Saturday, July 21, 2012


Following the intense painting and terrain-making efforts leading up to Kingdom Con back in April, I looked around to start and complete a not-so-ambitious modeling project. I decided to paint up a simple resin and metal kit I had acquired some time back. For such a simple model, the German Panzer A7V still took me a while to finish, the reasons for which I'll explain below. I traded the model for some figs I had in storage, so I'm not exactly sure of the manufacturer - possibly Brigade Games. In general the casting was clean, but there were some gaps between the paneling to be attached to the bottom of the chassis to protect the wheels and tracks.

For resource material I browsed the Web and also purchased Osprey's volume on First World War German tanks. For reasons of nostalgia, and also because I just liked the mascot figure, I settled upon painting up the A7V as "Mephisto," the last surviving German tank from the Great War, on display until fairly recently at the Queensland Museum in Brisbane. The tank was loaded on board a ship and taken back to Australia by its captors at the end of the Great War. At the time of writing, Mephisto was apparently in storage at an undisclosed location near Brisbane undergoing restoration.

I used the color scheme for Mephisto provided by the Osprey New Vanguard series title no. 127 "German Panzers, 1914-1918," by Steven Zaloga. The camouflage scheme seems to differ somewhat from the admittedly poor images to be found on the Internet showing Mephisto in the museum until recently. I'm not sure if Osprey has gotten it right or if the curators have at some time creatively reinterpreted the camouflage.

I used a base coat of Vallejo Dark Blue Grey(904) followed by camouflage patches of Vallejo Olive Grey (888), Vallejo Brown Violet (887), and Americana DecoArt Desert Sand. The DecoArt acrylic, while just the right color according to Zaloga's book, contains much less pigment than Vallejo colors and therefore had to be applied in a few coasts.

The figure of Mephisto himself, attired in red, and with a British tank tucked cheekily under his arm wasn't too hard to paint. The kit had come with some transfers of German crosses, but they were too small for the markings I had to apply for Mephisto. So I tried my hand painting the crosses myself. After a few less than successful attempts, I ended up making a slightly magnified photocopy of the relevant page from Zaloga's book. I then cut the crosses out, positioned them at the appropriate places and traced around them lightly with pencil. I then painted them in, with white, followed by black. The end result was reasonably close to what I wanted. Finally I highlighted the rivets, and ran a thin coat of Burnt Umber oil paint over the recesses, also outlining any outstanding features.