Friday, August 9, 2013

Revell 1/72 PT Boat - Part II

I came home last night to my wife waving a small package under my nose that had come in the mail that day. This could only mean my airbrush tips had finally arrived, and knowing that I'd been waiting so patiently for them she couldn't resist teasing me. Once in my possession, I ripped open the little box like a giddy child on Christmas morning and retrieved two shiny new VL-1 and VL-2 airbrush tips. With a renewed sense of purpose, that evening I returned to the workbench to paint the PT Boat.

I had initially thought that after starting the Oscar several days ago that it would be difficult to find the inspiration to jump back into this project. After all, I've never painted a boat before and planes are far more appealing. But it was soon proven that my fears were unfounded.
Painting a PT Boat is similar to painting a tank, and though I haven't painted armor in a while it was like riding a bicycle. The modulated paint and weathering is all the same. So I began as I normally do, using the three layer blend technique that I picked up from Matt over on Doogs' Models. Hands down the most influential techniques I've learned since dry brushing.
It begins with an all over coat of black, followed by highlighting the panels with white...

Then a thin coat of olive green is applied over that, leaving the shadows dark and the white areas a lighter shade of green. This was followed by another layer of olive green mixed with yellow and was applied to just the upper most surfaces. A little tan here and there for streaks and fades, and I've got the basic paint job for a weathered PT Boat. I think any way.

Of course, there is much more left to do to accomplish the final look. I need the keel painted red, then I can start painting small details and utilize washes and dry brushing to help weather it some more. But I'm pretty pleased with it at the moment.

The only question I have is what base am I going to put it on?
I'll think of something....
Thanks for reading!


  1. Jon, the boat looks great.

    I think your approach to the three-layer blend technique is interesting. Doogs suggests taking the (1) base color, (2) lightening it with white and then (3) applying a highly diluted base color on top. You start with (1) black, then apply (2) white and finally add (3) color.

    What prompted the modification to Doog's original approach?

    1. Thanks, Lt! There is a slight variation between Matt's method and mine for two reasons. The first, I'll be honest, is by accident. The first time I attempted it I don't think I paid enough attention to his approach before trying it myself. If I recall correctly, Matt likes to prime in black. I believe I interpreted that as the first layer rather than the base coat. Secondly, despite the difference, I think it offers a starker contrast between layers which works handily with armor or a beat up torpedo boat like this. Though I noticed the difference, I never corrected my approach for this reason. What are your thoughts?

  2. I completely understand both the original misunderstanding (I did the same thing when I read Doogs' approach) and your "starker contrast" reasoning for sticking with it.

    I have a Sherman on the bench that I'm going to try the black-and-white three-blend technique out on. The hot and humid weather here has slowed progress but I'll report back my thoughts when I can get the airbrush out in the next few days.

    1. Don't you hate how weather can disrupt an otherwise indoor activity?
      Any way, I'm anxious to see what you do and curious to get your opinion of the modified approach.

    2. Well, I had mixed results with my first attempt at the three-layer blend. In the end, the effect turned out to be much more subtle than I have seen you produce. I think my third layer got built up a little too much. I ended up augmenting the technique with some additional highlighting to create additional tonal variation. I'll be doing a post on in over the weekend with pictures. So, stay tuned.

    3. Ah, yes the third layer must be pretty thin and applied lightly in order for it to be as noticeable as you may want. Like you say, it works well when you add a lighter shade over that 3rd layer as well. But really, the 3 layer blend is a good foundation for other weathering and modulation work.