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Painting Example
28mm WWI Van

This is a die-case model which has been repainted as a WWI British army vehicle deployed in Africa. The painting method can be used for most large vehicles.
During WWI, the army requisitioned a number of civilian vehicles which were repainted and used to transport men and equipment. This example is a Renault van. The model is made by Lledo Collectibles, and is part of their 'Days Gone By' range. These are robust and detailed, and are available from toy and model shops for about 3.


Remove roof
Prior to painting there is a small amount of modification which needs to be done. The roof is a separate piece of plastic, which should be removed while painting to make it easier to paint the cab of the vehicle. Simply cut the end off the plastic rivet where it protrudes into the cab and the roof can be lifted off.

Fill holes
There are two rectangular holes in the rear doors where tabs from the roof clip in. These are a bit unsightly and can easily be filled in. Cut the tabs off the roof (it will glued back on, so these are no longer necessary). Stick two small pieces of card over the inside face of the holes and once the glue has set, use Milliput to fill in the holes flush with the surface. To get a smooth finish, wet a scalpel blade before pressing the putty flat. When it has set it can also be filed or scraped. I also cut off the ornamental trim over the cab with a scalpel, as it didn't look very military.


The vehicle was first given an all-over coat of Humbrol Dark Earth Acrylic.

To add depth to the shadows, and to make it look a bit dirty, it was given a wash of dark brown.

Drybrush 1
The base colour was then drybrushed on heavily. If the highlight drybrush was applied straight over the wash then the overall colour would be a bit grey (or de-saturated).

Drybrush 2
The basic colour was then mixed approximately 50/50 with Sandtex Beige. This was

Van following Drybrush 2

Prior to the final drybrush, the tyres were painted black.

Drybrush 3
A final highlight was added with a gentle, very dry drybrush of pure Sandtex Beige. This included the tyres.

After the drybrushing the lights were painted black and then silver (leaving a small amount of black around the edge).

Painting Rust

Mix up a dark orangey brown. The same colour will be applied in two different ways.

The first method simulates a rust stain, where the paintwork is beginning to discolour due to adjacent rust, and the second simulates areas where the paint has flaked off altogether exposing bare rusty metal. Slightly dilute the paint, dab on a patch, then before it can dry, rub off most of the paint. This will create a delicate smear, covering an area 4 or 5mm in diameter.

Bare Rust
Once you have applied patches of stain to all the rusty areas, use the same colour paint, but load the brush more thickly, and dab on some smaller areas in the middle of the stains. If you use an old brush, it will tend to separate into a number of clumps which will make it easier to get the shape. These much darker patches within the stain will resemble bare rusty metal.

2001. All rights reserved.