Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Rubicon Tiger Pt 2

 Well, I now have a new love of my life! Thoroughly enjoyed this kit. Now with that out the way I'll try and justify such a sweeping statement.
Apologies for the delay in getting the finished pictures of the Tiger uploaded, if you missed part one you can read it here http://volleyfirepainting.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/rubicon-tiger-review-pt1.html I've been working on a lot of commissions, and wanted to spend a bit of extra time on the Tiger as well.
 In the previous installment of this review I stated that I would be doing comparison pics with Warlords late Tiger, however to avoid filling up the article I'll save that for Pt 3, and focus on the modelling aspect of the Rubicon Tiger in this piece.  Once I had assembled the model I gave the tank a quick bath in my ultrasonic cleaner to remove any mold release agent, and also to ensure the surface of the milliput Zimmerit would accept paint.

 Once the model had air dried I used some grey automotive primer as a first layer on the model. I decided to model Michael Wittman the famed German tank ace's Tiger from the battle of Villers Bocage. According to my research it appears that Wittmans own Tiger had broken down, so he was using vehicle number 222 in the engagement, and the vehicles appear to have a stippled camo pattern, although there is evidence to suggest they also used broad patches of green and brown over the Dunkelgelb yellow base too. I liked the stipple though so went with that!

 To paint the tank I used my Iwata Eclipse airbrush, and used Vallejo paints for all the camo work. Colours used were middlestone for the dunkelgelb, red brown for the brown and yellow olive for the green. I also mixed some white into the middlestone to create some colour modulation in the camoflage of the Tiger, and once the camo pattern had been sprayed on I mixed 3 parts gloss varnish to 1 part Middlestone and sprayed this on in a weak glaze to key all the colours in, and also prepare the surface of the tank for having transfers applied.
 I used transfers from 3 different sources on the model, crosses from Rubicon, numbers from Warlord, and the crossed keys divisional symbol from my decal dungeon. To get the transfers to even think about settling down onto the surface of the zimmerit I've developed a cunning trick. I paint the surface to receive the transfer with Pledge Mutli Surface Wax, then whilst this is wet I apply the transfer, then paint more of the wax over the transfer. Through what I assume is magic as the wax dries it shrinks the transfer to the surface and the contours of the model, giving a great painted on look, without the cost of using decal softners.

Once all the potions and gubbins had dried for about 48 hours I set about weathering the Tiger. The real vehicle was fairly new in 1944, and not overly weathered or battle damaged. To start with I used some Vallejo gun metal applied with a sponge to simulate some light chipping around hatches and walk way areas, and then used some  Rowney artists Burnt Umber, painted into a weak wash into all the recesses of the model, (excepting the Zimmerit) to add depth to the paint job. After leaving the wash to dry for around half an hour, I used a cotton bud to remove any excess paint, rubbing the oils away from the surface to leave it only in the recesses. Deciding the tank needed a tad more gunkyness I mixed some black oil paint into a thin wash and applied this to the engine deck and fuel filler caps, again being careful not to over do the effect.
Using period photo's as a guide I set about weathering the track and running gear using Games Workshop Agrellan Earth special effect paint. This paint comes in a thick paste, and as it dries produces a cracked dried earth effect. I covered the entire suspension system with this fancy stuff, and whilst it was wet used my finger to wipe the paint away again, leaving it to concentrate in the recesses. Once dry, I applied more of my oily black wash to the centre of the road wheels, and picked out the areas of wear with some bright silver paint and a very small (And horribly expensive) paint brush.
At this stage the tank was nearly done, all that remained to do was add exhaust staining using some Humbrol weathering powders, and an aerial from fine fuse wire.  Deciding the model needed a bit of character, and having discovered a Warlord seated Michael Wittman figure I painted him up, and sat him inside the turret peeking out and surveying the battlefield. With him added and a coat of matt varnish the model was finished!

Thanks to Rubicon Models for providing the kit to review, you can find more information about their products here  http://www.rubiconmodels.com/ and as always you can find more of my work at the Volley Fire Painting Services page. More info about Michael Wittman can be read here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Wittmann

Thanks for reading, and look out for part 3 where I compare the Rubicon and Warlord Tigers!

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