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Painting technique question
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shauneroo
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 10 Jan 2009
Posts: 70
Location: East Anglia, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:57 am    Post subject: Painting technique question Reply with quote

Hi all. I'm an experienced AFV modeller/painter and am just now starting to collect and paint minis for FC. I have found that some of the techniques I use for 1/35th AFV painting don't work/can't work when painting FC minis.

For example, after undercoating my AFVs, I always 'pre shade' them by airbrushing fine lines in black around all panel lines etc. Some of the minis are just too small for that technique to be effective, so I guess what I'm asking is, what techniques do you guys use to achieve the sense of 'depth' that pre shading provides on larger scale models? In particular, the lines on the top of the saucer section of Fed ships?

I've tried adding a dark wash over the initial coat of Fed white, to try and pick out these lines, but it just doesn't look right.

Also, weathering. Whilst MIG pigments are great, starships don't get muddy or dusty or rusty, so what techniques do you guys use to achieve a 'used' or 'worn' look?

Any advice you could give would be much appreciated!
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4461
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shading of the Fed ships is best accomplished with a light, thin wash of ligh grey. If it's thin enough, it'll settle into the low spots wihout tinting the base white color.
That's the method I use to weather all of my SFB/FC minis. A very thin wash of a slightly darker shade than the base coat, followed by an even lighter highlighting of the edges of the panels.
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Rick Smith
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 02 Sep 2008
Posts: 266
Location: Silver Spring, MD

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll definitely need to adapt or adjust your techniques to such a different scale - 1:3788 is a massive departure from the 1:35 scale you're used to.

Scoutdad is completely right - really thin washes are the way to go to bring out details in Federation saucer sections, etc. Most other races have relatively little in the way of raised details except for phaser bumps or heavy weapon ports. Again, a thin wash and some capillary action usually suffices. If you're worried about mistakes (and being able to fix them) try using gouache - a thicker artist's water color pigment - to bring out details. The benefit to using these is that you can use a damp q-tip to pull up spills or mistakes. Then, when you're satisfied, you can seal the wash with a flat spray to keep everything in it's proper place.

You could add some battle damage to add some points of interest to your ships. I'm actually working on some Hydran ships right now that are getting painted-on battle damage. I was going to create decals for this, but then decided to just feather out some really really thinned black paint with a slightly different tone in the center for where any hull plating has been blasted/burned off. With the abundant flat spaces, I'm finding that the ships almost beg for that sort of attention.

Panel lines could be painted or drawn on if you have a really steady hand, but - figuring that these are large space ships - at a very small scale, not much can be seen from such a distance in space...or from eye-to-tabletop for that matter.

Eager to see your results! Post some soon.

Best,
Rick
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djdood
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2922
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like Tony (scoutdad) and Rick, I use a wash on my Fed minis (a thin wash of dark grey acrylic in "Magic Wash").

I then add some extra shading with Tamiya pastels in a few key areas (the base of the command teardrop, etc.) and also indicate some panel lines on engines. I'll also usually hit edges of certain things with white pastel to make them pop a bit.

On my plastic Feds (with the fine raised panel lines on the saucers), I very lightly pick those grids out with a hard lead drafting pencil.

Contrary to many, I slightly weather my Fed minis. I add the "rust ring" to the top of the saucer with pastel and also very lightly add some streaks to the saucer (more on older ships or battle-veterans, less on others). The different weathering helps give each mini a unique look.

Once that's all done, I add decals (the weathering is almost always not were decals end up going, to avoid adhesion-problems/silvering) and then matte-coat seal the mini in acrylic.
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shauneroo
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 10 Jan 2009
Posts: 70
Location: East Anglia, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips guys, much appreciated.


Scoutdad, the tinting of the white base colour is the problem I have been having. I think I was using a wash that was too dark/thick. I shall try again tonight.

Rick, the battle damage idea is interesting, and I think I have a fairly good idea of how to achieve that by modifying the 'oil dot' technique I use on AFVs to simulate tonal variations in the base colour. The last thing I want is for my FC minis to come out looking like toys, or like they've just come out of the Utopia Planetia testing yards.

Djdood, again, similar to Rick with regards to the weathering. I think adding streaks to the saucer and various other parts using the modified oil dot method should work.

I'll post results as soon as I have them. In the meantime, I'll post a couple of pics of some AFVs later today...

Thanks.
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Starfury
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 296

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On some of my ships (and other mini's) I use Rapidograph pens to put black lines where I need them. I've found that 2/0, 3/0, and 4/0 pens pretty much cover anything I need to do. They work great on the Gorn ships to trace the lines in the hulls, and are good to shadow some areas.

Someday (maybe this weekend) I'll dust off my miniatures and post them.
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shauneroo
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 10 Jan 2009
Posts: 70
Location: East Anglia, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some pics of a couple of AFVs as promised...

http://i379.photobucket.com/albums/oo234/darklypoetic/Finished_4.jpg

http://i379.photobucket.com/albums/oo234/darklypoetic/Finished_5.jpg

http://i379.photobucket.com/albums/oo234/darklypoetic/Wespe1.jpg
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4461
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! Excellent work. Now I really can't wait to see some of you Fed Comm minis.
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shauneroo
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 10 Jan 2009
Posts: 70
Location: East Anglia, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. I expect it'll probably take me time to really get confident with the new techniques I'll need to use. I have this weekend set aside for some serious painting/experimentation/throwing them out of the window with frustration...
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djdood
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gorgeous weathering. That rust on the front plate in particular is just flat-out real-looking - if it wasn't for your fingers holding the model it would be hard to say it wasn't the real vehicle.

I'm in the "me too" category for seeing what you can do with our favorite sci-fi minis.
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Starfury
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 296

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shauneroo wrote:
Thanks. I expect it'll probably take me time to really get confident with the new techniques I'll need to use. I have this weekend set aside for some serious painting/experimentation/throwing them out of the window with frustration...


You're lucky...the new mini's are cast as one piece; the old lead ones were multiple piece. I can't remember how many times the engines would fall off of a D7 or a Gorn CA/DN and I'd have to re-glue them and touch up the paint.
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djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2922
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me too, which is why when I went back to my old lead SL2200 minis I retrofitted them all with brass pins and epoxy putty reinforcement on those joints. A lot of work, but no more paint touch-ups.


(this picture was taken before the putty was filed and sanded to-shape)

The Gorns I pinned the engines directly to the hull and built up putty fillets (they look pretty much just like the new one-piece minis now).
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Last edited by djdood on Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4461
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[aged curmugdeon mode on]
You young whipper-snappers...
Y'all don't know from difficult.
I still have 4 of the old Kzinti SCS minis. Those suckers were 14 pieces each...
[/curmudgeon off]
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4461
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yeah...
And back then, we had to make our own super glue, too...

And we liked it! Wink
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shauneroo
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 10 Jan 2009
Posts: 70
Location: East Anglia, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been working on a Gorn, Romulan and Federation ship over the weekend, practicing techniques, and getting used to using my airbrush at this smaller scale. I'm fairly pleased with how things have gone so far, and should have some pics to share by this evening. They are without decals at the moment though, although they are on order.
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