My Painting and Weathering Process
Posted 25 March 2010 - 11:24 AM
Before I start, I'd like to say . Other methods are just as good, if not better, this is just how I like to do it
So here's the victim, er I mean subject:
This is the Italeri Mki Crusader, with a full scracthbuilt interior from nose to tail and a fair few 'corrections' to solve inaccuracies in the kit.
First job then is to protect that interior by masking it off with good old damp kitchen paper:
More later ....................................
Posted 25 March 2010 - 04:32 PM
After this I highlight chosen areas with a little white to make a pre-shade:
I try to make the white lighter on upper surfaces. In the case of this one, as the hatches are open, I do not lighten the centres of the inside surfaces of the hatches. This is because the preshade is primarily there to help with the 'sun-bleached'/faded effect later on. As the hatches would have been closed half the time, the insides would not have faded as much as the outsides
Then I shoot the base colour:
This is done a shade or two lighter than the colour I want when the painting is finished, as washes etc later on will darken the tone and I need ot compensate for that
As you can see, the base colour is put on relatively lightly so that the preshade shows through. I favour a very subtle effect at this stage, as when the klear goes on later it tends to bring it back, but some go for a more dramatic effect, its all down to taste:
Posted 31 March 2010 - 10:27 PM
At this point then you have to decide, you can either leave the shields, wheels and tracks off until you've got further into the painting or put them on now and use care and masking as you go. I favour the second option
Now I always prefer to mix my own colours, but this means if you don't do it all in one go its hard to match the colour, so I took opportunity to do a respray of the preshade and then all the sand again
Next I painted the tyres (probably the job I hate most) then gave it two good coats of Valejo Matt Varnish, then a coat of klear, all to protect it for the next stage; masking for the camo scheme
More next week
Posted 12 April 2010 - 11:06 AM
This can be a bit too tacky if you're not careful and will lift paint no matter how well you protect it. The avoid this, get a clean surface such as a desk top or piece of card and stick the tape to it. Give it a good rub then lift it off. This removes enough of the tack to stop it lifting paint
First I blocked in the light colour of the Caunter Scheme chose for this build:
I used the lighter colour to block in the area covered by both the lighter and darker Caunter colours. This is to avoid a third tone of overlap between the two when I apply the next camo colour
Next I masked again and applied the darker colour
Going dark over light helps to mask any overlap and keeps the lighter colour light.
Posted 13 April 2010 - 06:02 PM
So, after the second colour had been added, the details, including haedpads and some basic chipping where painted on
I use two methods to do chipping. most of this one was done with a small brush and a mix of metallic black and german brown. I sometimes also use a sponge (the kitchen cleaning type) for this method tear off a small piece of the sponge and dip it in the paint, then wipe most of it off before gently dabbing at the the area you wish to 'chip' have a damp cloth handy, as if you don't like an effect you can remove it if you wipe it a clean damp cloth quickly afterward
I paint all details and chipping prior to weathering as if you do them afterwards the will look painted on, rather than realistic and part of the whole
Klear was then again applied to prepare for decals. I won't bore you with decal application, as an armour modeller I think I have nothing to teach aircraft modellers about decals! Suffice to say it was: lay down Klear, add decals (using Mr Mark Softner and Mr Mark Setter) then klear on top
after this the whole thing was given a really solid coat of Matt in preparation for the oils
Posted 13 April 2010 - 06:22 PM
So once the matt was on (I use Valejo Model Air Matt Varnish) I started by using a variation of the SODA (Small Oil Dots All Over) Technique. Usually for this tyechnique I use every colour in the box (yes, even the emeral green, bright blue etc) and this works well on green/ olive drab tanks for European or Pacific theaters, or on German tri-tone camo, however for desert builds, due to the muted palette of the base colours, I restrict my colours to those sympathetic to the base colours. This helps to achieve a faded look suitable for harsh sun, whereas the all colour methid is good for general variation without excessive bleaching
So for this one I used White, Ochre, Light Cadmium Yellow and Raw Sienna
As you can see, this is applied with a small brush in small dots semi-randomly all over. I say semi randomly as I apply more dots of darker colours in shaded areas and more dots of lighter colours on upper surfaces, but all colours are used on all surfaces, its just the ration that differs
Next take a largish flat brush and dip in thinners. Most use turpentine or turpenoid or similar, I prefer an artists thinner called Sansodour from Windsor and Newton. Wipe off almost all the thinners on a dry cloth or tissue, as if you were drybrushing
Now for a temperate climate build, the method is to draw your nrush over the model and dots in a downward motion. This will, after an application or too and some practice, simulate the marks made over time by rain. However, as this is a desert build, I don't want rain marks, so I move the brush gently in random directions and with the odd circular motion thrown in.
Now this is very important take care to clean your brush and wipe it nearly dry again after every long stroke or every couple of seconds this prevents you smearing the same colour all over your model. what you are looking to achieve is a subtle variation in tone
NOTE: its better to err on the side of caution when doing oils. When applying a layer you are looking to almost completely remove them with the brush with thinners. As they dry, they become more opaque and the effect more apparent, so if it looks as you wanted it to end up looking while you're still doing it, you've probably got too much colour on it
The biggest benefit of oils however, is that they take an age to dry. After doing an application, leave it 24 hours and have a look. If something is wrong or there is too much on, a brush dipped in thinners can still fix it!
The only downside of this is you need patience. Depending on the oils or thinners, it takes between 24 and 36 hours for the oils to dry sufficiently to move to the next stage. Its better to err on the side of caution with this or you could undo good work
So here is how it looks after the turret was done. Its difficult to show the real subtleties of this effect in photos and on a computer screen, but hopefully if you compare the turret with the hull in these shots, you'll be able to see the difference after just the first application:
and here it is after I've done the whole thing
Thanks for following and I hope its being useful
Posted 14 April 2010 - 12:05 PM
I'm afdraid that I'm struggling with the last stage there, and its not really coming thru in the pictures. What are those oils supposed to be achieving? Is it a simple (not so simple!) oil wash?
Definitely not a wash Campbell, you want to do this as dry as possible! It is difficult to see on the screnn, nbut in the flesh it is much mre dramatic. Also it was freshly applied in these pics, becuase I wanted people to see what it looked like freshly applied, but as it dries it becomes more apparent
What this technique gives you when done as I've done this, is a very subtle mottled effect. The base colourse are still the dominant colours, but the oils tint them in slightly different tones across the panels. If you use the downward strokes, then you get lighter and darker streaks, which look like the rain marks on plant equipment and other metal things exposed to a lot of weather
This version can be seen on my Puma:
Stay tuned and hopefully all should become clear
Posted 26 April 2010 - 10:30 AM
Others do all this better than me, but hopefully by documenting this it can de-mystify it a bit and show that its not that tricky really
Time for the final chapter then!
First job was to matt the whole thing. I use Vallejo Matt Varnish from their model air range and shoot it through the airbrush at about 17 psi, applying from a distance of around 8 inches to gently mist it all over in a couple of coats. It dries very quickly so its reasonably easy to build up the three to four coats needed for a truly matt finish.
Its very important to seal the oils in this way, as oils take literally weeks to fully dry, and as the next stage is pigments, you don't want to run the risk of getting your pigments stuck in the oils as it leaves a particularly bad effect on your model. Plus of course it gets rid of that satin finish
Leave this to fully cure. I leave it overnight just to be safe, as once again you don't want the pigments smearing in the varnish if its not 100% dry
Now here's a subject all on its own! However, for many jobs its quite simple, so I won't go into the heavy stuff here.
When choosing pigments, quite a chois is available.
The best known in armour modelling circles are probably MIG Pigments (http://www.migproductions.com/)
These are very fine (an important quality in your pigments) and have good adhesion, by which I mean that even dry they will 'stick' to your model (although if they are not fixed they will fall off!)
MIG sell a 'Pigment Fixer' which you are supposed to apply to permanently fix your pigments. However, personally I have always had trouble with fixing their piments, no matter what I use as I find as soon as you apply any kind of varnish or fixer the colour almost disappears
There are other brands, including DOA Pigments (available from Trackpads here: http://trackpads.co.uk/) Although I can't give any impressions of other pigment brands as I have not used them
My personal choice is artist's chalk pastels. These are available from various places, including art shops and WHSmiths and cost around £5 to £10 for a set. This may sound pricey, but when you consider a little pot of Mig Pigments will set you back the best part of £4 I think financially they compare favourably. In addition to being inexpensive, they carry two very important benefits for me:
1. you can mix any colour you want
2. they have far superior (in my opinion) colour permanance, even when used with a sealant or 'fixer'
To prepare chalk pastels for use as thinners you need to convert the sticks in the box into 'powders'. To do this, scrape them with the edge of a modelling knife into a suitable pot, then grind them to make them finer. Be careful to only use completely dry implements at this stage or they will stick to anything even slightly damp making a premature mess!
Applying the pigments
Applying pigments can be done in a huge variety of ways from a light dusting to a full on mud-caking. As this model has not been wallowing in the mud on the Russian front all winter, I think we'll settle for a deserty dusting
When doing 'dusting' you have a number of choices. You can either brush the pigments on using a dry brush (soft makeup brushes are best IMO), selectively apply them using a solution or wash them on.
I tend to use either the selective application or the wash or both. In terms of your 'solvent' to make the solution, the two best options are enamel thinners, or in my case, good old tap water.
When mixing your solution, make it very very thin. If you put too much pigment in you won't know until it dries, and if its too thick a solution it will look like you've coated your model in watercolour. Not a good look and hard to make right
As a rule of thumb, mix it thinner than you think it need to be, you can always apply more when its dry
Once this is done, apply it a little at a time to your model, making sure you get it into recesses and around detail such as rivets. Remember that although tanks throw up a lot of dirt and dust, most of it would be around the running gear , nose and kicked up over the rear armour. try to avoid making the turret too dirty as it is unlikely it would be as covered in dust as the rest of the tank
Remember as you apply that the water/ solvent will make the colour darker, hiding some of it. When dry the model will have more pigments on it that it looks like it will wet. Also try to avoid applying too much at once, as this will cause the fluid to run, streaking the pigment with it
Once your'e done, leave it to completely dry. A few hours is best
When its dry, you can gently brush any excess pigment off the model using a dry paper towel or reasonably stiff brush. If there isn't enough, you can apply more, perhaps with a smaller brush and concentrating around the detail
Repeat as necessary
The trcks received the same was but a much thicker solution. As these tracks are metal aftermarket tracks by Fruilmodelismo, to make the bare metal they were lightly sanded on the edges. If you're using plastic track you can achieve the same effect by either drybrushing with the metallic paint of your choice, or by gently rubbing raised areas with an artist's graphite pencil
Finally, it was again sealed with a gentle coat of matt varnish misted from around 11-12 inches away again at medium pressure. If you don't have an airbrush, Vallejo's matt varnish rattlecans work very well
So with all that done, here's where I ended up. If anyone wants to follow the full build, painting and weathering of this, it should be appearing in a magazine in the not too distant future and I'll let you know when it does. Thanks for watching
Posted 26 April 2010 - 11:00 AM
Thanks for that. The transformation from plastic & metal to a living breathing tank is magical and despite what you've said & shown, I still reckon there's a bit of juju taking place between stages that you're not telling us about
The proof of the pudding in this case is the photo below - zoom into the stowage box and look at the dusting around the the handle and hinges. That could be full scale.
Thanks again for sharing that.
Posted 27 April 2010 - 02:27 PM
It really isn't as complicated or hard as it looks when you haven't tried these techniques, and just a little practice of them improves your skills no end!
Something I forgot to mention which is immensely useful is the test bed kit. This is an old kit that is beyond rennovation and possibly an embarrassment to have on display (we've all got them!) You can use a kit like this to try things out. Its close enough to the 'real thing' to give you a good idea if something will work, and it doesn't matter to the kit of it doesn't. And it saves you ruinging that latest built that took you hours to put together if it all goes wrong
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