This is my first attempt at building and painting some armour for my Bolt Action Soviet army; a T34 with 76mm gun from Warlord Miniatures. When you've never done one of these before, it's quite a daunting prospect, especially when you look on-line and see what wonderful examples there are out there done by people who seem to know every nook and cranny of these mechanical monsters.
The Warlord kit comes with all sorts of options for different versions of the T34, so your first decision is to choose which part of the war you want your tank to fit into.
Once that decision has been sorted out, you then need to make sure that you choose the rights bits from the sprues to fit the model you want to make!
Building the kit took a lot longer than it probably should have done but I was extra careful about making sure that everything was in the right place. At one point, I removed the tracks because I was convinced that I had glued them too high on the model.
As this was my first attempt, I decided that I would keep the model as simple as possible and refrain from adding bits of stowage or other additional baggage. Now the job is done, I sort of think I ought to have been a bit more adventurous and added more, but I did have a go at using a washing technique that I hadn't attempted before. While I was browsing the internet for help with building the model, I came across a company called Flory Models, who produce a range of washes which are water based but have their colour provided by the addition of clay rather than ink.
The weathering washes cost £5.99 a pot, so they aren't cheap, especially when you are only planning to build a single model. Flory do some very useful video clips showing how to use the washes, which was really helpful, as the process involves applying the mixture and then wiping the excess back off again, after it has dried, to reveal the highlighting that you have done underneath! I like the Dark Dirt, as it provides a really subtle layer of weathering, but I think I still need to work on the Rust, which is much more dramatic in its effect.
Warlord provide a set of decals with the model, consisting of red and white numbers of various sizes, red stars and some patriotic slogans... I let my son choose from the three slogans available and, of course, he went for the one which says "Kill the Fascists!"
The decal set also includes some formation insignia, but the one I wanted, the 9th Tank Corps, is not available. I might yet have a go at painting my own if I can find a space somewhere on the bodywork to apply it. The decals are fiddly, of course, but go on fine with the use of a little Micro Sol and a lot of patience.
So, as my T34 drives boldly off to the front, I am now planning to build the BA 64 armoured car that Santa brought for me on Christmas Day. Hopefully, the experience of experimenting with those Flory washes will reap its reward on this next model to join my Soviet army.