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I'm staring at my 6 Leman Russ and I kind of think that if I washed them with a bit of black it would add to the worn look on them, so I'm thinking about doing it. I'm going to wait until I have done the white squad markings but I have no idea how to go about it... water and a tank brush? Should I grab a spray bottle and mix the ink and water and then spray the tanks down?
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i would brush it into some of the recesses and on some of the flat surfaces on the sides spray it and drag the brush down afterwards to show the dirt, grim and rust running down the tank.
May the "Nurgley Goodness" protect you!
Two main recommendations for tank washes - one, use thinned down Artist's oils - they tend to give a much more subtle finish. And two: don't just use black, no matter what paints you use. You're looking for a 'sludge wash', because no battlefield is just black and nothing else - use browns, maybe a hint of blue and/or yellow, and a bit of black to darken it.
Do an overall coat just to get the general grime established, then start looking at specifics. Run a darker wash around the edges of panels and areas with lots of details that could use a bit more emphasis. Mix up a brown/amber wash to serve as oil and lay it down near leaky joints and bearings. A paler version can be spilled gas near filler caps and fuel drums...
You're trying to replicate real details, so just think about what sort of filth might accumulate on your model and try to mix up washes accordingly.
Use equal parts or Johnsons Klear floor polish, ink and water to wash tanks with. Adding the floor polish stops tide marks forming and helps reduce the surface tension of the ink. For a Catachan green tank for example use a mix of brown and black ink.
Applying a gloss varnish coat before an oil paint wash alows you to move it around with a clean brush dampened with thinners. Capilliary action can cause Oil washes to run into crevices and pannel lines leaving the flat pannels free from ink and tide marks.
The Forgeworld painting book has good articles on painting tanks as do modelling magazines like Military Modelcraft etc.
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