Weathering German Armor

Weathering paint finishes on armor is one of the more interesting challenges in the hobby today. I am going to demonstrate some common techniques using oil based washes and other common weathering materials to weather Dragon's JagdPanzer IV-AO in 14 steps from start to finish. I hope to keep it as simple as possible using the images as a visual guide through each process, showing the effects of each step and how it all adds to the final finish which will hopefully represent a realistically well worn looking WWII vehicle when I'm done.

Basic Painting
Step 1: The first step is is actually two steps. The first step is to apply primer and for this I used Flat Black auto primer which I applied in several light coats from all angles making sure every nook and cranny was painted, specifically around the tracks and running gear. The second step is applying the actual base coat of Model Master acrylic "Tan" for this particular finish. I wasn't too worried about full coverage knowing I would be going over it again with the camouflage so just a couple of light coats was fine to complete this phase.

Step 2: This step consists of painting the wheels and tracks and is the most frequently asked question I get: "How do you paint the wheels and tracks when they are already on the vehicle?" I simply use a small fine brush and apply generic craft paints thinned about 50% with water. I take my time, doing the wheels first so I don't worry about over-painting onto the tracks. I then paint the tracks which are much easier than people imagine. I keep a toothpick on hand to scratch away any small mistakes and always keeping in mind that once weathered it is impossible to tell anyway.

Step 3: Once the tracks are dried, I go ahead with the first wash using Van Dyke Brown oil paint heavily applied all over the running gear.

Step 4: This is a simple step using a handy way to mask off the tracks and wheels with household aluminum foil. I also assembled the schurzen for this vehicle so everything is ready for the camouflage application.

Step 5: The camouflage was applied freehand using an irregular pattern based somewhat on the box-art without trying to be exact to leave room for putting my own touch on it. All paints used were Model Master acrylics and since the "Tan" was already down, the next color applied was "Dark green" followed by "Rust". All three were then lightened slightly with white for a bit of fading here and there by simply spraying the lightened color in the centers of the main patches.

  • Step1
  • Step2
  • Step3
  • Step4
  • Step5

About the Author

About Ron Goins (biffa)

My name is Ron and i began modeling in january of 2005 while off work with knee surgery i have always been interested in the military and 1/35 scale vehicles and armour are my main subjects, i will build just about any brand of kit there is as long as it interests me and i build for my own collectio...


Another happy reader! Interesting to see the techniques used and how each affects the model. Very thourough without being long-winded, an excellent article. Cheers for sharing, James P.S. where's the chipping stage!
APR 18, 2007 - 04:54 PM
Hey thanks guys glad you like it and hope maybe it can help someone somewhere even if only to warn them what not to do Thanks Bill nice job with the layout and editing it reads just right. Ron. James had to cut back on my chips lol maybe next time.
APR 19, 2007 - 01:05 AM
My pleasure Ron, always look forward to seeing what rolls out of your tank factory next.
APR 19, 2007 - 08:13 AM
Great and useful article! Thanks for sharing your techniques!
APR 20, 2007 - 12:32 AM
Ron, as always a very nice job. I have a King Tiger ready for paint I'm going to try this on.
APR 20, 2007 - 01:05 AM
great paper. On step 8 you mention a "pin wash". What does it mean?
APR 20, 2007 - 06:24 PM
Thanks for taking the time to comment guys i hope the article can be of use to you. Sam, for my washes i usually cover most of the vehicle so it also adds a layer of grime to all the sufaces but when i do a "pin wash" i use a finer brush and just do the nuts and bolts or panels etc without covering the whole thing. Ron.
APR 20, 2007 - 08:18 PM
Very motivating article. If I may ask a perhaps silly question, I've been out of the hobby for a while and this term "filter" is new to me. What is that about? Brushing extreemly watered down paint over the entire vehicle?
JUN 07, 2007 - 09:59 AM
Hi James, thats the method i used in this article but there are other ways to do it, basically to me its anyway you chose to apply a colour that alters the tone of the base colour or adds tints to it. Filters are not always nessesary its really up to the builder some people dont use them at all others use them everytime its just one of those things thats up to you. Ron. Heres a link to another article i did for this one i used the dot method for applying the filter. https://armorama.kitmaker.net//features/1458&page=2
JUN 07, 2007 - 10:33 AM
Tremendous article, Ron! I'll be using this on my first German armor project, Dragon's Ardennes KT. I think that of all the articles here on Armorama, your's are among the best. You describe everything so well, have plenty of SBS pics, and use products that are readily availiable! Keep 'em coming!
AUG 18, 2007 - 04:12 AM