Painting the Rubicon Models Panzer III

Painting the Rubicon Models Panzer III, has been pretty easy, the model it’s self was a pleasure to put together and painting is no different.

undercoat on Rubicon Models Panzer III

I am going to go through the process I use to paint tanks and some other larger models, I do use a Modulation Style to begin with.  Then I will get into the details.

While I had the first part of this written and posted, there was a problem with the site on Tuesday this week.  One of the plugin’s failed to update correctly, and I had to roll back to the last backup.  I thought I had done the backup after I published the last post, but that was not the case, it was just before. Here I am again re-writing the same post, but this time I am going to add more detail on how I do things.

I have said before that this is a great kit, you can see that Kit put together here, In that article I go through the construction, it really was painless and I will be getting more kits from Rubicon Models.


Before I start on the Modulation part, I will talk about preparing the model.

German Panzer Grey Surface Primer
Worn Effect’s Chipping Fluid By AK Interactive

I use a Black primer, followed by a German Grey surface primer.  The Surface primer is from Vallejo, a little goes a very long way, though an Airbrush. Then I apply Chipping fluid or Worn Effects on the tank, this takes a bit of time, as it really needs around 3 coats of the worn effects to really work well.  And they must completely dry before applying any paint.  It only takes over night to dry. I applied all coats through my airbrush, and let it dry over night.   The Chipping fluid I use is from AK Interactive.

Modulation looks to enhance a model by applying gradations of colour to give it more depth. This is particularly useful when painting vehicles that were finished in a uniform colour. Hence my use of it on DAK tanks, I am still working on the idea of it, I have yet to perfect it, I am not working dark towards the rear like a lot of modelers do, I am looking to give more of a natural look.  I use a little zenithal lighting on these models as well. Of course these are not realistic nor do they attempt to be, they are more to make the model Pop.

The Paints I use are a mixture from AK Interactive and Ammo of Mig Jimenez,

Modulation Paint gradients

a big shout out to the guys at Ammo of Mig, because I ordered paints before Thanksgiving and they arrived the day after, I did not expect those two paints until this week.  I used away too much of the dark base colour, but still it is a great paint, and could be used with a brush instead of with an Airbrush.  The Paints above are in the order that I used them. Shadow, Dark Base, Base, Light base, Highlight and Shine.

Starting with the Shadow, I only applied this to the deep recess and some area’s where there will be a shadow.

This colour only just shows up on the grey back ground but that is fine as the now I will start to layer out the colour’s and get some good depth for the colour to build on.




The Dark base is next, This took a lot longer as I tend to work in very light coats building up the colour over many passes, I do this as I don’t want to accidentally chip the paint early.








The Base colour over the top of this I again work on very light passes slowly building up colour, and more importantly leaving some of the dark base to come through, allowing for the transition from one colour to the next.  The graduation line is very faint, as I get better at doing this I am finding it easier to control where my points of graduation are, I am still very new to this style, only 3 Tanks and 3 Gun teams in.











I had to change some of my lighting the photo light box as it was just a little dark (this is another thing I am working on…)

The lightbase is a big change in colour, I would almost prefer if there was a colour in-between, I am sure there is, I just don’t have it yet, it is something I will have to look at.

The Highlight colour is not far from the light base, it shows quite nicely, by now I am working on very small area’s of the tank getting ready for the last two colours to be applied.

The final Stretch the shine, this is very white colour, I didn’t want to use too much for fear that it might wash out the tank too much.








It is time-consuming, but possibly one of the more rewarding ways to get depth of colour I have found.  It might look a little Cartoony but that is fine, now it really pop’s and that is what I want before I start to weather and manipulate the paint to something more.


I like to weather all my tanks, after all War is not clean, I like to give each piece it’s own character and it’s own personality on this tank I am going for some thing that has seen action, dusty and in good rear, but the paint work has faded and chip, and looks like the crew need to re-apply the paint.


Chipping the paint with chipping fluid is really easy, you just wet down the paint and use something hard to chip bits of paint off, I use a tooth pick and a brass wire brush, something hard but not too hard.  I work on areas that will see ware, where a person would normally put a hand or a foot, something the might be opened a lot or handled that might see rocks hitting the paint, thrown up from tracks, or other vehicles, maybe where the tank has scrapped some rocks or something of that sort.









The chipping came out great, I didn’t have to apply more paint to any part of the tank, I am really happy with the look.


I apply the decals now, before I apply any wash’s, filters, or inks.  The simple reason is that I want to whether them at the same time as I weather the tank, I also want to chip them a little as well. wear them like the rest of the paint work. Afterall they were painted on in WW2.









With all decals I use either Mr. Mark or MicroSol and MicroSet.  On this tank I used the latter as I have not found any Mr. Mark in stores here.  So now that Decals are applied I really start the weathering process.



I use filters to adjust the colours of the tank, here I only used two, these are old filters from Mig Productions.  but they do a good job in toning down the colours and blending them further together








The First Filter is a Brown for Desert Yellow, the 2nd is a Grey for dark yellow, I use them both as I like the look it gives as I build up layers of age and further tone down the modulation.  I have also painted the tracks, and added in a little pin washing to the tank.  The tracks I just paint Panzer Grey and then go over with a Track Wash.  I only pin washed a very small amount of tank, for that I used CGR Painters Magic Mudd in Brown.






I now have to put an Isolation coat of matt finish on here so I don’t start to rub through the filters and so the next paints stick with out any problems.

Tools and Details

I now start to paint the tools, the road wheels, etc.










I also correct any problems with the paint that I may have caused.


Time for the weathering show to really get started.  Time to start with rust. Metals rust for a number of reasons, mainly because of water.  In the desert there is a real lack of water, so other things that can cause rust, are heat, and poor metals.  So I use Rust pin washes around some of the hinges on the engine deck, some of the cables where heat has affected them and the muffler.



Muddy streaking is added, this would be where the crew would sweat, touch a tank with sweaty dirty hands and cloths.  As well as spill water or other fluids on to the tanks.  Also being in the desert it does get cold a night, so there will be some condensation, this will again cause a little rust but also the grim to move from the water forming on the surface.

Earth pigments add a layer of dust and more grim to the tank, applied where dust would settle on a vehicle.  Using some Fixing fluid I also applied some greasy patches to the road wheels where grease would mix with dirt.  If you have seen farm vehicles you would know of that black/brown mess you can get on greased joints.

































I also tried out a new product for me at this point.  It is the Natural Effects North Africa Dust, by Ammo of Mig.  The effect this gives is really light sandy dust, I was really happy with the effect, and I would like to use this more, and test out different effects that I could achive with this.









I applied two very light coats and also did a little more chipping on the lights.  The over tank is now finished.  it was a pleasure to paint this tank and really didn’t take that long from start to finish.









I am really happy with the overall look of the tank.  It is the look I was after and I can’t wait to get this Panzer on to a table to for a game of Bolt Action or Chain of Command or ever the upcoming Kickstarter game WWII Assault – Tactical skirmish Combat.

I would recommend anybody to the Rubicon Models tanks, you can find them Here.  As well as any products I have mention above, they are great products from and we have access to so many more.

What is on the Painting Table

I have to finish off some 1/600 marines, well the air part of the task force, I have all the bases now, so I guess I have to get to work.

I also have on the table some drop Zone commander: Resistance.

But I do have a pressing matter, it is with Bane of war, I am not sure what Early war force to take, have a look at the poll below give me your thought, the winner is what i will build for Bane of War in Jan.

[poll id=”2″]
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Floppy has been playing wargames poorly for over 20 years. A founding member of the Monday Knights.

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