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Studio Ausbildings Company: Part Three

Studio Ausbildings Company: Part Three
Panther Ausbildungs And King Tiger Platoon
with Mike Haycock, James Brown, Blake Coster, and Casey Davies

In part three of this series of articles looking at Battlefront Studio's Ausbilding Company, we present the Panther Ausbildungs Platoon.

Studio Ausbildings Company: Part One here...
Read Studio Ausbildungs Company Part Two here...

Studio Ausbildings Company: Part Three

Mike Haycock: Panther A

My tank was a Panther A, this was a tank that stopped being produced from July 1944 as production shifted to the Panther G. So the story I made up for my tank was that it had been badly damaged on the front line then shipped back to Germany to be factory repaired. Then it was sent to the tank training school rather then back to the front line.
 So the look I wanted to get was an old and battered tank that had seen better days. The painting plan was to give it an early 1944 “normal” camo look but then to fade and dirty it up. Plus give it a battered look by adding some shell marks.

So I assembled it but did not put mudguards or schurzen as I did not think those would still be on the tank after it’s use as a training tank. Plus I carved all the tools and equipment off the model as I also did not think they would be on an old training tank. Then I carved one large section of the Zimmerit off as battle damage and used a dremel to gouge some shell marks into the hull and turret.

Studio Ausbildings Company: Part Three

Next ask I have had very little experience with an air brush I got Chris to put basic camo paint on for me. Next stage was to dirty it up. For this I used “AK interactive” dark yellow enamel wash. Normally I gloss vanish before using this so that it only goes into the detail but in this case I put it straight on as a general wash which certainly dirtied the tank up. When I put the decals on I also dark washed over them so they were mostly concealed. 

Studio Ausbildings Company: Part Three
Overall I really liked the look of it in the end and as a mostly social painter I was happy with the final result.

~ Mike.
James Brown: Panther A
When the Ausbildungs painting project was first discussed, I was immediately intrigued by the idea of spending 12 hours on a single tank model. It seemed like a great opportunity to try something a bit special. And because one of the objectives of the project was to showcase the technical and visual diversity of an Ausbildungs company, one thing I knew straight away was that I would like to attempt a tricky camouflage pattern. The distinctive and complex ‘Disc’ scheme seemed like a suitably challenging undertaking.

Studio Ausbildings Company: Part Three
Blake’s excellent four-part article Hinterhalt: The Art of Panther Camouflage (/hobby.aspx?art_id=3318) was an indispensible resource, giving me all the detail I needed to understand this scheme and attempt to depict it accurately. Blake also gives a couple of clever suggestions for painting 'Disc' camo. However, as usual, I’m not satisfied following good advice if I can instead invent a more arduous approach of my own!

My method was conceptually simple, albeit time-consuming. The easy part was airbrushing the soft-edged Olivgrün (olive green) and Rotbraun (red brown) patches over the Dunkelgelb (dark yellow) base. The final step, which gives the scheme its distinctive look, is a second application of Dunkelgelb, sprayed through a mask made up of a pattern of circles of differing sizes, joined at the edges (in the real world, this stencil was made of a number of metal discs welded together).
Studio Ausbildings Company: Part Three
Rather than drive myself crazy attempting such an intricate masking job at such a small scale, I decided to carefully hand-paint the gaps between the stenciled discs. It took time and patience to keep the right ‘circular’ look to the pattern. But I think it was the right approach - for me, at least - to reproducing the ‘Disc’ scheme in this scale, and I’m fairly satisfied with the result. Just please don’t ask me to paint a whole army the same way!

~ James.
Blake Coster: Panther G
With James deciding to paint his Panther using the ‘Disc’ scheme, I decided to paint my Panther G (Late) using the Daimler-Benz Ambush scheme. See Hinterhalt: The Art of Panther Camouflage - Part One here for more information.  Along with Mike’s standard three-colour camouflage Panther A, between the three of us we’d have three Panthers very distinctive looking Panthers for the Ausbilding Company.
Studio Ausbildings Company: Part Three
After assembling my Panther G (Late) and priming the model, I applied the base colour of Dark Yellow to the Panther. Next, I applied interlocking camouflage patches of Olive Green and Red Brown with the airbrush over the entire vehicle.

Once this stage was complete, it was time to add the contrasting dots. The key thing to remember here was the dots on the exposed Dark Yellow patches needed to be Olive Green and Dark Yellow on the camouflage patches of Olive Green and Red Brown.

Studio Ausbildings Company: Part Three
After applying a careful pin-wash to the details on the Panther, I painted the all the details such as the tools, road wheels, tracks and the commander figure. I finished things up be applying some decals including my favourite red numbers outlined in white and the task was complete.

Ironically, the drying time proved to be the most time consuming aspect of the whole process. But painting with a bunch of other people allows for some interaction during these times and helps past the time until it was ready to begin the next stage.

~ Blake.
Studio Ausbildings Company: Part Three

Casey Davies: Königstiger (Porsche)
Overall I was quite happy with how the day went. I ended up painting solidly from 1pm until I broke at 10:30 pm, minus the hour for dinner of course. I didn’t manage to get my tank finished in that time though, and I probably spent an additional 3 hours afterwards finishing it, so the whole tank probably took me about 12 hours to paint, just not in one day.

The main reason it took so long was I was using some time consuming techniques. After Airbrushing the basecoat I masked off parts of the tank with bluetack before airbrushing on the brown. This was trickier than I first thought, as to ensure a hard edge to the paint I had to get a sculpting tool and push the bluetack into place.

Studio Ausbildings Company: Part Three

I’ve been really getting into using enamel washes lately, so the main time sink was rust streaking and dirtying up the tracks. The washes work really well, however they take a bit of time to get right and need drying time between each layer.

Studio Ausbildings Company: Part Three
The only frustrating part of the whole process happened before we even started. A couple of days before the event I was undercoating the hull and accidentally dropped it onto the concrete floor. The model was relatively unscathed except for a massive chip off the corner of the rear deck which I fixed by sculpting a tarp over the corner. Unfortunately I didn’t notice that the notek light off the front of the hull broken off as well untill I started painting it. I just ended up filling the gap so that It just didn’t have one.

~ Casey.

Studio Staff: Königstiger (Porsche)
With 11 staff, this left 1 tank of the 12 spare. For this we decided to make it a group project and all tackle a step off the painting process each. Each person was assigned a step and was then free to complete the step however they liked, any colours or techniques they chose. Here's who worked on what step:

Studio Ausbildings Company: Part Three
Victor – Assemble, undercoat, and base coat dark yellow

Sean – Magic Wash

James – Drybrush/block paint dark yellow

Wayne – Airbrush Green Camo

Blake – Airbrush Brown Camo

Steve – Edge highlight (just a light dusting drybrush of buff or iraqui sand or something)
Andrew – Tracks

Mike Haught – Details (tow cables, exhausts, etc)

Mike Haycock – Decals (a number and cross on each side of turret)

Casey – Weathering/Mud

Chris – Tank commander
Studio Ausbildings Company: Part Three
This was a fun way to take a break from our main tank and added an extra challenge/interuption to make night more exciting/frustrating. It turned out really well and considering everyones different painting styles and techniques, it looks like a cohesive tank.
Studio Ausbildings Company: Part Three

Last Updated On Tuesday, January 14, 2014 by Blake at Battlefront