Saturday, 13 July 2019

MENG Model Sd.Kfz.182 King Tiger [WIP - Dust & Dirt Weathering on the Lower Hull, Tracks & Road Wheels]

Scale modelling work on the Meng Model 1/35 scale Sd.Kfz.182 King Tiger (Henschel Turret) has taken me on a long and convoluted journey, but the end is nigh. Dust and dirt weathering on the German heavy tank's lower hull, tracks and road wheels actually marks the last bit of paint and weathering work. So these are the last pictures before final assembly is carried out.

Dust and dirt weathering on the King Tiger tank tracks [Completed]
Road wheels within the tracks also underwent the dust and dirt weathering process

Before any weathering, the tank tracks had been primed with Tamiya Fine Surfacer (Light Gray) and given a basecoat of AK Interactive Track Primer. The former is a lacquer-based primer while the later is an acrylic-based one. Now there isn't really any need to lay on two coats of primer. I did so mainly because I found the Track Primer's hue to be a suitable basecoat color for tank tracks. That means I used the Track Primer mainly for its color. But I'm sure having a strong basecoat layer in the form of the acrylic-based primer surely helped in resisting any corrosive effects in the weathering stage.

Materials used in the dust and dirt weathering process
Weathered tank track (left) versus one in its basecoat color (right)

Materials used in the weathering process comprised AK Interactive Dust Effects, Earth Effects, European Earth Pigments and Dark Steel Pigments, Vallejo European Earth Pigments, Windsor & Newton Artists' White Spirit and Plaster of Paris powder. And while weathering of the tank tracks went fairly well (see above), things didn't go as smooth for the road wheels (see below). Unsightly white spots on the wheels likely resulted from mixing too much plaster of paris into the enamel-based paints and not mixing it well to boot. As a fix, I plan to remove the spots with white spirit later.

Weathered road wheels (top) versus those with only a pin wash over the basecoat color (below)
Inner section of the road wheels aren't weathered as much; after weathering (top) vs before (bottom)

After the tank tracks and road wheels had been weathered to reflect accumulation of dust and dirt, the Dark Steel Pigments (essentially graphite powder) was then rubbed onto sections of the track that was exposed to friction. These are the raised areas of the tracks which look shiny after application of the Dark Steel Pigments (see photo immediately below, refer to bottom track).

Sections of tracks exposed to friction brought out using dark metal pigments - before (top) vs after (bottom) 

Meanwhile, both sides of the lower hull was first given a light uneven coating of Earth Effects followed by Dust Effects. This was done with both enamel-based products first diluted with white spirit before being airbrushed onto the lower hull. Following this, the same products were applied straight out of the jar onto the lower hull using an old brush by hand. The effects were shaped accordingly by wiping any unwanted excess off using cotton buds dipped in white spirit.

Lower hull (left side) airbrushed lightly with AK Interactive Dust Effects and Earth Effects
Lower hull (left side) with heavier hand brush application of the Dust Effects and Earth Effects
Lower hull (right side) airbrushed lightly with AK Interactive Dust Effects and Earth Effects
Lower hull (right side) with heavier hand brush application of the Dust Effects and Earth Effects
Light dust and dirt weathering meant their application was confined to the bottom of the lower hull
As with the front of the King Tiger, the rear received a similarly light application of dust and dirt effects

Minor touch ups such as lightening the skin tone on one of the tank crew and removal of unwanted white spots from the road wheels remain to be done. However, apart from these steps, the King Tiger (Henschel Turret) is essentially completed. All that remains is to put all the remaining pieces together and snap the requisite display photos. All these tasks should be completed soon thus enabling me to put up the final photos for viewing by the next post. Do bear with me for just one more week and this particular journey - my second AFV scale model project - will be completed at long last.


  1. Great work Kuan ! Looking forward to the end result !

  2. Amazing, really interested in the effects as I have just been working on a tank. Inspirational post, thank you.

  3. I actually had to concentrate hard to stop drooling all over my workplace when I saw these pics! Absolutely outstanding work and I‘m sure the finished piece will look superb.

    1. Thank you Moiterei! High praise indeed from someone I consider to be a Master Painter ^_^

  4. Your pictures show what an enormous effect the weathering can make. Truly an inspirational post.
    Magnificent work so far, this tank is going to be the envy of many tabletop German commanders out there.

    1. Thank you Wouter. Heh heh ... at 1/35 scale it's a bit too big for the tabletop ;) ^_^

  5. Impressive work. They could pass for real tracks. You should take outdoor pics of the finished model, preferably on the woods, it could be totally epic :D

    1. Thanks :) It's tempting to take it outdoors for some photos but knowing my clumsy self I would probably drop it and break it ... lol ... ^_^

  6. Incredible and realistic details my friend!


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