How to Toast A Turret!

Before starting to torch your tank, you need to collect all the necessary materials. You will of course need a built up model. Make sure you have as much as possible cemented to the tank, regarding fixtures etc. I prefer using MMP powders and Mig pigments in place of pastels. I find the pigments and powders stick better and give a better bond when mixed with mineral spirits than pastels do. Pastels may work well for this application however, and this method leaves plenty of room to experiment, but as this is my method of rusting burnt tanks Iíll be using pigments and powders mostly throughout the article, the one exception being powdered black pastel.
On this model I will be using MMPís medium earth, rust red, and worn panzer grey. I will also be using MIG Russian earth. You will also need a sharp exacto blade, a paint brush, burnt umber oil paint, mineral spirits, a toothpick, medicine cups or some other mixing receptacle, the standard base coat for your model, brown paint, and an airbrush and compressor.

Preparatory Work
Build the model. Add any battle damage such as removed fenders etc. Add the destroying hit's now. What I did with this model was to drill a hole approximately the size I wanted and then spin an exacto in the hole to make it look more like a tank shot hit. Refer to photographs for a visual description.

Initial Painting
You will first need to basecoat the model. This will be the standard scheme that the vehicle would have worn before being hit and subsequently burning. On my model it is olive drab as this is a simple Sherman. If you will be doing a model wearing camouflage (like German three tone) you will have to lay that down first.

Laying Down the First Rust
Imagine where the paint would have burned off on the real tank. It will usually surround the hit areas, and all the open parts of the tank, i.e. open hatches, gun sights, etc. Then using your airbrush, spray brown all over the areas you picked out. After this has dried, using burnt umber and mineral spirits, lay a wash all over the turret. Youíre tank is starting to look destroyed! After that has dried, put your markings on. The reason you didnít do this after laying down the base coat is because you didn't know where the rust was going to go, and when the other paint burns so do the markings.

Applying the Second Rust Coat
To do this you will first need to make a really thick wash of burnt umber and mix your rust. For my rust mix I used even parts rust red to medium earth, and touches of worn panzer grey and Russian earth. As said earlier, you can use any mix you like but in this article I will be using these colors. To thicken the wash, add even more paint to the wash you mixed earlier. Brush this on all of the rusted spots, when you start on vertical or angled plates or surfaces ď streakĒ it down the side. Wait for this to dry to a semi-gloss sheen. Then using your brush, take little bits of pastel and stipple it into the wet wash. Keep doing this until you have covered all of the rusted spots.

Applying Ash
To become as rusted as your tank is now, it mustíve burned. This burning leaves lots of ash and residue in all the open spots where flame has touched. To simulate this I used black pastel and stippled it around both of my shell holes and around the open TC hatch.

Finishing Touches
Youíre tank is really looking in a bad shape now! Final touches include any paint chipping, or normal wear that occurs on operational vehicles in the area that was untouched by fire. Mud applied on the running gear of a tank should be applied everywhere but the burned surfaces, as when the metal heats up it expands and flakes off all accumulated dirt, and it burns any organic material.

This method works great for simulating partially burned tanks, and can even be applied to fully burnt tanks. Try using this method on an old tank model, or spare parts first. If you see any possible improvements in the method I use now, please PM me, or email me. I am always open to suggestions for improving my technique.

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About the Author

About David Niescior (airwarrior)

Hmmm, so you wanna know about me? Well, for starters I am 16 years old, and have been modeling since I was about 7 or 8. When my parents found they were having me, they decided to give up smoking, and to keep them from having the option of buying cigarrettes, they would buy as many kits as they coul...


Just like Andy said - this submission it right on time for the "Purple Hearts" Campaign. Maybe the Campaign Leader will link back to it for participating members... Gunnie
FEB 16, 2006 - 03:44 AM
Very good article David. I did a rusted out Jumbo a while back, using some of the smiliar methods, but not as well defined as this one. I will certainly try this again using your method. I've a couple of older kits in the stash that I'd be willing to sacrafice in this way. An old Tamiya Panther comes to mind.
FEB 16, 2006 - 04:20 AM
Thanks for posting this , I'm about to total out a BMP - 2 for a OIF dio and I needed some inspiration for the project .
FEB 16, 2006 - 06:48 AM
Great article, very informative. Makes me want to burn out a tank now :-) thanks and Cheers Kevin
FEB 16, 2006 - 06:54 AM
Lord Stomp Congrats on your posted feature --- a clear well written step by step process, (with excellent explanatory pics). I'm trying this method on my next build,--- thanks to your help. Steve ps: Now go to your room!
FEB 16, 2006 - 07:16 AM
A very nice article. Well written youngman
FEB 16, 2006 - 11:49 AM
Thanks guys, this has really been a fun thing to write. I want to thank Steve (WeWillHold) for his much needed help, without which this article wouldn't have been finished. So there was a use for a Minicraft M4A1 turret..... :-)
FEB 16, 2006 - 10:06 PM
Really great job on the turret. Maybe I will try one day.
FEB 17, 2006 - 09:41 AM
Nice one. Could/Will come in handy one day. Thanks
FEB 17, 2006 - 03:37 PM
A very useful article if you want to Burn Out something, like a tank or an AFV! Cheers and happy modelling! Prato
FEB 17, 2006 - 06:00 PM