Just today I got an email from a friend (Jon Greenwood) asking me about how to paint a yellow vehicle, because he is making a diorama. He was asking me about my Wheel Loader, the one which I painted a couple years ago for my ex-company Mig productions. I made a nice Step by step of this original vehicle, longer than the one that I show here, but it never was published in any magazine. I expeted to make a cool diorama than Jenny (Aussine famous girl :-) suggested me long time ago. Even she sent me a lot of stuff to make it, but finally....that project was impossible to me. Fortunatly I still storing the pictures, so...I can make a small article for Jon and for all who can be useful, of course.

To paint a civil vehcile is not too different than to paint a tank. Except if the base color is GLOSSY, we can apply the rest of techniques in the same way than in amilitary vehicle. It also works with RED cranes or trucks, blue cars or vans, and much more...specially if the vehicle color is FLAT, like with a faded or very worn look. This is the case of this civil wheel loader.

It supposed to be in Iraq or any Middle east scenary, so I painted like with dry mud:

I painted the base color with HUMBROL ENAMELS, because this kind of paint is stronger than acrylic when you need to cover a big surface with a light color, like white or yellow. But you can use acrylics too. Try to paint the different components and panels with different shades of colors. This is very important!!:

Start the weathering adding some filters with enamels, like a kind of dark brown. Apply 2 or 3 coats of different shaes of brown or even a kind of grey brown to avoid a over-exposure to the brown look.

Now is time for washes. Try to be precise adding pin washes. Use a dark color for it. Clean the excess of wash color with a clean brush with a little turpentine:

Look here how I cleaned the excess of washes. Compare the upper picture with the picture right under this lines:

CHIPPING: Use a fine rbush to paint the frist chips, using an Acrylic light yellow:

Then, add over the preview chips, another ones in dark brown color using the same method:

Paint the ruber wheels with a dark grey color. Add a kind of "ring" around the hub using a light color mix of different tamiya colors as you can see in the picture. Also, paint with the same color some lower areas in your vehicle body. It will be a kind of pre-dust coat.
With a little pigment and FLAT varnish (vallejo model air), we can make some rian marks in a radial way, trying to make soft lines.

To paint the special look of the surface of the tire, we will do something different. Put a little matt varnish in a soft surface, like rubber or polyfoam.

Now, add different colors of pigments over the preview coat of varnish.

Before it is dry, handle the wheel and move it rolling over the foam impregned of pigment and varnish:

It will create a realistic and random effect like in real tires.

Use the same colors to make mud effects, appling directly the pigments or mixing it with varnish and splashing it over the hull. Finally you can add some drops of oil or fuel.

And...this is the final look. Is a very easy process, and not too different than paint tanks.

Of course, write your comments if you wish add more information or you have doubts. I hope you like it.
See you in the next one!!
Mig Jimenez


  1. Nice tutorial Mig. Keep them coming please. Its like having the Mig FAQ in weekly installments.
    Great idea.

    PS: Pls make sure to make the FAQ of wet effects next. ;-)


  2. Haha.....as soon as I can make new models I will work in wet effects too. I promese you. Now I am finishing some projects for some collectors, but as soon as I finish it, I will come back with new ideas. Thanks for your post!!

  3. Hola Miguel, I'm Joaquin Garcia, very nice work and very inspirational, I made note about the varnish with pigments, to do the earth in the wheels.
    Another matter, plese contact with me, when you can, is important and urgent, you can use this E-mail: jgg@panzermodelling.com

  4. superb as usual !! very very inspirational

  5. ..... Maravilloso!
    Ahora tenemos un FAQ siempre nuevo cada semana | ... decir que .... MIG PRODUCTION ha perdido su Mig, pero nosotros modelistas hemos ganado el nuestro MIG cuotidiano!
    Hasta Siempre Comandante!

  6. Very cool Mig!
    I´m always suprised how you guys come up with new ideas every now and then...
    Very inspirational and I second what Siara said!

    Keep it up Mig and have a nice week

  7. Thanks for this SBS! Nothing is more useful for littles modelers like me.
    Thanks again

  8. I'm so glad you're blogging with these wonderful techniques, Mig. This is a welcome addition to your extensive body of work, and it's nice to see a non-military subject.

  9. although it seems that some techniques have been already presented, anything you do is quite unique, MIG style!!!!
    thank you for the SBSs

  10. Excellent Job MIG. I hope and wish for your next "civilian" project. What about a Special Forces HiLux? S.S.

  11. Awesome Mig, Thanks for posting alway enjoy these SBS. Cheers, Dmitry

  12. Estimado MIG, no se aún exactamente que ha pasado cintigo, aunque tengo una idea.

    ME alegra que sigas adelante, y espero que tus cosas vallan bien.

    Soy un modelista Uruguayo que ha aprendido bastante de tus técnicas, y qu eme gusta mucho estar día a día, un rato con mis plásticos.

    Me alegra encontrarte en otro foro, y espero saber más de ti, saludos cordiales

    Henry Ghisolfo

  13. Hi Mig

    After working for Bell Equipment Co. for 8 years, and been around construction equipment for that long, your wheeled loader is serious good! I particularly like your style of layering effects to a model.

    On a separate note, would you be doing anything to show water colouring? Such as your diorama with your Russian patrol boat and the T-34 changing it's turret on the dockside. I have Vallejo Still Water but have no idea how to colourise it and applying it with layers.

    As always, your work is inspiring.

    Ziggy Eichstädt