A lot of progress made actually yesterday and today but I held off posting the updates as the majority of the work was done today. First in line was a coat of Future applied overall to the vehicle and allowed to set for a couple of hours before the decal markings were applied. The markings are fairly straightforward, just a set of turret numbers and the Totenkopf emblem on the front and rear. The Totenkopf was an interesting arrangement, it's actually 3 parts with the white background as one decal, followed by the eyes/nose of the skull, and then the jaw line as the final piece. These were all applied and given a dose of Walther's Solvaset to insure they snugged down tight to the surface. Then a second coat of Future was applied and left to set again, this time overnight since it was a Friday.
Starting out this morning, I began the weathering process by applying a pin wash of Raw Umber to all the different detail surfaces. The wash is a mix of about 90/10 Thinner/Raw Umber enamels and the brush is a 3/0 sable brush.
The beauty of the Future sealing coats is that the underlying coat is thoroughly protected and the wash I applied can now be adjusted and worked into the finish or removed as needed. To do this, I use the same 3/0 brush as before but use a spare mixing bottle with clean thinner to coax the excess wash into places where I want it to go or remove it entirely.
For example, in the photo below, you'll see on the left side the forward portion of the hull has had the wash adjusted while on the right side the rear engine deck hasn't yet received its attention. By working carefully and wiping the brush on a paper towel frequently to avoid paint build-up, the wash can be fine-tuned to very tight tolerances and any tide-markes removed or blended in.
Going over the whole vehicle, I spent about 3 hours adjusting the wash until I was satisfied with the results on both the hull and turret.
The entire vehicle was then given a coat of Testor's Lusterless Flat in the rattlecan and allowed to thoroughly dry before moving on to the next step of weathering the suspension and running gear. I opted for a mix of Russian Dark Earth and Dark Mud Mig Pigments and added them together at a roughly 50-50 ratio into a prescription bottle lid and mixed them together as a dry-powder first.
Then I added ordinary tap water to produce a wet mixture and applied it with a 0 round sable brush and allowed it to air-dry.
The best way to describe the next step in the process is "addition by subtraction" meaning that the desired effect is achieved by carefully removing the pigments from the areas where they were too heavy or I didn't want them to be. To do this, I go over the surface first with a set of stiff bristled brushes, while wearing a dust mask to avoid inhaling the fine pigment powder, and then follow-up with moistened q-tips to further remove or blend the pigments.
Once that's done, then I carefully dry-brush some Steel on the track faces on the front and rear for their wear.
And that's where it stands...I'll let it sit overnight and then check to see if any adjustments need to be made and then it's off to the photo-booth for the final completion shots.