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JS-2M (early)

Unknown unit, Soviet Union, 1951?

JS-2M (early) build – Part 1:Introduction
JS-2M (early) build – Part 2:Assembly
JS-2M (early) build – Part 3:Painting
JS-2M (early) build – Part 4:Weathering (rust)
JS-2M (early) build – Part 5:Weathering (chipping)
JS-2M (early) build – Part 6:Weathering (wash)
JS-2M (early) build – Part 7:Weathering (streaks)
JS-2M (early) build – Part 8:Tracks
JS-2M (early) build – Part 9:Weathering (dust, dirt, oil and fuel stains, pigment effects)

As tanks go I really like the look of the JS-2. It is a very imposing vehicle. The Tamiya kit is in my stash, ready for the day when I feel brave enough to make the alterations to it for a battered 1945 bruiser! I reckon this was quite an important model for me to finish. It’s not my best – there are one or two build and finishing issues. However, as I was doing this I was having a mini crisis of confidence in modelling terms, especially with spray painting. The AMMO paint I used here at least sprayed very smoothly. I just need to be a bit more convinced about the robustness of it – or modify certain of my weathering techniques. I think that I can do that so I am sure I will use them again. However, I am also going to try some lacquer paints with some new found techniques – Tamiya, which I have used extensively and Mr.Color also.

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JS-2M (early) build – Part 9:Weathering (dust, dirt, oil and fuel stains, pigment effects)

  • A 1:1 mixture of Tamiya Acrylic XF-57 “Buff” and Tamiya Acrylic XF-52 “Flat Earth” in Tamiya X-20A thinner (10% paint mixture in thinner) was sprayed on the lower half of the hull, the suspension, wheels and selective parts of the upper hull.
  • The lower hull sides were quite heavily covered in a mixture of darker pigments, which were then fixed in placed using AMMO pigment fixer applied carefully with a brush. The wheels, front and back of the lower hull and select parts of the upper hull and turret were brushed with the same pigments. These were then fixed in place using enamel thinners either using a brush or airbrush.
  • The turret machine gun, steel wheels and tow cable were treated with AK Interactive “Dark Steel” (AK086).
  • Soot from the exhausts was simulated using Tamiya “Soot” weathering powder and Vallejo “Carbon Black” (73116) pigment.
  • Oil stains on the wheels were done using AMMO “Fresh Engine Oil” (A.MIG-1408) in various dilutions in white spirit.
  • Fuel stains on the hull and fuel tanks were done using AMMO “Fuel Stains” (A.MIG-1409) in various dilutions in white spirit.
  • Various liquid stains on the hull and turret were simulated using dilute mixtures of the above AMMO stain mixtures, flicked from the end of a brush.

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JS-2M (early) build – Part 8:Tracks

  • The Friulmodel tracks (ATL-34) were joined using Albion Alloys’ 0.5 mm diameter brass rod (BW05).
  • Blackened with AMMO “Burnishing Fluid” (A.MIG-2020). As usual, this type of liquid in large part avoided the deepest recesses of the tracks, necessitating scrubbing it in with a toothbrush.
  • Washed with a dilute mixture of Winsor & Newton “Burnt Umber”, “Raw Umber” and “Burnt Sienna” in white spirit.
  • Sprayed with a mixture of Tamiya Acrylic XF-52 “Flat Earth” in Tamiya X-20A thinner (10% paint mixture in thinner).
  • AK Interactive “Light Rust Wash” (AK046) was flicked from a brush to produce a rust spots “speckled” effect.
  • A mixture of dark pigments was brushed on both sides of the tracks, following by light fixing with enamel thinner. Once dry, the excess was tapped off.
  • Those sections of the inner track in contact with the road wheels and the highest points of the outer track were given a bare metal effect using a 2B pencil.

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JS-2M (early) build – Part 7:Weathering (streaks)

As this is a post war vehicle I decided to go easy on the wear and tear and overall grime. A more prosaic reason is that, based on what happened already, I did not want to overly stress the paint. Thus, streaks of AMMO “Streaking Grime” (A.MIG-1203) and AK Interactive “Rust Streaks” (AK013) were painted on the vertical and sloping surfaces, later blended in with enamel thinner.


JS-2M (early) build – Part 6:Weathering (wash)

  • I started out by using my standard wash for green vehicles – AMMO “Dark Brown Wash for Green Vehicles wash” (A.MIG-1005) – on one of the lower sides. However, after leaving for 15 minutes or so, clean up with a brush dampened with enamel thinner acted as a very effective paint stripper in one or two places. I have never had this happen before. Perhaps thinning the primer I used created a less than usually stable platform for subsequent layers? Otherwise, the only other explanation I can come up with is that in the most inaccessible places the paint was insufficiently protected with  varnish. However, I was under the impression that AMMO acrylics paints dried with a satin sheen, already protecting them for future treatment with enamel mixtures. Although I like the colours available in the AMMO range, and the convenience of spraying directly from bottle, I will likely have to evaluate them further before committing to use them on a future project, as I cannot allow the possibility of this happening again. Whatever the reason, I was not going to risk this happening elsewhere on more visible regions. Thus, I prepared a dilute mixture of Winsor & Newton “Burnt Umber” in enamel thinner and applied that to the vehicle. I was very tender in cleaning up any overspill and left the model to dry for 24 hours.
  • What did work well was my first use of an AMMO oilbrusher (“Olive Green”, A.MIG-3505). I just used the brush on certain high points on the horizontal and back surface of the hull and turret, followed by “polishing” with ear bud. I am not sure if you will see this exactly described in any modelling book (I guess it is a type of paint fading?), but I tend to do this with single colour vehicles to create some colour variation. Perhaps the effect looks a bit stark right now, but it will be toned down subsequently. Anyway, these oil brushers are nice and will find more use with me in the future.