My models

M1A1 AIM Abrams – Part 8: Base coat, highlights, filter

M1A1_IMG_8171resSo today was the day when I put on the base coat and highlights in one go. Yesterday I was playing with the paints, trying to figure out the most realistic shade of sand yellow. After studying number of photographs and going through at least 5 different paint mixes I have decided to use the mix of Desert Yellow and Flat White as this seemed to me closest to the very light colour I can see on the photographs.

First I have put on the preshading on the lower hull, unlike the turret where I have used shade of Black, I have used mix of Black and Hull red, just to get the chromatic profile closer to the Sand yellow (it was interesting to see that with just light coat of sand yellow, the look of the same colour on the black base undercoat was very different, much cooler, than on the mix of Black and Hull red).

The base coat of sand was mixed in 1:1 ratio, adding as usual 15% of Tamiya Clear, thinning 80% with Lacquer thinner. I have applied this relatively uniformly I tried to let the preshading be still visible especially on the rear upper hull. The photographs from Iraq in mos cases show vehicles which display very little variability and contrast in their colour, so this model will need a bit of artistic license to make it appealing. nevertheless I kept the contrast relatively muted with the aim of breaking the monotonous finish via highlights.

First highlight was mixed in ratio 5:8 (Desert Yellow:White) and the second highlight 1:2.

I applied the highlights primarily on all vertical surfaces (larger areas), around the outer edges of the  vertical area of the hull (the areas which would not be underneath the turret overhang) and then along the upper edge of the side skirts. In case of side skirts I kept the contrast little higher, as this will be one of the sot prominent and visible area of the model.

Afterwards I have applied first filter. I have used AK’s OIF wash thinned with their enamel thinner. I was deciding between the AK’s wash and oil-based filter using Winsor & Newton Burnt Umber and have at the end decided for the AK’s product, primarily because the Burnt Umber-based filter seemed to have too vibrant colour. AK’s wash was much more muted, which I liked more.

I tried to build first layers of vertical streaking on the side skirts and front turret walls. After the wash has dried, I concluded that next time I can make the filter bit heavier as the effect was weaker than I had expected.

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