Beutepanzer Winter Camo

One of the most interesting projects that I have in mind is building Bronco’s 1/35th scale Su-152, or otherwise known as KV-14. This is one of the best, if not THE best kit in 1/35th scale regarding Russian subjects of WWII. However, I still haven’t got my hands on the model, and decided to make a try-out with a substitute of that one. Trumpeter and Eastern Express offer such, and having in mind EE are not very popular, decided to try Trumpi’s option. I’ve read that it has some issues, like wrong angles of the edges on the superstructure, and wrong track width. But, since I passed by the kit box in one of the local hobby shops, I decided to give it a try.

Actually, the model itself is not bad.
Maybe it has wrong track width, but if you are not rivet-counter, /and I am not one/ there is nothing to complain about it. Its slightly cheaper compared to Bronco’s, and less detailed of course, but it looks like Su-152 and follows the line of their great KV-1 series, which is enough in my book.

Assembly is easy, typical Trumpeter kit. 550+ parts, which is nice, and half of those are from the tracks. They are different compared to the KV series. They have plastic parts which feature several track links in one, sagged or straight, depending on the position of the part, and only some separate track links for the sprockets and front wheels. Zveroboy /Su-152/ is a different story. It has all the hassle /for some its funtime, I know!/ of separate track links, and sags, curves around sprockets and so on, are depending only on one’s personal modeling skill set.
I got lucky with that and made them look decent. However, it is highly recommended, and not only by me, to get yourself Friul set, if you already chose Trumpeter over Bronco.
PE parts featured in that kit are not so many, but they are cool looking, and together with the metal gun barrel which is great, it makes it a well worth set to buy.
Enough with that, onto my particular project:
I love German stuff from WWII. And since I prefer all of my models to be German or US WWII subjects, from time to time I feel the urge to build something different. The good news for me is that there is an option for captured vehicles, one of my favorite subject during summer 2014.
So there is an option, chipped white wash over green with Nazi crosses. And so I went that road.

The different approach that I used was that I painted the vehicle as if I would not cover it with white. Green, fading, with all the shades and modulation. Then, for a change, I applied less chipping fluid, and more-than-usual diluted white paint. That made the white wash worn, and that is the first impression, not the chipping. Rubbed off white. Few chips. Very few.
To be frank, at first, it looked odd. But then, rubbing it with oil paints and making white spots here and there, I got the look that I wanted to.
Oils were applied heavily and in different manner. In other words -NOT following the well known road. Spots of white and burnt umber. Rubbed in with circular motions with soft brush.
Some dark streaks, and then again – white streaks. Spunge with acrylics, enamels and oils of different color.
Then I sealed with sating gunze spray can varnish, and then srtarted with pigments and fuel and oil spots.
Overall, the biggest challenge for me was to make it look white, which was already lost when removing the white wash. It looked frosty, which give you the impression that the tank /SPH in that case/ is in a cold place. But in order to give it a little bit more soul, I started adding heavy oil spils over the drums and over the engine. So in the end I had frosted green vehicle, with white wash and oil spils all over it.
Then dirg came in hand, and some more metal effects and chipping.

In order to finish it all, I ended the project with markings. Not an usual thing to do, I know. But, in my case, with my stencils, and not equally applied black paint /airbrushing on low PSI/ it went perfectly.
That risk that I took might’ve ruined all of my weathering, if the painted crosses appear to be odd. I might’ve be so deep in trouble but in the end it worth it!
I don’t recommend to try this if you don’t have the nerve to start all the weathering of the vehicle once again, but if you do /where did I find it!?!?/ give it a try!
It looks just like Germans overtook it from Russians, and painted their worn vehicle, just to shoot their tanks out.

So, this was the end for that project. I decided – no more experiments, or in the end I will get into some mess.
I might add that even though with wrong track width, and not well done as Bronco’s kit, Trumpeter’s Zveroboy was fun and pleasent project to do. I recommend you to give it a try, before you jump into deep waters with Bronco.
Especially when that kinda heavy weathering with many layers is ahead. You wouldn’t wanna ruin Bronco’s kit. Not that you wanna ruin Trumpeter’s one, or Easter Express, but they are cheaper.
And you can always say: “Hey, it got wrong track width. That’s why I mess it up. Just to learn.”