Roughly in parallel with the work on the Jagdtigers and Ostwind from 1/512 Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung I have been working on the unit’s Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf J. These are the ones you’ve seen in previous blog entries where I have gone through and updated both the hull and the running gear of the Ausf. J to accurize it. Now that they are all together I’ve started the painting process.
I’m also using a late war scheme from the AK Interactive 1945 German paint set, though this one is using the other three colors in the pack of six – a different Dunkelgelb, a Rotbraun, and a different green. The Panzerkampfwagen IV were attached to the unit from units in the area, so it would not have likely received the same paint scheme as the core vehicles from 1/512. The different paint schemes will also highlight the cobbled-together feel of these late war units.
As before I started with a base coat of dunkelgelb and then began masking. This time instead of using silly putty, I used a white poster tacking compound – or “sticky tack.” In some ways it works much better than the silly putty. You can get thinner lines and the material holds its shape better. However, it tends to adhere to the miniature. While I had no problems getting it to release without stripping the paint, it was much stickier than the silly putty. I’ve heard of a product called “Panzer Putty” that I’d like to try next, but I’m still searching for a U.S. source / distributor. I’ve contacted the main company in Germany, but haven’t heard back yet – wish me luck!
As before I went through and added the camouflage colors in sequence starting with the dark green and finishing with the red brown. As before, the bulk of the putty becomes quite thick, though with the poster tack you can get thinner masks if you so desire. Another advantage of the poster tack over the silly putty is it was possible to mask the barrel with the putty rather than having to use blue tape.
Once the masks came off I was fairly pleased with the result, but it is still hard to get a true “soft edge” scheme with either of these techniques. Based on the Panzer Putty guide, it looks like it holds its shape better, so I may be able to get a soft edged scheme that way.
Next is marking and washes. I don’t have any data indicating what the actual turret numbers were for the 1/512 Panzerkampfwagen IV were at this point – so I’m likely going to go with 121 through 124 as the unit as a whole was down to 3 or 4 Jagdtigers at that point in the war. I’m targeting having the army ready to go for a Tanksgiving tournament in November, but I haven’t even started on the infantry at this point (I’m planning at least one unit of Volkssturm).