Today was a great day for painting outside and I took full advantage of it. The interior was masked off with strips of masking tape to protect its details and a pre-shade/primer coat of Italian Dark Brown laid down as the first step.
This was followed by multiple thin passes of an 80/20 Dunkelgelb/Light Gray mix for the base coat.
Then the camo pattern was applied. I decided to go with something similar to the markings/pattern that's on the box art for the 3/Pz.Aufkl.Btl. 2.Pz.Div, France 1944 and laid down the red-brown pattern first (50-50 mix of Leather and Military Brown) and then the green (80-20 Russian Armor Green and Panzerschwarzgrau). I came back with the Dunkelgelb and cleaned up the over-spray and fine-tuned the pattern in different places. Once satisfied with that, I applied a heavily thinned mist coat from about 12" away of the Dunkelgelb to the overall vehicle to provide a touch of fading and tie everything in together as a foundation for later weathering.
I also worked on the road wheels and since this is something that comes up from time to time, decided to add a couple of photos on the process I use. It's pretty simple, I mount all of the wheels on toothpicks using a small ball of blue-tack poster putty and then spray the rubber portions Flat Black. Some of the black gets on the rim portions but that's not a problem and actually helps provide some pre-shading/color variation as well.
Once the tire portions are painted, then I use a plastic circle-template, the type found at most hobby stores like Michael's or HobbyLobby or in the hardware sections, it's basically just a sheet with different diameter of circles cut out and you choose the one you need and mask it off. In this case, I needed to use three different circles, one for the main wheels, one for the outer diameter of the half-track road wheels, and one for the inner diameter of the road wheels.
I mount the wheels on toothpicks for two reasons: 1) it allows them to be stuck into a Styrofoam block for drying and 2) provides an extra "handle" and reduces risks of handling the freshly painted surfaces. The wheels are fitted to the individual circle template, the paint sprayed, and then stuck into the block to dry. Once the outer rims are dry, the same thing is then done for the inner rims.
Next up now that everything's painted will be building the tracks, mounting the suspension arms, and installing all the running gear.