Skarach's world

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IS-2 build – Part 2:Assembly

I am going to be doing two of these vehicles, to feature on my Berlin diorama. Therefore, I thought it might be a good idea to build them slightly differently. For this one, I have omitted any photo etch (except in one place – the brackets on the empty fuel tank holders), relying instead on my ability to alter the plastic parts to how I wanted them. There are a few compromises in places – some of the pre-moulded parts on the engine deck are a bit clunky, but I either choose to ignore them or obscure them with bits of stowage. Many pictures of the real tank show a lot of damage, especially to the fenders and fuel tank holders – see here, here, here and here – so I decided to try that. As in a previous similar attempt, I can’t be sure that I am fully accurate in what I have done, especially for the rear of the vehicle, but, well, once it is painted and weathered it is not that important!

Changes made:

  • Replaced the kit barrel with the Aber 122mm D-25T (35L69).
  • Large parts of the fenders on both sides were removed.
  • The fuel tank holders were removed on one side and those on the other side were left empty, according to the pictures I link to above.
  • The weld seam on the turret (where the two kit pieces join) was enhanced using 0.4mm plastic rod.
  • The grab handle weld points were made less uniform by softening the plastic with thin cement and shaping with it various metal points.
  • Extra flame cut edges were added to some of the back plate.
  • Extra texturing of cast surfaces with Mr.Surfacer 1000, applied roughly with an old brush.
  • Various stowage items – either pre-made or made from green putty – were placed on the vehicle, to be tied in with further bits and pieces later on.

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IS-2 build – Part 1:Introduction

The vehicle

“The heavy tanks were designed with thick armour to counter German 88 mm guns and carried a main gun capable of defeating Panzer IV tanks. They were mainly designed as breakthrough tanks, firing a heavy high-explosive shell that was useful against entrenchments and bunkers. The IS-2 went into service in April 1944 and was used as a spearhead by the Red Army in the final stage of the Battle of Berlin.” [1]

The kit

Tamiya 1/35 kit [2].



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M4A2 Sherman

1st Mechanised Corps, Belarus, July 1944.

M4A2 Sherman build – Part 1:Introduction
M4A2 Sherman build – Part 2:Assembly
M4A2 Sherman build – Part 3:Painting
M4A2 Sherman build – Part 4:Weathering

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M4A2 Sherman build – Part 4:Weathering

  • Paint chips were simulated using Vallejo Model Color “German Camouflage Black Brown” (70822), applied with a sponge or fine brush.
  • The exhausts were painted with the various colours of the LifeColor rust set.
  • Before further weathering, a 1:2 mixture of Mr.Color “Clear Gloss” (46) and Mr.Color Leveling Thinner was sprayed over the entire model.
  • The entire model was washed with a dilute mixture of Winsor & Newton “Raw Umber” and “Lamp Black” oil paints (ratio about 5:1) in enamel thinners – the excess being cleaned up with a dry brush or cotton bud.
  • Further contrast was added using AMMO Oilbrusher “Starship Bay Sludge” and “Dark Brown”.
  • The following oil paints were added as dots to the various surfaces (the lighter colours higher up the vehicle than the darker): Abteilung 502 “Yellow”, “Olive Green”, “Neutral Grey” and Winsor & Newton “Payne’s Grey”, “Permanent Magenta”, “Transparent White” and “Raw Umber”. They were then drawn down the vertical sides with a flat brush or worked into the horizontal surfaces in a circular motion. This was to attempt an effect of paint fading and streaking.
  • To simulate dirt and dust, the horizontal sides of the hull and turret were dampened with enamel thinner and then dots of AMMO Oilbrusher “Dusty Earth”, “Dark Mud” and “Starship Filth” were added. Then, using a round brush, the oil paints were blended.
  • To simulate dirt streaks, the vertical and sloping sides of the hull and turret were dampened with enamel thinner and then dots of AMMO Oilbrusher “Dusty Earth”, “Medium Soil” and “Dust” were added. Then, using a flat brush, the oil paint was drawn down the side to simulate streaks. After drying, this process was repeated multiple times.
  • The wooden handles of the tools were brushed with AMMO Oilbrusher “Dark Brown” to simulate wood grain.
  • The entire model was sprayed with a 1:2 mixture of Mr.Color “Flat Clear” (182) and Mr.Color Leveling Thinner.
  • Wilder “Brown Russian Earth” (GP06) and “Dark European Terrain” (GP09) pigments were brushed onto the surfaces and tracks and in some places fixed with a 1:1 mixture of AMMO “Pigment Fixer” (A.MIG-3000) and enamel thinners.
  • The contact points on the tracks, idler, return rollers and sprocket wheels were brushed with with AK Interactive “Dark Steel” (AK086) pigment.
  • The machine guns and metal tools were lightly brushed with AK Interactive “Dark Steel” (AK086) pigment.
  • Abteilung 502 “Engine Grease” (ABT160) oil paint, in varying dilutions in enamel thinners and with or without Humbrol “Gloss Cote”, were added to parts of the vehicle, to simulate oil and fuel stains.

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M4A2 Sherman build – Part 3:Painting

Primer: Tamiya “Fine Surface Primer” (light grey) spray can.

Base coat:

  • A 1:2 mixture of Mr.Color “Olive Drab Shadow” (CMC03) and Mr.Color Leveling Thinner.
  • A 1:2 mixture of Mr.Color “Olive Drab(2)” (C38) and Mr.Color Leveling Thinner.


  • Rear lights: LifeColor “Matt Red” (LC06)
  • Headlights: Citadel “Runefang Steel”
  • Machine guns: LifeColor “Matt Black” (LC02)
  • Tyres: LifeColor “Tire Black” (UA733)
  • Tools: Vallejo Model Color “Black Grey” (70862), Vallejo Panzer Aces “Old Wood” (310)