|MENG King Tiger and crew work-in-progress: After receiving a coat of light gray primer|
Coming in at 1/35 scale, there is a considerable amount of surface area to prime. It didn't take me by surprise this time because I had encountered the same issue with the T-55A Medium Tank. Using my go-to primer product i.e. the Tamiya Fine Surface Primer meant this process is nearly foolproof. The fine-grained properties of Tamiya's primer means it doesn't clog up the details of a model kit or figurine. Provided, of course, you practice good work habits such as building up the primer coat in successive thin layers; spraying in a motion that starts and ends away from the model kit/figurine.
|King Tiger tank crew and turret primed using the Tamiya Fine Surface Primer (Light Gray)|
|King Tiger hull, road wheels and tracks after a coat of Tamiya primer|
How I plan to approach the painting and weathering of the MENG King Tiger will largely parallel how I've approached its priming process. What this amounts to is a separation of the King Tiger into four sections i.e. the crewmen figures, turret, hull and tracks to be painted and weathered accordingly.
|Closeup of the primed tank crew men, which had average level of details|
|Tamiya's primer is fine-grained enough to ensure none of the details of the King Tiger are coated over|
|Turret was primed with its spare tracks detached as those will be primer and painted separately|
|Zimmerit decals on the hull will retain their indented details provided the primer is not sprayed on too thickly|
|The fine-grained primer also meant that the photo-etch engine grilles did not clog up with paint|
If you of the camp that feels what's not readily visible need not be painted then you're going to feel the following steps as a waste of time. Now my obsessive compulsive tendency towards details seen or unseen has softened somewhat over time. However, it was still strong enough to compel me to remove the road wheels and track ensembles from the hull in order to access areas which the primer couldn't reach previously e.g. the lower hull and swing arms as well as sections of the tracks, road and idler wheels, and drive sprockets that were facing the lower hull. These were then duly primed.
|Tracks and road wheels detached to expose areas not reached by the primer; these areas were then primed|
|Side of tracks and wheels facing the hull were also primed|
|Disassembled from the hull, both tracks will be painted and weathered independently from the hull|
Already primed, the King Tiger will require a lot work in the days ahead.To paint its WW2 three-tone camouflage, I will be using a combination of Tamiya lacquer spray paints and rudimentary masking materials. Following that the weathering will be based on a work flow strategy and techniques found in an AK Interactive ebook titled Abteilung 502 Mastering Oils - Oil Painting Techniques on AFVs by master modeler Joaquín García Gázquez. As I said, a lot of work. Best get started ... soon ... 'ish.