Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Panzer IV interior.

I would like to give a thank you to all visitors and make a special post. An article on painting Panzer IV interior.  I am not 1000% accurate here, but I am sharing what I did on my model.


Adding an interior to your model makes it complete both from inside and outside and brings it to absolutely different level. Many modellers ignore that aspect of their tanks as this requires a lot of extra work and dramatically increases the amount of money spent on the project, but if you go for it – it is totally worth it! Usually plastic model kits do not include interiors and making them requires finding resin and photo-etched upgrades. Most common are the ones from CMK (probably the best possible) and Verlinden. However, the sets are not 100% universal for all kits and might be designed for particular kit of particular manufacturer. Therefore you should consider making extra work on matching the expensive resin upgrades with your plastic kit.
For the model of Panzer IV Ausf F2 shown in this article I utilized excellent kit from Dragon (ref 6360) and all possible upgrades – resin from CMK for turret, combination of resin from Verlinden and CMK for hull, photoetched parts, brass wire, styrene sheets and so on. Needless to say that the assembly was a challenging process and I tried to do my best with it. Next step was to paint and weather it so it is looking good in combination with fully weathered exterior. Here I would like to share what I did with it.

First of all, as with anything in modelling it is important to know what you are going to paint. Finding regulations for different nations when it comes to interior painting is not a big issue nowadays when most of us have constant access to internet. For German tanks I recommend searching for article from David Byrden on “Panzer colours”.  All German vehicles had brown red rustproof primer as the initial coat and this is not an exception for the interiors. On top of it lower part of the hull was painted in RAL 7009 green grey and RAL 1001 beige sand yellow. Examples of these colours you can find online however you should keep in mind that surviving tanks suffered from atmosphere effects and from interaction with crews and other visitors therefore making a colour match to what you see on survival vehicle somehow not true. But of course one should be careful to not paint the interior completely off the original. 

Another important thing to consider is wear of the interior. Think of it – sometimes crews were living in their compartments for days without going out and everything should have some sights of wear. Boots would rip off the paint, the surfaces would get dirty from hands and constant “polishing” from hands and legs. The seats would have sights of wear as well. And of course there would be dust and grease from fuel, oil, food.

First of all I primed the parts using red brown primer. This is a very important step as we need red brown primer as per original tanks and also because we want durable finish on the multimedia model that is made of resin, plastic, brass etc. Next tool is a chipping fluid. I think it is not possible to paint a good model or good interior without it as it helps you to do chipping the natural way it happens in reality – chipping top layer of paint down to the basal layer.  I prefer multi-layered approaches and first I mixed a lighter green tone, chipped it down to primer and then mixed a proper grey green similar to RAL 7009 and applied it on top of chipping fluid. 

All rubbing was done with a stiff small brush and toothpicks. For turret interior as well as firewall between the engine compartment and areas above the fenders I used beige sand colour or elfbein. 

Unlike painted chipping chipping using the fluid approach results in a more realistic to scale effects as seen on the firewall

Next I painted the transmission units into some sort of grey colour with a slight blue tone and concentrated on small details. Seats, wiring, fire extinguisher and so on. A very important component on interior is different dials and the best is to use Archer decals or similar and place Ammo “Crystal glass” on top of it. Crystal glass dries to a thick clear glossy film and looks very real, similar to miniature dials. 

Another important component is visor blocks and Dragon includes clear parts for these in their kits. I painted them with Crystal periscope green which is very close to the tone of original armoured glass blocks used on German tanks during WWII.  Sides of visor blocks were painted black and then they were installed into appropriate locations. When it comes to weathering besides signs of wear it is important to add dust and grease. As I was building an African campaign tank I opted to dust imitation in the fighting compartments and used Ammo "Rainmark effects" enamel in combination with North Africa Dust pigment. Varying the ratio between pigment, enamel and thinner you can either have a very fine layer of dust or deposition of accumulated sand in corners. As enamel solvents are used during the process it is easy to adjust the result some hours after drying.
 For fuel grease I used AMMO Engine enamels and speckled them with a brush. 

Finally, metallic shine was added here and there using AMMO Gun metal pigment rubbed with a finger or make up small brush.  

 Note that the turret floor also must be RAL 7009, I repainted it at a later stage.

And you can see visor blocks here

Completed model looks cool with interior shown.


  1. Beautiful and stunning interior and this painting is a beauty !!!

  2. Great write up. Thanks for taking the time, it's helpful others for sure.

  3. Excellent my friend. Well put together, great learning curve for me

  4. Excellent my friend. Well put together, great learning curve for me