Basic Tank Painting Guide


For this basic painting guide I’ll show you how to paint tanks. This method varies depending on what I am painting, but the basics are the same.

Panzer IV G
Primed tank 1

First I clean the tank up, glue it together (see preparing your miniatures), and then undercoat it with a thinned coat of matt black.


I then paint the base colour on the tank. For this I choose between two methods, if I want a clean look to my tank I block paint the base colour, much the same as I did with the gun I painted (see Part 2). As before paint all the surfaces leaving crevices etc black.

Basecoated tank
Wetbrushed base coat on Cromwell CS Alternatively I wet brush the base coat on. This is like dry brushing, load your brush (usually a flat head brush about 5mm wide) with paint, and then brush your brush across some scrap/newspaper once or twice. Now brush your coat on, because the brush is not fully loaded the painted will not run into the cracks and seams. I use Vallejo paints so this works fine, but some other paints don’t work as well when using them like this, so experiment first before attacking your nice new tank. I usually use this method for tanks in darker colours.

The first coat is the only variation I use. The next step is to dry brush the highlight base coat, use the second method above with a lighter shade of the first coat, but wipe the brush 3 or 4 times instead.
Base coat on tracks 4

Now the messy parts are finished it is time to paint the tracks. I first paint the tracks a rusty red (I use Vallejo Mahogany Brown) using the block method.

Mix up some black wash, for this add 75% water/thinner to 25% black paint and paint this over the tracks.
Tracks with black wash
Steel Drybrush 6

Finally dry brush steel over the raised surfaces to bring out the detail.

Now it is time to add the detail. Paint the tyres, tools etc. Paint them their basic colours using the block method then highlight them the same way.

Tank Crew 8

Paint any crew hanging out of the turret (see part 1).

Finally paint or add decals of any markings, then once dry vanish with matt varnish.
Markings and details
Panzer IV G

Next time we will look at how to incorporate camo painting into this method.

~ Wayne.