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.

Model primed with One Shot Primer, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

Quick tip

Always get your model fully assembled as soon as possible. Things like wheels, tracks or accessories are easier to paint separately. But you need to see a bigger picture to create a quality model.

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.


Base layer of rust, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

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.

Aluminium paint on the wave breaker, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

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.

Layer of chipping fluid, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter


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.

Building up the green colour, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

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.

Highligting details with airbrush, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

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.

Colour modulation with a simple mask, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

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.

Finishing colour modulation, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter


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…


Model after chipping and modulation, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter
Model after chipping and modulation, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter
Model after chipping and modulation, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

The weave breaker also gets some chips.

I really like the contrast between the green base colour and the shiny aluminium.

Chipping on the weave breaker, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

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.

Filters applied with airbrush, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

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.


Filters applied with airbrush, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

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.

Highlighting details with brush, BRDM-2

Rivets and handles are a good example of details that should get some extra highlight kick.

Highlighting details with brush, BRDM-2

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.

Ukrainian BRDM-2

I spray a thin, uneven layer of paint in various places of the model.

Applying white washable camouflage, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

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.

Chipping white camouflage, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

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.

Painting washable white camo with a brush, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

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.

Painting the yellow camouflage, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

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.

Fading with airbrush, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

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.

Paint scratches on yellow camouflage, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

I work with the yellow colour similarly on the whole model. Once again, a big brush gives me some huge uncontrollable chips…

Chipping the yellow camouflage, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

… And with the needle I make the most precise scratches.

Chipping the yellow camouflage, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

Here’s the result after this stage.

Chipping the yellow camouflage, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

It goes without saying I had to look at the reference photo every couple of seconds to match the effect with the real vehicle.

BRDM-2 Ukraine, yellow camouflage chipping

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.

Airbrushing brown camouflage, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

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.

Chipping the brown camouflage, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

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.

Masking with Tamiya tape, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

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.

Painting with Vallejo colours, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

Here’s the result. The correct shape with solid colour coverage, but I’m not done yet.

Painting with Vallejo colours, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

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.

Acrylic paint thickened with talcum powder, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

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.

Thick paint creates texture contrast, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

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.

Painting rear lights with Tamiya clear red, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

I paint the other details on the model with a brush.

Painting the shovel, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

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.