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John Van Kooten (JohnVK)

1. Work in progress

I have started working on this kit yesterday (2014-06-14).

I used a reasonable amount of PE to add some detail. The kit is okay for the most part and will build into a nice looking gun right out of the box but it does definitely lack detail in certain (key) areas. Since I'm not really a big PE fan I always only use specific parts that actually add detail or look better than the plastic counterpart. I don't use PE just for the sake of using PE. Which is why I have a lot of unused PE in my spares box 😉

I have already finished building the kit and it is now (partly) primed. I will do one more primer airbrush session this evening (once the current coat has dried suffiently) to cover the areas where the cocktail sticks and other handling attributes were placed. Then it will sit for at least 24 hours until the primer has fully hardened.

I did have a couple of fitting issues with the gun cradle but nothing that couldn't be easily fixed. There was some flash that needed taking care of here and there, since this


15. June 2014, 15:09
Show 88 previous comments
Fabian D.
cool project... again😉
I´ve got the Italeri equivalent of this kit... phew ist this thing small...
15. June 2014, 15:21
John Van Kooten
Thanks Fabian 😄

Yeah, it's a small gun especially compared to Tigers, Panthers and whatnot :P and it certainly does have some seriously tiny bits and pieces. But it is a really cool looking piece of artillery once it is built 🙂
15. June 2014, 15:39
Holger Kranich
The most beautiful 5cm i know, which is not fitted to a tank!
I´ll follow your build for sure, John!
15. June 2014, 16:07
John Van Kooten
Thanks Holger 👍 Hahaha! Yes, this one is without the vehicle 😉 it definitely is a superbly crafted gun, I simply love it 🙂
15. June 2014, 16:24
Holger Kranich
Me too! if with or without the muzzle, its just a cool and good looking gun! If you can say something like that about a gun!😢
Will you paint it in Panzergrau?
15. June 2014, 16:33
John Van Kooten
Yeah, it really is a good looking gun, all the variants! 🙂

I'm going to paint this one in a three-tone camouflage pattern because it will be situated on the Western Front, 1944 - 1945. But I have three more "stand alone" PaK38 Dragon kits and I have plans to also do a Panzergrau and Dunkelgelb version 🙂

The fourth kit I will use to create a special tribute to the Pak38 gun that is located near the Waal bridge in Nijmegen. The PaK38 was part of gun emplacements the Germans created to defend the Waal bridge during operation Market Garden. When the Germans were defeated and the Allies captured the bridge intact, the gun was left there. The PaK38 still stands there today, at the foot of the old tower called Belvedere.

Here's a picture of the original location during WWII:

And this is the gun today:

15. June 2014, 17:13
Holger Kranich
Wow! Thats interesting! I love those old relicts and history and storys!!!
15. June 2014, 17:20
Holger Kranich
Hmmm, the gun has a really good field of fire... I wont dare to make the way over the bridge without artilley or tanks!!
Even for weak targets like soldiers, this grenade is devastating!
15. June 2014, 17:22
John Van Kooten
Yeah, stories like that are very interesting especially if there are still actual remains to support the story 🙂 Very cool stuff!

The field of fire was perfect from where the Germans were defending. The Allies had a very hard time taking the bridge.

The PaK 38 was a VERY potent gun! Undervalued and underestimated by some. It was the first gun that was able to penetrate the T-34 armor. Apart from various armor piercing munition, it did indeed also fire HE (High Explosive) ammunition against ground troops. And not many know this but there even was a Stielgranate for the PaK 38! But instead of a rocket-like shape as on the PaK 36, it had a very wide tail to allow the grenade to slide over the muzzle brake of the PaK 38 🙂 it looked more like a regular artillery round.

So even with tanks it was very hard to get across😉 Plus, it wasn't the only gun they had installed there. They also had a couple of 88's. The bridge was literally a kill zone...
15. June 2014, 19:37
John Van Kooten
Steps performed last night:

- After the primer coat had sufficiently dried, I glued all the parts together. Except for the wheels of course, they are merely dry-fitted for now.

- Airbrushed the base coat, Dunkelgelb.

Tonight I will start setting up the masks for the camouflage pattern. This is going to be a bit of a challenge because the gun is so small and has a lot of protruding tiny bits and pieces. Free-hand airbrushing the camo pattern is no option (for me anyway). I would have to airbrush VERY thin lines (like a few millimeter width at the most) and I'm simply not that good with an airbrush. Yet! But I am practicing! 😉

So tonight is PANZER PUTTY night! 😄
17. June 2014, 09:20
17. June 2014, 09:22
17. June 2014, 09:23
Holger Kranich
I have it too and like it but sometimes it leaves something grimey on the surface... I dont know if i do something wrong... Not always...
17. June 2014, 09:25
John Van Kooten
Yeah, It's the oil (?) from the silicon (to keep it soft). It does feel a bit "slimey". I have also had it leave traces of the oil sometimes but I just tried to clean it best I could afterwards with a soft, dry cloth. And after weathering is completed you won't see any trace of it anymore anyway 😉
17. June 2014, 09:30
Gábor Bélik
I like this project. Can't wait to see It finished!
17. June 2014, 10:26
John Van Kooten
Thanks Gábor 👍

It shouldn't take too long. It's not a complicated build 🙂
17. June 2014, 12:02
Holger Kranich
Do you have a deadline for finishing this one, John?
17. June 2014, 12:11
Steve Wilson
Wow!!! Saints preserve us, John...
I see you've been Canonizing things, bet that went off with a bang😄
Seriously though, a very nice build...
Are you going to use it in a dio' or just a static display on its own???
17. June 2014, 12:24
John Van Kooten
@Holger: I don't do deadlines😉 But I will continue working on this one (actually even putting my Sd.Kfz.250 on hold for this) until it is finished 👍

The "problem" is the long waiting times in between painting sessions. Tonight I will do the camouflage and varnish coat but then I must wait at least another 24 hours before I can continue. Shame those things have to take that long, especially when I'm "in the zone" and have to stop because of that 🙁

@Steve: LOL!! 😄 😄 yeah, I'll be getting some bang for my buck, ey!? 😉

This one is definitely going in a diorama. I have explained a little bit about what I was planning in the text accompanying the project this album is attached to but I have made a final decision in that it will get its own diorama! I'm working on the details atm 🙂
17. June 2014, 12:54
Steve Wilson
@John... Bless you my son!!!
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti amen.
Say five Our fathers and put GBP £50 in my Paypal account😄😄😄
17. June 2014, 13:20
Wayne Hale
John you are right. That Pak is just begging for the crew and a diorama.
17. June 2014, 13:58
John Van Kooten

1. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done.
2. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done.
3. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done.
4. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done.
5. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done.

Sign in to my Paypal account...

Heeeeey!! ... wait a minute! 😠

@Wayne: when I was taking pictures of the PaK in Dunkelgelb, those were my exact thoughts😉 It just HAS to be in its own diorama, with a crew operating it. It's a centerpiece in its own right! 👍

Now, lets hope I can actually get control over my figure painting :P
17. June 2014, 15:20
Steve Wilson
Damn!!! you sussed...
17. June 2014, 15:29
John Van Kooten
Yeah! It was a close call indeed! You almost got me there! 😉
17. June 2014, 15:32
Bart Goesaert
you can built this thing rather fast, but it's looking nice. My pace is a lot slower... looking forward to the rest of the paintjob...
17. June 2014, 15:32
John Van Kooten
Thanks Bart! 👍 This one is coming together rather quickly but I too am usually a lot slower😉
17. June 2014, 15:34
John Van Kooten
This evening's painting session went quite well 🙂

- The PaK got invaded by Spiderman's Black Symbiote Goo and I feared it would turn evil on me :P

But the Panzer Putty actually behaved flawlessly. In the picture is the mask for the first coat (green). I later added additional strips of Panzer Putty to mask off the sections I wanted to keep green. I then continued airbrushing the Rotbraun coat.

A few minutes later, when the paint was touch dry, I removed the Panzer Putty and could check the resulting camouflage pattern. It was pretty much what I expected and wanted. So that is good 🙂

I couldn't help thinking that it now looks like somewhat of a clown and that it's funny how things always seem to get worse before they get better😉

Obviously I need to do more work on the wheels and they now look a little bit weird because the rubber is also still in camouflage colors. I will also take care of the back of the gun tomorrow, in a separate painting session.

The camouflage colors are still very bright at this point but once I start the weathering process all colors will get darker, have more chromatic richness, get unified, etc.

Can't wait to continue working on it! 👍 🙂
17. June 2014, 22:50
M.Julian Marles
looking great, neat camo!😉
17. June 2014, 23:59
Alan Rush
Really nice work, John. I had not heard of Panzer Putty so I checked out the link that Holger had posted. I have used Silly Putty once to mask, but Panzer Putty is absolutely better. Much more flexible to work and settles into depressions excellently. How long did you wait to remove it after painting?
18. June 2014, 03:59
John Van Kooten
@Julian: Thank you! 😄 and once the colors are blended a little more and unified, it will look less "hard" and much better 🙂

@Alan: Thanks Alan! 👍

The Panzer Putty is indeed a really valuable masking tool! Way better than any comparable masking putty. It's real easy to work with. If you pull fast on a clump of this putty you can actually break it off and if you pull slowly, you can make seriously thin wires, which can be useful to create certain patterns.
Like you said, it also settles in depressions, which is an absolute awesome feature! However, that feature comes with a set of disadvantages too though 😉 meaning, if you wait too long, it will actually start drooping. In the case of my gun you can see that starting to happen on the barrel. So you must work fairly quick, not like a maniac, but just don't let it sit for hours. But even with that (small) disadvantage, it is easily the best masking tool I have ever used! 👍

I think from start to finish took me about 20 minutes:

00:00h - applied putty for first layer (green)
00:05h - Airbrushed first layer
00:10h - applied putty for second layer (Rotbraun)
00:15h - Airbrushed second layer
00:20h - removed putty

I always wait for the paint to be dry to the touch before removing the putty. On average that's about 5 minutes after applying a coat, depending on the amount of paint sprayed of course.
18. June 2014, 06:30
Mike Kryza
Really a nice one until now. 👍
18. June 2014, 06:42
John Van Kooten
Thanks very much, Mike! 👍 👍
18. June 2014, 07:06
Holger Kranich
Looks absolute sweet, John!
Is it done with Vallejo? Or AK?
18. June 2014, 08:02
John Van Kooten
Thanks Holger! Very much! 👍 🙂

In this case I have used Ammo of Mig for all coats, except the primer, which is Vallejo (their primer is amongst the very best available IMHO).
18. June 2014, 11:46
Holger Kranich
I agree! I love the Vallejo primer in Dunkelgelb!
18. June 2014, 12:07
John Van Kooten
Absolutely! I love the Dunkelgelb primer as well! Very, very useful even as a base coat! The color is perfect!

In this case I used the "Primer Red" primer color because there are a lot of small nooks and crannies behind the shields and in the breech area of the gun. So I could use that dark color to do some pre-shading 🙂
18. June 2014, 12:14
Hunter Cummins
I like very very much lol. I love tue mig ammo paimts. I will be postimg a review of them soon.
24. June 2014, 22:45
Hunter Cummins
I am a reviewer for mig ammo in the USA. I love their products very very much
24. June 2014, 22:47
John Van Kooten
Yeah, I love Ammo of Mig as well! 👍 I use a whole bunch of their paints, weathering products and their varnishes. The primer is Vallejo but the paint layers on the gun up to this point are all Ammo 🙂
24. June 2014, 22:50
Hunter Cummins
Sweet. Lol how are theit varnishes??
24. June 2014, 23:01
Sgt Marine
Nicely done
25. June 2014, 01:14
John Van Kooten
@Sgt Marine: Thank you! 🙂 But it's still a long way from being finished 😉 I need to do more work on the base layers and then move on to the weathering stages 👍

@Hunter: Their varnishes are GREAT!! I always had problems with Vallejo's varnishes (white blobs, airbrush clogging up, bad coverage, etc.). I even had my supplier ask a list of questions to Vallejo during the Spielwarenmesse Nürnberg earlier this year (a Vallejo airbrush expert was going to be present and was going to talk with my supplier about my issues). But that didn't help either... if anything, things got more confusing and even Vallejo was contradicting Vallejo... 😠

So, enter Ammo of Mig varnishes! Problem solved! Done! 😄 Haven't looked back since 👍
25. June 2014, 06:22
Holger Kranich
Just a question please. I know there was an order from the OKH, not to paint the wheels of tanks in different coloures. Wasnt it for artillery/FlaK and PaK the same? I´m just curious and have no reference about that!
25. June 2014, 07:29
Steve Wilson
Another question...
What is OKH???🤔
25. June 2014, 07:54
Bart Goesaert
Ober Kommando Heer? Camo is looking nice
25. June 2014, 08:01
Holger Kranich
The headquarter of the army "Oberkommando des Heeres"
25. June 2014, 08:02
Steve Wilson
Well there you go!!!...
I never knew that, they say you learn something new every day, that's certainly true here today...
The Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH) was the Supreme High Command of the German Army. It was founded in 1935 as a part of Adolf Hitler's re-militarisation of the Third Reich. Its commander held the title Oberbefehlshaber des Heeres, Supreme High Commander of the Heer. From 1938 OKH was together with OKL Oberkommando der Luftwaffe, Supreme High Command of the Air Force and OKM Oberkommando der Marine, Supreme High Command of the Navy, formally subordinated to the OKW Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, Supreme High Command of all Armed Forces (with exception of the Waffen-SS). During the war OKH had the responsibility of strategic planning of Armies and Army Groups, while the General Staff of the OKH managed operational matters. Each German Army also had an Armeeoberkommando, Army Command, or AOK.
25. June 2014, 08:27
Holger Kranich
I couldnt have said it better, Steve!😄
25. June 2014, 10:15
John Van Kooten
@Steve: Always great to learn new things, right!? 👍 🙂

@Holger: I'm not aware of such an order by the OKH, to be honest. I do know that it was suggested to paint small items, like wheels, in one color. It wasn't obligatory though. But obviously I could be wrong! 😄
However, even if there was an explicit order like that, field application of camo was mostly left entirely up to the field units themselves. They were supposed to devise a scheme that would work for the area they were operating in. This is why there was such a WEALTH of different camo patterns, especially in the German Army. The photographic evidence showing all of those camo schemes, including camouflaged wheels, is overwhelming 🙂

Even today this continues, as soldiers are often forbidden to (camo-)paint their small arms but they still do anyway. And no one is telling them not to either😉

Here's a link to a webpage that contains images of a PaK 40 still in its original WWII state (including paint): (it's the second gun, the PaK 40 not the PaK 38, which has been restored and overpainted).

Also, an album I added with some pictures of German tanks with camouflaged wheels 🙂 : Tanks with camouflaged wheels | Album by JohnVK

@Bart: Thank you! 👍 🙂
25. June 2014, 10:42
Fabian D.
John... that´s why we shuld replace the word "never" by "unlikely under normal conditions" 😄
looking pretty neat your little Pak 👍... have to safe the "fantastic" for the pics after weathering😉
25. June 2014, 10:51
John Van Kooten
Hahaha! Thanks Fabian!😉 😄 I'll start weathering soon! 👍

And yes, indeed! The word "never" has no place in anything WWII related :P
25. June 2014, 11:55
Choppa Nutta
apart from they NEVER used spaceships in WW2😉
anyhow looking good thus far John 🙂
25. June 2014, 12:04
John Van Kooten
Welllllll... that's a matter of opinion :P LOL!
Have you heard of the experimental Nazi developed flying craft "the Bell"? If you haven't, research it! It's quite interesting stuff 👍

And thanks, Choppa! 👍
25. June 2014, 12:15
Choppa Nutta
ah yes, the flying saucers and other secret weapons, but the NEVER reached into space but if you're still satisfied with that NEVER example how about this one -
The Germans NEVER used octopus's as weapons ! Secret or otherwise 🙂
There, I've said it, the conspiracy is now broken 😄
25. June 2014, 12:21
John Van Kooten
Dammit! No rebuttal... 😠

Ah well, at least they used the Octopus's color scheme for camouflage. Does that count?? :P

25. June 2014, 12:27
Choppa Nutta
haha, very good 🙂
25. June 2014, 12:54
John Van Kooten
Oh, and for those that don't know, that particular color scheme for German WWII tanks actually IS called Octopus 👍 I didn't make that up!
25. June 2014, 13:45
Hunter Cummins
John. I think 90 percent of people know lol. I mean after all you did post a pic of a KT with it lol😢 :P oh and Mig ammo have a KT with that camo scheme on the box cover 🙂
25. June 2014, 13:57
Choppa Nutta
great come back though, I thought I would the most unlikely thing ever to be used in WW2 as a weapon but low and behold it was used as a camo scheme ! lol 🙂
Mind you there were probably some spies that used some for the toxins from the poisonous species of octupi... possibly 🙂
25. June 2014, 14:17
Steve Wilson
Well I'm one of the 10% that don't!!! well rather, didn't till now, that is :o
Coz! I ain't military orientated, learning though, yes definitely learning, but don't bet on me building anything😢
25. June 2014, 14:51
Hunter Cummins
Ok well I am in the same boat. I wouldnt know one thing about the kimd of cars that you deal with except for the fact that they are fast lol
25. June 2014, 14:54
Steve Wilson
Tip Hunter: the four round rubber thingies...
Are what it stands on, if you see one with them sticking in the air, it's DEAD, pushing up daisies, brown bread, snuffed it even...😄
25. June 2014, 15:01
Martin Jakobsen
Steve bit like them red car's; ) lol
25. June 2014, 15:12
John Van Kooten
Haha! Choppa! 😄 Twas indeed good, no? 😉

And yeah, I posted that explanation for guys such as Steve and the lot of figure, car, ship, SciFi & airplane modelers that we have here whom may be unfamiliar with armor modeler's "well known" terms 😉

@Hunter: Haha! Yeah, I also know next to nothing about Ferraris. But good thing this community has such great diversity of modelers because it allows me to take a peek into other areas of modeling, which I really like btw 👍
25. June 2014, 15:12
Martin Jakobsen
John all you need to know about Ferrari is thay don't run int that right Steve😢
25. June 2014, 15:15
Hunter Cummins
@steve thank you very much steve😉
@John I kmow right!! Its awesome 😄
25. June 2014, 15:32
Choppa Nutta
Yeah I like the variety too, lots of areas I am not familiar with, like octopus camo....
btw to correct my error of grammar......
"I thought I would CHOOSE the most unlikely thing ever.........."

Steve, you forgot shuffled off this mortal coil.........😉
25. June 2014, 15:42
John Van Kooten
@Martin: LOL! Yeah, they don't run, they fly!

Aaaah! I get it now! Steve really wanted to be an airplane modeler, so he chose the next best thing! 😄
25. June 2014, 16:09
Martin Jakobsen
The way the F1 team is he might as well done armour LOL. Even a Char B goes faster than them :o🙂😢
25. June 2014, 16:26
John Van Kooten
Alright, only a small update on the PaK 38 since I do not have a lot of free time at the moment.

I've done the first attack wave on the front of the gun. Started the weathering process with a bunch of layers of filters and washes. Many more to follow!

Also started the first layer of dirt on the wheels. This (obviously, I think) needs much more work😉

For now it needs to dry thoroughly, since I do not usually use varnish coats in between weathering layers. I never do, actually 🙂 I only spray a coat of varnish if I truly want or need to seal off a layer / layers, which is... uhm... never? :P not entirely true of course because I need to use gloss varnish if I put decals on. However, I always try to use spray masks for the markings because they are easier to weather (no need for all the steps of varnish and decal softener / setting solutions, etc.) AND do not give me problems on uneven surfaces, like on zimmerit or where panels meet. I also avoid problems like with (lack of) quality of very old (yellowed) decals in older kits and silvering.
14. July 2014, 21:52
John Van Kooten
Added one more image of just the wheels in their current state because they looked kind of odd in the previously posted images 🙂
14. July 2014, 22:08
Hunter Cummins
Looks great.
how did you ad the ppigments to the wheels???
15. July 2014, 13:41
John Van Kooten
Thanks Hunter 👍

Step 1
I used a #1 round brush, dipped it in the pigment jar to load some pigment (not too much) and added that to the wheel (dry). I did this with several different earth tones to get a look I liked. I also added TOO MUCH at this point, intentionally, covering the entire wheel surface (including the rubber parts).

Step 2
With the same brush I wet the entire surface with thinner for washes (MIG Productions P239). This allows the pigment to creep and collect into the nooks and crannies and thins out the pigment somewhat.

Step 3
Let it dry.

Step 4
Add some more different earth tones of pigment if necessary. Small amounts!

Step 5
Wet the entire surface with pigment FIXER (MIG Productions P249). This tones down the colors somewhat.

Step 6
While still a little bit wet, add some bright colored earth toned pigment where you feel it is necessary. The moment you add the pigment, it soaks up the pigment fixer and the pigment is fixed.

Step 7
Let it dry but not too long. If the pigment is dry to touch, the fixer still hasn't fully set which allows you to remove excess pigment with a stiff brush. Remove pigment where you want the paint below to show. This also gives the pigment a rougher look (because of the use of the stiff brush).


The stiff brush I use is just a regular cheap size 3 brush of which I cut the bristles down. See image below.

15. July 2014, 15:31
Steve Wilson
Hi John V K, watching this with interest, not because of the subject but the building/painting techniques😢
I too, like you, am not a true fan of P/E, I also only use those that improve the aesthetical look of the subject.
I prefer making my detail parts myself, there is an example in my albums...
I do keep the P/E I don't use kept in my spares box, but I even keep all the P/E sprues, very handy for scratch building your own bits & bobs.
Couple of questions for you John.
1) Did you use a primer before daubing the paint with a round brush???
2) When you coated the wheels with thinner, between steps 1 & 2 did you let the daubed paint dry before adding thinner or whilst daubed paint was wet???
Very effective technique and it's been duly noted in my references😄
15. July 2014, 16:28
Hunter Cummins
Thanks john 🙂
What is this I hear about people using dish soap and water
can you please explain how ro do tye soap thing??
Sorry, im new to using pigments lol
15. July 2014, 17:09
Vitor Costa
Hi John, great work, i like it very much!
15. July 2014, 18:51
John Van Kooten
Thanks Steve 👍

I use PE (if I really have to) in the exact same manner 🙂 No reason to use PE if the plastic part looks good. Sometimes the plastic part even looks better, yet, some people insist on using the PE. Something I don't really get.

Good tip on keeping the PE sprues! They might indeed come in handy when doing some scratch building. Thanks for that! 👍

I have indeed seen your scratch building techniques! You're very skilled and I can most definitely learn a thing or two from you! 👍

1) I almost always use a primer. In this case it's the same. I did use a primer. But it doesn't really affect or complement any of my techniques. Everything would be the same if I hadn't used a primer.
I sometimes use primers as a pre-shader but more often than not, I just use them as intended, as a primer for consecutive coats of paint if I feel it's necessary for the paint to have to something to "hang on to".

2) I sure do let the base coats (in this case the camo pattern I've done earlier) dry thoroughly! That means the paint will have fully cured which is TOTALLY different from the paint having dried. A lot of people confuse the two. Acrylics can dry very quickly but to fully cure you need to let them dry for quite a long time. If you use thinners on not fully cured acrylics, the thinner will attack the paint and (partly) dissolve it.
Of course, the quick drying time of acrylics does have great advantages, if you want to continue with more layers of acrylics. Which is why I love them dearly! 🙂

Once painted I let them sit for at least 48 hours. The reason I'm doing that is because I don't (want to) use varnish layers in between. Simply because it isn't necessary. A lot of people insist on using satin varnish to make washes flow better and protect the acrylics layers but there really is no reason to do that at all. Once fully cured, just dampen the surface with a little (clean) thinner before you start adding washes and they will flow MUCH better compared to on a satin or even glossy surface. Surface tension of thinner is pretty much zero thus it allows flow without any "friction". For me personally this works much better.

Once cured (the acrylics), you can safely use thinners and whatnot without it affecting the acrlyics paint layers whatsoever. It will not attack the acrylics. The horror stories we have all heard are mostly from people that have confused "dried" with "cured". They start using thinner on acrylics that are merely dry to touch but haven't fully cured and that is bound to go awfully wrong...

No problem, mate! 👍 🙂

Yeah, the soap thing! 🙂 Some people use it to break surface tension of the paint and increase flow and but really... I use soap when I take shower or when I wash my hands :P why on earth would I add soap to my paint and/or pigments??😉

The best way to thin paints or disperse pigments is to use... thinner! 😄 Like I said above, thinner has almost zero surface tension and thus there's no reason to use anything else?

And as for using soap with acrylics? I also don't see any reason to do that? I use a wet palette (and sometimes an extra drop of water on top of that) and that thins my paints well enough to not have a need for any additional thinning / breaking surface tension. So... yeah... 🙂

I sometimes feel like people are inventing "ingenious" solutions to problems that aren't really there to begin with😉 maybe it is simply because they can or want to? I don't know. Anyway, like I said, soap is for cleaning yourself :P

And no reason (at all) to say sorry 🙂 we all need to learn stuff, me included of course!! 😄

@Vitor: Thanks Vitor! I really appreciate that! 👍 Long way to go before it is finished but at least it's a start 😄
15. July 2014, 19:04
Steve Wilson
QUOTE>>>" The horror stories we have all heard are mostly from people that have confused "dried" with "cured". They start using thinner on acrylics that are merely dry to touch but haven't fully cured and that is bound to go awfully wrong...">>>END QUOTE

Exactly right John... And thanks for clearing up your method procedure👍
Funny Hunter mentioning soap & water, reminds me of a trick I learnt, when in one of my mad moments of trying to give up Coach Driving, I went into the building trade, I used to line the brick walls of inside houses with plaster board. We'd stick the plaster board to the wall with bonding plaster, the bonding plaster was mixed with water to a thick consistency, then we'd add a full can of PVA glue, this made a strong adhesion for the plaster board to stay stuck to the wall and not eventually fall away, especially with central heating...
I was trying to simulate mud on tyres & wheels, I experimented with different methods, I finally settled with my own techinque based on my plaster board experiences. I mixed a quantity of plaster of paris using water to a thick consistency then added brown acrylic paint once satisfied with the colour, I'd add roughly the same amount of PVA glue to the mixture, then daubed it on the tyres wheels and anywhere else I needed it, works a treat... Why soap and water reminded me of that, I'm still trying to work out🤔
15. July 2014, 20:06
Hunter Cummins
Ok so just use thimmer?? I was askimg becUse in finescale
the person used a mixture of brown mig pigments with dish soap and water. Can I use straight up water??
And thank you formyour help🙂
15. July 2014, 20:22
John Van Kooten
LOL Steve😉 Hunter has a way of getting people to do (or remind) things they didn't think they were going to, right Hunter!? :P Haha 😄

Great story, Steve! 👍 Your method is pretty much the same as I use. The only difference would be that I usually added some fine grained sand to add that little bit of extra texture. At the same time I must admit that it has been a while since I have made my own mixtures. I now just buy Vallejo or MIG Productions mud jars. It's exactly the same but without the mess & hassle 😉

@Hunter: what are you trying to achieve? Thick mud? Or what I have done, which is dried mud residue (a thin layer)?

If it's thick mud you want you should definitely check out the method Steve just described. Like he said, it works really well 👍

If it's mud "dusting" like I did on the wheels, then dab some different toned pigments on the surface (for color variance) of the object and drop some drops of thinner on the pigments to fix them in place. Basically like I described in the step-by-step.

You can in fact also use water to wet the pigments but that won't fix them in any way. Thinner fixes them in place while still allowing you to work them (or even remove them entirely) and if you use a pigment fixer, like I described earlier, they are truly locked in place.
15. July 2014, 20:42
Hunter Cummins
Ok I see now
it was more of a thinned dried mud from very crude dust. So thinner and pigment for dust. And pigment plaster and wood glur for verythick mud?
15. July 2014, 21:19
Hunter Cummins
I will post a picture of the article that said the dishsoap and water thing
15. July 2014, 21:20
Fabian D.
looking good John... certainly have to read all that advice, hints and tricks again tomorrow...😉
15. July 2014, 21:23
15. July 2014, 21:43
John Van Kooten
@Hunter: Yes, that's it 👍 just be careful when using PVA glue / regular white glue. Many PVA glues, especially cheaper ones, will yellow after a little while and/or will shrink. For exactly that reason I use high quality PVA only or I replace the PVA glue with acrylic resin (MIG Productions P032). This stuff doesn't yellow and doesn't shrink and when fully cured is rock solid! It is a more expensive solution but given that we are building quite expensive kits I think the cost is justified 🙂

@Fabian: Thank you! 🙂 I hope there are some useful tips in there somewhere 👍 I know my way isn't the only way and not everyone's cup of tea but I think sharing methods and techniques is always useful 🙂 I know I love reading how other people approach things 👍
15. July 2014, 21:57
Gábor Bélik
I tried thia sludge wash on my CV90 and it worked well. In my opinion the soap is only helping to wash away the excess easily.
16. July 2014, 02:46
Choppa Nutta
I found the soap helped to make the pastel soluble in water, neat trick though I like it too 🙂
16. July 2014, 06:34
Frank Krause
When you started painting the PaK, I was wondering, where you're heading, but now it's clear.
Looks wonderful! 👍 I especially like the wheels. The gun looks used, not rusty. Hope I will come with my AA piece that far.
16. July 2014, 07:16
John Van Kooten
Hahaha! I always wonder the exact same thing once I have done the initial coats of paint 😄 It is usually at that time that I wonder if I should trash everything and pick up knitting :P

But it will slowly but surely come together, I promise lol 😉 these are the first weathering layers and many more will need to follow. But they will all be very subtle since the gun needs to look used, not ready for the scrapyard😉

I will also start working on the back part of the gun soon as well, as it is still "untreated" at the moment.

Thanks Frank! 👍 I'm confident your Bofors will look awesome once you are done 👍
16. July 2014, 08:21
John Van Kooten
Some small progress on this one.

Between not having a lot of time to begin with for modelism and having 6 kits on the bench right now, working on all of them on and off, things will progress sloooooowly 😉

- Started work on the trail: did some basic filtering and chipping.
- Did some more detail weathering work on the front (shield, barrel, gun craddle / craddle front cap)

All of this is to prepare for additional layers of weathering, which is why they are somewhat overdone (especially the chipping). With each consecutive layer of weathering, the effects will get toned down and unified.

I hope you like it so far 🙂
27. October 2014, 13:12
Es-haq Khosravi
Great job!
27. October 2014, 14:29
27. October 2014, 15:00
Fabian D.
Fantastic! 👍
27. October 2014, 15:45
Alan Rush
Great close-up photos! The chipping and wear are entirely convincing. 👍
27. October 2014, 15:58
John Van Kooten
Thanks guys! appreciate that very much! 👍 😄

In my opinion the trick to convincing wear & tear is to keep it very small. Very small chips with irregular shapes, sizes and tones. Balance them evenly over the entire model while not losing sight of areas that would need to look worn more heavily because they would get bumped into / touched more compared to other sections of the model. If you need / want to weather edges, keep the worn edge very thin, like I did on the gun craddle front cap. Weathering requires proper scale as well 🙂
This is also why I always take close-up shots. They give me a sense of exactly what is going on, compared to the real deal. If some of what I did is too large, it will look HUGE in the close-ups, indicating I messed up! :P They reveal EVERY little mistake I have made! 😄 So it allows me to correct and try to do better on the next round😉
Working this way, with taking close-ups of all steps I do, obviously takes more time. A lot more, in fact, because I also need to download the photos to my computer, edit them and study them. But hey, it works for me 😄
27. October 2014, 16:49
Great 👍
27. October 2014, 17:52
John Van Kooten
Thanks! 🙂
27. October 2014, 18:25
Christian Bruer
Ecxellent painting!
27. October 2014, 18:34
John Van Kooten
Thanks very much, Christian! 🙂
27. October 2014, 18:38
Jan Hazes
Excellent and very convincing result John! Nice weathering 🙂 Yeah, chipping is definitely a skill that takes practice. Sooo easy to mess things up.
27. October 2014, 19:12
Choppa Nutta
that has turned out very well John ! 🙂
27. October 2014, 19:20
John Van Kooten
@Jan: Thank you! Much appreciated! 🙂 Indeed, chipping is probably one of the hardest parts of the process. Maybe not even so much the getting it done part but knowing when to stop 😄 I still sometimes take it too far😉 then when I look at it a day later I see I need to remove some of it.
At this point, on the back end / trails, it is somewhat overdone. But this is intentionally because I know I'm going to lose some of it in the next weathering steps.

@Choppa: Thanks mate! 👍 🙂 The front still needs a little bit of weathering but is very close to being finished. Then I can fully focus on the back end 🙂
27. October 2014, 22:56
Bill Spargo
Fantastic build, really impressed
28. October 2014, 02:38
Ulf Petersen
Phantastic job! 👍 And a good example for me as I have that kit in my own stash.
28. October 2014, 06:50
John Van Kooten
@Bill: Thanks very much, Bill ! 👍 🙂

@Ulf: Thank you very much too, Ulf 🙂 it is a really nice little kit 👍

Although the shields are somewhat thick, it doesn't really bother me too much for this build. I will be building more PaK ( 38, 40 or 97/38 ) soon on which I am going to use the PE shields. But I really wanted to get a feel for this kit if built OOB and it's really nice 🙂
28. October 2014, 07:27
John Van Kooten
By the way, of course I mean OOB concerning the shields and other main parts of the gun😉 I did obviously add some PE detail 🙂
28. October 2014, 09:31


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1:35 5cm Pak 38 (Dragon 6444)

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