Friday, November 5, 2010

Work In Progress: 15mm Sci-Fi Project Update

Every once in a while I hit inspirational pay dirt and a project deep within my Lead Mountain starts to take off. I get fun and satisfaction from trying new techniques and learning something. I get stuff done. That's where I am now with the 15mm Sci-Fi Project. I have struck oil. Sort of.

Nice & dirty, or still in need of a wash?
Early this year I bought some artist's oil paints, but hadn't the courage to try them until revisiting this post at Roundwood's World. This IPMS article, a LAF tutorial & this Scale Model Medic video are inspiring too.

This WIP shot shows two 8 wheel MICV's and a Bulldog HMTV from GZG. The one on the far left has been airbrushed & given a coat of Future (Klear). The other two have also been given a panel wash of raw sienna, burnt umber & lamp black oil paints mixed with turpentine. After drying for several hours, excess oil wash is removed with a clean, soft brush dampened in turpentine.

I may clean-up the two on the right a bit more, or leave them nice & dirty. The next step once the turpentine, the solvent, is thoroughly dry will be another coat of Future followed by dry brush highlighting and detailing.
This is a very forgiving process. Artist's oils take forever to dry completely. So take your time, make adjustments over several days; see how things look in a different light. Subtraction, taking away a little paint at a time, is the strength of this easy to control technique.
It may be worth noting that I have blurred my panel line wash into first stage weathering. That may work all right at this small scale, but I haven't seen it done on larger models where panel lines and weathering are two separate steps.
I'm lucky to have excellent ventilation at home so working with turpentine is less of a problem than it could be. Still, using this dangerous solvent is a serious undertaking. Consider alternatives, such as white spirit. Always Play Safe.

But detailing with oils has not been the only recent technical adventure! I have been intrigued by the 'Hairspray Technique' for some time now, so I gave it a try on several of my 15mm vehicles.  Here is one example using the Old Crow Models Provider Transport, wheeled version.
A foundation colour (metallic silver for this job) is laid down & protected with Future.
Hairspray is then applied & allowed to dry. I used a non-aerosol, unscented hairspray, pouring it directly into my airbrush. Clean-up of the airbrush was done with alcohol or Tamiya thinners.

Next, an acrylic top colour was applied & when dry, water was used to loosen this layer. The dissolving hairspray between the foundation and top colours permitted me to remove convincing patches & scrapes, revealing the foundation colour.

With the number of bits, pieces and vehicles that I wanted scratched-up for this project I had a golden opportunity to get a lot of practice with this fun technique.

Next up: I am thinking I'll try some camouflage on my Cougar MBT from Ground Zero Games.

Is this the camo scheme for the Cougar?
I played about with some stencils & other camo ideas on this practice board, and decided I like this freehand pattern best.

Until next time,
Peabody out!

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