Finally!! I got there little monsters to where I want them, and am comfortable putting them on a gaming table. I'm kind of a nerd about that, and get really self conscious about putting sub-standard lead, or plastic as the case may be, on the table. This last tournament I entered was a real nightmare for me, as much of the force I fielded was little more than base-coated. There was little I could do, if I wanted to play at all, and had to swallow my pride. When my friend Scott MacPhee wasn't able to show, I really wasn't that put-out. I would have been embarrassed and spent too much time making excuses, etc.
What I have for you today is a unit of Soviet T-34/85's, made by Plastic Soldier Company, painted in generic, oversized markings. I base-coated the plastic in Krylon "ultra-flat camoflague green" spray primer. The looked good but came off a bit too "olive" for Soviet equipment, so I applied a tint of Tamiya olive green to bring the base more in the direction of what Soviet armor generally looked like. Next I applied numerous oil washes with red-brown and black, in separate coats and in combination, to provide shading and weathering effects. The rear deck, and the vents received the lion's share of this treatment. Next came highlighting using Polly-S Panzer Olive green. I just didn't feel comfortable going any lighter.
No historical marking schemes seemed to attract my attention, so I decided to do oversize markings and use what I had left over from my IL-2 box set. I used the wing stars and fuselage numbers, in a single digit scheme, creating a generic Soviet unit, but giving the appearance of some sort of regulation or order. I had to "wing it" a little, as the decal sheet didn't have the "1" or "6" numberals, so a chopped "4" and a frankenstein combination of a "2" and an upside-down "5" did just nicely. I shied away from the various coats of glosscoat, dullcoat, et al and just stuck with decal set. What silvering did crop up I painted over with Tamiya Olive Green. Not perfect, but I think I can get some sweet results with more practice. All in all this decal experience was far better that past bunglings.
My overall painting style is what I call "Rabid Monkey" style, where models are liberally highlighted, but not also severely contrasted, and with some modest weathering thrown in. The rear deck of tanks are a dirty, "diesely", oily area, and I wanted to reflect that. I also wanted to distress the turret markings somewhat, so they aren't pristine and visually distracting. I used the sponging technique, and I think I got really lucky! The numbers, I think, have a great effect, and am happy with the results.