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B1 bis Camouflage Painting Guide

Between the outbreak of WWII in 1937 and the fall of France in 1940, the B1 bis tank was produced by a number of different makers, and featured a variety of camouflage patterns. Here we will offer detailed instructions on how-to paint one of the schemes illustrated on the color painting guide included with the kit.

How-to Guide

*Note: the Steps in this guide differ slightly from those outlined in the instruction manual. This guide will explain how to paint the tank belonging to 3rd Company, 6th Combat Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division.

1. Preparing Difficult-to-Paint Areas

Assemble the tank normally following the instruction manual. However, difficult to reach areas such as the underside of fenders, undercarriage and suspension should be painted olive green in advance.

2. Olive Green Base Coat

Paint completed hull and turret in olive green. Paint inside of turret rear hatch in Flat White. If tank is going to be built with hatch in open position, it is a good idea to temporarily affix the hatch in closed position using masking tape from the inside. This will enable you to achieve a natural-looking camouflage pattern on the outer surface of the hatch. Tow chain and hull equipment should be painted separately and attached to model last.

3. Painting Sandy Color

Paint sand color by mixing Desert Yellow and Dark Yellow in a 2 to 1 proportion. If you use an airbrush, like in the illustration, the border between colors may become blurry. Do your best to make the blurry area as narrow as possible. Use masking tape or finish with brush painting to eliminate blurriness.

4. Painting Hull Red

The 3rd color to paint is Hull Red. After painting is finished, touch up as needed using Sand and Olive Green.

5. Painting Black Borders

Painting the black borders between colors is key to achieving an effective finish of this particular scheme. In the illustrated example, we used slightly thinned NATO Black and Tamiya's High Grade Pointed Brush Small (Item 87019). The lines should be about 2mm thick. The key to painting effectively is to divide the lines up into appropriate lengths, so that they do not become patchy when painting.

6. Completion

Complete detail painting, attach equipment and tracks, and you are finished. Use Tamiya Weathering Master or similar products to achieve an even more realistic finish.

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