Welcome back to another “Flames of War” painting and assembly guide. I say Flames of War, but really today we’re taking a look at a model of the Ferdinand from a Russian company called Zvezda. I picked up one of their Tiger I’s as well when I was in the UK for about ~$5 each. They were cheap, and the same scale and I thought would be a good alternative to field some different units.
If you want to look back in time use the search bar above and you’ll find guides for Sherman’s, Stug III’s, and M7 Priests.
The Ferdinand was a really quick model to make. I think it only had something like 11 pieces. It went together easily and there was nothing egregious about the gaps or anything. I was a little worried there might be a couple, but after base coating them the model looked great, if a little bland.
I base coated with a spray can of ‘Italian Armour’ from Colours of War. Sure, these are German AFV’s but I like the tone of the Italian Armour as it’s a brighter colour and makes the tanks ‘pop’ a little more on the table. Also, it’s what my FLGS stocks, so there’s that. I’m just too lazy to dig out another colour. After painting it became pretty apparent that the Zvezda model was lacking a lot detail. There is just a lot of flat open surfaces on the model. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that but would mean I’d need to do a pin wash instead of an overall wash on the model.
A pin wash means using a smaller brush and only washing the details. With models like the Sherman, where the colours are darker and there’s a lot of details, I just liberally use a massive brush and wash the whole thing, removing excess wash with the dry brush to remove pooling on open surfaces. But again, with this many open surfaces, that method is a little more of a pain, and worth the extra care of doing a pin wash.
The tracks were painted with MSP ‘Ruddy Leather’ from Reaper Miniatures. I then dry brushed my favourite 99 cent Walmart Pavement over the tracks for depth, as well as painting a few details.
For the camouflage, I wanted to try my hand at a pseudo fade. Remember: I am a lazy painter! I don’t own an airbrush and I’m not about to spend hours wet blending on my factory line of 15 mm tanks. I mixed a little bit of the dark green with a colour that was close to the Italian Armour (I couldn’t find the exact colour so I bought a near enough match). This was probably a 1:2 ratio of green:tan. This muted down the tone significantly. I did the same with the dark brown I would use as well. These two colours were lathered on roughly. It didn’t matter to me that these looked splotchy and watered down because I would be painting over them.
I then used the neat versions of the green and brown to paint over the majority of the base colours I had put down, leaving only the edges that toned down colour. This hid the unsightly watery mess, but left a fake fading look, which from a distance, passes as realistic spray on paint.
I then applied the water slide decals and did some weathering with my ever favourite Typhus Corrosion from the Citadel Technical line. I honestly love this paint because it gives a good gritty muddy look that can be painted over for dirt, or can be used thickly to look like oil stains, or almost dry brushed on to look like watered down dirt in the rain. I used a thrashed and ruined brush to light streak the sides of the Ferdinand in order to create a rain streaking dirty effect. I think it turned out pretty well if I do say so myself.
All in all, I think this model is OK. It’s a little bland from a molding/detail standpoint, maybe with a more intricate camo scheme it could have looked better, but that’s the sacrifice when buying a cheaper model. The construction was incredibly easy and that is a pretty big bonus for those looking to make a lot of models.