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135
Painting Tamiya’s BT-7 Model 1935

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If you’re in for a nice straightforward project, Tamiya’s well known BT-7 Model 1935 is the perfect kit for you. I just wanted to paint, whitewash and weather this light cavalry tank of the Red Army and put it on display.
Base Colours
I worked mostly with acrylics. First I sprayed on a couple of fine layers of Tamiya X18 (Semi-Gloss Black).

For the typical Russian green, I followed the mixing instructions in the kit’s manual : 1 part XF4 (Yellow Green) + 1 part XF58 (Olive Green).

A couple of drops of X22 (Clear) were added to the mixture to prevent my airbrush nozzle from clogging. I always thin down my Tamiya paints with Tamiya lacquer thinner (the bottle with the yellow cap) as it assures a good flow and produces a fine mist. Photo 1 shows the result of this.

I then masked off the hatches before spraying a lighter tone of the green on to them, having added a little more XF4 to the base green mixture, to make them stand out more. The horizontal panels were also given a mist of this mixture (see photo 2). Photo 3 shows how the wheels were painted by applying the same mixture to produce similar colour variations in the running gear.
Whitewashing time!
To give this model something extra, I decided to go for a wintery whitewashed look. Normal hairspray, XF2 (Flat White), Humbrol Matt White enamel and some water did the job.

I started with the turret. First I airbrushed on several mists of hairspray; the airbrush gives a finer coat rather than spraying straight from the can.

I then applied the white acrylic (thinned with water) trying not to cover the entire turret. Variation is the key to making things more interesting! One hour later, the white surface had to be softened with a just a tiny bit of water and a soft brush. To give the white camouflage a worn look, stiff brushes, toothpicks etc. can be used, but you should try brushing with a soft brush first to see how the white paint reacts!

To create more soft effects I applied Humbrol enamel white as a wash, then left it to dry.
weathering
After this clean whitewashing operation, I applied a dirty oil paint wash of raw umber thinned with white spirit; see photo 4.

Photo 5 shows the hull and the oil-washed turret. The mufflers were also given a basic rusty brown paint (XF64 Red Brown + XF10 Flat Brown).

Photos 6 and 7 show the oil washed and pin washed hull. Now the white has started to come to life.

Some metal effects were now brushed on, for example on the tow hooks; see photo 8. AK Interactive’s Light Rust Wash, AK Rust Streaks, AK Winter Streaking Grime and some other rust pigments gave the BT-7 hull its distinctive look. I preferred to dab the rust pigments into the wet AK Light Rust Wash, and once dry they become fixed.

The running gear received the same treatment, as in photo 9. Grease stains add a lot of interest to tank wheels, so I had to take care of that too: I added a bit of thinned AK Engine Grime and AK Winter Streaking Grime here and there, again trying to create different effects.

Vital for that typical BT-7 look is the heavy chain. I finished it with rust washes and pigments over a base coat of Tamiya acrylic rust colors. See photo 10 for an impression.

A mixture of dust pigments and white spirit were then brushed on to the lower hull and wheels to create dusty / sandy effects. I never overdo this part of the weathering job, as I think less is more. Once completely dry the pigments were fixed with AK pigment fixer. Wet zones were created at this same stage.

To check that I was happy with the level of realism I took a couple of black and white photos (see photos 11 and 12) and, when satisfied, I glued it on a nice black AK base; the result can be seen in photos 13 to 16.
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About the Author

About Guy Van Ginneken (guygantic)
FROM: ANTWERPEN, BELGIUM


Comments

Great job, as someone who is currently trying to do a spring white washed T-34 like this I can appreciate what a fine job you have done. Congrats
MAR 11, 2013 - 06:17 PM
really well done love it as its so real looking
MAR 12, 2013 - 12:44 AM
Looking good!
MAR 12, 2013 - 09:44 PM
Not a dig at the model, but why did you make the air intake screen rusty? It wouldn't have rusted at all...
MAR 14, 2013 - 08:33 AM
Thank you Duttons !
MAR 15, 2013 - 11:25 PM
Britishtank79, I'm glad you like it !
MAR 15, 2013 - 11:25 PM
acebateau, thank you !
MAR 15, 2013 - 11:26 PM
SEDimmick, thanks ! I went for a rusty air intake to add interest to the rear deck, call it artistic freedom.
MAR 16, 2013 - 06:24 AM
still got it G
MAR 16, 2013 - 08:24 AM