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BrotherMole

Retro styled A-Wing

10 posts in this topic

My new project, a Bandai 1/72 scale A-Wing, I'm wanting to do this in a 'retro' style borrowing as George Lucas did ideas and colours from WWII fighter planes and early jet fighters. Just getting going and putting together the cockpit in a Spitfire-esque 'cockpit green' mainly because I love the colour. I'm also using Flickr for the first time so please shout out if the pictures look shonky.

 

I took @AndyRM101 advice and bought a cheapy Optivisor from eBay and very expensive W&N No 7 brush - game changer, so much easier to paint detail.

 

A-Wing cockpit

I'm really pleased with how this has come out - its tiny but under the Optivisor I've realised a bit sparse and could have done with a few extra details - I'll maybe get a PE set next time out.

 

A-Wing cockpit

 

A few pictures with my $3 (delivered!) macro lens for the iPhone. Its not great but its not awful - should remember to blow off everything before a picture as the dust shows like nobodies business under this large magnification.

 

A-Wing cockpit

 

Really enjoyed putting the cockpit together and painting it up. Don't worry about the 'nobbly' bits on the chair - I put a blob of liquid mask on so once I add the pilot I'll be able to glue him down easily.

 

Couple of questions to those that know more than me.

1. Can I improve the look of the cockpit with a brown wash?

2. If I do add a wash - given its such a small area can I get away with not clear coating, applying a wash, then flat coating but just doing the wash on top of the (matt) paint work?

 

Cheers.  

 

 

Edited by BrotherMole
testing flickr
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Hi Brother,

 

I rather like where you're going with this; I mainly build aircraft and like many, love the Spitfire.  As to your questions, I think that a medium-dark gray green would do well for washing in some shadows.  Brown would work but I think it might tend to just look like dirt rather than shadows.  On your second question,  I would say "maybe," IF you have a lot of experience with doing washes, etc.  The main reason I do clear coats before and after washes is to create a barrier between the paint and the wash.  What is the barrier for?  It prevents the wash from lifting the paint.  The only time you can comfortably not use a wash is if the wash medium is different from the base paint.  For example, I use solvent based paints and washes.  If I throw a heavy wash of thinned artist's oils over my base paint, the wash will eat into the paint and in extreme cases pull it loose and make one big mess.  One solution, then, is to use a clear gloss acrylic coat over the paint.  Acrylics are not solvent based (in general), so it forms a barrier to the artist's oils.  I can do washes in oil without worrying about it messing up the base paint.  If you use acrylic paints and washes, the reverse is true and a clear coat of solvent-based paint can be used.  On the other hand, you should be able to use something like the artist's oils over a base acrylic paint with no problem at all.

 

All that said, I highly recommend trying your paint and washes on a piece of test plastic or a left-over kit piece first.  Then you'll know for sure if you need the clear coats or not.  Most of the time, if I just jump into a technique on my current model project, I screw it up.  Far easier to test on something else, figure out how it will work, and then using it on a model is much easier and a lot less hassle.  More often than not, speed in the process leads me into deep trouble.

 

HTH, Jim

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Nice work on the cockpit, it's all very neat and tidy!

 

Dust is a pain, especially in the small scales. I found a few things useful - blowing it off with an airbrush, dusting with the Tamiya dusting brush (a worthwhile purchase) and picking up stubborn bits with blu-tak-on-a-stick.

 

Cheers,

 

Will

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That's a great project. Are you going with an RAF green/brown camo or something different?

 

On the washes, I'd agree with Jim's comments. You could get away without a clear coat since you've used acrylics, but enamel washes can sometimes be hard to clean up on a matt finish and they can stain the paint. A satin clear coat would allow the wash to flow better, and be easier to clean up, but there shouldn't be any need to matt it down again afterwards. A gloss clear coat probably would need a matt coat at the end to restore the finish.

 

Andy

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2 hours ago, AndyRM101 said:

That's a great project. Are you going with an RAF green/brown camo or something different?

 

On the washes, I'd agree with Jim's comments. You could get away without a clear coat since you've used acrylics, but enamel washes can sometimes be hard to clean up on a matt finish and they can stain the paint. A satin clear coat would allow the wash to flow better, and be easier to clean up, but there shouldn't be any need to matt it down again afterwards. A gloss clear coat probably would need a matt coat at the end to restore the finish.

 

Andy

 

A satin coat I hadn't thought of that - I'll have to get some in for next time. In the end I was too eager to press ahead and so I skipped the cockpit wash (I know slacker) so I could keep building what I have now is this:

Main body

 

Buried under the tape and alien blue ooze is this chap (sorry the iPhone hates photographing anything this small):

 

The pilot

 

He's ok but figure painting is certainly my weakest area.

 

Regarding the paint scheme - I'm not doing RAF camo but hoping (if it doesn't look too hopeless) to do a P51 mustang/F86 Sabre, natural metal finish thing.

Edited by BrotherMole
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A little bit more progress. First up a paint test, which mostly worked, the Vallejo Metal Colors look the part and I think I'll be going in the main for the dull aluminium (closest to camera), however you can see where the chipping fluid has stained the main aluminium colour as it has seeped under the masking tape. I'm assuming the only way round this is to clear coat before masking and chipping the stripe I want to add? If I have this hopelessly wrong, someone please tell me.Ta.

 

The other plastic strip is regular aluminium that I tried 'messing with' by dropping water on and scratching to see if that could create convincing 'worn' aluminium body colour.

 

IMG_3457

 

Next step has been to prime the main body parts in gloss black before the metallics.

 

I'm not too sure about the Vallejo Metal Color Surface Primer - it didn't cover well and so needed several coats - at one point I stoped and cleaned the airbrush, then gave it 20 mins before carrying on but as can be seen here, the result is not great - it looks both glossy and grainy... Perhaps I should spray one more 'wet' coat? Rub it down and spray again - I'd be grateful for any tips.

 

 If I was doing it again I would try putting down a coat of Stynylrez first, then the gloss primer and see if that helps give a better finish/surface for the metallics. 

 

IMG_3458

 

Thanks for looking.

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I like the blue stripe! The primer does look grainy and that'll show under the metal - I'd definitely rub it down after it cures. I don't know if the metal primer is the same as normal Vallejo primer (polyurethane) but I found that hard to sand. Other people swear by it though.

 

For the chipping fluid seepage, have you tried activating it with water and washing it away?

 

Will

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9 hours ago, Will Vale said:

I like the blue stripe! The primer does look grainy and that'll show under the metal - I'd definitely rub it down after it cures. I don't know if the metal primer is the same as normal Vallejo primer (polyurethane) but I found that hard to sand. Other people swear by it though.

 

For the chipping fluid seepage, have you tried activating it with water and washing it away?

 

Will

Thanks Will. 

 

A few things I have realised, it's been as wet as I've ever known it in Brisbane - raining for four or five days straight (London style rain), humidity of ~80% as a result - running the aircon on 'dry' for an hour isn't enough to make it possible to paint - I think it needs more like three hours to bring the humidity down in the kitchen where I paint.

 

I think the 'grainy' primer was as a result of this high humidity, mostly because 12 hours later it wasn't dry... Three hours under the aircon unit on 'dry' seemed to do the trick and it actually looked a lot smoother and better at this point. Having heard the same stories about the difficulty of sanding Vallejo primer I decided to go with what I had on the basis that it looked 'not great but ok'.

 

I left the aircon on 'dry' for several hours before airbrushing so to give everything the best chance to work as normal. I gently misted on my coats of Vallejo 'Dull Aluminium', slowly building up the colour, it was only when I stopped did I realise I had this:

 

IMG_3460

 

a metallic grey body that it looked ok (in truth it actually looked better in person) but ultimately looked more like an Audi A80 rather than a Sabre F86. The 'Dull Aluminium' had lived up to its name - it looks great (and dull) on smaller pieces (like my paint test) but over a large area it looks like silver mixed with grey i.e. rubbish.

 

Four hours later (under the aircon to dry) I sprayed it again with Vallejo 'Aluminium' - again misty coat building up to this:

 

IMG_3463

Much better. Much more aluminiumumy...

 

Now before I hit this with a Vallejo gloss clear coat made for their 'metal color' range before doing the stripe and chipping it, can you explain what 'activating it with water and washing it away' means? As a total noobie I'm happy to learn a new trick. Cheers.

 

 

Edited by BrotherMole

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