Armor/AFV: Techniques
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Tiger 2 Construction/Painting/Weathering
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Nevada, United States
Joined: February 12, 2012
KitMaker: 1,083 posts
Armorama: 1,014 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 07, 2017 - 05:53 AM UTC
Hi All,

I'm running into a problem in terms of sequencing the completion of my 1/35 scale Dragon Tiger 2 tank. I'm about finished with the major construction, but I have some significant concerns about how to finish the model. Let me explain.

I am going to use photo etch front and rear mudguards, and also photo etch side fenders. Because all of those items are so delicate, I have not yet attached them to the tank. I also have not yet attached the wheels or tracks. My problem is related to how to complete the construction and accommodate the painting and weathering. I already have the Fruil metal tracks completed, put together and a good start on weathering them. I haven't started painting the tank yet.

I know that putting the tracks on is not that easy, and because of that, I really don't want to put the fenders or mudguards onto the tank until the tracks and wheels are permanently installed. That being the case, though, I'm not sure how to paint the tank. I could do the under the sponson painting, up to where the side fenders will go, and try to do the weathering and mud/dirt/dust on the hull, before putting the wheels and tracks in place. I could then glue all the mudguards and fenders in place, and then paint the rest of the tank, including the upper parts of the hull, and the mudguards and fenders, while trying to mask off or cover the road wheels and tracks. Then I could do the weathering, etc., with the tracks and wheels in place. I've just never been that serious about weathering, and it sure seems like it will be a pain to have to do a lot of the painting and weathering of the upper hull, fenders and mudguards with the wheels and tracks covered up. I can't think of any other way to do it, though, unless I was going to consider painting and weathering the mudguards and fenders separately, then putting the wheels and tracks in place, and finally gluing the fenders and mudguards in place. I'm guessing that trying to be consistent with the weathering of those parts when they are not attached to the hull would end up not looking very good.

The bottom line is that I'm REALLY afraid of damaging the photo etch parts, and I just KNOW that will happen if I attach them before getting the tracks in place. Does anyone have any better ideas about the order of construction, painting and weathering that is different than what I've proposed, which will still address my photo etch concerns?

I know all of this is really pretty basic, but I've never really done this to the extent that I'm trying to with this tank. I would really appreciate any help, thoughts, ideas, that any of you might have for me!

P.S. I must be getting really gun-shy at building. I'm now at the point of needing to glue on the headlight, and I'm now afraid to even do that, before I paint and weather, wondering if that assembly is too delicate to withstand the weathering process... It shouldn't be this tough, should it?
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United Kingdom
Joined: May 03, 2017
KitMaker: 148 posts
Armorama: 122 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 07, 2017 - 09:22 PM UTC
I'd reccomend you assemble the mud guards and attach them to the hull with blu tack. Paint the tank's Camouflage and take the mud guards off. Weather the lower hull and put the wheels/tracks on. Then attach the mudgaurd permanently and complete the vehicles weathering. Hope this helps
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Scotland, United Kingdom
Joined: October 04, 2010
KitMaker: 275 posts
Armorama: 260 posts
Posted: Friday, September 08, 2017 - 12:05 AM UTC
Hi Curt, I know how you feel about build/paint sequence, I usually get in a bit of a fix about this stage also. I would probably go with the method you described ie; wheels and tracks on, paint up lower area, running gear, tracks. And then attach your mudguards (fenders) then paint uppers. Masking off tracks and lower areas could be done with light tissue paper tucked under the fenders so as not to strain the delicate PE. Then do the final weathering on the complete painted tank. I don't normally bother with weathering areas which will never be seen like underneath sponsons behind wheels etc. I'm building Takoms King Tiger with interior at the moment and am having to try and plan out painting sequence. Sometimes you just have to "bite the bullet" and make a start and then it all comes together.
Good luck.
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: October 02, 2008
KitMaker: 658 posts
Armorama: 629 posts
Posted: Friday, September 08, 2017 - 05:00 AM UTC
G'day Curt

My usual technique is as follows:
1. Paint and weather hull, wheels, tracks and inside surfaces of fenders, mudguards etc
2. Temporarily attach fenders and mudguards. I use a product called Micro Liquitape, which is a temporary adhesive.
3. Paint and weather upper hull.
4. Remove fenders and mudguards, install wheels and tracks, then permanently attach fenders, mudguards, and other easily breakable bits such as aerials, headlights etc.

Have fun


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Nevada, United States
Joined: February 12, 2012
KitMaker: 1,083 posts
Armorama: 1,014 posts
Posted: Friday, September 08, 2017 - 06:00 AM UTC

Thanks so much for your recommendations! I can honestly say that some of the ideas you came up with were things I hadn't thought of, and that's why I love this place! I think I now have a possible path to completion on my Tiger 2. I have so wanted to finish this tank, but was so confused on how best to go. I think I know now! thank you all again.
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Georgia, United States
Joined: July 26, 2013
KitMaker: 2,272 posts
Armorama: 1,860 posts
Posted: Friday, September 08, 2017 - 06:03 AM UTC
I second Jcampkin and Rob's suggestion to attach the fenders with some type of sticky but temporary adhesive like blu-tack. I did that with my Tiger II I built a few months back.