Chipping down to German red finish

I’m really new to this great hobby. Go easy on me. I don’t know any “real” people to consult/ask questions.

Here’s the thing, I’m ready to finish 2 tanks. (Sdkfz.182 and sdkfz 181) I’ll show signs of aging but not deeper than the red primer.
I expect to prime, coat with a clear gloss barrier coat, add the color coat(s) and then chip lightly where necessary.

Is this realistic ? Simplistic?


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For me it is easier to add chips where I want them prior to weathering. I have more control. Paint adheres well so chipping is usually not a drastic thing.


My brief attempts at chipping was inspired by NightShift’s youtube videos. This might be worth a look:

4 Easy Chipping Tricks for Beginners - by NightShift


Another option/addition to individual chipping is the hairspray technique.

All that said for the chipping technique, I personally think modelers in general over chip their models for the time period they are trying to build. Less is more. Of course this hobby is art so a modeler is free to choose what they like.


I’m not sure about the chipping that is done. WW2 paints were lead and oil based, so were actually quite robust. They will wear or show scratches, but IMHO most of the “big chipping” effects reflect more on modern paint standards which are not period correct. I believe what started this trend was observation of civilian earth-moving equipment, which generally has a long service life, or scrapyard vehicles. Another influence stems from DAK vehicles which were originally shipped in Panzergrau in 1941, then refinished in theatre to lower standards, or camouflaged with mud, which dried and wore off, showing what was apparently a badly worn paint scheme. You will see wear on old vehicles on high traffic areas, like engine hatches and decks, entry hatches and doorways, but on the whole, given the short service life most German combat vehicles had, particularly towards the war’s end, it’s overdone. Look, for example at some video of vehicles recovered from Russian swamps, in some instances still displaying Balkenkreuz markings and tactical signs. When seeking to show a worn vehicle remember which order things happen in, so primer, top coat, chipping/wear, then weathering/mud/grime. On tracks and tank roadwheels, unless the vehicle has been standing for some time, there will always be bright steel where the paint/surface/dirt has worn off (except for rubber tyred wheels of course).


Not really, Hohenstaufen is pretty much on the mark. Chipping is an artistic effect that gives visual impact. Nothing wrong with adding a little visual interest to a model.

Have seen a color picture of a WW2 German tank ~30 years after the war allegedly in original paint. The tank didn’t show any noticeable chipping. It was a museum vehicle.


Chipping is a fad brought on by the Spanish School and will go away eventually. It does look cool on a model when done well, though.


The only thing I would add about the order is that breaking it for a very tiny amount of chipping/wear put on after the weathering to show, for example, a very fresh scrape, cutting across dried mud, can add a bit of extra life to a vehicle. Unfortunately, seeing how heavily chipping and wear is applied in many picture sets, I suspect that the degree of subtlety that ‘recent wear’ needs in order to be appropriate would be lost under “more wear, more wear”.


Hohenstaufen has written the most important details very well. If you still wanna chip just keep some things in mind. Chipping is usually caused by metal to metal or stone/brick to metal contact. So apply a chip where that could occur and even then keep in mind “less is more”.


Fwiw - this is my idea of "reasonable " chipping on a Pz IV H that has side skirts in my one and only attempt. The skirts could get bumped and just hung in place. So it seemed logical to me that some paint on the hangar might get scuffed or chipped and show as such if the skirt panel was missing.


In 1/35, on German dark yellow base, for instance…make small irregular shaped yellow dots (lighter than the base dark yellow - the paint just below the surface will always appear cleaner, or fresher, than the exterior coat) then a slightly smaller primer color dot inside the lighter yellow dot. It should look like a reddish-brown (primer) surrounded by a thin light yellow outline, then the final exterior dark yellow. You could go a step further, down to bare metal, but the bare metal would be slightly rusted and look much like the primer color.
:smiley: :canada:
Almost forgot: Follow with a dark wash to tie everything together, Otherwise there will be too much contrast between the colors.


When I was a tanker (1948-52) with the 143rd Tank Battalion our M4’s showed very little wear. The 4 machines I’m building now will show the same minimal wear.

My original question was about the ability of a clear finish to protect the prime coat. That has been answered (thank you all) and tested by myself on one of my models. Now I press on with construction. And the confidence in my ability to project a finish properly.

I’m in awe of the workmanship I see on line. What little I know all came from some superstars of the armor modelling world It’s a high bar for this ol’ tanker.



Thanks boss! I regard an endorsement from you as high praise Jerry!


Dead right. I think the “teeth” of the hangers would be worn anyway, due to the need to remove the skirt components for maintenance (and refuelling on PzIV).