After painting two infantry platoons of Deutsche Afrika Korps for my brother, I have painted two vehicles units: three tank hunters Diana and two recon Sdkfz 232 8 rad. I wonder when he is going to start painting the rest of his army! Anyways, I wanted to share with you this simple painting guide to simulate the classical chipping effect on DAK vehicles using an easy technique.
When I have a vehicle platoon in my hands, I always try to avoid the repetition and monotony. That is, whether I have three vehicles in the platoon, I will add different elements to make them different among each other. For example, in this case, I have opened different doors in the back case using a “Dremel” and built new doors using 2mm PVC. I have also improved some details, such as new rods for the frame (there were originally only two; but I have added the third one) using brass wire, or new handles on the sides using 1mm PVC. I have also sculpted the hinges with Greenstuff. Furthermore, my brother bouhgt these little guys from another person, and some areas were quite damaged; I had to repair those areas using cianocrilate glue as filler: I fill the gap and then I use a file to smooth the surface.
After applying a grey primer, I have painted the basic dark yellow color for DAK vehicles. I have followed the Color Modulation technique. I have deeply talked about this method in my blog, and therefore, I am not going to describe it here. Basically, I consider many different light spots, and then I paint each panel with its lights and shadows. I try to combine the shadow of one panel with the light of other. For this occasion I have used three paint jars from the Dunkelgelb modulaiton set: Dark base A.MIG-0901, base A.MIG-0902 and lights A.MIG-0904. Additionally, I have applied a last light on the small details using a brush, such as the handles and edges. For this purpose I have used A.MIG-0905. Furthermore I have painted the tracks and wheels using a brownish and black color respectively. Note, I have separately painted the rods of the frame for two reasons: (1) I would not be able to paint the inner part, and (2) I would not be able to glue the miniatures afterwards.
Before starting the weathering effects I have applied satin varnish to protect the previous work. And then I have applied the following effects (although I painted the chipping effects before the wash and streaking effects):
- To recover a bit the original dark yellow tone I have applied a couple of filters using Brown for desert yellow A.MIG-1504. Remember, the filter is a very diluted paint. First you have to discharge the most part of the paint on a paper, and then apply smooth brush strokes on the surface using a flat brush.
- I applied a dark wash to enhance all the details of the vehicle with Dark Wash for Afrika Korps A.MIG-1001.
- Using different streaking effect colors from AMMO I have added more color to some areas, both horizontal and vertical panels.
Now is when the fun starts. I considered different ways to represent the typical chipping effect on DAK vehicles before starting this project. Basically, we have three options: a washable acrylic color such as Washable sand (RAL 8020) A.MIG-0106, the lacquer technique using chipping fluid (hairspary or A.MIG-044) or the sponge technique using a grey color. As you can imagine, the two first options require to paint first the grey color; and then the dark yellow. However, in general terms, they will take a lot of time and some skill is needed to get nice results. Due to my lack of time, I decided to use the last option, the sponge; which is easier and faster.
Therefore, after painting the dark yellow color, I used and sponge from a FoW’s blister and dunkelgrau base A.MIG-0908 to simulate the chipping effect. We focus on the edges and all exposed areas. Furthermore, I used a brush to paint scratches and reinforce the chipping on some areas where the sponge cannot reach. At this point I have also applied decals over a grey patch, as you can see in the photo.
We can also add another detail, used to identify the Diana vehicles from the sky: a white line on the bonnet. I wanted to continue simulating the chipping effects, and therefore, I used the lacquer technique: (1) lacquer fluid; (2) white acrylic layer; and (3) water to remove the white color and create the chipping. Another option is to use washable white A.MIG-0024 instead of the lacquer fluid.
To enhance the singularity of each vehicle I usually sculpt some blankets and bags with green stuff, and add different accesories, such as boxes, jerry cans, etc. The accesories and stowage are from Battlefront, The Plastic Soldier and Skytrex (wooden boxes). I imagine these vehicles in the desert carrying whatever the crews would need for long trips. Therefore, I have added a lot of accesories in a very particular way in each vehicle. Note, I have added these accesories AT THIS POINT because otherwise we could find problems when doing the chipping effects if these elements are already fixed: whether we cover the surface with these accesories, we could not reach the surface! This is specially important if we use chipping fluids.
Using different brownish and greenish acrylic colors all the accesories are painted. I worked on the lights with ivory (918, Vallejo) or orange Brown (982, Vallejo), depending on the base color. And to enhance the shadows and homogenize the accesories with the rest of the vehicle, we can also applied on these elements the same wash we used previously, Dark Wash for Afrika Korps A.MIG-1001.
And finally we can glue the crews, which have been painted separately, and the rods of the frame. I have used cianocrilate. And after waiting 10 or 20 min I have used satin varnish to remove the shining traces of the glue. Furthermore, I have even added a soft top to one of the Diana with green stuff, as you can see. And I have painted it following the same idea that we have seen here. I have not mention anything about pigments in this tutorial, but I have already explained how to use them plenty of time in my blog. Take a look at this guide.
2 thoughts on “How to paint Afrika Korps vehicles”
Lovely work and a very interesting article, thankyou