Pz.Kpfw.III (5cm) Tauchpanzer Ausf.G

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In September 2013 Dragon Models released kit #6773, Pz.Kpfw.III (5cm) (T) Ausf.G, also known as a Tauchpanzer III Ausf. G. The Tauchpanzer was developed for a planned German amphibious invasion of Great Britain, code name Operation Sea Lion. There were a number of Panzer IIIs converted into diving tanks which have the ability to drive along the seafloor. They were fitted with special breathing apparatus which allowed them to be totally submerged underwater. The plan was to lower Tauchpanzers from ships onto the seafloor near the coast of Britain and have them drive onto the shore. This never occurred and the Luftwaffe was used instead.

This kit portrays a Tauchpanzer III Ausf.G, which was the most common version of this tank.

The Build
For the most part this kit is a good build. Most of the parts fit well and go together easily. There are a few spots that require some special attention and I did find a couple of errors in the kit instructions. The moulding is very crisp and the level of detail is high. The kit comes with one piece vinyl tracks, which was a bit of a disappointment.

There is an In-Box Review and a full Build Review for this kit on Armorama.

This article is going to focus on finishing early war German armour.

To keep things simple I have broken down the finishing into steps. I do not always follow this order and sometimes steps or portions of the steps are repeated as necessary.

Step 1
The first layer of colour was applied with Tamiya paints. I mixed XF-63 and XF-53 in approximately a 60:40 ratio, then added a few drops of XF-8 for a bit of colour and thinned it with Tamiya lacquer thinner. I like to thin with the lacquer thinner because I find it slows down the drying time a bit which allows for a smoother finish when applied via airbrush. The reason I add a few drops of blue is because I find Panzer Grey to be a boring colour and adding a little blue gives the colour a bit of life. I airbrushed this mixture over the entire model and ensured I had full coverage (Pic. 1).

Step 2
Next I mixed XF-63 and XF-66 in a 30:70 ratio and again thinned it with Tamiya lacquer thinner. I airbrushed this colour focusing on the top surfaces and allowed the under sides to remain darker. I was not worried about having total coverage during this step, my main objective was to give the upper surfaces a lighter shade of grey. I think it is important to plan ahead and think about weathering right from the beginning of the painting process. Often the weathering process will darken the base coat of a model and therefore I like to start with a lighter shade, especially with Panzer Grey, which is already dark. (Pic. 2) The road wheels, drive sprockets, idler wheels and return rollers were painted in the same manner as the rest of the tank (Pic. 3).

Step 3
I then turned my attention to the markings / decals. I decided to mark this kit using one of the examples in the instructions, but I knew that I did not want to use the kit supplied decals. I prefer to use dry transfers or paint vehicle markings. I did not have the proper numbers in dry transfers on hand so I decided to make my own stencils using the edges of another stencil sheet I had (Pic. 4). After making my stencils I held it in place with tape and airbrushed the markings in white (Pic. 5). When the paint was dry I did a few touch ups with a brush and then applied the unit marking using a dry transfer (Pic. 6).

Step 4
I then decided to break up the boring Panzer Grey colour some more by painting different panels and parts in an even lighter grey colour. I did this using Tamiya paints thinned with water and brush painted the selected areas. Initially this step looks a little odd and unnatural. Later weathering techniques will blend these colours together some and should look more natural. I think this step helps to add some variety to the base colour and will make for a more interesting model at the end (Pic. 7).

Step 5
Next I applied a filter over the entire model using filters from SIN Industries. I applied P246 Grey over the entire surface. When this filter was nearly all dry I created the first streaks by pulling the filter down the vertical surfaces with a flat dry brush. These streaks are very subtle and nearly disappear later in the weathering process. I then applied P240 Blue filter to select areas to continue with the theme of having variety in my colours (Pic. 8).

Step 6
In this step I painted the rubber on the road wheels (a time consuming process). Once the “rubber” was dry I airbrushed the entire model with a coat of X-22 Clear, thinned with Tamiya lacquer thinner. This makes the surface of the model a bit glossy. I do this to protect decals / dry transfers before some of the more aggressive weathering starts. I also do this to create a better surface to apply some of the upcoming weathering techniques such as pin washes (Pic. 9).

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About the Author

About Bart Campbell (campbellbart)


Hi Bart, nice build. Your chipping looks great. Cheers Ken
APR 11, 2014 - 04:45 AM
VERY nice finishing. Quite a fine job.
APR 11, 2014 - 05:03 AM
Excellent job. Very good job in explaining things & paints used , technique etc..that's how you teach!
APR 16, 2014 - 01:57 AM
Awesome job Bart!
APR 17, 2014 - 05:24 AM
Thanks a lot! Nice and very eye catching job
APR 29, 2014 - 02:42 PM
Thanks for sharing Bart, I like the modulation a lot, the final result is outstanding.
JUN 02, 2014 - 11:29 PM
Beaituful, simplistic finish! I will steal all of your techniques
JUN 03, 2014 - 02:17 AM
Very nice I love that idea with the clothespins.
JUN 04, 2014 - 12:10 AM
Very nice, thanks for sharing Bart. Never thought the acrilyc+lacquer thinner combo would work well -- will have a try on that mix. Cheers, Tat
JUN 04, 2014 - 09:51 AM