Building a Marine Amphibian Tank Company

Andrew's Ka-Mi Amphibious Tank Company

Building a Marine Amphibian
Tank Company

With Chris Townley

I’ve made no secret of my excitement about the Marine Amphibian Tank Company. And with Andrew making so much progress on his Ka-Mi tanks I thought I’d better get my act together and push ahead with my painting.

Luckily the LVTs are a breeze to assemble. With the hull and tracks being one piece, you are just gluing together the turrets and adding the optional hull machine-gun. A fairly relaxed afternoon saw them all assembled and undercoated.

Check out Part 1, where Chris discussed the plan for his army, here:
Chris's Marine Amphibian Tank Company...

The next problem was choosing what paint scheme I preferred. There are plenty of options and in the coming weeks I’ll have a short article talking about the most common options to choose from but in the end it came down to a grey or grey/sand scheme (like the Studio models) or a green/brown/sand scheme. The three colour scheme was just too similar to European paint schemes and nothing says the Pacific to me like tanks base coloured in grey!

Using my airbrush, I started by painting a light coat of grey over the whole model. This was to lay down a base colour for me to start highlighting up. I then applied a little more paint in certain areas such as the middle of large panels, the top surfaces, and anywhere else that I wanted a slightly lighter colour. Working over a black undercoat, I was able to use the grey as its own highlight by slightly varying the density of the paint coverage.

Chris's Marine Amphibian Tank Company
I decided that the grey alone was a little boring, so I thought I would try adding the common sand-coloured camouflage pattern to give the models a little more impact on the table. I also thought that the extra colour would mean that I did not have to do as much work to make the grey look good. So the next step was to cover the model in blu-tac.

Chris's Marine Amphibian Tank Company

In my paint collection at home, I didn’t have the Colours Of War Dry Dust or Crusader Sand that Aaron used when painting the studio models. So I improvised by grabbing a dark sand colour that I already had and sprayed it on. The blu-tac worked as planned, leaving me with nice hard edges between the grey and sand but I was not particularly happy with the colour as the studio models just looked better.

Chris's Marine Amphibian Tank Company

Looking at the images now as I write the article I find myself in two minds:
  • I quite like the plain grey, and it is a valid historical paint scheme, so I could just stick with that approach (saving me some painting time!);
  • Or I could “borrow” the studio paints for an evening and go with the grey/sand scheme.

I think will mull this over a little more and in the next few days make a final decision – the more I think about it, the longer it will take to finish them and get an army on the table. Plus, I still have M1 Abrams and AH-1 Cobras on the painting table that need some attention!

~ Chris