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"Painting Tank Tracks" Topic

15 Posts

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04 Feb 2019 11:47 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Crossposted to 15mm WWII board

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World War Two on the Land

903 hits since 4 Feb 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

captaincold6904 Feb 2019 8:20 a.m. PST

So, I'm about ready to paint some M4 Shermans and after painting some M5 Stuarts I'm not happy with the tank tanks (the whole area with the wheels and the like). It looks like Bleeped text

The tracks look ok, but the area with the wheels all I did was a little wash and used some pigments, but I'm not happy with the outcome.

I'd love to hear some of your techniques or if you know of any good video tutorials. I've seen some but they are for larger scales. I understand at 15mm on the table top, who cares!…but I do :)


TNE230004 Feb 2019 8:33 a.m. PST

doctor faust on painting shermans

YouTube link

captaincold6904 Feb 2019 8:47 a.m. PST

Thanks TNE

Martin Rapier04 Feb 2019 9:51 a.m. PST

I used to muck about doing all kinds of intricate stuff for tracks, but these days I just paint the lot mud colour. Tracks, running gear, wheels, lower hulls. Mud.

It all gets a wash and a bit of a drybrush and I pick out the exposed track links with a metal highlight, but otherwise it is just mud. Looks like every tracked vehicle I've seen in actual use, as opposed to those clean ones in museums.

Try it and see how you get on. The mud also provides a nice contrast colour on boring green/OD/panzer grey tanks.

wrgmr104 Feb 2019 10:17 a.m. PST

+1 Martin Rapier

nickinsomerset04 Feb 2019 11:05 a.m. PST

Martin is quite right, spending time on a washdown one sees just how filthy the metal beasts get! (Also means not having to go through the pain of painting the rubber tyres!)

Tally Ho!

captaincold6904 Feb 2019 11:32 a.m. PST

I agree on not having to paint the tires!

I'll go with a wash and (from the tip of someone here) I'm going to try a matt varnish/pva glue mix with some added pigments.

Thanks all

bruntonboy04 Feb 2019 1:10 p.m. PST

Wheels, suspesion and bottom of hulls get a heavy wet brush of the hull colour over a black undercoat. Tracks get a wet brush of a mid brown then everything including the tracks gets drybrushed in a tan/sand colour. As I base my vehicles you can't see much of the tracks anyway

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP04 Feb 2019 7:10 p.m. PST

That was a very good video even though the sound kept cutting out.

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP05 Feb 2019 2:15 a.m. PST

You could try pigments . I mainly paint desert tanks so the colours I use will be different . But you can get some very realistic affects. The various ways of applying them from experience including railway models is as follows.

Straight on the vehicle without fixer.
Using thinners as a fixer
Decal softener as a fixer .
Excess pigments can be removed with a dry stiff brush.
Oddly enough I havnt had much success using pigments with the official fixer for some reason .
You could also use the resin mud products available and then add pigments for a muddier look .

Its best if you slowly build your skills up using old models first before attempting a well painted vehicle .

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP05 Feb 2019 3:46 a.m. PST

Paint black.
Do a rusty colour wash and drybrush.
Use a mix of pigments to create various colour effects (I apply mine with a mix of distilled water and a few drops of fixer)
Finish with metallics to highlight the surfaces that are polished by friction.

dwight shrute05 Feb 2019 3:47 a.m. PST

I use a black sharpie to do the black tyres

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2019 4:35 p.m. PST

I have taken to painting my tracks in a gunmetal colour, the wash with Agrax Earthshade, followed by drybrushing in the relevant terrain colour.
Tyres I do in a dark grey, which when washed and drybrushed as above looks ok.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP08 Feb 2019 6:54 a.m. PST

Just be aware on US Shermans the most commons track blocks were rubber so only the end connectors and teeth would have a metallic sheen or rust. Commonwealth Shermans would normally have metal tracks.

Sgt RV10 Feb 2019 5:57 p.m. PST

If the dirt roads are dry Everything gets dusty Everything…. I hit all my vehicles with a dry brush of dust coating.

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