Last time, we had finished chipping this gundam, which gave me an interesting base coat. However, I still wanted to kick the weathering up yet another notch and try out some new techniques.
Panel lining and edge highlighting
If you’re going to be doing panel lining and edge highlighting with a brush, paint consistency is key. You want the paint to be fairly thin so it will flow smoothly off your brush. If you have to apply any pressure at all, that’s where your line starts to gets either wiggly or you start getting inconsistent line width.
You will obviously need to do some experimentation to see exactly how much and with what you should thin your paints. However, this is a case where a wet palette is really important, just so however much that is, you can maintain the paint consistency for more than the few minutes it takes for acrylic paints to start drying. I’ve found that a touch of airbrush flow improver helps when thinning for this purpose, and if you want to maintain the pigment density, using an ink instead of water as a thinning medium can allow you to get a paint down to a really thin consistency but keep the colours intense.
Some people avoid thinning their paints because they are afraid that too much paint will come off their brush, causing a big pool the second they touch the model. However, there is a simple solution to that – simply remove the excess with either your palette or a paper towel and you’re ready to roll.
Also, I shouldn’t have to say this, but consider busting out either a natural hair liner brush or one of your fancy Kolinsky sables for this. This is detail work and needs a good brush.
So, with my 10/0 natural hair liner brush, I dropped some very thin black paint into the panel lines. From there, I moved onto edge highlights, using a Raphael 8404 size 1 and my highest highlight colour. Where the corner was sharp enough to allow me to use the side of the brush rather than the tip, I did that. Also, on the edge highlights, I skipped over areas that were chipped away for obvious reasons.
With the panel lines and edge highlighting in, it was time for some more weathering. With my 10/0 liner, I painted on some scratches and chips, painting a dark line over a light line to make a pseudo-3D scratch with paint. With a few additional chips and scratches painted in, it was time to hit it with one last coat of varnish, if only to protect that second layer of chipping medium from moisture.
After the varnish dried, I did a little sponge chipping with a metallic silver colour. While I had initially started with Vallejo Metal Color Steel, I felt that somewhere between all the layers of rust, paint, chipping medium, and varnish, any metallic effect had long since been obliterated. So, a little sponge chipping here and there, focusing on raised corners, helped bring that back.
Finally, it was time to try something new. I had picked up a bunch of random old tubes of artist oil paints from a fellow IPMS member a few months ago, and thought it was time to try using oils for weathering.
These artist oil paints have some properties that are very different from the acrylics I am used to, which can make them very useful for certain techniques. The main difference is the dry time; oil paints can stay wet for hours, if not days, while acrylics only give you a limited window with which to work. That’s why you sometimes get coffee staining with acrylic washes – if it’s not laid down perfectly consistently, it can pool and dry funnily. While with oil paints, you have more time to play with it once it’s on the model and get it exactly how you want it before it dries.
Since this is my first time using oil paints, I decided to just dip my toe in. I put a few browns and blacks and ochres and whatnot onto some paper towel and let the paper towel soak up some of the linseed oil for a couple hours (which I’m told is important if you ever want the paint on the model to dry) and then went to work. To do my streaking, I would use a technique that is actually pretty similar to Privateer Press’ two brush blending. With one brush, I would put a little dot of oil paint at the origin of my streak. Then, with a second brush loaded with a little bit of paint thinner (odorless, of course, in true Bob Ross style), I’d drag that dot down, pulling the paint and thinner mixture downwards like a streak of rust or an oil leak.
I was actually quite happy with the effect. While oil paints are a little more involved than acrylics – they can’t be thinned with water, they take a long time to dry, and if you want to get the linseed oil out you need to plan your painting a couple hours in advance – once you get brush to model, they are actually fairly easy to use for this application. While I will be going deeper into the world of oils, that may be more for display models as Agrax Earthshade and Typhus Corrosion is probably good enough if I’m trying to bang out a tabletop quality model in advance of the next tournament (who am I kidding, I haven’t been to a tournament in months).
This model is all about experimentation with something new. I was initially skeptical about them as it seemed like it would be more difficult than the acrylic paints I’m used to. While there was a little more setup and cleanup to do, and I did have to put the model on the shelf overnight to let the paints dry, I am definitely going to do more experimentation with this medium.
Tune in next time while I discuss how I did the eyes, the glowing sword, and the gun.