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Stug III Ausf G in Italy 1944

This build is a companion piece to my diorama project 'Liberation, Italy 1944'...

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Kevin Cole 127/01/2018 22:48:53
247 forum posts
51 photos

Very nice indeed, especially the working suspension.

TIM FORSTER 112/02/2018 23:31:00
87 forum posts
342 photos

Putting the paint on the Stug

stug yellow scratches 2.jpg

Well, as my first full-on paint job since the 1980s, this was always going to be a slightly fraught experience...

As with my interior I had decided to give the model an overall coat of Mr Surfacer primer red. The idea being to use the hairspray technique to add realistic chipping effects. With the interior this primer coat had gone on like a dream.

As you will have seen in my posts above (and in the 'Show Us Your Work Bench' thread) I have a pretty cosy little set up in the converted outside WC. I also have a collapsible Airbrush Heaven spray booth. So did I use it? Well - to my regret - not at first. Choosing a pretty sunny weekend afternoon in London I thought I would do the primer coat spraying out of doors on the garden table (which is where I have done all of the spraying on the diorama).

NOW I know the reason why you should never spray onto plastic when it is cold and (at this time of year) a bit damp: the paint does not dry quick enough. So what do you get? Pooling, that's what!

stug primer red.jpg

To me this looked like Frankenstein's monster... the shiny gloss sheen particularly bothered me. Now I should emphasise that this is NOT how Mr Surfacer normally behaves - it's just how it behaves when wielded by a fool outdoors in a temperate British climate!

Well I took the hint and brought everything indoors and set up my spray booth like a wise person would have done in the first place. And I'm glad to say that things started to look up.

I did have a bit of 'fun' trying to mix Ammo of Mig paints with AK Interactive thinner. Tip: DON'T.

Then I decided to turn to what I knew best: Tamiya acrylics mixed with Tamiya X-20A thinner. Now I know everyone has their favourites, but generally it's best to stick with what you know - especially if you are painting your first (and highly-prized) model in 30 years or so (I'm not going to count all the models I helped my boys to paint over the years because, ultimately, these were their efforts).

I have done quite a lot of research into paint consistency and compressor settings recently and I feel that I am finally mastering that tricky combination of factors that makes for a good coat with the airbrush. There's still a lot of trial and error involved and I cannot emphasis how important it is to have an old model to hand to spray onto first. Also, the absolute golden rule is NEVER to start spraying whilst pointing the airbrush straight at the model. That way, if it's going to 'spatter', then it's going to spatter something that doesn't count.

stug yellow no scratches 2.jpg

What you see here is the outcome of successive coats of Tamiya Dark Yellow, followed by a 50/50 mix with Buff and then a third coat with a little white added.

Now I will be the first to admit that it's looking a bit too light and a little too grey. Having said that, 'in the flesh' the yellow shows through a lot more, so I suspect that it's something to do with the lighting. Also, as we all know, once you start to add washes, the base colour always starts to darken - so it's best to start lighter than you mean to end up.

It's also worth adding that, compared to the colour chips supplied with the excellent AK Interactive book 'Real Colours of World War II' (a great Christmas present), the Tamiya Dark Yellow is a very good match. However, once you scale the tones down (smaller things look darker in the same colour) and take into account the effects of the Italian sun, I believe that this looks OK. At least as a starting point.

Edited By TIM FORSTER 1 on 12/02/2018 23:31:22

TIM FORSTER 112/02/2018 23:31:51
87 forum posts
342 photos

The next step was to take advantage of the red primer coat underneath. I forgot to mention that before I sprayed on any of the yellows I gave the model an overall coat of hairspray (which was allowed to dry for an hour or so).

The hatches had also been masked from beneath to protect my interior, but for the open transmission covers I made a little extra effort and used Humbrol Maskol to leave the primer coat showing through around the rim of the hatch opening and the lower hinges.

What you see here is the masking removed:

stug yellow no scratches 1.jpg

And now the fun commenced!

When I read about the hairspray technique, people usually say that you have to get working within a hour or so after painting has ended. Now, if you are are going for a worn winter whitewash appearance, then I agree that this is very important. But if you are after scratches down to the primer coat then there is no reason why you can't do it a few days later. At least that's my excuse, because after a weekend's painting I had to wait another week to get back to the job.

stug yellow scratches 4.jpg

Here you can see the scratches, most of which were achieved with a cocktail stick. A little bit of rubbing with a cotton bud has also allowed the yellow to show through in patches. Of course, it all looks a bit too stark - but these are early days. There will soon be washes, filters, pigments, etc...

So here are a couple more views:

stug yellow scratches 3.jpg

stug yellow scratches 1.jpg

You will notice that the barrel is a contrasting shade of grey (a mix of the last highlight shade and a little black). I have seen many pictures where the gun looks to be a slightly different colour from the main vehicle - said to be the result of heat affecting the paint, or possibly because of replacement with a new barrel. Whatever the reason, it adds visual interest - and also gives me an excuse to explain away why the muzzle brake of my Stug is the later war model which had only come into use shortly before the time scale of my diorama!

Oh yes, and the patches of bare plastic behind the fighting compartment are where the sticky fixers temporarily held on the spare track retaining bar. These will, of course, be hidden behind the spare tracks.

So next: on with the weathering!

Lee13/02/2018 11:48:50
1049 forum posts
339 photos

HI Tim

It's a shame you had to button up the interior detail after doing all that work. Your doing an excellent job. thumbs up

Regards Lee

colin bruce 113/02/2018 14:51:00
334 forum posts
38 photos


Wicked Stug! Loving the updates!


John Race13/02/2018 16:51:36
6885 forum posts
1477 photos


Hindsight, , ah go there a lot. Still the out come seems promising , like the damage to the track fenders . Are you bothered about that yellow showing, from the photo it just looks like early rust forming, quite like that.teeth 2


Scottie13/02/2018 18:34:06
5965 forum posts
839 photos
1 articles


Some lovely paint work you will have to point me in the direction of where you did your paint research. Mine is always hit or miss.


TIM FORSTER 114/02/2018 10:33:06
87 forum posts
342 photos

Thank you for the comments gents.

Lee - yes it is a shame, but I'm hoping that enough of the interior will show to make my work worthwhile.

Colin - keep watching!

John - I agree. Although I wasn't actually trying to reveal the underlayer of darker yellow, I am quite happy with the look.

Scottie - the biggest problem with all of the advice books is that they tell you to thin the paint to the consistency of milk - as if there's only one type of milk!

The best advice I read was to mix the paint and thinner in a cup or jar with a brush. If you put the brush to the side and it leaves blob of paint which doesn't run down, then it's too thick. If it runs away completely straight away, then it's too thin. If it slowly runs away then it's just right.

So a bit like Goldilocks and the Three Bears!

Richard Foenander14/02/2018 10:57:00
3857 forum posts
4633 photos

Hi Tim,

I basically have three types of paint consistency for my airbrushing...evaporated milk for texturing the surface, skim milk for smooth surfaces and very diluted for layering or thin lines which at low pressure I would go over a few times until achieving the desired hue. It's also about the distance between the nozzle and surface as well as air pressure.

After doing this for many years it has become second nature like riding a bicycle. I've used the airbrush to intentionally create weather streaks...while the layering paint is still curing load the cup with thinners and spay in the direction of the streak needed.

Once you get the hang of it, it won't seem like the dark arts.teeth 2



scott p16/02/2018 03:16:53
36 forum posts
14 photos

Great work Tim. I appreciate the level of detail you are putting into this build. Those CMK interior kit are the best.


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