To the eastern front!

Soviet T-34 - Mecha Musume Vol.03

Moé Idolatry Article

T-34 Tutorial

In the three-ninth kingdom, there was a T-34 tank, of Soviet origin that stood at the ready for months on end, gathering dust that would only very occasionally be cleaned away. She stood patiently until a hand from the sky came and held her, and took her to the wide plains below.

Only to be striped and disassembled XD

Today I’ll be going through the first parts of weathering a Soviet T-34 (T-34/76 as the Germans knew it). For those interested, read on!

In peace@pieces!! (bad play on words, i know)

T-34 disassembled for repaint and modifications

So, that is what the T-34 would look like after taking it all apart. This is only because I’ll be modifying this T-34 a lil.

Close up 3

A clean T-34

A note before I go on, while I do show you how I go about weathering, most of the tips could be used on most other Mecha Musume (notably the tanks), and probably military tank models as well since the techniques are derived from it. Experiment with my techniques to see which suits you best :3

The aim of this weathering effect is to get a dry muddy look on the T-34, the idea is that it was fighting in the muddy battlefields on the German eastern fronts before moving to an urban area. This is a simple process, I won’t be going into more hardcore approaches such as using surfacers, pigments and synthetic grass. I’m trying to keep this easy for the average figure collector who might be interested in moving into the modelling scene.

Washing

This is a simple technique that can give depth to the figure. In the earlier volumes of Mecha Musume, they didn’t have any pre-weathered figures, which made it easier to wash. With Volume 3, I noticed they applied some simple weathering to them which causes me more trouble =/

What I’ll be doing is putting a brown muddy, greasy look as a base for the other effects.

So, this is what you’ll need:

  • Ear cleaning buds
  • Acrylic paints – Tamiya Acrylic Paint XF-10 (Flat Brown) and XF-1 (Flat Black) used
  • Acrylic thinner – Mr.Color Thinner 110 used
  • A pallet of some sort
  • Paint brushes

The tools

Most of the tools, besides the paint

Because mud from rich soil is very dark, I’ll be mixing the flat brown with a only a hint of black to get a lil darker than normal.
You only need a little so when you do mix them, don’t overdo it! We’ll be diluting it in thinner so there’s no need for a lot of it.

The Paint!

Don’t have your palette as dirty as mine…

Mix in thinner to a runny consistency. The idea is that it’ll be watery and will cling to corners and such, and the thinner will evaporate once the wash starts to dry.
Grab your bud and wet it in the solution, then wipe it over the armour sections. Capillary action will take place on the nooks and crannies.
If you put too little thinner, don’t worry! You can still fix it by wetting a bud with more thinner and just wipe away the excess paint, sometimes I do this on purpose to get a grimier look.

Back and...
...front!

If it looks messy, then we’re doing good!

This is the first step done and it’ll give a good base to work with for a muddy look :3

Mud Painting

Ok, now that we have a nice base we’ll start with the “wet” mud paint. We’ll basically paint on some mud splashes on the figure.

What you’ll need is:

  • Acrylic paint – Tamiya Acrylic Paint XF-10 (Flat Brown) used
  • Paint brushes

This is the fun part, paint on some brown where you think mud would splash onto. Try to remember which areas would most likely be affected, such as feet, knees, elbows, and the like. Ultimately it’s up to you, which is the fun aspect :3

Try to keep the splashes fairly large, as they’re the areas which mud is still moist and hasn’t dried up.

Where's her hair!?

Getting there~

Dry Brushing and Splatter

Ok, so now that we have the “wet” muddy look, we’ll need to paint on a layer of “dry” mud. To do this, I’ll be using the dry brushing technique.

As the name implies, you brush on paint with a dry tip by wiping away most of the paint.

Tools needed:

  • Disposable/old paint brush
  • Acrylic paint – Tamiya Acrylic Paint XF-52 (Flat Earth) used
  • Tissues
  • Toothbrush

The Paint & Brush!

Earth aint flat issit?

Dry brushing is easy, all you need to do is dip your brush into the paint, then wipe away most of the paint with a piece of tissue. Make sure the brush is “dry” enough that it doesn’t leave any large streaks when you brush it on a piece of paper but rather specks of paint.

Testing

Test to see if it’s dry enough

Take the figure and brush on the paint, you’ll need to do quite a few strokes to get a good looking affect. This will hopefully look like dried mud.

Muddy isn't she...

Effects are subtle, which is good

Now for those minute mud splashes that dry quick detail. We’ll be using a toothbrush for this effect, and it’s also easy. Basically put some paint onto a toothbrush and using your thumb stroke it back so it’ll flick tiny drops of paint onto the figure, easy no?

The Paint!

Dried mud splatter on the side

Chipping Detailing

So, since this lil T-34 has been out of the mud and presumably been fighting in an urban area, scraping and chipping would be common. To do this we’ll be using one of man’s greatest tool, a pencil.

All that you’ll need is:

  • Soft (B grade) graphite pencil – Derwent 9B pencil used

The Pencils!

9B is the softest I have

This is straightforward, draw in the details on the edges of likely areas of abrasion, such as corners, knees and tip of the feet. Don’t forget the tracks on her legs, while they probably don’t actually touch the ground, real tanks would have wear and tear on them. Add as much as you want, generally a more realistic look is one of subtlety, the viewer would only see it if they are pointed out. A more stylish look is one of extremes, so basically use your judgement on what you want it too look like.

Dirty dirty legs

You don’t need to go overboard

Exhaust Detailing

And here we are on the last step! If you look closely, the T-34 has some exhaust vents on her thigh, and of course, her 76.2mm primary cannon. I’ll be using something that I hardly ever use for this purpose before I started weathering Mecha Musume, art pastels.

What you’ll need:

  • Disposable/old paint brush
  • Black pastel – Mungyo Pastel black used
  • Piece of paper or sandpaper

The way it's done

Keep the wind away!

Ok, a fair warning, do this in a well ventilated area, or better yet, do it outside if it isn’t windy. Having dust particles is never a good thing so using a mask is a good idea if you can’t get good ventilation.

Now this is simple, grind up some of the black pastel on a piece of paper or sandpaper, the latter making it much easier. You’ll need only a lil bit of the grounded up “dust”, so grab your brush and try to pick up as much as you can. With the brush, rub the pastel dust on the exhaust vents and the tip of the cannon barrel.

Close up

Perhaps I overdid it? ^^;

The result is a nice effect, you could apply this to desert dust and the like. I actually got this technique from the old Mecha Musume online diary, and I’ve been using it on my collection of Mecha Musume ever since.

Finished

So there you have it, a regular T-34 turned into a seasoned fighter on the eastern front.

FrontBackRightLeft

While I’m no expert modeler, I hope the tips help in some way or another, or at least give you some insight to how I weather my Mecha Musume figures. If you do have modeling experience and see that I could of done something easier or more efficient, by all means tell me, I’ll try to use it for the next tutorials :3

Close 1Close 2Close up 3

Sexy rough metal…o_O

I’m also pretty open to suggestions on how to improve these kind of articles if you have any problems with it such as being hard to understand or whatnot. I already noticed that I should of done a standard comparison shot for each step so you can clearly see the differences between them. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this, and if you do decide to try to paint your Mecha Musume, give me a yell! :D

10 thoughts on “To the eastern front!

  1. I wouldn’t do it to any other figure, only the mecha musume series XD

    I really don’t like how they applied some washing to the volume 3 line, not to mention the use of coloured plastic instead of paint. Oh well, I have to work with what I get.

  2. Sweet tutorial. Really interesting process even if I don’t think I would ever be trying it out since I don’t do much in terms of modelling and have nothing quite so suitable as Mecha Musumes. Even if I did, I’d better have two of the same figures cause I just know I’m gonna mess it up :p

    But it is really fun reading the post, will have to come back to this post one day when I find something that could use weathering and I have the guts to try it out ^^b

    shinohai’s last blog post: ~ウルトリィ 「うたわれるもの-Utawarerumono」 Urutorii~

  3. Holy nice, thanks for the tip! Though I won’t be weathering my Mecha Musume, I may use your tips and techniques on some of the weapons and equipment used by my 1/6 action figure.

    Hangmen’s last blog post: RAINBOW GIRL

  4. Nyu~hu~hu

    It works great for tanks and mini-mecha alike. I personally haven’t built any weathered Gunpla, but seeing that the next purchase I’m after will be the Tieren, I’m probably going to use much the same technique, only with Enamels (which…might be a bit different).

  5. Pingback: Sturmi!

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