For years I turned my nose up at 1/48 scale armor. Quarter scale was strictly an aircraft scale and I was a 1/35 scale purist. At least I was until I went to Iraq. There was no room to really do much building where I was and no time to spend on any lengthy projects. There were lots of small scale kits that had been donated and sent to Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) facilities over there so I gave them a shot. I got absolutely hooked. They are much simpler and it's possible to start and finish a project in an afternoon if don't not get too fancy with it. Even though they are simpler, the level of detail is excellent on many of the kits.
This is the Hobby Boss KV1 kit. Hobby Boss has been producing a great line of 1/48 scale armor kits for quite a while. The detail is almost as good as the 1/35 scale kits and they don’t have the pesky die cast hulls like the Tamiya kits.
I built this kit pretty much straight out of the box. The only exceptions were an MV lens in the headlight and K&S wire mesh on the engine intake grilles.
The tank commander figure was pirated from the Tamiya Soviet figure set.
This is the first winter camouflage scheme I’ve tried in a long time. I read up on the hairspray technique and about a dozen other methods and in the end opted for a little more straight forward method. First I sprayed the entire vehicle with a Soviet green (a mixture of Tamiya IJA Green and Flat Green). Then I masked and oversprayed flat white, leaving a few spotty areas and thin areas.
I chipped both the green and white winter camouflage with a soft #9B pencil which worked very well. I followed the chipping with a very thin wash of black and burnt umber artist’s oils and turpentine. This also served to soften the pencil paint chips a little. If I had chips overdone in any area it was easy to scrub them out with the wash. I crated the mud with powdered pastel pigments and mineral turpentine and placed it around the running gear and tracks. The pastels are regular stick pastels that I powered on sandpaper and collected in a clear film canister. Two 98 cent sticks give me more pigment than I will need for many projects. The nice thing about the low cost is that I can fill several containers with many different shades and custom mix the colors and tones that I need. To apply the “pigments” (it’s really just powdered pastel chalk remember) I set the model on its side or end and carefully dribbled and spread the dry chalk where it needed to be. Then, I carefully added turpentine by loading a brush with the solvent and lightly touching it to the powder. Capillary action took the liquid through the powder mix and set it in place. If I needed to adjust the placement I could push and nudge the “mud” how it needed to go with the brush.
All of the washes gave the kit a little bit of a sheen so the whole shebang got a heavy coat of Testors Dullcote. This also helps keep the pastel mud in place as well. The treads were given a light go over with the same #9B pencil I used for the chipping as well as a silver artist’s pencil to simulate wear.