Squadron green was used however. It was added to the chassis and suspension as mud clods. Anti-tank and small arms hits taken by the Elephant were replicated by using various size ball cutters in a Dremel tool. The small hits and casting imperfections were created by bouncing a very small bit across the surface in a random manner. On the larger hits, Elmer’s wood filler was used to replicate melted steel. While this may not be technically accurate because of the steel used at the time, Artistic license allowed me to use this fantastic effect. I got this idea from issue #28 of the Japanese publication Armour Modeling. This magazine was also used a guide for weathering on the Elephant.
The kit was painted with Tamiya acrylics using Chris Mrosko’s technique from his book, “Panzers Tactics” from Letterman press. I varied the technique slightly in that I base coated the tank with a lightened Dunkel Gelb and then picked out the seams, edges, corners, and crevasses with straight color. The dark green was applied next, then the red-brown. The tank was coated with clear gloss and then the decals were added. Once the decals had dried, the entire kit was dusted w/ lightened Dunkel Gelb overspray.
The tank was then sealed with Testors Dullcote. The dullcote was applied lightly. It still, however, softened the underlying paint. This came with a hidden plus or 2. First it allowed some of the base yellow to show thru the camo colors for a more mottled appearance. Second, I was able to represent some horizontal scratches on the hull by dragging needlepoint tweezers lightly across the surface.
When the dullcote had cured, I began weathering. For the weathering I used Testors, Polly Scale RR colors, and Rust-all. Initial washes were laid down after first brushing on a coat of clean Testors paint thinner. This step definitely gives more control over the wash, especially the placement of the subsequent pin washes, like around the conical bolts. I used either burnt sienna or burnt umber depending on the look I was after. The entire vehicle was then dry brushed w/ Testors Model Master USMC Armor Sand. The next step was the rust washes with Rust-all. This was done sparingly. I wanted a well-worn vehicle, not a neglected one. The “mud” on the lower hull was painted and weathered at this time.
I now turned my attention to the tracks & sprockets. The road wheels were the first to be attached. The rear sprocket from Fruili was attached next. Since I was using Fruili tracks & sprockets I temporarily attached the kit supplied sprockets so I could measure the correct spacing from the sprocket face to the hull (37mm). The rear sprockets were shimmed and attached with 5 min. epoxy. The front sprockets were fitted and shimmed, but not glued. The fronts were allowed to rotate until the final fitment of the tracks was complete. Then, they too were attached w/ 5 min. epoxy. 108 links were laid out for each side. The tracks were then soaked in “Blacken-it”, a metal blackening solution from A-West. When the
tracks achieved the desired color they were removed from the solution and allowed to air dry on a paper towel. When the tracks were dry, the wear points were sanded with 600 grit sandpaper. They were then fitted to the suspension. The tracks were given a light wash with Rust-all and then dusted w/ pastel powders.
The top of the fighting compartment was now permanently attached at this point. It was easier to work on and handle w/o the large structure in the way.
The aluminum barrel from Hot Barrels was attached next with super glue. The fit of this piece was fantastic. I would have liked a machined muzzle break though.
With all of the components assembled, the entire tank was given a “light” overspray of Polly Scale “Dust”. A word of caution here. When using the Dust, be patient and use it sparingly. The effect will sneak up on you and can, if you’re not careful, be overdone. There-by ruining a lot of work.
One quick side note. Some of the blast areas were drybrushed w/ various shades of black after the Dusting. This was done to convey damage inflicted at different times during the Elephants career. You will also notice that some of the damaged zimmerit shows a steelish grey underneath, indicating fresh damage, while other areas have obviously been repainted sometime after the damage had been done.
When everything was dry I went back with some burnt sienna and burnt umber and added some paint chips. A silver pencil was then used to highlight bare metal or worn areas.
The spare track links on the back of the upper hull and the towing clevises were given a treatment of Instant Rust.
Tow cables were the next item on the list. Unfortunately, Dragon does not supply these with the kit. I got mine from Elephant through VLS. These are steel cables with resin ends. The cables had to be annealed before they could be shaped to the way I wanted them to lay. I used the kitchen stove for this procedure (Please don’t tell my wife. She was asleep when I did this.) I then drilled the ends to accept the cables, fitted them to the hull and attached them with superglue. The cables were also given the Rustall wash/silver pencil treatment. The final item was a brass wire antenna complete with an Evergreen insulator.
The Commander is a Warriors figure. He has received a set of Tamiya headphones and a scratchbuilt throat mic. A Verlinden map was also used. The loader buttoning up the hatch was from the set as the commander. His hand was modified to hold the brass wire handle for the hatch.