Friday, 5 October 2018

MENG Model Sd.Kfz.182 King Tiger with Henschel Turret [WIP - Part 2 of 2: Three-tone camouflage]

To complete the King Tiger's three-tone camouflage (sans weathering), I had to touch up the overspray and paint splatters resulting from a less than ideal masking process. These fixes were carried out using Tamiya acrylic paint color equivalents (i.e. XF-60 Dark Yellow, XF-61 Dark Green and XF-64 Red Brown) of the lacquer spray paints I used earlier. Tamiya had just recently released lacquer paints in bottles (presumably with similar properties as their paint spray cans) but I didn't have the budget to get those so I made do with acrylic equivalents I already had in my possession.

MENG King Tiger work-in-progress: Part 2 of the three-tone camouflage process

Due to the rather fine camouflage patterns on the gun barrel, I decided to hand paint the lines rather than go through the hassle of masking then airbrushing them. Normally I wouldn't hand paint with Tamiya acrylics because they are more suited for airbrushing. But I had made an exception for the touch up process to ensure a better match of colors with the Tamiya lacquer spray paints I had used to paint the three-tone camouflage i.e. TS-1 Red Brown, TS-2 Dark Green and TS-3 Dark Yellow. Even then the acrylic hues came up much lighter in tonal quality versus their lacquer equivalents.     

Finer camouflage patterns on the gun barrel was painted by hand using Tamiya acrylics
Camouflage patterns on the gun barrel were meant to replicate those on Tank 124 of Pz.Abt. 505
Top down view of the camouflage patterns on the King Tiger gun barrel

In hindsight, there were perhaps some steps I could've taken to prevent having to fix the overspray and paint splatters. Chief among them would be to use a quality masking putty instead of a cheap rubber mastic adhesive (essentially a reusable adhesive putty). Coming close behind would be to apply the three-tone camouflage with an airbrush instead of using Tamiya lacquer paint spray cans. In reality though, I can do neither, even going forward. Firstly, a quality masking putty is not within my budget for now. And secondly, I've my existing inventory of Tamiya paint spray cans to clear first.

Imperfect masking resulted in some red brown and dark green paint overspray on the dunkelgelb basecoat
Tamiya acrylics was used to cover up the lacquer paint overspray/splatters

Use of acrylic paint used to fix the lacquer-based overspray and paint splatter gave rise to a slight tonal variation in the camouflage colors. As a rule of thumb, acrylic paints tend to look lighter in tone after drying. Here, the paints already looked lighter during application i.e. when it was still wet. One way to avoid this tonal variation could be to use Tamiya's recently released lacquer paints in a bottle. In the past, hobbyists had supposedly used Tamiya unique acrylics with lacquer thinners to good effect. So that could be the reason it took them so long to release their own bottled lacquer paints. Technically unnecessary perhaps but a good marketing move nonetheless.

Oversprays of dark greens over red browns and vice versa also occurred
Tamiya acrylic equivalents of the lacquer colors had a slightly lighter tonal qualities

However I'm actually not too worried about the differences in color tonal quality for the camouflage colors. Subsequent weathering processes will likely alter and vary the three base camouflage colors anyway. More so when applying weathering techniques such as oil dot filtering.

Certain sections of the hull wasn't painted fully and evenly e.g. dark green over dunkelgelb
Yet more fixes with the Tamiya acrylics over the sprayed on lacquer paints

At this stage the whole tank looks a bit flat. This is accentuated by the fact that tank accessories such as the pioneer tools, tow cables and hooks, exhaust pipes, etc. have yet to be painted. The King Tiger should look much better once all its exterior details are filled in with paint. 

Area with dark green overspray should be pure dunkelgelb as this area is supposes to have been covered by side skirts
Of the three colors, the tonal discrepancy between lacquer and acrylics is least noticeable on the dunkelgelb

Those eagle-eyed among would've noticed that a fair amount of overspray splatter still remain even after the touch up. But I'm not too worried about doing a perfect touch up job as the weathering process should cover up any leftover overspray and paint splatter. My primary aim was to fix the more glaring paint discrepancies which weathering would not be able to conceal.  

Existence of many accessory parts on the King Tiger's rear meant masking was least effective here
Rest of the leftover paint overspray/splatter discrepancies can be easily covered up by weathering
Paint splatters and overspray are still visible in places but all will be well after weathering

There is another reason why I haven't done any painting or assembling these past five weeks. I had surrendered my work table to my son so he could've a place to study for his year-end exams. Now that that's done and dusted, I have my table back and should be able to start painting again ... soon. I would've started already but for a disruption in my water supply. So I'm left twiddling my thumbs for a bit longer. Being a messy guy and cleanliness freak (an oxymoronic psyche?) means I spend a lot of time cleaning up. So no water supply equals hobby time coming to a halt. So soon then.


  1. Looks great despite some of the overspray problems you have had to sort out. I think I actually prefer with it the over spray it gives it more of a hand done look.

    1. I guess overspray works in adding realism if the maintenance staff had sprayed on the paint which I think they did in the early years of the war. In the latter stages of WW2, there were occasions where the staff just slapped on the paint using mops. But those would come with a different type of paint imperfections. Who would have thunk that modellers would be agonizing over how the camo was painted when all those years before the work would have been fairly tedious to some of the army personnel.

  2. Masking is always difficult, and I always have overspray too. It looks like you did a good job cleaning it up though, so I wouldn't worry about it. It'll all blend in after you do the weathering anyway!

    1. Thanks :) Weathering will be a whole different kettle of fish but you're right in that it should cover up most of the leftover overspray.

  3. Not easy, but an impressive and beautiful work!

  4. Well, this project is certainly an example of overcoming challenges and setbacks. It's coming along superbly.

    1. Thank you Suber. I just wish I could do things faster. My slowness is infuriating even to myself XD

  5. It's looking great so far ! I'm looking forward to the finished model !

  6. Considering that the camo colors would have been painted in the field over the factory applied base, maybe the overspray adds some realism?

    1. In situations where the army personnel used paint spray guns I guess that would be the case. But in cases where they used mops to apply paint, especially in the latter stages of the war then I guess not. Unfortunately I'm not that much of a WW2 historical expert to tell which is which :(

  7. Can i use Nato Green and Nato brown?


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