Friday, 25 May 2018


Here is a tutorial for painting  German tanks in the later years of the war with brushes.
Hope its helpful.
All these tanks are 28mm.
Completed 2 Panther tanks.

German  Tanks include 2 x Panthers, Tiger, 2 x Panzer IV, 1 x Panzer III N and Luchs.

 2 x  Sd.Kfz 251 D halftrack, 1 x Sd.Kfz 250/9 Neu, 1 x 1 x Sd.Kfz 250/1 Neu, 1 x Puma  and a Schwimmwagon.

Tiger tank (Italeri 1:56 scale plastic kits,)

Rubicon  plastic model

The tank models I used were the Italeri 1:56 scale plastic kits, "nice little models".
 Image shows the Panther assembled with the lower portion of the vehicle  coated with fine pumice. follow the link for "How to simulate mud and grit.

Coated with Rustoleum Black Flat Primer.

2 thin coats of Vallejo Model colour Middlestone where applied with a brush.

Apply Agrax Earthshade wash over the whole of the vehicle.

Use a older brush , one you would normally use for dry brushing (hopefully with more bristles than  my  one in the image, I picked up the wrong brush for the photo) .
Use a old brush with short bristles  to apply the base coat (Middlestone).
Apply VMC Middlestone paint on the brush then wipe on a paper towel to remove some of the paint.
In a very light circular motion start applying the paint in the middle of the panels and work out towards the edges as desired.
I recommend practicing this Technic on the underside of the tank first.
You should be aiming for the edges of the paint work to fade into and blend with the already applied base coat that has been washed over with Agrax, Earthshade.

Red squiggles show the areas to target with the Middlestone, note that I have avoided going over the Zimmerit.

Next step is to paint in the brown camo lines using Vallejo Model Colour Chocolate Brown.

As you can see I have not made a great effort in blending the Middlestone on the Panther  as most of the vehicle is covered with  Zimmerit but I do recommend taking care to blend Middlestone on vehicles without Zimmerit ,as can be seen with the Panzer III N below.

Following these easy steps, will help with applying the camo on the tank.
1. paint a thin curvy line.
2. enlarge the curves by painting another line just on the curves.
3. fill in 
4. thin down the paint to apply a wash over the camo,
 you can vary the thickness of the wash as you please.
Note: Its up to you how thick or thin you want the camo lines to be.
and you can also chose not to go to step 4 and make the camo more define.

Once dry use VMC Reflective Green to paint in the green camo on the vehicle.

At this stage I highlight the previously painted VMC Middlestone circular areas in the middle and lightly ran my brush over the areas of Zimmerit that have Middlestone colour.
Be careful not to block out the detail of the Zimmerit.
I used a mix of VMC Middlestone and VMC Ivory ,1:1 ratio.

Using a mix of  VMC Middlestone and VMC Ivory 1:1 ratio, apply a very thin  highlight  on the edges of the tank but only over the Middlestone base colour.
(you can further highlight the middle of these already highlighted areas with a mix of 1:2 Middlestone/Ivory if desired)
I like to leave the brown and green camo areas as they are and don't go over them with the Middlestone /Ivory highlight. 
Using VMC Black Grey paint the tracks, tools, MG, tow line etc.

Paint the handles of the tools using VMC Brown Beige, highlight with 1: 1 ratio VMC Brown Beige and VMC skin base.with a further highlight by increasing the ratio of VMC skin base.

Wash the tracks and some of the lower portions of the panel where pumice was added with a thin wash of VMC Earth.
Once dry, use a brush with VMC Earth to pickout and highlight some areas over the Earth wash.
Lightly go over the tracks with VMC Black Grey to highlight them taking care not to eliminate the earth colour that is already on the tracks.
To finish off the tracks use Citadel Leadbelcher to give a hint of highlight to some of edges of the tracks.( add a bit of this colour to any metal parts)

Add a bit of rust to the Tracks or metal tow cable using VMC Calvary Brown and around any hatches,hinges and a few vertical thin streaks on the vehicles as desired.

Add the transfers.
Used to add some wear areas on the vehicle use a very thin pointed brush to place  tiny spots using VMC Black Grey , I also like to go over the insignias as well.

The last task to do, use Citadel Thraka ink wash to apply vertical thin random streaks over the vehicle.

Rear view of the Panther tanks.

Panzer III N

Cheers John 


  1. Absolutely brilliant John. Many thanks indeed.

    1. No worries Carlo, hope it helps
      cheers John

  2. Lovely stuff.

    A quick question: under the picture with the brush with the too-short bristles, you say, "Use a old brush with short bristles to apply the base coat mix."

    Did I miss a base coat mix somewhere? Or is that just the Middlestone?

    1. Thanks Morgan and yes the base coat is the Middlestone.
      cheers John

  3. Impressive job, well done!

  4. I definitely prefer my airbrush to do tanks, both for speed and the ‚cleaner‘ look. That said the results you‘re getting with just a brush are quite impressive.

    1. Thanks Moiterei for your comments
      cheers John

  5. Outstanding tutorial John!

    Thank you very, very much.

    Happy Gaming,


    1. No worries, thank you Allan and Carmen for your comments
      cheers John

  6. Replies
    1. Thank you Sergiuss for your comment
      cheers JOhn

  7. Nicked the idea and am now almost finished with a Tiger 2 and three PZ IV in 20mm, just have decals to do. Thanks.

    1. Thanks for your comments Chris, good to hear its been helpful for you, good to share ideas.
      cheers John

  8. Hi John, my name is Steve, English but living in France, like your work and with a huge pile of stuff to paint think your approach is the best I have seen. thanks for giving me the nudge to do this. Keep up the good work. Steve

    1. Thanks Steve, glad you have been inspired.
      cheers John