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Painting A “Salted” Russian T34/76

Painting A “Salted” Russian T34/76

by Bill Wolfe

In the following text we’ll take a look at the Tamiya Russian T34/76. This is my most recent build and it was quite enjoyable. A great many after-market parts were used and those will be discussed as well.

Painting A "Salted" Russian T34/76

I’ve never felt that the construction portion of model building was a necessary part of an article as everyone knows how to build the kit and follow the instructions. It’s the painting process that everyone is most interested in and that will be the focus of this article.

Painting A "Salted" Russian T34/76

You’ll notice from the photos that this kit was not built out-of-the-box. In fact several detail sets were used.


Tamiya Kit 35149

Jordi-Rubio gun barrel

Eduard photo-etched set

Fruilmodel white metal track set

Jaguar engine

Jaguar rear deck

Jaguar fuel cells kit JAG 63820

Hudson & Allen tow chain

Painting A "Salted" Russian T34/76

Extra care had to be used with the Eduard photo-etched fuel cell brackets. These were very delicate and probably the biggest challenge of the model. The friulmodel tracks were a nice addition and really gave the finished kit the look all armor builders are going for – Heavy!

The method involves adding table salt to the primed model.

To do it:

1) Prime the model in a dark color – I used Floquil’s ‘grimy black’ which is really just a dark gray color.

Painting A "Salted" Russian T34/76

2) Once dry, use a small paint brush to add water (mixed with just a little liquid dish washing soap to break any surface tension) to the areas that you want the darker color to show through.

3) Sprinkle the table salt over the wet area, knocking off any that you don’t like the look of.

Painting A "Salted" Russian T34/76

In this case, I used Humbrol 22 flat white mixed with a little light grey color (Humbrol 28) To produce an off white color I was looking for. Once the paint is dry, it’s just a matter of knocking off the salt and exposing the darker color under it. I wanted the method to be subtle so salt was only applied to corners and other areas of wear.

The base paint coat also acted as our primer and will be the color that shows through for the paint chips. The paint chips was done with a method that’s been gaining popularity and one I wanted to try – If fact the entire reason for building this kit was to experiment with this method.

Painting A "Salted" Russian T34/76

The remaining work to be done was to add washes of Humbrol 33 matte black mixed with mineral spirits. Then drybrushing with progressively darker tones trying to keep the larger areas lightly colored.

The final step was to go over the model with pastel chalks to add even more subtle weathering. The wooden handle on the shovel and the saw were made from strip styrere and then painted with a ‘wood’ color paint from Testors and then raw umber oil paints were added.

Painting A "Salted" Russian T34/76

This T34 received 1st place in the ‘tracked armor’ category and ‘Best Armor’ in the ‘Tracked Armor’ category at ‘Modelfest 19’, presented by Baton Rouge Scale Modelers. The location was the Louisiana Naval War Museum & USS Kidd DD-661.

Photos by Bill Wolfe