I must admit that I usually approach this step with trepidation! In my own mind I am still not altogether confident with dirt and mud effects. Having taken a decent amount of effort to get a model to this stage, it is a bit of a leap of faith to take a finish I am happy with and coat it with various pigments, mixtures and even real dirt. But, tanks – especially this early one – mostly have plenty of dirt on them, so there is no skipping this step. In this case, I wanted a decently messy appearance, without being overwhelmingly muddy. So, here goes …
- 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 over the entire vehicle – this to “unify” the previous effects.
- A 1:1 mixture of Tamiya Acrylic XF-57 “Buff” and Tamiya Acrylic XF-52 “Flat Earth” in water (10% paint mixture in water) was drawn in thin vertical lines repeatedly down the select vertical and sloping sides of the vehicle, sometimes, blended in with a cotton bud or dry brush. The aim here was to simulate rain marks.
- A mixture of darker colour pigments was dusted in select places on the horizontal and lower vertical surfaces and the tracks. Application of enamel thinner with a brush fixed them loosely in place. This was meant to represent dust and fine dried mud.
- Various AMMO Splashes mixtures – “Dry Steppe” (A.MIG-1751), “Wet Ground” (A.MIG-1755), “Damp Earth” (A.MIG-1754) – were flicked from a brush onto parts of the vertical and undersides. In many places, once dry, the mixtures were reduced in scope with the use of a stiff brush.
- To represent fresher (darker) mud, AMMO “Wet Mud” Heavy Mud mixture (A.MIG-1705) and AMMO “Fresh Mud” nature effects (A.MIG-1402) were used – particularly around the lower parts of the hull closest to the tracks.
- Finally, real sieved dirt was piled in places on the horizontal surfaces and fixed with the careful application of AK Interactive “Sand and Gravel Fixed” (AK118). Once dry, any glossy areas, left by the fixer, were attended to.