Painting 3D Printed T-62 Model




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In one of our previous Instructables, we have shown you how to model and print a workable T-62 tank 3D model. In this one, however, we will show you how we have painted it. We will illustrate every step with pictures and will give you tips on how to achieve certain painting effects.

Tools you will need:

  • A pair of nippers;
  • Sanding paper;
  • Polishing tool;
  • Paints (we use acrylic);
  • Primer;
  • Salt;
  • Sugar
  • Warm water;
  • Brushes;
  • Eyeshadows in brown color or tints.

Step 1: 3D Print and Smooth the Surface of the 3D Model

First thing, you need to 3D print the model. You can download the files here.

Once you have 3D printed all the parts, you need to remove the support off them. Also, it is recommended smoothing out the surface of the model. There are different ways to smooth the surface of a 3D model. In our case, because the model is printed in PLA, we used sanding paper and sanded the model carefully. It is highly recommended to avoid small and fragile elements, such as the antenna and other outer parts.

Step 2: Prime the Model

First, we recommend breaking the 3D model into separate parts before starting its actual painting. It will be easier to handle each part.

The primer lets acrylic and other types of paint better adhere to the 3D printed model’s surface. We used matte black spray primer. We applied 3 coats of primer and let the 3D model dry for several hours. It is even better to leave it dry overnight.

Step 3: Applying Rusty Colour Paint

Now that you have your 3D model primed nicely, use a combination of brown, red and yellow paints to create the rusty hue and apply it on the parts you want the rusty effect to be visible on the model.

Step 4: Create the Peel-off Paint Effect

For this, you will need a sticky solution, made by mixing warm water and sugar, and salt. Add as much sugar as possible. The sticky solution will work as a gluing agent for the salt.

Apply the solution on the 3D model’s edges and then add the salt on top. Leave the parts to dry. The salt will stick to the surface of the 3D model.

Do this procedure with all the parts of the 3D model. Use your imagination and creativity and apply the salt where you think appropriate.

Step 5: Base Coat the 3D Model

Base coat all 3D model parts with the paint color you want your 3D model to be painted in. We chose a green color that is closer to the color of the real war tanks.

2-3 coats will be enough. Leave the parts to dry. We left the wheels black, as we don’t want them to be in green color.

Step 6: Scratch Off the Salt

When the parts are dry enough, use a polishing tool or a hard brush to scratch the salt off the surface of every part.

Polish the salt off the surface of the 3D model to mimic the effect of rust and wear of the tank. It will look as if the paint is peeling off the model.

Step 7: Paint the Caterpillar Tracks and the Wheels

Use tints to create the effect of dirt and rust. We used matte eyeshadows in brown.

Dissolve yellow, brown, black and rusty colors in different proportions in a disposable cup, until you obtain that effect of dirt. Paint the caterpillar tracks and add some dirt effect to the wheels.

Step 8: Assemble the Painted 3D Model

After the parts have been painted, assemble them together.

We upload the assembly video for your reference.

Step 9: Video

We've shot a video with the entire painting process.



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    17 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Pure art! Time consuming but hard work well paid off.


    2 years ago

    Wonderful instructable. The sugar/salt technique is brilliant. Thanks!

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    Would there be a way to buy the tank from you with out it painted and with out it put together so that I can do the work to it? If so awesome.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago


    Unfortunately, we do not sell the printed model, we sell the STL files only, which you 3D print and assemble.


    2 years ago

    i've never heard about using a sugar/salt/water solution, just using salt. i actually like using the three ingredients better. i've used salt and even just mustard but i was never fully happy with the result.

    i cant wait to give this a try.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    the sugar/water solution was used to make salt stick to the surface of the model. Use large-grained salt.


    2 years ago

    Can you just use water to get the sugar/salt off the model?

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    We dipped the brush in warm water, but try to shake the water off the brush first. You don't want to let the water from the brush run on the entire painted model.