Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Adding mud to the Sherman tank

I've been busy adding mud to my Sherman tank. As mentioned previously, it's a process I find nervewracking. It's a fairly organic and unpredictable process, you can really bugger up a model that was looking amazing, and it's pretty much impossible to backtrack from. So how is my effort looking?

To model mud I use my patented 3-ingredient mud technique - you can find out more about it here or you can just view the YouTube video tutorial here - it's easy and cheap, so I'm a bit of a fan.

I started tentatively - easy does it.

Yeah... nah.

Just not enough mud.

Not enough at all.

I left this to dry overnight, but it just didn't look muddy enough, and the colour was a bit too monotone - there was no sense of various layers of accumulated mud. A vehicle would have dried older mud and darker, wetter looking recent mud.  So tonight I went back for more.

Rookie mistake

Tonight I realised that I hadn't painted the black rubber on the road wheels. I don't know how this escaped my attention in the 8 years this baby has been sitting around partially completed... Sigh. But then I figured if I was increasing the amount of mud, this might actually save my arse - although I don't like applying mud to my models, it is just great at hiding cock-ups. [Cue evil laugh: bwahahaha!]

More mud

My plan was to apply a lighter tone of mud to simulate dried older mud deposits, and then use darker, richer oil paints to make a glossier and darker layer of fresh, wetter mud.

The mud palette, aka an old plastic lid. This stuff is like concrete when it's set, so do this on something you are happy to throw away when you're finished.

In this image you can see the three tones of mud. From left to right: the original tone (plain old Tamiya XF-52 Flat Earth); then the lighter tone (50% Flat Earth mixed with 50% Desert Yellow XF-59); then the wetter more recent mud (50% burnt umber and 50% VanDyke Brown artists' oils); finally, the red dish contains the garden dirt I use to give the mud texture.

And here is the end result as of this evening:

I particularly like the splattered effect above the tracks.

It's definitely looking better than 24 hours ago. I will wait to see what it looks like tomorrow, I find the colour can change a lot as the PVA glue in the mud mixture dries.  My gut feeling at the moment is that I will need to airbrush a surrounding spray of the lighter dry mud tone to make it look more like that is the bottom layer - did this a bit back-to-front, it would have been much better to apply the lighter dried mud first, then layer the others on top, as they would have actually accumulated in real life.

Like I say, this whole mud weathering malarkey is nervewracking.  Hmm, maybe time to build a plane next...

Until next time,



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