Kleine Panzerbefehlswagen I – Part 5: Painting tires

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Just a short post on painting the wheel tires. Panzer I is one of those vehicles, where painting the wheels is difficult for two reasons – they are just too small in 1/35 scale and because of the design of the running gear, wheels have to be assembled with the other parts composing running gear and are partly covered by it.

For most of the tanks I use stencils to paint the wheels, which of course is not possible here. So this is how I did it: instead of using paint and brushing or airbrushing it, I used modification of the wash technique.

I have mixed heavy wash from the black oil paint thinned with enamel thinner (I have used AK interactive odorless thinner). It has to be thin enough so that it flows on the surface of the models and at the same time thick enough so that the paint in the wash actually covers the surface (i.e. is not transparent). With this mix you just need to gently apply it by brush along the edges of the wheels and let the capillary action of the enamel (or oil) thinner, spread along the edge with the metal part of the wheel. This way you can have a nice delineation between wheel and tire, without the need to carefully paint it. The coverage by the oil wash may not be 100%, but I view this more as an advantage – excessive contrast between tires and wheels is in my opinion one of common modeling mistakes. It is quite noticeable in case of vehicles with German yellow base color. In reality, due to scale effect, this contrast should be toned down either by painting or subsequent weathering techniques.

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