Left for Dead M41

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The inspiration for this project started with a photo of an M41 tank that was laid to rest at the Cu Chi Tunnel Complex Museum in southern Vietnam. As the stages progress, you will notice that the stages are layered with a lacquer based dull coat. This will protect each subsequent layer of acrylics from the weathering process as well as create a nice contrast between the "flat" colors of rust and corrosion and the more satin finish of the original O.D. Green paint.

The first step was a coat of Vallejo primer. This was applied with a Badger Patriot Arrow at about 18psi. The next step was to apply the bare steel color that will be the bottom layer shown through the worn paint and corrosion. For this I chose Tamiya XF-69 NATO Black & XF-27 Black Green. This layer is sealed with a layer of flat clear lacquer followed by a coat of hairspray. After the hairspray has dried thoroughly, I airbrushed a patchwork of various rust tones from Tamiya. These were all hand picked and range from X-6 Orange & XF-Yellow Green –to- XF-9 Hull Red & XF-64 Red Brown. These were applied in a random way to add variety.
After these were given time to dry, I began to remove some of the rust layer with a stiff brush and warm tap water. It is important to work on one area at a time and keep the chips random and off balance. This entire step was repeated in order to create more depth and add more rust tones.

After the layer of rust and corrosion has been sealed with a flat lacquer, I moved on to the top coat of sun bleached O.D. Green. For this I chose to use a basic color modulation effect to bring more life to the model. Tamiya XF-58 Olive Green, XF-27 Black Green, and X-2 White were mixed in various ratios to create highlights. X-22 Clear was added to the paint mixture, this will allow this mix to dry to a satin finish and creates a nice contrast with the flat corrosion underneath.

This O.D. Green Color Modulation coat was then picked and chipped in the exact same manner as the previous rust coats. Warm water and a stiff brush & Tooth Pick were used to remove the O.D. Green one panel at a time. It is important to avoid any symmetry in the chipping from one area of the vehicle to the next. By this stage, you can start to see a variety of textures and effects creating an interesting and realistic finish.
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About the Author

About Iain S Hamilton (collin26)

Modeling was introduced to me at a very young age by my father who was a scale railroad modeler. My interest in history led me in the direction of scale tanks & aircraft. This input, combined with a fasination with drawing and painting, made a modeler out of me very early in life. The work of F...


Wow... very well done Iain! Thanks for sharing this build story with us. An excellent example of extreme weathering. Best wishes, Jim
DEC 26, 2010 - 10:25 AM
Very nice model presentation of a very weathered derelict.
DEC 26, 2010 - 11:02 AM
Great Idea and really well executed. Good SBS too. Also makes a nice change from all those wrecked T-55s we usually see in the forums
DEC 26, 2010 - 10:53 PM
A fantastic paintjob! The weathering is excellent!
DEC 29, 2010 - 08:54 PM
I was checking this out on the AK-Interactive website a short while ago and was quite impressed, a very inspiring piece to say the least. Thanks for sharing Iain!
DEC 29, 2010 - 09:07 PM
Incredible! Very realistic. I love the way the paint is "eaten away"...very convincing! Thanks for posting!
FEB 26, 2011 - 02:18 PM