The M113 Part 2

When we last left, our hot dog-fingered protagonist was trying to super glue tiny metal shavings onto a hunk of plastic.  Did he succeed? What is he doing now?  What’s the next step?  Stay tuned to find out!

Most of the photo etch in place, I gave everything a coat of primer through the airbrush.  For most models, I get away with careful application of spray paint primer.  However, I didn’t want to lose any of the PE details with a thick rattle can coat. 

Quick Tip: These rubber tracks can be hard to make look good. I used super glue and tweezers to make it look like the treads are resting on the road wheels.

I used white Vallejo Surface Primer to lay a smooth coat through the airbrush.  I’ve heard that it can be used right out of the bottle without thinning, but I had no such luck.  It was spraying chunkier than my dog after a trashcan raid, so I cut it with some Vallejo airbrush cleaner until it had a milky viscosity; whole, not 2%.  I applied two or three coats to most areas.  I’ll need to mess around with this primer some more to get better performance out of it. 

I gave the primer 8 hours to fully cure.  Less time might have been fine, but it was bedtime anyway.  I painted the interior details and glued them all in place.  For excellent adhesion, sand the paint off contact points before gluing.  Otherwise, you are just gluing one thin paint layer to another. 

I’ll add some stowage inside, but it’s mostly done.

Next, I gave the outside of the vehicle a coat of olive green.  I have entirely too many shades of olive green.  Most will probably dry out before I can use them.  I’ve been moving towards mixing my own colors when I can.  This saves money on slight shade variants and dried out paints. 

I forgot which one I used.

I mixed in a little white with the green and applied highlights to the top surfaces of the M113.  It’s subtle but should represent a sun-faded look.  I used a light hand with the airbrush and several thin layers to make sure I didn’t over do the effect.  When in doubt, start with only a little white in the mix and add to it to increase the effect.  I ended up with a 3:1 green to white ratio. 

Everything got a rattle can matte clear coat to seal up the paint.  Unfortunately, I applied the clearcoat too early and ended up with some crackle effect in places.  This could be sanded down and repainted, but I’m going to keep pushing forward.  The base coats appeared dry to the look and touch but hadn’t fully cured.  Spray paint clear coats have done this to me in the past, so if you use them beware wet paint. 

Another overnight dry and I was ready to apply decals.  This vehicle will be part of a post-apocalypse setting (surprising, right?) and will have seen some wear and tear.  It’s been graffitied and banged up, so I added some of the original Army markings alongside a few newer ones.  Once those had fully dried, I added another clearcoat. 

This vehicle got some significant chipping by using a sponge to apply a highly whitened base coat to edges and corners.  I also added scratches by applying the light green with a thin brush.  With that same thin brush, I painted over most of the chips with a black/gunmetal mix that I use for dark steel.  It gives the effect of a 3-dimensional chip despite being the exact opposite.

Next will come washes and streaking.  For now, I’ve pivoted to working on the base.  The scene will take place on an old desert road.  I’m using corkboard for the asphalt and Sculptamold for the ground.  I 3-d printed some cactus as well. 

I didn’t really know where I was going with this build when I started it.  Luckily, I think I’ve found the thread now.  Stick around for the next post, where I should have most of the terrain done.  Thanks for stopping by.  Let me know what you think!

4 thoughts on “The M113 Part 2

  1. The paint chipping is absolutely spot on. Well done! I’m also a fan of the attention to small details that might otherwise go a bit overlooked, like having the tread resting between the road wheels and the subtle blend of the sun-bleached paint.

    Any stories behind the choices of graffiti? Just curious!


    1. Thanks for the kind words! The graffiti on the driver’s side is a decal with no special meaning. I just liked the juxtaposition of a military vehicle degraded with spray paint. The bango skank graffito is for the viewer to decipher. The mistreatment of the vehicle will hopefully make more sense as the diorama comes together.


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