Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Lehman Russ Afrika Korps Green Scheme Take 2

My first attempt at a dark sand and green scheme LR was not fondly received, so I thought I would take another stab at it. I spread out the camouflage lines this time in order to let more of the color modulated yellow color to show through. A little web researched showed that the early german tanks in Tunisia had the option of green or grey camouflage over the brown/yellow base coat.

There were a couple of areas I struggled with on this model in addition to the camo. The first was the spotlight. I painted it black/grey in order to have it painted, but ideally I would rather of had it been covered. I like painting lenses, and small lights, but large lights look weird to me when they are painted as if they were glowing. I thought about painting the light various shades of silver as a way to show the reflective part at the back of the lens, and then heavily gloss it. That might be a way to go forward in the future.

Yesterday the great Simple Green bath of tanks finally finished eating away 19 years worth of paint. The griffin that just finished soaking has a 1995 mark on it! I'm tempted to build more griffin's just because the model is so cool. After watching orange scented simple green eat through dozens of layers of paint and glue, my wife decided that every tupperware container used had to go. So it looks like I have finally procured storage for my hobby room!

Friday, April 25, 2014

FW Hydra Defense Battery German Color Scheme

This is another salvage piece from my old IG army. After a bath in 99% alcohol, most of the original paint came off. What I was left with was the original badly weapon arms. Despite that, I really enjoyed painting this piece. If the details had been sharper I would have tried adding some green camo, but as it stands I think it came out pretty nicely. The stowage, spreader bars, and oil barrel are not completed yet, but with their base coats on, I wanted to share what an old school FW hydra could look like.

I am still getting the hang of painting battle damage on with a brush rather than with a sponge or with real chipping. I quite like the process. The total control coupled with tedium makes it sort of like meditating.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

On The Painting Table

Since photos of painters workspaces are so popular, I thought I would share mine. Yep, zero space. I've managed to completely fill an 8 foot table with a variety of projects. What you see here is my repaint of my IG tanks. In this photo each step of the painting process can be seen. I think my next job is to clean up my workspace! After that, some Nova Charitable Foundation Work. I've got a Knight Titan with LED's ready to hit the paint phase.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lehman Russ Panzer Pt 2 With Color Modulation

When I first painted the sand colored LR and the turret with the green camo, my wife immediately liked the green. I was on the fence, but such a strong reaction led me to a paint test. The completed LR battle tank above is the result of that. Funny enough, when my wife saw the completed tank she immediately disliked it. We both got a good laugh out of it!

So despite one vote against it, I like the green scheme, but it might be the only tank that gets it. I just enjoy weathering the cleaner sand colored tanks more.

The LR punisher above is an example of the first stage for any vehicle attached to my DKoK force. That tank is a salvage vehicle from a previous color scheme, which is why you see some other colors peeking through. Even at this stage of painting, the tank looks really interesting. That is due to two things. The first is color modulation. Dark Yellow was used as the base coat followed by light sand which was applied as to produce a gradient between panels. This produced the color modulation that you see.  After that an oil pin wash finished up this stage of painting, bringing out all of the detail, and highlighting those gradient shifts.

So what to do now? Do I paint one of these guys up in a sand/grey paint schem? If anyone has reference images of sand + grey vehicles, I'd love to see them.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Lehman Russ Panzer Edition

Despite a weekend of paperwork for the company, I managed to complete one of the paint tests I started. Normally I don't paint a full model for a test, but this one forced me to complete it. I just wasn't sure if it was too boring before I added the weathering. In fact, most of the time was spent figuring out how to weather it, and deciding if I wanted to use green or grey cammo. I've decided to paint up another LR go to with the green turret showed in the earlier post. I don't think it will look too weird seeing a variety of tank color schemes spread across vehicles so long as they all look like they belong on the field together. The final tank may be predominantly grey with sand colored cammo. My Krieg will be painted with the grays and greens used on the tanks

One thing I am not sure of is the tracks. I painted the pins metal, the overall track brown, and the rubber pad black. Should I add metallic weathering powders to the edges of the brown treads? Should I mix in a few more colors of sand and dust?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

LR Turret Painted Panzer-Style

*EDIT added some powders to see how the turret would look.

I've been playing around with painting GW tanks in the style of german vehicles for a while, so this morning before my spouse enforced jog, I grabbed an old IG tank and spare turret and painted up the two paint tests you see here. One of the problems I am having with cammo, is that it is designed to break up the outline of the tank. With model painting, that is the last thing I want. The goal is to highlight all of the detail. The green and yellow sand colored turret was my experiment trying o minimized the effect of the cammo so the tank stayed interesting. I imagine brown weathering powder would look good around the hatch. I'm not sold on the scheme, but I do like the yellow sand base color which I played with on the chassis and vanquisher turret. I made a conscious choice to not paint chip the second test, just to see what it would look like prior to weathering. I haven't had the opportunity to use sand colored weathering powders yet, so the tracks on this guy will be interesting. Paint chipping will eventually be applied with a black/brown color along with desert yellow streaking grime. It is al title monotone, but I think it looks better than the green and yellow turret.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Two Paint Tests

My Imperil Guard vehicles are in for a repaint, along with assignment to my DKoK army. So with that I present two paint tests. The LR grey scheme is from FW, though updated to work with the new paint range. The second yellow and green scheme is vaguely WW2. I tried a combination of paint chipping techniques on these two models, actual chipping, sponge weathering, and brush painted. I have become a fan of the brush plus sponge method.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ruined Statue of Liberty Terrain

I've wanted to reproduce the iconic image of the Statue of Liberty ruins from Planet of the Apes for some time. It turns out that finding statue of liberty torches and heads is pretty difficult. I had this image of taking a statue and then adding all of the rivets and panel lines that can be seen close up. I thought that extra detailing would look really cool. Unfortunately I could not find anything but a statue of liberty mask that was the right size. So after copious layers of resin I had what you see here. I'm not happy with the contraction, but my faith in weathering powders was reaffirmed. A dash of secret weapon green earth and sewage did the trick. This won't go on my display board, but I think it will be pretty fun on a gaming table.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tutorial: Ultramarines With Color Modulation

As a member of the Nova Open Charitable Foundation Ultramarines charity army painting team, I thought it would be good to document how I paint my Ultramarines. I started my Ultras back before the GW paint line changes, and back before I had learned how to use oil paints. What this means is that with the right tools, the painting task is even easier than before. For this tutorial I am going to paint a spare rhino side, a razorback turret, and an Ultramarine that I just never got around to painting, Sgt Chronos dismounted. 

I paint in batch, with an air brush, and in a sequential order that sees little backtracks to previously used colors. This is important. My goal is to go through the blue colors in a sequence that allows me to skip the tedious step of cleaning my airbrush. 

The overall color scheme can be seen above. I use a black base coat, so I thought it would be useful to see the colors over both black and white to help anyone attempting this to color match this. The sequence is fairly simple.

  1. base coat black
  2. 50/50 mix of black and cantor blue (most important color)
  3. cantor blue
  4. maccrage blue
  5. calgar blue
  6. 50/50 space wolves grey + calgar blue near faces or front edges of tanks.

The process I use is called color modulation. Basically it simulates the effect of viewing a large tank with flat edges reflecting different amounts of light. It is not realistic at all. I am totally ok with this. Weathering will tone down the effect.

An essential item for color modulation is a pair of scissors and some cards. In the example above you can see an old taxi business card that I have been using to paint my Imperial Knights as well as these examples. With color modulation my goal is to produce contrasting gradients of color on the model. The template help me do that, and avoid the soft look that air brushing can produce along a model's edges.

The the photo below, I've already started airbrushing straight cantor blue over the 50/50 cantor blue mix. I try to keep the lowest regions of the model the cantor/black color. These are the deep recesses.

By the time I have worked my way through to calgar blue, the shapes have become extremely prominent. When doing color modulation the goal should be to pair light edges with dark edges. The smoke stakes show this really well. Using the business card to mask my airbrush spray, I shaded the light upward on the front of the smoke stacks. On the sides of the smoke stacks I shaded the lighter color down. This produced opposing color gradients.

With color modulation complete, I sprayed a satin varnish on the model to protect the paint. That is essential, because the next step involves pin washes with oil paints. White spirit, the solvent used to clean brushes after using oils, can damage the underlying paint, so a protectant is needed. A gloss varnish would have been better, but I was out, so satin it was.

Using AK-Interative brown wash, I touched the tip of the brush to each area that I wanted the oils to surmount. Once dry-ish, I used a clean brush with a tiny bit of white spirit to clean off any areas where the wash was messy. This is the joy of oils. Once on, oils can be worked into the right locations with ease. They produce fantastic blends, as well providing nice filters and other effects.

With the brown pin washes dry, I used a little bit of sponge and some black paint to dab paint chips all over the surface.

After the black chips were added I used another piece of sponge to add on the silver chips. Less is more here.

Streaking effects can add a lot of realism to a model. Using AK-Interactive oils, I added streaking grime to the sides of the rhino. The first pass can really look this bad. Oils remain workable for a long time.

After the streaks had dried, I used a soft wide brush with a tiny bit of white spirit to drag the streaks downward. The white spirit allowed me to blend in the streaks. After that was complete I sprayed a diluted steel legion drab dust colored paint along the lower edge of the tank.

The tracks are even easier. I sprayed the tracks with black paint, then used metallic iron weathering powder as a sort of paint paint and painted the tracks. After that I made another paint mixture out of green earth and alcohol and painted over the tracks. Once dry I used my finger to rub off the green earth and buff the metallic iron color underneath. Secret Weapon Green Earth pairs perfectly with Steel Legion Drab.

You might have noticed the space marine standing next to the tank parts. I painted him using the same color modulation at the same time as I painted the rhino.