Saturday, 12 January 2013

Getting neat lines on big models

Hi there folks, today I thought I would share some more progress on the first warhound (now suddenly Pyladii Beta, more later) along with some advice on painting geometric patterns at this scale. Patterns like:

Now this might seem like teaching egg-sucking to most of you, but all knowledge is new to someone right? There are a few considerations when dealing with things of this scale (for reference, these shin guards are 3 inches tall). First, it is really, really hard to draw a straight line for any distance. There are liner brushes that can help but you'll see sign writers and the like using guides to run their hands along as it is still a bear. Secondly, curved surfaces mess with your perceptions and you will adjust the width of the lines to make them look straight when viewed from that one angle. Thirdly, you will need a few coats to get a nice clean colour and doing that carefully several times will drive you insane. The solution? Tape.

For once, not duct tape (all though that can fix anything except... ducts) but really low tack masking tape. Normally I'll always post you toward the low cost option but this will not be your friend here. The cheaper the masking tape the wonkier the adhesive. It'll either not stick or conform to the contours or it will stick too hard and tear layers of paint off. I use the Tamiya stuff that comes in several widths and is slightly stretchy making it easy to burnish into place. Speaking of burnishing, that is one of those silicone clay shapers there. They are firm but flexible and won't tear the tape or knacker your paint job while being stiff enough to apply some pressure through. You need a really good seal or bad things happen. Now, stupidly I didn't photograph the next step but I made the width consistant by using another piece of masking tape as a spacer and then removed the middle bit. You can always tell at which point I spontaneously start to take tutorial shots right?

So now we can fill our design with cavalier abandon. Shade and highlight it while the tape is on. Don't waste early effort! It is not an infalliable system though and mercifully for this tutorial I made the two classic mistakes (no not entering a land war in asia or going against a Sicilian when DEATH is on the line) with this technique so I can show you them! Yes, that is totally why I did it, I'm all about the education...

With the tape removed you can see nice clean lines as though you've used a massive transfer. The two bubbles show the problems you can run into. The bottom one is inattention, the top is impatience. Lets deal with the bottom one first, the tape was not tightly burnished to the very edge of the rim and paint leaked underneath the tape. You can tell by the strength of the colour and the way it has followed the path of least resistance along the rim. The top one is not waiting for a fraction too long before removing the tape. There was the tiniest bit of wet paint along the edge of the tape and it smudged as I removed the tape. Mercifully, these are easy fixes!

A couple of swipes with the basecoat colour and all is forgiven! You can now go on with the rest of the painting. Notice that I ignored the raised detail while cutting the tape and painting in the yellow. This is why it is important to think through the order in which you paint something. If I had painted the brass after the blue I would have had to carefully cut the yellow in to the already painted details. Doing it this way speeds up the process and cuts the stress down considerably.

Done right? Noooo, there's a ton of weathering still to go, and it is partially for that reason that you won't see too much highlighting on these surfaces. It's fairly obvious on the next panel:

At the moment the blue looks very "flat". There are a couple of reasons for this, first, go easy on the highlighting on something this big as the sheer size will make extreme highlighting look weird. Extreme highlights simulate the light that is actually bouncing from this model in reality! The second is that the weathering will define the details very well and will obliterate a lot of the highlighting making the effort moot.

As an example, check out the eagle and the "parchment" here. The eagle looks realisticly scaled. The parchment looks "painted on". That is deliberate, it can't really be parchment so the engineers have obviously painted it! The eagle is just a clean steel coat with a wash over it and a tiny bit of edging with the original colour. The light does all the rest. The eagle eyed amongst you will have read "Pyladii Beta" on the parchment. Why?

Because I got the chevron the wrong way up on the shinguard and so this titan miraculously becomes Beta rather than Alpha!

In a bit of a plug my Dwarf Rangers along with the accompanying article can be found over on The Beard Bunker. Check 'em out!

Anyway, that's it for today. Hope the tips I've shared helped some of you and until next time.


No comments:

Post a Comment