Working with epoxy putty

For all changes to my figures I made until now I used the standard Milliput putty. I also have some Magic Sculpt on the shelf, that I will try later.

It is very important to work with very thinly rolled sheets of putty. To roll out putty, I use baby powder. Pour some powder on a smooth even surface, and you can start, using some round piece of metal.

To apply and smooth the parts made from putty I use rubbing alcohol. If you want to touch up some areas on already painted figures, you can also use tap water thus avoiding to remove the paint again by accident. If some putty is left, you can keep it in the freezer, where it should stay workable for at least 24 hours.

I have just started to use putty for remodelling figures, but I think the key is to work in single layers, and to always wait for the putty to cure in between. So you have a lot of control over the process and are safe from accidentaly damaging already sculpted areas again.

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Tankart by Michael Rinaldi

As Christmas present I bought myself volume 2 (Allied Armor WW2) and volume 3 (Modern Armor) of the Tankart series by Michael Rinaldi. Volume 1 (German Armor WW2) is being reprinted currently and will arrive at some point in time…

The books deal with painting and weathering of tank models. The layout is very nice and artistic, and they convey a lot of useful information, and also feature many very informative pictures.

Overall the books are clearly recommendable and very inspiring.

  • Michael is a real master of hair spray chipping
  • The finishes and detailings achieved with oils (what he calls oil paint rendering or OPR) are world class and the results look very realistic
  • His usage of pigments is also very versatile, and explained very thoroughly
  • Rust effects also look brilliant, being made with acrylics, as well as oils and enamels

After reading the books I immediately increased my stock of oils and pigments, and also went for the Lifecolor rust set. I also rediscovered a drying retarter for acrylics I bought some time ago.

I will experiment a bit with the new products to enhance the look of my current project. The first thing to test will be the rust colors, then I will try to work with the drying retarder.

Painting the Karabiner Kar98k

One figure is carrying a Karabiner (rifle) on its back, therefore I painted it already:

Karabiner

  • priming by airbrushing Tamiya black
  • Careful drybrushing of the metal parts with Humbrol Silver (011)
  • These areas are then muted with heavily thinned oil color (Paynes Grey)
  • Then the wooden parts are painted using a base paint mixed from  Vallejo 983 (Flat Earth) and 824 (German Cam Orange Ochre)
  • Then fine streaks are applied using sepia ink, Vallejo 871 (Leather Brown), 983 and 824
  • As final touches some point washes and stains are made using black and brown / umber oils
  • The drybrushing with silver is then finally repeated on some exposed areas

Flesh colors

I paint skin colors using both acrylics and enamels.

The colors used are shown below:

Hautfarben

  • B is the base color used for all skin parts. It is mixed from Vallejo Model Color acrylics: 815 (Basic Skintone), 818 (Red Leather), 873 (US Field Drab) and a little 950 (Black)
  • H1 – H3 are the highlight colors, resulting from mixing more and more 815 and 951 (White) to the base color.
  • S1 and S2 are used for shadows. They are mixed from Humbrol 73 (Wine) and 110 (Wood) for S1 and 22 (Black) for S2 respectively.

The highlight colors are heavily thinned and applied in layers. Painting with acrylics is all about controlling the amount of color on the brush, so always thin the color and get rid of excess paint by unloading the brush on a paper towel before approaching the model.

The enamels are also applied heavily thinned and are immediately blended carefully using a clean brush moistened with turpentine.

Painting Felduniform 44 with Vallejo acrylics

I use a mixture of Vallejo US Olive Drab (889) and English Uniform (921) for painting German Felduniform 44. The original color is slightly more brownish, but I am happy with the color I use.

Below are some color samples:

Farben Felduniform 44

 

  • A : English Uniform (921)
  • B : Field Grey (830)
  • E: Russian Uniform (924)
  • G: US Olive Drab (889)

C is mixed from 921 and 830, D from 921 and German Cam Black Brown (822). Both look very similar, but I think both are too bright.

F is mixed from 921 and 924. I use color H, mixed from 889 and 921.

German helmets – slate grey

Until now, I have painted the helmets of the Dragon figures. A lot of material dealing with German helmets can be found on the web, these helmets will be painted in slate grey.

I started with priming with Tamiya medium grey and then hand painted the helmets using Vallejo Black Grey with some Russian Uniform added to lighten the color.

Inspired by an example from Calvin Tan (http://zyclyon.blogspot.ch/2011/09/alla-prima-wet-on-wet-with-acrylic.htm), but he is using acrylic color with drying retarder) I added tiny spots of different oils (yellow ochre, burnt umber, black, warm grey) and blended them carefully with a brush dampened with turpentine. You have to work very concentrated and stop blending in time, otherwise the helmet is covered with a single color mix. First, I tried also using blue, but this can result in some ugly greenish tint together with the yellow and orange tones.

When dried, a point wash around the rivets was added. Then, some highlights on the top of the helmets were added using the Vallejo base color lightened with Deck Tan.

Helm 03    Helm 02

how to remove color

Here I want to share my experience with removing old or failed paint finishes without harming the model.

In my opinion, the best method to remove old color is using spirit or rubbing alcohol. It works both for acrylics and enamels. Spirit is essentially the same as ethanol, which is an alcohol like propanol.

  • acrylics: any alcohol is dissolving the paint immediately. With thicker layers of color, it is a good idea to soak the model for some time before removing the color with a brush. Resin ans styrene does not suffer from this treatment, I removed the finish of a resin figure three times in a row without damaging the details.
  • enamels: For removing enamels, the model has to be soaked for some time. The color then flakes from the ground in different sized chips. Any remaining color can be removed with a brush.

I am very happy with using alcohol or spirit to remove paint. The first finish of my king tiger (including a layer of Tamiya primer) was completely removed with this method. It is simple and the fumes are tolerable. I would rather not try to use others methods like brake fluid or oven cleaner.

You should also avoid using white spirit or turpentine to remove enamels. The color is removed, but turpentine is also detracting softening agents from the styrene, leaving the model brittle and with cracks and fissures.