US Special Forces "War Pig"
the kmk academi
I decided to aim for quality, not for speed, and if that would result in not having it finished before Scale World, so be it. All accessories were put aside and I started with the vehicle.
Painting the War Pig
Although the model was already cleaned, I sprayed a thin layer of Methanol onto the surface of the model to get rid of any leftover fingerprints or other greasy spots. If you want to try this method, be sure to wear the right personal protection and always use it outside or in a well ventilated room! For airbrushing I like to use Tamiya and Gunze Sangyo acrylic paints (both can also be mixed without any problems), thinned down with Tamiya’s genuine lacquer thinner (bottle with the yellow cap) at a ratio of 25% paint / 75% thinner. For general airbrushing I prefer my Harder&Steenbeck Infinity airbrush (compressor set at 1bar), for finer airbrushing I’ll grab my Iwata CM
(spraying at 1.3-1.5bar). Adding some 25% Clear (X-22) to my paint mix will result in an even smoother satin finish, which is the ideal base for the upcoming filters, and thus avoiding that often seen rough surfaces. I prefer to spray my models first with a light coat of Semi-gloss Black (X-18) which will not only serve as a base coat to prevent shine trough of the different colors of the plastic, resin and PE on the model, but also as a last check for any irregularities in the surfaces. If so, this is the moment to make some last corrections with putty before airbrushing of the actual layers starts. I started with the cabin interior, mixing Field Green (Gunze H340) and Sandy Yellow (Gunze H79) until it matched the green in the pictures. The Sandy Yellow will also avoid too much contrast between the green interior and the sandy exterior once the model is finished. I sprayed several thin layers ensuring the black will still shine through a little bit in all edges and corners, acting as a pre-shade. I lightened up the green using more Sandy Yellow and sprayed some blotches as a first weathering, and for highlighting those areas which receive more direct light from above. For the gauges and placards I used the fantastic decal sheets from Mike Grant Decals. Although intended for aircrafts, they can also be very useful on vehicles. Gauges were punched out separately and applied to the dashboard.
Glasses were simulated with a drop of satin varnish. All details were painted using Vallejo. Some fine scratches, wear and tear were added too. The panel lines and details were picked out using pin washes of Vandyke Brown oil paint, the dust on the floor and into the crevices were created using several thin washes of Humbrol Brown Yellow (94), Mid Stone (84) and Khaki Drill (72). I prefer paints for creating dust instead of pigments because the latter ones will make your model look too dull and dead.
The communication equipments were painted with Vallejo, trying to create as much as possible contrast to enhance all those fine details. This is a technique I also like to use on my aircrafts and I got my inspiration from Villalba, one of my favorite aircraft modelers. A quick search on the net resulted in some nice screen maps, which were printed, cut to size, glued to the monitor screens and painted with a layer of matt varnish, giving it a realistic finish. Finally the radios and other equipment were glued in place and the cabin interior was masked off using paper tissues and Tamiya tape.
The exterior received several layers of Sandy Yellow, each pass adding more white to the Sandy Yellow to create the highlighted surfaces which receive more light from above. The lower side of the cargo bay was kept almost black acting as a shadow. Not completely satisfied about the yellow I added an orange filter to the whole model, using Humbrol Orange (82) thinned down with odorless White Spirit at a ratio of 5% paint / 95% thinner. Using a flat moistened brush (not soaked otherwise it will act like a wash) this colored thinner was applied to the model.
The next day pin washes were added around all details using Vandyke Brown (403) Rembrandt oil paint to give the model more depth and to accentuate all details. Paint was thinned down approx. 20% paint / 80% thinner and applied with a 000 brush from the Winsor & Newton Series 7. Don’t forget to wet the surface with some thinner before the pin wash is added, otherwise the wash will not flow around the details but it will spread all over the surface, this way darkening the model which has to be avoided on such a light colored model. The chassis and suspension were treated with washes and filters, this time using Burnt Sienna (411) for a warmer look. As I didn’t wanted to cover my model with dust I only added some dust to strategic places on the lower chassis using the same sandy colors as described above. Weathering of the complete model would be a waste of time because of all the stowage and cargo that would be added at the final stage, and as I was dealing with a deadline. The previously taken pictures would help to determine which parts of the model would still be visible once all accessories where in place. Lots of scratches, scuff marks and chippings were added using different mixes of VanDyke Brown (403), Permanent Madder Brown (324), Nickel Titan Yellow Light (279) and Titanium White (644) oil paints. The main reason I opted for oil paints for the weathering stage is the long drying time because this will give me plenty of time for making any corrections. Several thin washes (filters) of VanDyke Brown with a very small amount of Permanent Madder Brown will help to create shadow and filthy areas, while panels can be lightened up using filters of Nickel Titan Yellow Light and Titanium White. Some final chipping were added using my favorite Vallejo color SS Camouflage Black Brown (822). Sparely rust streaks were created using Burnt Sienna. Try to add the chipping and scratches (light and heavy) as random as possible and be aware to add them to logical places. Details were picked out using thinned white. All these techniques are very easy to apply and the result will be a nice model with lots of tonal variation to look at. The rubber tires were hand painted with Vallejo Black Grey and “dusted” with a wash made of Humbrol Mid Stone. I declared the LMTV ready at this stage, and any necessary changes or enhancements to the color or weathering would be made once all accessories where in place.
Painting the accessories
I was fully aware the biggest challenge of this project would be the “complete look” of the model with its diversity of colors of all accessories and vehicle, and they would have to blend in completely. To achieve this I decided to add a small amount of Sandy Yellow to each color.
I started with the PSP planking, which were airbrushed with Alclad Duraluminium (ALC-102), toned down with thin washes of Brown Bess and Mid Stone. The netting were hand painted with several earth and sand colors. When dry I attached them, together with the PSP planking, jack, stretcher and towing bar, to the sides using ropes and straps made of Tamiya tape. The jerry cans and ammunition boxes were airbrushed separately using various green and sand colored mixes to create the first differentiation. A few Mean Jerry Can decals from Echelon were added to the jerry cans to break up the colors. When dry these items were glued together with White Glue (again the previously taken pictures came in handy). To save time only the visible sides of these items were weathered as described above. Drums, canisters, gas bottles, heavy duty cases and all other equipment were airbrushed using different shades of Red, orange, Yellow, Black, Dark Grey, Blue etc., each color toned down with some Sandy Yellow. Weathering was added before gluing each item in place. Several slings and straps were made using Tamiya tape and Pro Art’s PE clamps, and hand painted after attaching them to the model.
At this time I received the first backpacks from Dirk. After cleaning and priming, these little gems were hand painted with Vallejo. It turned out to be a lot more work due to all the fine details on these backpacks, but at the end I’m very happy with the result. The set also includes a sports bag. Painted pale red and with the white Nike logo on, it’s a perfect eye catcher on the model. The .50 MG was airbrushed Black and received a dark brown glaze using Vallejo SS Camouflage Black Brown (822).
When dry some graphite was added to the details using my finger tip. This will result in a smooth metallic sheen and I personally find this technique much more convincing than using Gun Metal. Some spent shells were liberally spread on the cargo floor. Other small items were hand painted and added to the stowage and cabin, and finally some blue water bottles completed the model. I must confess it was a lot of work, not only to paint and weather the model, but especially the huge amount of stowage, each time keeping in mind all parts had to blend into the whole picture. It was a big surprise to me that, although the huge amount of work, all painting and weathering took me about 4 weeks, and therefore still 2 weeks to go until the deadline! That would give me the opportunity to add a figure and to work on the presentation of the model.