Although I’ve had a little painting time this week, mostly it’s been spent on practicing blending, glazing and feathering techniques on the Blood Claw. This takes a while, and doesn’t show up well enough on camera, so I’ve not posted anything about it. He’s very much turned into more of a test model. I think there’s a small chance I may just figure out how to smooth out transitions better with a brush, which means I may relegate the airbrush down to undercoating and basecoats, but that may be getting well ahead of myself hahaha.
Enough waffle though, as today saw me take the chance to finish off the Poe Dameron’s X-Wing that I’ve been working on a little recently.
I was really pleased with how the weathering came out, and it pretty much is the sole reason for motivating me to complete the model that was half finished for a while.
I did the tiniest bit of additional weathering today, adding some black in one or two places on the orange panels to simulate “carbon scoring” (classic Star Wars reference), and some further silver weathering in a couple of places that looked out of place as matt black.
Also dotted BB-8’s eye lense black, he’s really tiny at this scale, but something was bugging me about him being a little to basic, so I had to do something.
Finally, just as I thought I was done, I realised that I really didn’t like the base. It was both too shiny, and I could see plastic injection modelling “tide” marks in the plastic (not sure what the technical term is), which I really couldn’t stand. it would be too lazy to leave it given a quick coat of paint would sort it out.
I initially tried to brush this on as I didn’t want to go to the hassle of setting up the airbrush, but getting this on thinly and without tide marks was proving too irritating that I decided I’d prefer to set the airbrush out! I wiped off the initial attempt, and quickly gave it a blast on the airbrush. Result is matt, smooth as you like, and looks far more “finished” now.
Took a few photos (as you’ll see below), added to my CMON gallery: http://www.coolminiornot.com/420775 and the model has been moved to the display cabinet.
I have quite a few more Star Wars models, and a number of them are these “box scale” vehicle model range kits. They don’t have many parts because they’re so small, so they are very simple to put together. Painting is tricky because of the scale, and they unfortunately come with stickers rather than decals. This suggests they’re targeted at more beginner model makers, however they certainly are fun to put together.
I particularly like how they feel accurate even at this scale – they have a tremendous amount of detail for a model of this size, and I’m looking forward to doing more.
This is the first “non-figure” model I’ve built in a long time, so it was a nice change of pace. Star Wars and the models in the original trilogy are basically what got me into models to begin with, so to be able to buy good quality kits that look good even with my basic skillset is great.
What went well and I should continue doing?
- Once again, trying a new technique (weathering with a sponge) worked out well. Definitely motivated me to complete the model, so I need to continue to experiment
- Painting BB-8, despite being tiny was both an exercise in brush control, and also pushing myself as per the Dwarf Slayer. Once again, I think this is important in order to develop as a painter and modeller
- WIP photos with the iPad. Although the quality is lower, and I can’t get in quite as close, it’s so much quicker to take WIP photo’s this way. It means I can spend more time painting, and less time messing about with the photos
- Pushing on to complete a half-finished model. This one I started last time I had a chunk of time off, and was just sat waiting to be worked on because I found the masking for the airbrushing so frustrating that I couldn’t be bothered to mask to do the markings on the wings. In the end, I decided to do it with a brush. This did need extra cleaning up, and I’m not 100% happy with the results, but if I had decided that I would only do it if it was airbrushed, it would never get completed, so it was a good decision.
- Airbrushing the base coat of the model black was a good call. it was quick, neat and smooth and has a lovely matt finish to it
- Airbrushing the base black is a good idea too
What didn’t go so well and I should stop doing?
- Masking. It was a pain to do, frustrated me, and I still ended up with overspray that I had to clean up. It almost meant I didn’t complete the model, which is obviously not a good thing, as I’m meant to enjoy hobby time and actually finish building and painting kits!
- Attempting to use the airbrush for inappropriate tasks. Although the orange panels look better when airbrushed (nice and smooth) and the actual action of painting them takes a fraction of the time, in truth it just wasn’t worth trying to use it to airbrush the panels (and would have been even worse with the markings on the wing edges). I know I keep going on about airbrushing and masking in this hobby retrospective, but that’s just to reinforce what I’ve learned!
- Not airbrushing the base black whilst airbrushing something else! Having to set up and clean the airbrush for less than a minute of spraying is daft. If I plan which models I intend to work on next, I can make sure I’m more efficient with my hobby time.
- Not having any models prepared to undercoat when realising I wanted to spray a model black. Goes hand-in-hand with the item above really; had I had a few models properly prepared (mold lines removed, gaps filled and filed), I could have used the airbrush more efficiently. I need to start preparing models ahead of time.
- The thin lines on the canopy frames is a little messy. I don’t know if I just rushed them a little, or I used the wrong sized paint brush. Could just simply be I need to exercise and refine my brush control.
What Puzzles Me?
- Not much on this one fortunately!
All in all, this was a fun kit to build, a little frustrating to paint initially, but once I took the plunge to brush paint most parts after an initial basecoat from the airbrush I was happy.
Doing the weathering was really quick and good fun, and once applied, I think gave a lot of character and life to the model, and motivated me to finish it off.
Model looks good in the display cabinet, and I’m pleased with the result, which is the main thing.