Painting with Vallejo colours, BRDM-2 by Trumpeter

Panzer bathtub: the painting part 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?

Check out the links below for easy access to the previous parts of this SBS.


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 stage 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.

Ok, let’s take a break here. Next time I’ll be dealing with the weathering. And hopefully, I’ll wrap this project up. Until then, take care guys!

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