Build & Review: Italeri #7052 : 1/72 Autoblinda AB 43

The Kit

My last few builds have all been simple monotone camo patterns so I was on the lookout for something a bit more colourful.

I also quite fancied having a go at a scout car too so it was with good fortune I spotted this Italieri Autoblinda in my local model shop.

As you can see, it all comes on one sprue, is nicely detailed and had little to no flash or mould lines to worry about. There was a minor gap to fill later in the build but that could be down to me not getting the fit right.

The Build

I followed the kit instructions apart from leaving off most of the surface mounted detail that was going to get in the way of the camo pattern.

The turret hatches can be modeled open but I didn’t think the supplied cannon hardware was good enough to make a feature of displaying so I built mine closed. I’m glad I did, the camo was tricky enough without having to deal with an interior.

It didn’t take long to get everything assembled. Once nice touch – separate tires and hubs – so much easier to paint!

There was a small gap along side the left hand door (all the doors are moulded closed unfortunately, I’d love to have a crack at an interior on one of these). It may have been user error but everything else seemed to fit.

Which I filled with white putty applied with a shaped cocktail stick.

All the delicate surface details were left on the sprue. I mounted everything else ready for painting.

The Paint

IMPORTANT NOTE: I made a right pig’s ear of the paint job >.< This is not a how to. It came out ok in the end, but mainly due to luck not judgement. I’m going to have another crack at this camo pattern and won’t be doing it this way again…

I started with an undercoat of poundland grey primer and a black preshade.

A base code of Mig dunkelgelb followed. It’s the closest I had to the actual italian yellow.

My original plan was to use 2mm Tamiya curvy masking tape to mask over the yellow, then airbrush the green and brown patches.

2mm was too thick so I cut in half and struggled on. It was way too fiddly. I couldn’t get it to sit flush over raised bits very well and it kept peeling off.

Plan B: Liquid mask.

Using a small paintbrush, I painted liquid mask lines all over the vehicle.

This is harder than it looks, the liquid mask isn’t paint and doesn’t flow very well. It was difficult to get a consistent line thickness.

At this point I realised I should have just brush painted the camo pattern :-/

My mantra is *always finish the kit* – so I plowed on. I filled in a few brown (dunkelbraun) spots.

And then the green (dunkelvert) spots. I left the camo to dry for a couple of hours then pulled off the liquid mask. I hate liquid mask. You can never get the last bits out of the nooks and crannies. Some bits finally loosen *after* you’ve put an oil wash on and can leave unwanted patches when they finally come loose. I pair of fine tipped tweezers helped ferret most of them out.

Not my finest work. Lets see if I can save it, or at least hide it with lots of weathering 😉 Oh and I knocked off the headlight while pulling of the mask off.

I mixed up a slightly lighter mix of dunkelgelb and applied it with a thin brush over the existing yellow lines.

That broke up the camo a bit better, so I added the wheels.

And lots of little bits n bobs. I used life color wood paints and tamiya gunmetal for the tools.

The exhaust was rusted using various AK Interactive rust tones applied wet and dotted randomly.

Next I glossed where the decals would go (not many) and applied them using Micro Sol.

Now to hide that paint job! I applied a couple of colours (rust and black brown) of chipping using a torn sponge. I went heavy to cover up as much of the camo as possible without it being a wreck 😉

I gloss coated the whole thing and give it a thick, dark brown oil paint sludge wash.

While the sludge wash was still wet. I made up some thinner black oil paints and used it to pick out the surface detail.

As it dried, I began removing the wash from flat panels and encouraged it to streak down the sides with odourless thinners.

Once the oils had thoroughly dried I sealed them with a matt varnish.

A light misted under spray from below using tamiya earth to depict thrown up dust and dirt (and to hide a bit more of the camo).

I reattached the bits I’d knocked off again and went round with a small brush tidying up and picking out highlights. Once I was happy, I applied dirt pigments as a final cover for the camo and took it outside for some daylight shots.

I pulled out one of my old desert dios to give it some context.

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