of mild green!
I always encourage myself into trying something new with each and every build I do. This time I decided to also try a pre-shading technique.
After applying a layer of Vallejo Black Primer over the entire model, I painted the highlights using Vallejo White Primer. This also helps to break up the green coat that comes onto the model afterwards.
The idea is to lighten up the center of each armor panel but keep the edges darker- this creates a very slight tonal variation, again to break up the monotony of green.
This technique really makes the cast texture of the turret stand out!
After the primers dried I applied a coat of Vallejo Olive Green.
From this closer angle you can easily see the distinct tonal variations in the color of the tank. In other words, some areas which are more exposed to the elements are brighter to accentuate wear whilst other areas remain dark to provide shadow. The effect is very appealing!
However, I wasn’t too happy with the color after it dried. I felt like it was way too bright and yellowish for a tank. So I re-applied a layer of Tamiya XF-65 Field Grey.
Although I basically removed the benefits of doing the pre-shading techniques, I like this color much more on the model.
I mean, some of the preshading technique did show through, but for the most part these will be gone by the time I finish weathering the tank, so I knew in my head it didn’t really matter.
Hey, it’s all part of the modeling process. Try something new!
Afterwards I mixed my own form of track red/brown using some Vallejo Black Primer mixed with Vallejo Burnt Sienna Pigment.
While that dried, I painted up the hard rubber sideskirts using Tamiya XF-69 NATO Black.
Some of the pre-shading on the sideskirts remained so the tonal variation still slightly comes through.
I also painted the engine grilles and exhaust vent with the last bits of the paint.
I painted the canvas covering the mantlet using Tamiya XF-57 Buff. It was hard to paint it without over-spraying onto the Gunner’s IR Searchlight housing.
The various modeled periscopes are painted using Tamiya X-1 Black, since it has a bit of a gloss to it to help highlight them.
It wouldn’t be Russian without the trusty log! Standard issue for every crewman tovarische.
At this stage I applied a Vallejo European Wash to the entire model to prep it for weathering later. The smoke dischargers on the turret were also painted with Tamiya NATO Black.
The tracks took a little longer to dry than I’d imagined but they came out looking exactly how I wanted them! They provide an excellent contrast to the green of the tank.
And that completes the painting of the T-72A/M1! Russian tanks are very easy to paint up, and the results look great. As my first Tamiya kit, I was very pleasantly surprised at the outcome of the tank given its price tag. I had expected this project to turn out much worse than it ended up.
However, it’s not over yet! We have to weather up this girl. I intend to weather the T-72A/M1 very heavily, as if it has seen extensive use in a combat zone with a lot of rain and dust and mud, maybe even some hits from machine gun fire.
Until next time! More content “On The Way!” -Chris