I'm not accustomed to writing tutorials or getting across complex ideas without waving my hands around so I apologise in advance for this post!
I was reading a thread discussing weathering and damage on models and as a modeller who has recently moved into military modelling I thought I would try to demonstrate some completely different techniques to those I learned at the knee of the ‘Eavy Metal team.
Firstly, please bear in mind the model I chose to do this on was bought from eBay already painted. I didn’t remove the paint and it shows in the surface in some of the pics.
Secondly I’m not a great photographer, these pics were taken at my desk with my phone.
Thirdly, I don’t claim to be an expert, I just want to show some completely different techniques. I’m not working to a finish here, I rushed this through in an afternoon.
I hope this opens some new avenues to you in your painting and gets them ever closer to that picture in your mind!
Undercoated the model with Tamiya Super Fine. A fantastic product which when dry reveals a great cover without obscuring detail.
Pre-shading. A technique from military aircraft modelling. Basically spraying round panel lines with a colour dark enough to just show through on the final paintjob. Very subtle and sometimes difficult to judge, but the results can be spectacular (they weren’t on this project in the end… bah). This is probably a good time to mention I use an airbrush, an Iwata HP-CH and worth every penny, alongside a twin piston compressor.
Base colour. A gradual build up of the basic colour of the vehicle. Applied in thin coats and built to allow stopping when the preshading hits the right level. On this model I put too much on, meaning the preshading was too subtle later. This colour is a thinned Tamiya Desert Sand.
Once the base colour is on, it needs sealing. This is important as we will be mixing media between oil and waterbased paints and we want to keep them separate. I sprayed a floor polish on at this point. One of the best kept secrets of military modelling – Johnson’s Klear (in the UK). Military modelers use it for a million and one jobs, in this case – gloss varnish. This finish will allow me to protect the base colour and prevent the later oils seeping into the acrylic paint. That way I can add, remove, add, remove to my heart’s content.