Skarach's world

BTR-80 build – Part 3:Painting


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

Basecoat:  A mixture of 90% Tamiya XF-67 “NATO Green” and 10% Tamiya X-22 Clear in Tamiya lacquer thinner (2:1 paint mixture to thinner).

Highlight coat: A mixture of 90% Tamiya acrylics (XF-67 “NATO Green” and XF-57 “Buff” in a 9:1 ratio) and 10% Tamiya X-22 Clear in Tamiya lacquer thinner (2:1 paint mixture to thinner) was sprayed on the upper top and sides of the vehicle, the turret and sides of the wheels, leaving the slightly darker basecoat predominately in the wheel wells and underside.


  • Tyres: Tamiya XF-85 “Rubber Black”
  • Tools (handles): Vallejo Panzer Aces “Old Wood” 310
  • Tools: Vallejo Model Color “Black Grey” 70862 or Vallejo Model Color “Black” 70950
  • Headlights and other lights: Citadel “Mithril Silver” or Vallejo Model Color “Light Orange” 70911
  • Mirrors: Citadel “Mithril Silver”
  • Periscopes: Vallejo Panzer Aces “Periscopes” 309, followed by Humbrol Clear gloss varnish.
  • Turret guns: Vallejo Model Color “Black” 70950
  • Turret smoke grenade discharger covers: Vallejo Model Color “Black” 70950

I am not satisfied with how I handle periscopes – I always seem to reach for the same colour. I am going to investigate painting the clear plastic parts with one of the Tamiya clear paints or AMMO “Crystal Colours”, before attaching them and subsequently masking them for the later paint stages. Using these paints on the primed and painted (with the suggested silver colour) clear part has not yielded satisfactory results. At least I have left off the back lights and front light lenses to be painted separately (as appropriate) at a later stage.

The paint was protected with layers of Quick Shine Floor Finish and decals applied. Citadel Purity Seal satin varnish was then sprayed on.

3 thoughts on “BTR-80 build – Part 3:Painting

  1. For the periscopes and head/tail lights the common technique is to first paint em in a metallic color and afterwards use tamiya/gunze clear colors.
    i tend to go for a whatever the real color + tamiya smoke (which is a clear dark blueish black) mix. if there is a relief around the periscope it’s most helpful because then it’s easier to paint, ie. use the capillary action to fill the entire section instead of painting with strokes.
    Then again in real life these parts are not painted especially the periscopes – they have some sort of a film coating like the ones on camera back displays to make em visible under sunlight and they do distort the light to different tints according to the viewers angle!
    tl.dr: painting them of a single tone would yield an unrealistic result no matter the color… best way is to acquire an iridescent film somehow and cover the section with it.

    why all this hassle for couple of mm. wide parts is another discussion of course….! 😀

    • Thanks – some awesome advice for sure and I will try this at the next appropriate model. I like to try new techniques when I can (or am brave enough to!)

  2. Pingback: BTR-80 | Skarach's world

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