Friday, January 26, 2018

MERDC M109 SP Howitzer Proof of Concept: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Quick Friday night blog post for everyone with exciting news!  Finally cracked the code for MERDC!  MERDC, also known by its more formal name Mobility Equipment Research Design Command [CLICK] was a paint scheme common to US vehicles in the 1980s prior to adopting the NATO three color camouflage pattern.

For quite awhile I had a difficult time with finding the correct colors for MERDC, that is until I discovered AERVOE paints!  Where better to find US Field Drab than through a company who sells Federal Standard Patter 595 paints!  It's genius!  (and I didn't pay the standard Aervoe price, either.  I found 595 standard Field Drab and Forest Green for 9 bucks a can!)

So, armed with blue-tack, I started in on my self propelled, M109 howitzers from Zvezda.  Let me tell you, I couldn't be happier with the results!

Heavy khaki dry brush.  2 x cans will paint all of my microarmor and probably all of my 15mm stuff too!  they're big cans.

The other 2 guns from the platoon have been base-coated in field drab and are waiting for their blue tack!  Mission accomplished!  "Rounds Complete on One!"


  1. Damn good looking guns! Great find on the rattle can color matches.

    My only complaint is that your Khaki dry brush is not the same as directed in the Technical Bulletin and is much too dark as seen on the 2nd Armored Divisin in Europe. JK! ;-)

  2. Gun looks lethal and easy to hide - I'm sure it is historical, but it looks almost like something from near-future sci-fi!


    2. It would make a cool uniform camo...not that OCP is bad, and it's a lot better than UCP, but this is a cool pattern.

  3. That looks fantastic!! And go ahead, rub it in about the blue tack ;)

    I had a feeling it would work better with larger vehicles. Did you do anything different from me, and did you have any problems?


    1. Thanks Jack. Hey man - the Blue Tack experience came after literally ruining scores of models and going through tons of $$ in paint cans. I still screw it up alot. I should probably just break down and buy an airbrush but for now this is all I got.

      There's a way to get feathered edges with brushes (FOW had a nice tutorial on it on youtube) but it's so much work to do one vehicle that I can't stand it. Took me hours and hours to do a single hetzer that looked respectable.

      For me the key lessons learned were taking my time in applying the stuff, and not applying it too hard so it can be pulled off easier. If you press it down hard, it'll get into the crevices and details on the model and then you get a situation where you're having to use more blue tack to sponge the old stuff off.

      I also don't wait too long after putting the paint on to take the tack off. Using 2 of the same paint brands helps too (ie krylon) because when you mix brands, some of the paint formulas are super thick compared to a competitor, so you'll get raised areas or lines if you put too much of the heavy paint on. Does that make any sense?

      Best advice is to press a "practice panzer" into service. Find an old tank that you can knock around and paint up that you're not afraid to get FUBAR'd.

  4. Beautiful and very impressive!