German tankers with Panzer IV

Historical photo of the day #3

We often take a lot of care to make our models look accurate. Every detail matters, every colour is crucial. But the reality we want to recreate so faithfully isn’t always perfect. Here’s a photo of a late Panzer IV (probably Ausf. H, but correct me if I’m wrong). Take a look at the number. It’s a very lousy paintbrush job.

And it’s understandable. The conditions on the front line rarely give you a steady hand. And not every soldier is a good painter, that’s for sure.

Panzer IV lousy numbers paint job

By the way, look a the chips and scratches on the zimmerit. A very interesting details to add to your builds. They will create contrast with dark chips on metal.

Panzer IV lousy numbers paint job

And here’s another photo referring to this subject. This time it is a MT-LB from the recent conflict in Ukraine. You can clearly see that someone masked the white line and then wasn’t very careful with the spray gun.

MT-LB-lousy paint job overspray

But what this all means to us, modellers?

Well first of all, we don’t always need to be super accurate about everything. So there’s no need to panic if something goes wrong from time to time. And secondly, this sort of effect – a lousy paint job- can be a nice feature on your model. You just need to ‘sell’ it right, so your viewer won’t assume it was you who messed up.  Just paint the rest of the model perfectly, do it as good as you can. And if just this one detail will be off, everybody will know you meant it.

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