I started out by spraying 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) on the tracks and lowest parts of the hull. This was mostly to “dampen down” any remaining solvents from the preceding washes and streaking effects, so as to give a better grip for pigments.
All the evidence points to the Western Front being particularly muddy at certain times and in certain places. Thus, I thought I would try to achieve more pronounced mud effects. Also, I have just recently seen the film Fury and in the midst of the chaos of battle I spotted how muddy their Sherman was and that was somewhat of an inspiration to me too! I first applied a “medium color” mix of pigments dry with a large brush, chiefly to the tracks, lower parts of the vertical sides and around select parts of the top of the vehicle. This was fixed with Tamiya X-20A thinner using a brush and relying upon capillary movement of the liquid to soak up the pigments. Next, a slurry of the same pigment mix and Tamiya thinner was selectively flicked onto the vehicle. Once dry, I hoped that this pigment mix would give the impression of the driest mud.
Next, I roughly repeated the process, but using a “dark colour” pigment mix. This time, as I wanted to build up a more substantial layer of fresher (darker colour) mud I used AK Interactive “Pigment Fixer” (AK048) in place of Tamiya thinner. This process took a few passes before I was happy with it. I tried to concentrate the darkest pigment on the tracks, lower parts of sides and parts of the top nearest to the tracks. The pigment fixer extended beyond the pigment in places, leaving a solvent front or “leading edge”. Ordinarily this would be an issue but in this case I reckoned it looked approximately like water or other liquid stains, so I left it as it was. Indeed, I used AK Interactive “Engine Oil” (AK084), diluted in white spirit, to apply more stain effects over the dried pigments.
Naturally, this would look even more pronounced on a green coloured tank. These Mk IVs tend to come in brown colours. Perhaps I will have to try it on a “Fury” tank – the M4A3E8.
The only thing missing I suppose is the very wettest, freshest mud. I have not attempted that here and will have to be tried another time.
This has been my most extensive use of pigments thus far. I like them more and more. Saying that, I will have to redo my mixes after this. In particular, the dark mix has traces of larger particles in it, which must have come from a less refined pigment jar than the others. I have my suspicions which one it is, so will no doubt be avoiding that vendor in the future!