USMC Vehicle Painting

Given the name of this journal is “NanoTanks” it is probably time for some tanks. My current build is an ultra-modern force for Hind Commander. Hind Commander is a miniature game focusing on helicopters. The particular force im building is mainly made up of USMC units with some attached USAF ELEMENTS. The E-8C build from earlier entries is just such a unit. The following vehicles are all 3mm scale and from Oddział Ósmy, via PicoArmor.

The colours will be familiar to anyone who has watched a news bulletin in the last decade: namely everything is a greyish tan. Now, none of my current collection of colours really looked right. I didn’t really want to mix anything as I will most likely add to this force and I will struggle to get everything to match up.

One of my favorite manufacturers is AK Interactive. AK manufacture a range of paints and weathering products aimed at the scale modeller rather than miniature wargamer. However, as other entries has noted, there is alot we can learn and borrow from these characters. After all, what they are trying to do is not so different. Back on topic AK make an acrylic paint that is meant to match precisely the paint used in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Now, while the operation names are awful, this is still the exact colour we are looking for; it’s AK 122 for those who are painting along with this blog.

This paint is airbrush ready and I sprayed it onto the miniatures ontop of a pure white primer coat. No pictures sorry, the camera battery needed charging, and I was keen to sit down and do the next step.

The next step was a wash to bring out the details. O8 have done a wonderful job with these miniatures, particularly when you consider the scale. I used another AK product here: Dark Brown wash (AK 045). Now AK have a specific wash for the ultra-modern US vehicles, but I’m not sure I need any more brown/black washes so I just went with the one I had. I mixed it 50-50 with white spirits and applied it lightly. The AK washes are enamel so they need to be thinned with white spirits rather than water. They are also a little stinky and require turpentine or something similar to clean the brushes. The reason I like the enamels is you have a long while to work with them. The curing time is about 24 hours as opposed to a couple for acrylics. This means there is no rush to get them on, you can apply them slowly without worrying about lines and gaps. It is also very easy to remove any excess with a brush or paper towel. I’ll put a couple of pictures now to prevent this just becoming a wall of text.


After washing two rounds of dry brushing were done. The first was with the base coat (AK 122); finally this was mixed with ivory (VMC 70819) and the resulting colour was used for a very light dry brush just to bring out some of the really sharp edges. After the drybrushing I painted the wheels, windows and small gun barrels with a very dark grey mix (equal parts black and German Grey – VMC 70950 & VMC 70995). After that it’s all done, the following pictures show some individual vehicles (M1A1, LVTP-7, LAV-25 and LMTV) and then the whole 20 on my painting rack. To give a sense of scale the LAV-25s and LMTVs are attached to toothpicks and the others to cut down bamboo skewers.



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