As usual, the priming is the first and vital step of the painting. Always use a primer of your choice to get a clean and even surface for the further work!
I kept the wheels and the pike pole separated for easier painting.
As the next step I spray the initial layer of rust. It will serve as a base for the chipping. Usually I try to be specific with the paint placement. Mask as much as you can – you don’t want coats of paint accumulating randomly.
Here I’m masking the lower part of the main hull.
I want to go easy on the bare metal chipping for once. So I didn’t cover the whole model with a rust shade.
It’s a good idea to take a quick photo of your model at this point to be sure to hit the right places later.
The wave breaker was made of aluminium, not solid steel. So I paint it in Humbrol’s matt aluminium.
I cover the whole model with chipping fluid.
Make sure its dries completely before you go to the next stage. Otherwise the paint is going to act really crazy.
THE COLOUR MODULATION
Now it’s time to start building up the green shade.
I’m not a big fan of the classic modulation technique, I think it’s often overdone. But I definitely want to accentuate some of the hard edges of the BRDM-2 – so some of the CM basic concepts may be useful. However, the colour modulation usually bases on the directional lightning. The surfaces are highlighted or darkened depending on their position towards an imaginary light. I’d rather go for rather randomized highlights that will create a faded look.
Ok, enough with this theory bullshit! Let’s paint!
I start with Ammo Russian Dark Base colour which goes into all the shadow areas and on the lower parts of the main hull. This colour comes from the WWII 4BO modulation set, but it’s not that important at this point.
I gradually add some Ammo Zashchitniy Zeleno to the mix. This is a typical post-war Russian green that will be my reference colour.
Now I’m starting to modulate the model chromatically. The point is to break the flatness of the surface and separate different parts of the vehicle. The gas tank covers below are a good example.
Notice that I don’t go for a classic modulation effect with the top of the model highlighted as well.
If you want some details to stand out, like those panels at the front, it’s a good idea to start the painting from there. Give them a concentrated coat and then proceed with airbrushing the area.
For hard edges I use a simple piece of paper as a mask. This engine cover is a perfect example of a part that should slightly pop out from the surface. Well, it does anyway but a highlight will make it more pronounced.
I added some Ammo’s Light Green to the mix for the highlights.
If you create highlights by just adding lighter shades to the main colour, you will end up with a pale, dull finish. It’s good to add a tiny bit of another colour to the mix. Yellow works great with green shades.
I work with lots of slightly different shades to achieve a faded look.
CHIPPING AND FILTERS
Here’s the model with the basic green tone and some chipping. For the first time I actually didn’t overdo this. And it it’s not easy – you know how addictive the hairspray technique gets once you start…
The weave breaker also gets some chips.
I really like the contrast between the green base colour and the shiny aluminium.
Last time, during my ZSU-57-2 project, I experimented with filters applied not with brush, but with airbrush. I really liked the result so I decided to do the same thing on the BRDM-2.
You need a very diluted paint, basically a coloured mist. The airbrush gives you more control, but you need various coats to build up the effect. Wait for the coat to fully dry before applying another.
Here’s a closer look at the result. The blue paint (a ‘cold’ colour) is perfect for creating additional shadow. The yellow (a ‘warm’ colour) works great on the highlights.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with other colours like purple or orange. As long as you don’t overdo this, you can achieve some very interesting results.
The last thing at this stage is the detail highlight done with a brush. I used a mix of Vallejo’s Russian Uniform WWII and White. The paint is applied on all the tiny details that may get lost after the next stages of painting.
Rivets and handles are a good example of details that should get some extra highlight kick.
Once the basic green coat was finished I started to plan the next steps. From the beginning I wanted to paint this model in a chronological order – exactly how the paint was applied on the actual vehicle. Each of the colours has its meaning and history which determine the final look. I took the challenge to replicate every layer faithfully, so the camouflage on this model will be really demanding. But hey! If I don’t try to push this forward, what’s even the point?
The first colour applied on the base green is the winter camouflage. Those faded white chips might be something else – there’s no way to know for sure. But still, the white camo remains is my best guess.
I spray a thin, uneven layer of paint in various places of the model.
Then I wash off most of the paint with a big flat brush which is a perfect tool if you need some massive, unexpected results.
None of my reference photos shows clearly the left side of the vehicle. It gives me the opportunity to improvise. Here I decided to paint some streaks of paint washed off by rain. I used a brush this time.
The next colour is camouflage yellow. The photos present it in a very distressed state. There’s a lot of scratches and sometimes the paint just peels of in big chunks.
Ammo Mig’s Gold Yellow is almost a perfect match for what I need. I secured the shapes with a bit of Panzer Putty but I wasn’t very precise knowing I will wipe off most of the edges anyway.
I prefer to fade my colours immediately while airbrushing. It gives me a very rich, interesting surface before I even get to the weathering. The key is to use a couple of very similar shades. I airbrush them on the model randomly in very thin coats.
I used Ammo Mig’s Yellow and Cremeweiss to make some subtle shifts in the basic colour.
I wipe off some of the paint with a wet brush. Then I make some additional scratches with a needle.
Notice the range of chipping effects you can achieve with different tools.
I work with the yellow colour similarly on the whole model. Once again, a big brush gives me some huge uncontrollable chips…
… And with the needle I make the most precise scratches.
Here’s the result after this stage.
It goes without saying I had to look at the reference photo every couple of seconds to match the effect with the real vehicle.
The next step is the brown camouflage shade. Unlike the yellow, this colour is rather washed away and faded. I can’t see many chips or scratches.
I mix Ammo Red Brown Base with a little bit of Transparator to get a low opacity coat. Then I airbrush the colour leaving some of the green visible.
Now I wash some of the paint away. If you do this immediately after airbrushing, you don’t even need the Chipping Fluid beneath.
When the brown layer is thin and transparent the chips don’t create so much contrast with the green. The transition is smoother which is just what I wanted.
I wait a couple of days for the paint to set properly. The chipping fluid beneath makes it fragile so I’ll have to be extra careful.
The next stage is the green rectangle visible on the sides of the vehicle. I suspect it’s some kind of an old marking covered with paint. I’ve talked about this in the introduction.
I masked the area with Tamiya tape to get a general shape.
Then I paint the rectangle with a mix of Vallejo Medium Green and German Uniform. I used the airbrush to get this initial coat quickly.
The reason I’ve chosen Vallejo paints is that I want to create some contrast with the previous colours. Most of the Ammo acrylics have a satin finish. On the other hand, the Vallejo paints usually dry very flat.
Here’s the result. The correct shape with solid colour coverage, but I’m not done yet.
I mix the same Vallejo colours with some talcum powder. Then I apply the thick paste on the model.
Why do I need this? Well, for me the texture of the paint is as important as the colour. A rough, thick layer painted with a brush will create a contrast with the smooth airbrushed coats.
Talcum powder is used industrially as a flattener to reduce paint sheen. So it gives me both texture and extra matt finish.
As you can see I made some scratches revealing the yellow beneath. It’s always cool to add chips with different depth.
I paint the rear lights with silver and then with Tamiya Transparent Red. The reason I used silver as a base coat is to give the lights some extra sheen.
BTW, as you can see I also added some generic green spots on the rear of the vehicle. I don’t know what the are, maybe the remains of some old camouflage. But I can definitely see them on the photos.
I paint the other details on the model with a brush.
The last step at this stage is painting the base colour of the exhaust pipe. I added just a little bit of Vallejo red leather to white and I painted the mufflers with a detail brush.