Tuesday, 1 March 2011

VAB Armoured Personnel carrier

This French VAB was something of an experiment, inspired by Paul Owen's article about painting KraVak grav tanks as seen on the GZG web site.

Here is the VAB as purchased, 10p in the local charity shop - was probably part of a cheap bulk "army vehicle" set when originally sold. I've always liked the VAB body shape, I prefer the 6-wheeled version but this one will do for now. Reminds me of the old Action Force troop carrier.

GZG security guard for scale.

First thing to do was drill out the rivets and disassemble. After a quick dip in paint stripper and a scrub with an old toothbrush and hot soapy water, the metal body shell had a grey spray undercoat.

Re-assembly was easy, the only awkward bit was heating a screwdriver blade to melt the base of the gun-mount pin, fixing it in place. Rather than re-riveting I just used epoxy resin. There was a large rivet-hole under the front glacis plate but I covered this with a large plasticard trim vane as seen on many amphibious vehicles.

Basic colour scheme is Humbrol matt 60 brick red and GW goblin green applied in wavy bands. I also added a few thinner black lines, but you can't really see them on the completed vehicle!

A wash of heavily diluted matt black provided shading, then I drybrushed the whole thing with Humbrol 93 desert yellow for a dusty finish. Headlights are painted silver, other bits such as the horn and shovel head are GW chainmail. Tyres were painted Humbrol 29 dark earth, then drybrushed with matt black. I hope that's given the effect of road dust/dirt stuck in the treads.

A worthwhile experiment - although the initial paint job looked very harsh, the shading and drybrushing have blended it together well. Looking back, I shouldn't have left the camera set on the colour-boosting "Fuji Velvia" setting - the colours aren't this vibrant in real life, so it looks rather more subtle than it does here!

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