No Secrets

I’m currently writing a guide to brush buying. This will go up tomorrow. I’m also trying to learn a few things about customizing this blog. But no amount of wishing will make it happen. So I’m currently spending time and energy trying to figure out, for myself, some of the “basics” of WordPress blogging. For a beginner, it’s not so obvious. But over time, it will begin to make more and more sense to me.

The same situation exists when anyone tries to do something new and unfamiliar. What seems obvious to an experienced person will be new and exotic to someone who is just starting out. I put a few photos of my completed models yesterday, and if you are not a regular at The Airfix Tribute Forum I’m pretty sure you’re trying to figure out what this lunatic is trying to do, posting images of models that were obviously painted with an airbrush on a blog that is all about not spraying paint.

There is no mystery here except the methods I used. The models shown were painted without any kind of airbrush or spray painting. They are all brushpainted. One of my goals here is to be transparent at all times. But the methods used to finish these models are unusual and will require detailed explanations at some point in the future. For now, I’ll just briefly describe my methods and leave the more detailed step-by-step tutorials for future blog entries.

The Luftwaffe “mottles” are done using decals, printed on my Hewlett Packard inkjet printer. It’s not fancy, but it does print in color. I use Paintshop Pro to create the mottle pattern and print it out on “blank” decal sheets that are made for inkjet printers. The result looks great, is easy to use and the only spraying involved is when you spray a clear coat over the printed decal sheet to seal it.

The “feathered” edges on the camouflage are done using a cut down brush and a technique called “stippling” I stipple the paint along the demarcation line to create the illusion that the paint was sprayed on and a small amount of overspray “blurred” the edges.

The bright, glossy colors of pre-war U.S. Navy aircraft are done using Tamiya Gloss Acrylics. Usually four coats are required to get a really high shine. The clean demarcations are not painted free-hand. I paint clear decal sheets with the color I need, let it dry, then cut the decal into strips (or any other pattern I need) using a straight-edge to create nice, clean edges. This allows me to create the illusion that the edge was masked and sprayed.

Natural metal finishes (like the MiG 15) used to bring a very smelly product called “Rub N Buff” into the house. I’m happy to report that Vallejo’s new product called “Metal Color” is a perfect replacement for the noxious Rub N Buff and I’ll be using that in the future.

“Shaded” panel lines are done using a post-shading technique where ground charcoal powder is applied to the lines and wiped away until the desired effect is achieved.

At some point in the near future I’ll be acquiring a little video camera and making some videos to show how these things are done, as well as describing basic methods of painting and decal application.

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