Master modeler Glenn Bartolotti has embarked on a series of downloadable PDF “articles” entitled Step-by-Step Finishing German Armor that cover specific finishing techniques for specific models. While that might seem overly-specific to some, the fact of the matter is that translating painting and weathering tricks from one kit to another can be challenging. As much as I love Mig Jimenez’s book, for example, I find myself scratching my head on occasion trying to adapt a particular technique to the model I’m working on. Bartolotti has chosen a wide selection of “core” German armored vehicles, and the results overall are very satisfying, especially for the price ($1.95).
His latest offering covers the Panther Ausf. A (early), and more to the point, one from the 5th SS Panzer Division “Wiking” in 1944. In fact, the article begins with a brief one-page history of the 5th SS Panzer Division in Poland and Hungary during the 1944 time period, including its brutal service in the destruction of Warsaw during the uprising.
what you get
After using a PayPal protocol, buyers are provided a download link that lets them receive their copy of the article in PDF file format. The article is 13 pages long, and has lovely close-up color photographs to illustrate the easy-to-follow text.
One of the things I enjoy about this hobby is learning new techniques and tips. I also have used Bartolotti’s Tiger article, and find his work easy-to-follow and very detailed. I heartily endorse books and articles about finishing techniques, because one of the saddest things I see as a model judge at shows is a great kit with mediocre finishing: “silvered” decals, shiny paint (when not replicating a wet surface), monotone coloring without modulation or fading.
The Step-by-Step Finishing German Armor series doesn’t leave anything out, including the details about the kit used and the Zimmerit AM add-on. There are money-saving tricks, too, like using off-the-shelf hardware store spray primer cans to give the kit an even undercoat. There's even a detailed list of all the materials used (paints, thinners, brush sizes). When I say that each step is detailed, I mean it:
Road wheels & tools painting
Color modulation (called “effects” here)
Weathering (including pigments)
Metal accents (where the paint has been rubbed off by things like the road or the drive sprockets)
When finished, the results should be a show-stopper.
Given the modest price, I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to purchase this very helpful reference unless they already are beyond these techniques. But even in cases where I was already aware of the trick being discussed, I found I learned a lot. While specific to one tank from one SS armored division, these techniques can be easily transferred to other, similar vehicles from different units.
Thanks to Glenn Bartolotti for supplying a review copy of this article. Please be sure to mention Armorama when you purchase yours.
Highs: Excellent resource for a specific build, but with techniques that can be translated to many other mid- to late-war German AFVs.Lows: The inability to print the item, therefore requiring a computer at your workbench.Verdict: Highly recommended.
Our Thanks to Armor Models by Glenn Bartolotti! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.