09 May 2016

Damian Attempts to Paint Japanese Tanks

with Damian

So off I go- I’m actually pretty happy in this photo. No, seriously I am!
The hardest part about painting for me is that I’m naturally lazy and uninterested in the actual painting of my figures. To me, it’s all about getting the bare basics done so I can field a painted force on the table as quickly as I can. I love the assembly side of the hobby and playing is always a blast. But painting? Nope. However, I do have a few simple tricks and shortcuts to aid me when I sit down and paint my Banzai Sensha Rentai.

Now, as I don’t have access to an airbrush my painting will be sped up in the use of spray cans (As close a colour match as I can get to the recommended Vallejo colours), blutac masking of areas to get firm outlines when applying the camo patterns, light washes of either a watered down black or a light brown to simulate depth and a drybrush of a light almost white (or possibly bone) colour just to highlight the edges, and create an illusion of dust on the tanks.

In order to do this paintjob, I first referenced the painting guide on page 47 of the Banzai book. I like to have my options as varied as possible so I tracked down a few colour matches with the old range of Vallejo and tried to find a spray can alternative so I can simulate airbrushing! Another huge help was when a good friend David Greig sent me his link to painting his own Japanese tanks. I’m going to use it for inspiration and see how I go.

You can find it here- Dave's Sensha Rentai Paint Guide

Comrade khaki (326)-base colour
Old Vallejo= Green-Brown (879)
Spray can colour= SP06 German Armour Desert / Tamiya XF-60 DARK YELLOW

Boot Brown (323)-30% disruptive pattern.
Old Vallejo=Flat Brown (984)
Spray can colour=Tamiya X-9 BROWN

Army Green (342)-Third camo colour.
Old Vallejo=Reflective Green (890)
Spray can colour=Tamiya XF-58 OLIVE GREEN

1942- A simpler camo scheme was introduced to these tanks using the same colours without the yellow lines and utilising a larger proportion of green.

Cavalry yellow (361)
Old Vallejo= Flat Yellow (953)
Spray can colour= Tamiya XF-3 FLAT YELLOW
Sicily Yellow (362)
Old Vallejo= (Green Ochre) 914
Spray can colour=Tamiya XF-59 DESERT YELLOW

I like to have my platoon commanders, and HQ tanks easily recognisable so they will have a combination of exposed tank commanders popping out the top hatch and have the flat yellow wavy lines on their tanks to denote their experience. It will also make it easier for my opponent (and myself!) to identify the platoon commanders and cut down on any deployment and/or LoS issues that may arise.

Running out of German Armour spray after 22 tanks (out of 40+!) is not a good thing. Many, many swears later and I bit the bullet to hit the paintbrushes. Luckily middlestone from vallejo is a perfect match.

Good old Dan, He still hasn’t realised I have his magic wash. I brushed on this homebrew mix all over the tanks to “make them pop” and give them base protection. They are ready for camo and tracks.

Next steps-Do my tracks with GW’s tinbitz. (Seriously, no other paint comes close to this for tank tracks. I’m going to cry when my last pot and a half runs out.) I’m going to use the colour set I scored through Mighty Ape to finish em off. No airbrush, just good old fashioned paint strokes *coff* drybrush- will soon sort these out.

The ships from the axis and allies boardgame I stole from Paul make great little objectives (a couple of different junk blues I just splashed on the base- vallejo stone grey and a white drybrush on the weenie boaties and they’re good to go) and represent naval air and guns perfectly. I’m still undecided whether I go with a white zero or green… I’ll worry about that after I crank some more tanks out of the painting factory.

I’m very happy with the camo scheme as it happens on these tanks… only 37 or so to go… And I’m not going to do my zero till I complete the tanks as a prize for sticking to it. Further updates later.


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