Model after chipping and modulation, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

Panzer bathtub: the painting part 1

Finally, I have the model ready for painting. I love this moment. Don’t get me wrong, I like building, but to me painting and weathering is the true essence of this hobby.

In this part of the SBS I will focus  on the base green colour. I’ll show you how I’ve done my slightly modified version of the colour modulation. There’s going to be a camouflage on my BRDM-2, but still, having and interesting base coat is really important.

You’re new to this never-ending story? Check out the previous parts below:


As always, 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

And this is it – my base green colour is ready. The next part of this SBS is going to be a chipping feast as I’ll be working with the battered camouflage colours. Until then, keep modelling guys!



  • Fabian

    8 December 2018 at 17:42

    I am really looking forward to following this series, because I am building the same model right now, and your pieces look awesome!

    I am especially interested in how you do the underside and suspension – so far I could not find any references on how to detail those parts.

    Keep up the great work and thank you!

    • ScaleDracula

      9 December 2018 at 06:35

      Hi Fabian, the undercarriage is pretty straight-forward if you only stick to the kit parts. I haven’t seen many photos of the suspension either but once the wheels are installed it’s going to be almost invisible anyway, right? Unless you’re building this: 🙂


Leave a Reply