How to Paint a 1/35 Plastic Sherman Model Tank

Written by ryan lawrence
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How to Paint a 1/35 Plastic Sherman Model Tank
Sand the model tank to promote paint adhesion. (sandpapier image by Thomas Aumann from Fotolia.com)

A 1/35 plastic Sherman Model tank is a collectable replica of the United States armoured combat vehicle--used in World War II. If you would like to paint your plastic model Sherman Tank, you will need to prepare it or the finish will eventually flake. Because plastic models are ill-suited for adhesion, they require abrasion prior to application. Once preparation has been set, the plastic will accept paint. You may want to use application tools small enough to allow easy and detailed application.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Dish soap
  • Coarse sponge
  • Rags
  • Towels
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Scissors
  • Professional painter's tape
  • Heavy-duty fabric dust sheet
  • Acrylic spray primer
  • Acrylic enamel
  • Craft brushes
  • Pints of acrylic enamel

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Wash the 1/35 plastic Sherman model tank with a water-based degreaser, using a coarse sponge. Rinse the model tank with wet rags. Dry the tank with towels.

  2. 2

    Abrade the plastic model tank with sandpaper. Scour the model until it feels slightly coarse. Use scissors to cut the sandpaper into smaller pieces if necessary.

  3. 3

    Cover portions of the Sherman model tank you don't want painted with professional painter's tape. Use scissors to cut the tape into smaller pieces if necessary. Place the tank on a fabric dust sheet.

  4. 4

    Coat the abraded 1/35 plastic Sherman model tank with acrylic spray primer. Hold the can 8 inches from the tank as you apply. Wait two hours for the primed model to dry.

  5. 5

    Coat the primed model tank with acrylic enamel. Hold the can 8 inches from the tank as you apply. Wait two hours for the painted model to dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Use craft brushes and pints of acrylic enamel to paint smaller, detailed portions of the plastic tank replica. These items are available at craft stores.
  • Although you may paint your plastic tank any colour you desire, the actual Sherman Tank was green.
  • Never paint an unsanded plastic model, or the finish will fail.
  • Never paint a bare plastic tank, or the paint will peel.

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