With the bulk painting out of the way, another couple small rounds with the airbrush commenced to touch up the burnt areas to pull out some of the color a little more. Washes were then applied to add light rusting to areas on the painted parts of the Shilka as well as adding some dirt and dust effect. All of these washes were acrylic in nature; basically a combination of Vallejo’s Model Wash Oiled Earth
and various Model Air
paints thinned down to wash consistency. The washes were applied in thin layers build up slowly until I was happy with the look.
As with most projects I run into, what the final job will actually be, is often determined as the project goes on. In this case, I wanted to put the Shilka on a desert base. This was the easy part in that I used a piece of extruded polystyrene as the base which was covered with a mixture of Sandy Paste (26.215) and finely sifted sand I had lying around the workshop. To blend some of the coloring, after the Sandy Pasted dried, I airbrushed thinned down mixes of several of the desert tones I used on the Shilka. This give the scene some variation. Once the Shilka was placed, I did feel I needed to add “something” to help fill a gap in the scene. I thought a couple of figures would work great for this. Fortunately I had one figure in the stash that would fit the part and I recently reviewed Trumpeter’s
new Afghan Rebels
figure set for Armorama. There was one figure in that set I felt would fit the scene as well. In both cases, a slight modification was needed. Since this was not a full blown battle scene but rather the aftermath, I needed the figures to be a bit more relaxed. The figures bring a good sense of scale to the diorama and the relaxed scene on picking up spent brass to possibly turn in as scrap metal adds some context.
In the end, I found the building of Meng’s Shilka
to be pretty fun project. The added 3D in Scale Interior
adds more detail to the driver’s compartment than the kit supplied parts and was simple to construct and painted up very well. I would suggest if anyone was looking to build the Meng
version, that they might think about picking up some aftermarket tracks as the kit supplied tracks are a little frustrating to work with. The brass gun barrels from RB Models
are not necessarily needed as the kit barrels are nicely molded, they do add some detail unseen with the molded kit parts. This goes the same for the 23mm brass casings strewn around the scene. These were also obtained through RB Models
and make for a perfect accompaniment to the scene.
Darren Baker's Review of Meng ZSU-23-4 Shilka Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun
Todd Michalak's Review of 3D In Scale's Shilka Driver Compartment
Todd Michalak's Review of Trumpeter's Afghan Rebels