Monday, December 11, 2017

Wear Value-5 or “Gee that Tank is Dirty and Overloaded!"

The world of Twilight: 2000 is a pretty devastated one. It’s grungy, dirty, full of ruins and half the pre-war population of the planet is dead. The Third World War has raged for almost 5 years in some places (the Sino-Soviet front comes to mind), and everything has been used it seems, from nukes to spears, and everything in between.

Vehicles have been a big casualty of the war. Many of them have been destroyed on the battlefield or abandoned for a lack of fuel or parts. Many other vehicles (tanks especially) simply won’t run for very long on the new alcohol fuels. Thus, the vehicles that still run are valuable indeed. They’re like horses in the Old West, to lose one is to probably doom yourself to a slow death in a man-made desert.

So, how do vehicles look in Twilight: 2000? In two words, very raggedy. Many vehicles on both sides have adopted what is called the “gypsy caravan” look. They’re simply overloaded with belongings and other gear, not to mention other than the most important of preventative maintenance, many of these vehicles haven’t received a lot of TLC since 1997. When clean water is in short supply, you can’t justify a car wash, thus many vehicles have a layer of dust, the paint is chipped and faded, and there’s even some signs of rust.

So, how does one make all this happen? Well, follow along, and we’ll discuss vehicle weathering techniques, and where to get cool stuff to put onto your vehicles.

1. Weathering:
There’s an awesome section on weathering vehicles in the back of the US Army Vehicle Guide (as well as some slick conversion ideas involving Roco minitanks). While many of the techniques are a bit dated (the modeler/wargamer has a lot more tools available today then he had thirty years ago), but, the basics of the techniques are still quite valid, and for a beginner, are pretty good places to start. A note: ALWAYS weather a vehicle AFTER you apply decals, otherwise, it’s just not going to look very natural.

A great modelling section in this book, Pic taken from Twilight:2000 wiki, IP is GDW/FFE
a. Black Wash: A black wash is the basis of any good weathering technique, it’s also great for dulling down a paint scheme, as well as unifying any scheme you put together. There are some commercial blackwashes out there, Citadel makes one, as well as Secret Weapon, but you can make it yourself with a little patience. The main thing is to get a good mixture of black paint to water together, say about 5 or 6 parts water to one part paint. 
Once you have a paint mixture ready, don’t be shy about applying it. The wash will seek its own level, so apply it and forget it, it will dry nicely and fill in the crevices and other places where natural light would be shadowed. It also dulls the paint down and does a nice job of representing all the mix of grime, dirt, and POL residue that accumulates on vehicles in the field. 
b. Dirt and Mud: Dirt and mud can be represented in quite a few different ways, amongst them is either pigment (which can be tricky but once you master it, it looks great) or a brown wash of a red-brown color (done just like the black wash, but wait till the black wash dries, otherwise, it’s just like the black wash), and follow that up with a drybrush of light brown on the leading and trailing edges of the vehicle, as well as the lower sides, anywhere where dust might accumulate. 
How do to a drybrush? Simple, get a napkin and a brush with a flathead (say a size 3 or 4 minimum, Size 6 works best for this sort of thing), take a dab of light brown paint, and then dab it vigorously against the ridges and raised surfaces of the napkin till no visible paint comes off onto the napkin, then apply to those surfaces I mentioned earlier. This part represents the dust, wet mud, and dried mud that builds up. Pigment works much the same way, but you can layer it to make it look like caked on mud if you really get good with it…I am not as good with it as I should be. You also must use pigment fixer with it (and if you aren’t careful, you can eat decals with it).
c. Faded and Chipped Paint: You’re going to see a lot of this in Twilight: 2000. Paint schemes are just not going to last forever, and 4 years of war and the breakdown of logistical networks are not going to do anyone’s paint jobs any good. A simple way to fade a paint job that looks quite natural is to simply add a bit of white to the original paintwork on the model. The more faded you want, the more white paint you add. It’s all about the mixture. Paint chipping is easy as well, get a toothpick, dab it into a bit of dark brown paint (should be almost black in color) and dab it onto the leading edges of the vehicle (fenders, weld seams, lower hulls, etc.) Do not do it too much, or it looks awful. You can also do this with rust, just use an orange brown.
2. Stowage and additional gear: All soldiers collect gear. It’s a given as you never know when it might prove useful. 3 years after the logistical chain collapses in the wake of a all-out conventional conflict? That’s only going to exacerbate matters. The fact it, by the time Twilight: 2000 rolls around, you’re going to see all kinds of contraptions and gear on a vehicle. If there’s a place to tie it down, or shove it, a soldier will toss it on. Extra rations, sandbags, extra ammo, gas cans, personal belongings, you name it, and it’s on a vehicle somewhere. But where do you find stuff suitable to toss on your vehicles?
a. Premade resin gear: There are some pretty good specialty resin stowage producers out there, such as Legend Productions and Black Dog Models. They are a more than a bit pricy, but they are awesome stuff and they paint up great. Some of them are even premade for certain kits and will fit those kits like a glove.
b. Metal accessories: S & S has a line of metal tracks and accessories in addition to the resin gear they make, and it’s rather well done, if not always perfect.
c. Model railroad gear: HO scale model railroad gear has some promising stuff, such as truck loads, or other items one can find, and make use of.
d. Spare stuff from model kits: This why you save sprues from kits, guys.
e. Home made from Greenstuff: You can make all sorts of items here, such as bedrolls, tarps, air recognition flags, sandbags, rolled up camo nets, your imagination is your only limit.
f. Scrap materials: Swizzle sticks from Starbucks, packing materials, items from toys, or some oregano and gauze, your imagination is limitless.
One technique I love to do with the Greenstuff especially is to take the greenstuff, blob it along a fender or another part of the vehicle, and then poke holes into it and make it look like a rolled up net, then paint it a dark olive drab. Voila, instant camo netting.
Or, if you want to deploy said net, drape some gauze over a part of the vehicle (make sure you don’t cover windows, muzzles, periscopes, vision blocks and the likes), then cover the gauze in white glue, and scatter oregano onto it, allow it all to dry, then shake off the excess, and paint it with a dark olive drab color. 
In short, you can get imaginative with stowage and put as little or a lot as you want onto a given vehicle, just make sure to plan it out first, before you start gluing things down.
This is an older ESCI M1 kit built and painted by Chris Steadman, it took a bit of a beating in a move and I lost a few treadlinks, so I mounted it on a plasticard base, and made it look like mud so as to hide the plasticard replacements for the tread links. I also then added a block of gear from Legend Productions over the blast doors on the rear of the turret, and made some camo netting out of oregano and gauze on the front turret facing and the main gun.

This is a cheapo MARS kit from China, and I had to make up a mounting for the .50 and the loader's MG. I then added a bunch of stowage from Legend Productions (I am very proud of the "For Beer" cooler). I also added a rolled up camo net made of gauze and then faded the 3-color CARC paint heavily, hit it with a blackwash, and drybrushed the edges with a heavy coating of light brown paint for dust.
This is an ACE BMP-2 kit, I had to use green stuff to fill in the gaps on the tread links, as there was not enough of them included with the kit..go figure. The kit was blackwashed and heavily dusted with pigment, after having Polish decals applied (the vehicle was stolen from a Soviet unit), and a pair of Soviet tankers half figures were added from RH Models. 
Here is a Mars T-72 and a Britannia BMP-1, the Britannia has a figure cast with his head poking out of the driver's hatch, it's a nice feature, but I hate to say it, it often breaks. I painted both a Soviet-ish green (though I wasn't ecstatic about the way they came out.)  but the weathering was a simple blackwash followed up by a drybrush of a light brown.
A closeup of the aforementioned Britannia BMP, note the bit of rust I put on the treads. 

A pair of LAV-25s and a pre-painted Hobby Master M113. The first LAV on the left is a repainted toy, I replaced the toy 25mm barrel with one from a rolled steel barrel from RB Models, then painted it in Taimya colors for 3-color CARC, then blackwashed and dusted the vehicle, and added some stowage from Legend Productions. The LAV in the middle is a Trumpeter kit with a rolled steel barrel from RB Models, I added more stowage from Legend Productions, then drilled and added an aerial made of airplane locking wire, and added a Confederate flag gotten from The M113 was heavily weathered, with more Legend Productions stowage added, and an MK-19 AGL added from a Twilight: 2000 figure pack. 

1 comment:

  1. Good advice-for modelers in any scale! You, too, can do that big Tamiya or Academy M-1A1 in 1/35 or DML T-72 in the same scale and give it the T2K look.


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