Thursday 30 October 2014

ZTZ 99 Matt Varnish & Shiny Bits

The model has now been matt varnished and I've picked out all the shiny bits using the new(ish) ammo crystal colours. I really like these as the have a very bright colour to them and go on much easier than say tamiya clear colours. For the periscopes I've used the new ammo colour periscope green, spooky that! Over a base of silver this colour works really well. A clear lens was also added to the front light. Next up will be a bout of pigments and tamiya earth & buff.

The figure is a spares box item with one of the dreamworks heads. I really wanted to use a head with the soviet style soft helmet but even using a hornet soviet head just did not look right as the faces look too western. I can get away with using the hard shell type helmet though as I have a few reference pictures showing crews with this helmet. The figure will be painted in some digital camo later on. A bit of magic sculpt was used to adapt the uniform to PLA style.


Sunday 26 October 2014

ZTZ 99 Filters, Washes & Oils

Over the weekend I've been experimenting with the new Wilder washes & filters on the model and have found them rather good. I began with the grey brown filter No NL19. Starting off with a very light application I then added a slightly heavier layer after the first one had dried. I found that the filter is much finer than say MIG or AK products and it's far more subtle. After two coats the main colours had faded slightly and darkened very slightly as well. On the side skirts in particular it left a very pleasing dusty look.

So far so good, I then used "deep shadow wash" as a pin wash adding it to recesses and bolts etc. Again it works really well straight out of the bottle. I also tried adding a little black oil paint to this and some more thinner on a palette to see how it mixed. The result was very good, with a dash of thinners it flows even better along details. I think with further thinning you could use this as a filter as well.

Lastly I've started the oil dot fading and streaking on the model. Here I'm keeping it subtle and not adding too much as these tanks seem to be kept pretty tidy. It's almost ready for a matt varnish now so be sure to check back soon.

Friday 24 October 2014

ZTZ 99 Gloss & Decals

Here is the model with it's gloss on and decals. I've also gone over the model with heavily thinned tamiya smoke and sprayed this along details and shadow areas. This has helped tone down the brown and add some very subtle staining and shadows around the model. The Wilder washes and filters arrived today so I will be having a go with these on the model over the weekend.

Thursday 23 October 2014


This afternoon I decided to go and see the new film Fury starring Brad Pitt and thoroughly enjoyed it. Granted it's pure Hollywood in places and can be a little far fetched but the action scenes and tank scenes where very well done indeed. Although I'm by no means a Sherman expert-en  I thought the way they were stowed and the amount of mud on them very convincing. Likewise the attention given to all the vehicles and uniforms used was first class. The best part for me? well it has to be seeing the Bovington Tiger in action and not just driving around the show ground. It really brought home how fearsome an opponent the tiger was against shermans. It's not band of brothers but it's a very good tank based movie.

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Chinese Chipping

I've now added some chipping to the model, again in lighter tones. These will all but disappear later on giving a hint of some wear. The model is now almost ready for the gloss coat and decals. I've ordered some of the new Wilder washes and filters to try out on this one as I've heard good things about them so thought it's about time I gave them a go.

Saturday 18 October 2014

ZTZ 99 Paint Work & A Little Addition

Here's a small addition to the model a set of fuel drums added to the rear. I made up some straps from lead foil and a bit of plastic rod.

Today I've also given the model it's camo colours. I went for the scheme which has the brown instead of the more common sand just for a bit of a change. I used tamiya XF-9 hull red as the base for this and added white & flat flesh until I was happy with the colour. It's almost a dirty salmon pink  but this will change once the weathering begins. The greens where Mr Hobby colours, H303 & H309. I added a drop of black to the darker green H309 for a bit more contrast between the two greens used.

I have not used my normal method of highlighting the base colours with lighter shades as the colours are very vivid and bright. Instead I will be going over the model with thinned tamiya smoke later to add some darker tones and shadows which I think will work better than making the already bright colours even more brighter.

Pretty pleased with the contrasting colours on this so far. I've started picking out some of the details and will be adding some wear to the model as well.

Tuesday 14 October 2014

ZTZ 99 Tracks

I've now finally built up the tracks for the model. Interestingly spade ace supply you with enough tracks to do only half a track run. Not a problem if you are fitting the side skirts as the top run of tracks is hidden but a bit of a bummer if you choose to display the model without it's skirts. However the tracks are very well detailed and slightly easier to assemble compared to the Bronco plastic tracks. In fact making only half a run is not a bad thing when assembling complicated tracks such as these.

I'm also looking at the figure and trying to decide what style of tank crew helmet to use. It seems that there are two types in use by the PLA a hard shell helmet similar to US crew helmets and the more usual Soviet style one.

The hard shell helmet is more usually seen worn by IFV crews but I do have a couple of references showing tanks crews wearing them. The soft style should not be to hard to make as I can adapt a soviet head to match the PLA pattern.