Friday, 16 March 2007

Painting and Weathering Tutorial: Part I

(versión en Español)

PART I
PART II
PART III
PART IV


While the scratchbuilt turret mold is curing, I think that I am going to start another tutorial about painting and weathering.

Although I normally paint my models with an airbrush, this is just for the very first stages. In fact, more than 90% of the work is done by brush. You definitely could substitute the airbrush with a soft brush, paying attention to not leave brush marks on the model, with the exception of soft edged camo patterns, you'll absolutely need an airbrush for that.

More important even than the airbrush, it's the compressor. You'll need one than gives you stable air flow, variable pressure, filters water and oil from the air and, if you don't have a suitable working space, be silent enough to allow working anytime.

This is mine, it is not the best of the best, but does all the above in a satisfactory way:

For the airbrush, I just recommend you to go directly for double-action, it is not so expensive and you'll notice the difference. This is my Iwata HP, I am extremely happy with it, worth every dollar I payed for it.

This is my cleaning station, it doubles as airbrush holder too. It's used to keep inside the solvents you pump to clean the airbrush.

OK, let's assume that you have already assembled and primed your model... I am going to do a battered winter camo scheme, but these techniques could be easiliy adapted to other paint schemes and conditions.

I start mixing the base colour (Tamiya XF2 Flat White) with some gloss varnish (Tamiya X22 Clear) and adding about 50% of X20 Tamiya Thinner. The reason of adding varnish to the base paint is a) making it resistant to tear and wear and b) give the model a satin surface on were to apply filters and washes easily.

This is the model; a Ragnarok Vanquisher version (I don't know if GW ever thought about this, but I feel it's a very nice conversion :)). I use the airbrush to build a little preshading over the darker primer. I spray more white paint in the center of the pannels, leaving darker recesses and shadow areas.

This of course leaves us with an absolutely monocromatic resin chunk with no interest whatsoever. We are going to try to fix that.. using Filters!

Filters where developed by Miguel "MIG" Jimenez (if you don't know him, just make a quick search for his work, absolutely brilliant!!!!). They are like a kind of very subtle glazing done by oils or enamels. As oils can take up to 48 hours to dry, it is more practical to use enamels, wich dry in about two hours. Filters are prepared tinting turpentine or oher mineral spirits with enamels in about 95% solvent-5% enamels proportion. You apply them with a soft round brush (#8 or #6) but instead as is done on washes, you do not let the mix to run into recesses or crevasses. The good thing about the filters is that being based on mineral spirits, you can use them over an acrylic base as soon as it is dry.

I use the prepared filters from SIN industries. I am using here the blue filter (too strong colour, by the way, I inmediately changed my mind...). You can notice how the base coluor changes after the filter is applied.

In order to not turn your filter into a wash, you must soak the excess solvent before aplying it.

Here is the result after two tan filters are applied (I let 2 hours pass before applying the second one, by the way).

Now we are going to fade the base colour. I first put some oil coulours in a piece of card. The colours chosen may vary, I felt these were appropiate for the white base. The colours used were from Van Gogh oils (left to right):
  • Phtalo Blue
  • Titanium White
  • Naples yellow light
  • Terre-Verte
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Transparent Oxide Red

Now I make little points over the tanks.

May seem funny, but once you start fading them with the help of a clean brush with a little turpentine, the effect is subtler.

The finished panel.

In vertical panels, you should paint straigh vertical lines instead of dots.

And fade them vertically too.

The resulting tank. Now the coulour is not monocromatic at all.

The problem with the oils is that I must wait 48 hours before using thinner on the model again.

As I am now limited to the acrylics, I am going to do some work priming the tracks. To make it faster, I am going to use the airbrush, and that means masking the surrounding area with masking tape.

I use Tamiya's masking tape for that.

It's a high quality masking tape (that means that it will not scrap the paint from your model once you remove it) that comes in four sizes.

The masked Vanquisher.

I'll use 304 Track colour from Vallejo dilluted 50% on Tamiya's thinner.

I spray it very carefullly.

It's a real time saver.

Now I will start working on the base for the heavy weathered look I have in mind. I add 305 Ligh Rubber from Vallejo to the mix, as well as some drops of 597 Slow Dry to slow the driying process. The later allows you to work with acrylics as if they were oils, making possible very interesting transparence effects.

With the help of a good #1 brush, I start painting chipped or weathered paint areas.

I use also a piece of Scotch Brite to paint chipped paint areas faster...


The resulting effect is a good start for further work.

I also use a #4 brush with the bristles cut to 4mm. Now is when you notice the effect of the "slow dry" agent, as the paint is fluid, creates transparencies and does not dries up inmediately, alowing time work with it.

This is just the first phase.

There is still a lot to do, but at this point I can not use thinner nor acrylics, so it's time to leave it dry during some time.

We'll countinue working soon on this model.

NEXT

110 comments:

ducki3x said...

In the 10th picture down (oil paints on card), I can't quite tell what the darker oils you chose for the fade are. Is that a blue and a green in there?

Ultramar said...

Yes, but I realized later that blue were too strong, so I limited its use.

The coulurs used were from Van Gogh oils (left to right):

-Phtalo Blue
-Titanium White
-Naples yellow light
-Terre-Verte
-Yellow Ochre
-Transparent Oxide Red

I'll also update the post :)

Rich said...

Excellent tutorial, I've been looking for something like this for a while. The only addition I would make is to state the end goal your working to. I assume your going for a muddy, winter-white color?

Ultramar said...

Hey, thank you for your kind comments :)

The final effect I am lookig for, is a worn out winter white wich shows grey painting below. In next part the tank will be closer to the final look.

Kugelblitz said...

Thin those filter paints a bit more, the brushstrokes are visible. Maybe add some thinner to the paints first, then apply them, or use a soft cloth to mush the applied, wet paints around.

Ultramar said...

I suppose you refer to the blue strokes resulting from the oils fadings (the filters are already dilluted to 95% thinner!). For some reason, that tone of blue seemed to stick to the acrylic paint, trying to force it out will remove the previous filter work, so we'll make them dissapear in the stages... :)

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Xaeromancer said...

Is there a specific reason for using oils and enamels, or is it just a preference?

Wouldn't it be quicker to use thin layers of acrylic paints with washes and glazes and drybrushing?

I appreciate that using an alcohol based medium for weathering might get tricky, but a layer of varnish will provide enough protection.

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I likee a lot. One suggestion, if you're spraying the tanks, paint the model the metal colour, dip your dish scrubber in masking fluid or similar and dab on. Spray the model the final colour and then remove the masking fluid. It works quite well and has the added bonus of the rust spots, bare metal not being raised above the level of the normal paint - however it can be a nightmare to remove all the masking fluid. I also use pencils to add scratches/scuffs.

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