Overall, the pieces were in great shape with little to no bending to be done. The lone exception was the auto cannons on the Exterminator looked to be cross-eyed. There were some excessive mold lines but nothing that required major surgery. The rear end, near the exhaust pipes on the Exterminator needed some additional puttying and sanding afterwards, but for the most part the tanks were easy builds.
One of the dust filters for the back end broke at the hose, so it was set aside. I added some extra stowage to the turret from my extensive bits box. These were painted separately and glued on later. This made access to the turret and the bags much easier when painting. More so when it came to the weathering as well.
When it came to painting, the Exterminator was done up just like the Punishers. Although I did not do the initial fading on the panels this time. What I did do was to use oil paints for the fading. This is accomplished after all the base paints, decals, and gloss coats has been laid down. Using oil paints, you then place dabs of white, yellow, blue, and brown onto the tops and sides of the vehicle (other colors can be used as well to get differing effects). The lighter colors generally get placed in the center of a panel with the darker ones near corners or the base of the tank. Then, with another clean brush dipped in thinner (odorless terpenoid is preferred) mix the colors together. Usually pushing out to the edges so the darker colors gather in the crevices or near the bottom. The lighter colors then do their job and lighten the underneath panels so slightly. This gains you a couple of advantages, one as a filter it can level all the paints and decals beneath it, second with it being washed out with the thinner, the oil paints can change whole tone of the tank. It is a gradual effect.
There are a few little details added to the vehicle, a burst rivet that has rusted through for example, extra support on the sponsons. The treads had to be done twice. The first time seems to have been wiped out by the final gloss/dull coating. So I redid them and set the powders with water. Things you learn. Oh, you can set weathering powders with thinner. This will allow you to wipe it away later on. If you set them with water, you may not be so lucky. Water tends to make powders permanent. Learn from my mistakes!
The Vanquisher got a different paint scheme than normal. Going through the first Forge World book, I got some ideas. I ended up liking the paint scheme for an Imperial Thunderbolt done in greens. I simply ran with the idea in the greys I am using for my army instead. I will let you figure out the order of colors this time. The darker of the three greys is the Vallejo Black Grey from their model paint range. I love their colors and the dropper bottles. Yet, I've been groomed with the GW colors, and being colorblind... that is another post.
The Vanquisher got the most additions. Just little things I added here and there. The most obvious being the prow and maybe the rucksack in the back. Still, for me, this is one of my better results with regards to painting tanks. Many things came together to make it stand out.
I did not like the empty storage bin that is normally there on the old Leman Russ tanks, so I gave it a lid. Doing that made the other side look empty, so I added one to that side as well, rivets and all. I also added some reinforcing to the front around the lascannon too. The old Russ kits didn't always fit snug and left some gaps. Adding the extra armor strips filled those in while making it look a bit beefier. The ram in the front is from an old Ork war buggy I had sitting around. It looked the part to go with the Kanak style.
With each kit that I work on, I try to add a new trick, or try a new concept. Some work out like the axe handle, some not so much, like the jerry can (not extremely happy with it). But each step gives me an idea of what does and does not work. Or something that I may want to improve upon. Not every painter comes out with award winning items on their first try. They all had their stumbles along the way. I am just trying to get better and with each project. It's good to get out of your comfort zone sometimes.