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Another facet of scale modeling I was always into but couldn’t achieve the results I wanted was in modeling tanks. Modern main battle tanks are awesome machines – 60 tons and hitting 60mph+ over muddy fields…plus the ability to shrug off infantry attacks and blast through houses and other armored vehicles! What’s not to love?!

So it was pretty cool to get my hands on this tank, which actually almost shares a birthday with me! This is the variant that was built in the 1980’s I believe, back when I was really getting my Army nerd credentials in order…

Anyway, here’s the assembled tank, minus road wheels and tracks:

I’ve left the side skirts, wheels and tracks off for now, I’ll paint them separately while I decide what to do with the vinyl tracks that come in the kit. I’ve read they’re generally horrible and most serious modelers use aftermarket tracks, but I’m not THAT keen, so I’ll make do with the vinyl stuff for now. Half of the tracks will be covered up with the side skirts anyway, and for the join that is visible hopefully I can cover that with some mud pigment effect.

Here’s the Leopard after priming in grey Vallejo primer and doing the panel lines (also Vallejo primer, black this time):

NO, the panel lines aren’t as thin as I’d like but hopefully the green paint I’ll be using (Badger Model Flex European Dark Green) will cover up most of that mess.

I didn’t get a picture of spraying the Dark Green but here’s what the Leopard looks like after the Dark Green and then post-tinting the centers of the panels with a mix of Dark Green with a drop of white:

Much better, I think!

I’ll be giving the side skirts and road wheels the same treatment and then going over the details like the shovels and other tools by hand, then adding a bit of paint chipping with paint, and dust and a bit of mud with weathering powders.

I thought the tank would come out pretty boring in just one color, so hopefully the weathering (as if it has just finished a field-training exercise) will help give it a bit of character.

Paints & Equipment Used: 

  • Badger 105 Patriot airbrush
  • Badger Renegade Krome airbrush
  • Vallejo Grey Primer
  • Vallejo Black Primer
  • Badger Model Flex European Dark Green