Eine kleine Krieger

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This piece named “Eine kleine Krieger” is based on Dragon’s excellent 1:35 scale kit of the Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) . Although small in stature, the 38(t) came to play a critical role in Germany’s use of armor during WWII. By the end of the WWII, the 38(t) was out classed in almost every category by both Allied & Axis AFVs. Yet its versatility and functionality enabled the Czech built 38(t) to remain in service in the Ausf. A,B,C,D,E,F,G, & S configurations.

Although my intention here is to discuss the painting & weathering of this 38(t), I would like to note that much inspiration, reference, and technical information for the 38(t) was sourced from “Panzer Tracts No. 18, Ausf.A to G und S.” This book title created by Thomas L. Jentz & Hilary Louis Doyle covers production, modifications, and operational history from 1939 to 1942.

When examining the features of the 38(t), the vehicle struck me as an ideal platform for painting and weathering. This vehicle was designed with both curved surfaces ( on the turret sides ) and many 90 degree angles and sharp lines where hull plates are connected. Another interesting feature of the 38(t) is the rivet detail that covers most of the kit. The turret & hull are covered in various sized rivet heads which offer the opportunity to add contrast through painting and weathering. This kit features many fine details such as the tiny rivets on the fender supports, spring hinged vision ports, hinge detail on the engine deck, & the highly visible exhaust all offer the opportunity to bring the kit to life through painting. We must not overlook the lower hull and running gear. This is yet another area of our vehicles that can be used to add visual interest & tell the story of the vehicle’s service life. The detail on the Dragon 38(t) lower hull is more than adequate considering almost all of the lower hull is obscured by the well detailed road wheels. Tracks from Friul were chosen for their natural weighted look.

All painting and weathering must begin with priming our model. Primers will ensure a strong bond between our base colors and the surface of the model in addition to creating a durable surface for the subsequent weathering. Because of the fact that this models final base color will be monotone & grey, I used the priming stage to begin to add some variation to the model. 2 different shades of grey primer as well as a red oxide primer were used to begin building up our base color with the primer! By using a darker grey primer in shadow areas and the lower portions of the vehicle, we are able to begin building the illusion of depth into our base colors. In contrast, lighter grey colored primers were used for the upper horizontal surface to begin to show contrast between areas of the vehicle reflecting direct sun light and the lower surface that would be darker due to shadow and lack of direct light. We can also use these colored primers to begin showing contrast between surfaces that will touch one another such as panels in the engine deck.

Our final base colors will be applied by building up many layers of transparencies that allow the pre-shading of the colored primers to show through and begin to bring our subject to life! Here we have a primed vehicle ready for our base colors. With pre-shading applied by virtue of colored primers, we have executed 2 tasks at one! This can save us time and cut down on the amount of paint that we ultimately end up applying to our modeler’s surface. If we apply to many layers of primers, pre-shading, and base colors, we can begin to lose surface detail that will be critical during the detail painting & weathering stages. These colored primers are air brush ready for maximum control and flexibility. These primers dry to the touch in minutes allowing is to move on to our base colors reasonably quickly. Clean up was as simple as flushing out the air brush with warm water!
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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...


What a wonderful Build. I just love it! Great Finishing description. Well done! Thanks for sharing. Gary
MAY 20, 2012 - 11:14 AM
I agree with you Gary...very nicely done and described.
MAY 21, 2012 - 12:30 PM
Got to see this one up close and personal and let me tell you it looks even better in person. Top rate painting and a great article Iain.
MAY 21, 2012 - 03:16 PM
Hello, the right translation in german must be: "Ein kleiner Krieger". "Eine kleine" is the female form.
MAY 21, 2012 - 06:52 PM
Andreas, Thank you very much for this translation. Looks like I should have paid much more attention in highschool German or consulted 1 of a few friends who speak the language. Thank you for checking out the 38(t) and perhaps next time I can check with you for translation? Thank you my friend.
MAY 22, 2012 - 02:38 AM
Thanks for the info Andreas, I learned something new (again!) I usually refer to vehicles (and even models) in the female form so this works for me I bet I'm not the only one that says "come on baby" when I want my car to do something that she just doesn't want to do, or "that's my girl" when she does
MAY 22, 2012 - 12:28 PM
Hello, then you must write " Eine kleine Kriegerin" because "Krieger" is male form. Ok, enough of teaching.
MAY 22, 2012 - 06:11 PM