3mm Panzer Fours and 3mm Painting Guide

I have now painted a few 3mm tanks at this point, so I thought I'd show you how I do it. There are a few more tutorials online already, but this is my version and may help someone.

I wanted to add a unit of Panzer IVs to the 3rd Panzer Division and this consists of three bases each of 5 tanks. In 1943 3rd Panzer had 22 Panzer IVs on paper, so 15 is a close enough number, counting for vehicles in repair or support away from the front line. 

The first thing to do is Superglue the tanks to coffee stirrers. I always grab loads of these from cafes and restaurants as they are always really useful, like in this case. The Superglue may seem extreme, but it easily snaps off when you come to take the tanks off the sticks at the end of the painting session.

The first step is to paint all the vehicles in white undercoat. This is to help to brighten the later layers of paint, with bigger figures I use black as an undercoat, but in 3mm, you'll just end up with little dark lumps. Also, at this point, I paint PVA onto the bases (at the back) and cover them in sand. You'll notice that I have also left a space for the base label that will go on later.

Then I paint the tanks in Vallejo Middlestone, which is a close match for the German Late war Dunklegelb. This is all done with a brush, but there's no reason why you couldn't use a spray gun. A spray can may destroy a lot of the detail, so proceed with caution! 

The next step is the paint the camouflage on the tanks. This is done with tiny stripes of Vallejo Chocolate Brown and Vallejo Reflective Green. These two paints are good stand ins for the German three tone camo Green and Brown. The painting is easily done with a small brush, and takes no time at all. In the background you can see that I have advanced the bases as well. Once dry, the sand was painted in Vallejo Intermediate Green. Once this is dry, I then wash them in a thinned down Vallejo Flat Earth.

Nearly done! When they are completely dry, I give the tanks a wash with Army Painter's Strong Tone. This is an excellent wash and really gets into the details and makes the vehicles look less flat. This will also cover anything you may have missed previously. Also, the sand on the bases is drybrushed with Acrylic Sunshine Yellow. This last stage is perfect for blending in the base colour and wash on the bases.

The very last stage is the gently drybrush the tanks with Vallejo Buff. This picks out the detail on the vehicles and really makes them pop, so don't neglect this at all! Once everything is dry, I then use Windsor and Newton's Matt Spray to varnish everything including the bases. This is without question the best varnish I have ever used, I have never had a single issue with it frosting and it works every time!

I then use a sharp knife to ease the vehicles off the wooden sticks and glue them to their bases. I then use PVA to glue down random patches of static grass and put a couple of grass tufts on to break up the bases. I then PVA glue the base label on the space I left earlier and they are all done:

All in all, it took about two days to complete the unit, with drying times and each stage took a few minutes, so you can easily get on with other stuff whilst producing these tiny tanks! Don't be intimidated by how small the minis are, you can easily ignore a lot of detail at this scale. You'll notice I didn't paint the tracks, this is because they are not very noticeable and the even if they are, the wash brings them out.

Thanks for reading and just so you know all the links above will take you through to the product pages and through my Amazon Associates account, which means I make a little bonus on each of your purchases. 


  1. They look great. Very small but the mass effect is impressive in the end.



    1. Thanks Pete! Yeah, mass is what it's all about!


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