Editors Note: James is an eclectic builder going from armor to sci-fi to fantasy without skipping a beat. He follows up his Star Wars AT-AT Snowspeeder with the Meng “King Tiger”. The very nice fine-line work and weathered finish belies the cartoon-like nature of this kit. Nicely done, James!
“World War Toons” is a cartoon-like video game that features short, stubby versions of well known armored vehicles from WWII. Meng produces a line of kits that captures the toon-like nature of these vehicles while providing the builder with a lot of very nice details in an easy-to assemble model.
The parts were removed with Xuron sprue cutters and prepped with an X-Acto knife and tri-grit sanding sticks. The kit itself is a snap tight kit that goes together well without any modifications. Tamiya Thin cement was used to close a few seems and ensure some of the smaller details wouldn’t come off with handling.
Of note, test fitting of the upper and lower hulls results in a very tight fit; so tight they can’t easily be separated. After a friend who built the kit warned me of this, I cut the mounting pins to about halve their length allowing me to pull the hulls apart after painting. This facilitates mounting the tracks, which is difficult with the hulls assembled.
Color and Markings
The model was sprayed with Tamiya TS-2 as a primer/base-coat. This was done rather recklessly but its a tank so who cares if the finish is a little rough 🙂 After that had dried I grabbed my Grex tritium TG airbrush fitted with a 0.3mm tip and a bottle of Mission Models Mission Models Panzergrey (MMP-014).
I thinned the paint in the recommended manner: 10 drops of paint with 2 drops of thinner and 2 drops of polyurethane mix additive. That mix ratio seems well suited for general coverage when sprayed at ~15 PSI.
The fat red-brown strips on the upper hull and road wheels were sprayed free-hand with Mission Models Rotbraun (MMP-015) diluted as described above. Next it was time for the fun part: the light tan borders. These were shot with mission models Dunkelgelb “Late 1944” (MMP-019). To shoot this as a fine line, I diluted the paint using the same ratios as described above except I added about twice the amount of thinner producing a thinner mix. I also switched to a 0.2mm tip on my Tritium and reduced the air pressure to 10 psi. This combination gave me a very good and consistent 2mm line.
The finish was sealed with Humbrol acrylic semi-gloss straight from a spray can
(Editors note: From a #@*&% spray can?!?!?!?).
Decals, “Chipping,” and Final Finish
To prepare for decals I sprayed a little gloss (Humbrol) straight from the can on those areas that would receive decals. After a little warm water they settled down perfectly and were a pleasure to work with. The only problem is that they are horribly out of register. The black and white of the crosses are particularly off.
To simulate the base color showing thru the camouflage, I applied “chips” of Mission Models Panzergrey (MMP-014) using a piece of sponge. Briefly, I ripped the corner from the sponge producing a small, frayed end that was dipped in paint and used with a light dabbing motion.
After that was dry, I sealed the decals with another light coat of Humbrol acrylic semi-gloss spray. This gives an excellent base for filters in this AK Interactive Dark Brown/Green (for NATO; AK-076). The semi-gloss finish ensures that the filter spreads evenly across the surface and doesn’t just pool up in the corners.
When the filters were dry, the finish was sealed with Humbrol acrylic gloss coat (sprayed from a can). Next, Tamiya Black Panel Liner (Item-87131) was applied with a small brush so as to collect in the corners and angles. When this was dry the excess was removed with White Spirits (Mona Lisa).
For the final flat coat I used god ole’ Testors Dullcote (1260) which gives a nice flat finish. As a final touch I dry-brushed AK True Metal Steel Oil Paint (AK-457) over the raised areas particularly the road wheels.
All the tools and such received a coat of Vallejo Model Color Gun Metal (70.863) followed AK Interactive Light and Dark Rust washes (AK-046 and AK-4113). A final light dry brushing with AK Steel Color, especially on the tracks and this King Tiger was done.
If your looking for a quick build on which to try some new weathering tricks, you couldn’t ask for a better kit than the Meng World War Toons King Tiger. All of the kits in this line snap together quickly so you can get to painting fast. Best of all being a “Toon” kit no one can really argue about having the “correct” paint scheme. Some times you just got to step back and build something just for the fun of it!
So have fun!
More “King Tiger” pics below: