First-up, I finished up the hollowing of the busts and made a video tutorial showing the ease and what some have described as my apparent insanity while taking a large drill to the kit… on purpose. Whatever works though!
Once the drilling and clean-up was done on both pieces, I primed with a Duplicolor Filler-Primer to check for errors then on one of the pieces used Mr. Surfacer 1000 to create a rough texture on some of the armor. These parts I want to look insect-like and organically grown. To create the texture, simply stipple on the Mr. Surfacer (the kind in the jar) until it becomes tacky and makes peaks. Do small areas at a time. Then when dry, lightly fine-sand down any excessive peaks and you’re good to go for another coat of primer. I used Duplicolor auto-primer on these. The black “sandable primer”.
Now onto painting the “insect” one. I’m using an orange/black cicada as loose reference for the color scheme. I started off with a base-coat of Mr. Super Metal Color Titanium mixed with Mr. Metal Color brass. At this point I started thinking “with some red it could be an alien Iron Man”. My hope was that some of the metal will show through in the next mottling steps.
Next I mottled on different transparent oranges, reds and yellows using Golden Airbrush Acrylics and very thin Tamiya Acrylics.
And lastly for this update I over-thinned some Tamiya Khaki Drab and mottled that onto the surface. To mottle, reduce your air pressure and practice getting really fine lines with your airbrush. Then do overlapping figure eights (88888) and random squiggles on the surface. Next I’ll be using black to define the edges and faded “spots” more like the reference.
The face-plate I plan to do like the original box art in a matte black/dark charcoal color so that it has the look of a mix of technological and organic components.
I just got the resin from my caster in-hand for these and had to start on a couple of them! These large 1/4 scale armored alien busts were designed by Fabio M. Silva and produced by my company Industria Mechanika.
What I really like about this isn’t only the overall design, but the possibilities for color choices. I’m doing one like the box art because I should, and another in a green/orange mottled District 9 alien-like look.
We had these designed with lighting in mind, however you will need a rotary tool with a small ball cutter to hollow-out behind the eyes to insert LEDs and wire behind the clear eye pieces. It looks daunting at first glance, at least it did to me, but once I got in there and started Dremmeling out the inside and using a 1/4″ drill bit at slow speeds to make holes under the head, through the body and the base to run wires into a small coin-cell, it was relatively easy and quick.
More on this as I paint and light it. I’ll be using small SMD 0603 LEDs to light it, but with enough hollowing you can fit just about anything behind the clear eye inserts.
A quick SBS on how I did these hull interiors for the 3 Waldos. (order your Waldo here!) I think they turned out great and best of all took only a short time to achieve.
- Primed w/ Black Duplicolor Primer
- Airbrushed on Flat White Tamiya Acrylic
- Satin clearcoat with Future Floor Acrylic mix
- Sponged on paint chips using Vallejo Model Air colors in this order: Black-Gray, Burnt Umber, Mahogany (sparingly), and Ochre (sparingly)
- Airbrushed on the following faint layers of Ak-Interactive Products: Blue-Brown Wash, Dark Streaking Grime, Engine Grime. Applied more towards floor of hull.
- Stipple AK products to blend/randomize with deerfoot brush and Odorless Turpenoid
- Let cure 24 hours
- Flat-coat with Future Floor Acrylic mix
- Airbrushed on the following faint layers of Ak-Interactive Products around upper rim of hull: Streaking Grime, then Rust Streaks
- Using flat-angled brush and Odorless Turpenoid, push/pull/streak rust-toned-band down towards floor of hull.
- Apply thinned washes of Track Wash on inside crease
- Apply fuel stains with AK-Interactive Engine Oil and Fuel Stains
I’ve finally gotten a chance to start painting the Ian McQue Waldos (order your Waldo here!) I mastered for Industria Mechanika. These great little kits come with a lot of resin of course, but also a laser-cut wood deck and plastic windows and LOTS of photoetch including a full-PE wheelhouse.
I started off before I had any resin with the photoetch and decks. I cut and assembled as much of the etch as I could before getting the resin. The decks were stained with diluted black india ink, then various paints and filters were applied to bring out the different colored planks and for one some chipped paint on more chipped paint for a really old worn look.
The wood deck snaps right into the hull which makes building a breeze and allows for a hollow hull with a full engine piece. The engine is visible from under the hull in the thruster area and from above through the deck grating/maintenance hatch.
The wheelhouse uses a lot of photoetch for details including control panels that are glued onto the control consoles.
Here you can see the various pieces of photoetch including the window frames which sandwich the laser-cut windows into place. hiding their edges. It all goes together relatively easy.
First up in the paint queue is the engines. I’ll need to paint the insides of the ship before the outsides of course. I used some techniques detailed in the AK-Interactive “Weathering Magazine” (engines, fuel and oil edition) to do these in a snap. I started off by priming the parts in flat black primer. Next I sprayed a base coat of white, then either green or red Tamiya Acrylics. Details were painted on with AK-Interactive’s acrylic paints (great for airbrushing or by hand) which to my surprise brushed on better than any acrylic I’ve ever hand-brushed thanks to their slooooow drying time. After that, I sponged on some vallejo dark gray and dark red-brown chips. Next was a wash of really thin AK light tan/gray paint. I thinned it with plain water. After that I airbrushed on some of the AK Engine Grime and Track Wash then stippled that in to randomize it with a brush moistened with odorless turpenoid. While it was wet I applied pin-washes and details of the AK Track Wash and Dark Brown Wash products. Finally was a powdered graphite buffing with my fingertip followed by some fuel and oil stains/drips.
Moving right along, I painted all of the little details that needed done by hand. As you can see above, I tacked most of the kit together temporarily for photos.
Here is the Long-Nose shown with my original Fantastical Fish-Shaped Submersible build for size reference.
Now onto the dreaded weathering. When I started weathering the original copper sub, I was innundated with emails and forum posts saying “don’t do it!” However, I like things to have a nice aged look… I love rusts and patinas and any opportunity to replicate one is a good thing! To start out, I airbrushed VERY thin mottled layers of the following AK-Interactive products:
Dark Streaking Grime (dark brown-green), Wash: Brown-Blue (muddy blue-green color), and Filter: Blue for Panzer Grey (dull blue). These are enamels so I made sure I first coated the fish in a coat of semi-gloss Future Floor Acrylic to keep it from interacting with the enamel metal colors.
I then took a deerfoot-shaped brush wet with odorless turpenoid (because it’s easy on the enamels, not strong or damaging) and tapped/blended the thin filter layers on the surface. This breaks them up and makes them look mottled, more natura, and also helps them act like a wash of sorts.
For some small photoetch brass parts I didn’t use paint and instead suspended them in a jar with a little ammonia in the bottom. The fumes help speed up the natural patina process giving you a nice blue-gray patina as opposed to some products that will act as a blackening agent for brass. Both ways are good, just make sure you use whatever one is appropriate for the task/look at hand. YOu can see that my painting looks very similar to the natural brass patina except for the light blue-green areas. Those I’ll need to add with oil paint next.
Also shown is the little PE brass valve wheels and the painted white metal propeller.
Moving right along, I’ve been working on the brass paint and base-tarnish/panel definitions. I’m painting this similar to the real Longnose Butterfly fish that it’s design is based on, but in bare metal tones. I use a multi-stepped process for this brass finish and as usual with bare metal, it looks better in person, but the final photos should show it off nicely, just like my original copper fish.
First up was a coat of Dumplicolor Black primer. Simple enough!
Next I sprayed on a base coat of Alclad II Jet Exhaust and let it cure overnight.
Next up is a fine misting of Mr. Metal Color Brass. This was then buffed with a soft toothbrush. As you can see on the top center panel, I masked it and started the panel discoloration…
The prepped brass-painted panels, masked off 1-2 at a time, were sprayed with a random mottling of the following paints in this order:
1: Tamiya Clear Blue
2: Tamiya Clear Orange
3: Mr. Metal Color Copper
4: Mr. Metal Color Brass
5: Mr. Metal Color Brass + Iron 50/50
This if done in a nice random mottled pattern will give the look of heat-tarkished brass with a rainbow of colors like a wet oily road. It’s hard to photograph however. When doing the panels, try to make the panels that touch not match to make them look varied.
The lower nose was sprayed with Mr. Metal Color Aluminum, buffed, them misted with Tamiya Flat White then buffed again to give the look of patina’d aluminum. The top was misted over with Mr. Color flat black, then Mr. Metal Color Iron, then buffed.
Next up I’ll start picking out details and painting the interior.
My new steampunk Fish Sub model kit is about to start shipping for those that preordered it, but meanwhile, the caster sent me my advance copy to start building up. I did my last sub design in copper, but this one is begging for brass since the real fish I based this on (The Longnose Butterfly fish) is mostly yellow.
I started off by gathering some old brass watches in my collection to use as paint reference. What’s great is that the tones of brass are quite varied even without the patinas and staining. The kit comes with the brass photoetch I designed for it, but the sheet-brass has a natural grain to it that makes it look out of scale. So unfortunately I’ll be painting most of the etch as well, but the good news is that it’ll match the rest of the sub better which in the long-run is ideal. I like that in the watches, they’re not all brass. There’s other gray metals (stainless steel?) in there as well which will help to break-up the brass tones.
Along with the reference I’ve pulled out a plethora of brass and gold-toned paints from the shelves. I’ll use these straight from the bottle and mixed with silvers and coppers to adjust and vary the tones so that the panels have some nice variance to them. Just like I did with the original Fish Sub.
The brass photoetch is pretty easy to work with. Simply use a razor to snip the parts from the sprues and lightly sand the nubs down. Lightly sanding the entire sheets before cutting as I did will allow for better glue and paint adhesion later.
Let’s start with the brass gauges. Cut then from the sprue and stick them to some reverse rolled tape. Spraypaint them in whatever color you choose for the recessed faceplates. I used cheap gloss black spraypaint. Let dry then lightly wet-sand the faces on some fine grit sanding film glued to a styrene block to reveal the raised brass. Really simple and nets some attractive results.
The resin is cast in Industria Mechanika‘s typical light grey which makes cleaning it up easier than the plain white or cream colored resins. Clean-up is a breeze however thanks to some great casting. The pilot figure turned out especially nice. Overall minimal sanding is needed and so far, no putty!
The figure gives you a good idea (if you’re familiar with 1/35 scale) of the size of the Fish Sub. For those that are not, nose to tail the sub measures a little over 8.5 inches (21.5cm) long.
I decided that since this is a promo build-up for shows and such, I wanted the head to be removable to show off the inside. This was really easy since the head fit is VERY good. I used several neodymium magnets (small, but crazy strong) to keep the head in place.
There was a hair of light that could be seen yet which bothered me so a thin strip of styrene embossed with rivets (nail pushing on the reverse side) was added on the rear hull inner seam. This will block any light bleed. As you can see from the first pic of the resin above which the magnets are holding in place, the fit is really good. Nice amount of interior space on this one.
The layered photoetch brass fins are my favorite part of these subs. The side fins are 4 parts each (unless you also use the optional riser as shown below) while the other 3 fins are 3 parts each. A main fin shape and 2 decorative brackets. The dorsal and anal fins have holes in their brackets where a brass rivet included in the kit can be inserted to secure the brackets to the hull. These brackets need a little bending to get them in the right position, but that’s relatively easy.
Above is a 3-part riser that one can use to make the pectoral fins stick straight-out like traditional dive planes on a submersible. Otherwise you can skip these and have them look more fish-like and to the sides as I’ll be doing.
Next up I’ll be starting to paint the interior.
And another one done! This time it’s the Dustbuster, conceptualized by Miguel Lopez, 3D modeled by Nate Clowar and produced by Industria Mechanika. This kit is beautifully, near flawlessly in fact, cast with 60+ parts, Driver, and photoetch!
*Discounted price until 3.18.2013 while supplies last!
Been working on this off and on the past week… mostly off though. Luckily though, the techniques I use for the dusting, mud and weathering are fairly simple. I started off with a filter then some discoloration with oils. (see my Millenium Falcon video tutorials for details) That gives the paint a nice aged look.
Next I sprayed a thin mist of AK-Interactive’s “Earth Effects” over all of the parts, focusing on where dust and dirt would accumulate. Over this I sprayed the “Africa Dust Effects” which is a lighter dustier tone. I then used a odorless turpenoid dampened “deer-foot” shaped brush and stippled (dabbed repeatedly) the surface to mottle and blend the dust layers. I prefer this to using pigment powders to do the general dustings as you don’t have to worry so much about fingerprints later.
Next I mixed up some pigments to match the groundwork with some plaster, Earth and Africa Dust Effects and a little of AK’s Odorless Mineral Spirits with an old brush. I used air-only from my airbrush to spatter this thin muddy mixture onto the underside and sides of the Dustbuster chassis.
Finally over the weathering I rubbed some “Steel” pigments (powdered graphite/pencil “lead”) on my fingers and onto some of the worn raised edges.
The last thing I need to do with the tires is brush on some thinned pigments onto the tread-edges that would contact the ground. Fairly quick and simple step.
Just for reference, here’s a 1/35 scale figure, a real 1/35 trumpeter AFV wheel, a 1/35 German wheel, and the massive Dustbuster wheel which is also 1/35 scale.
Also worked on the base. I filled the box with dense pink insulation foam, then layered on a mix of plaster and railroad grits. I waited for it to start setting up and started sponging it for added texture. The large rocks are plaster from some WS rock molds I have. I don’t have a pic, but over this I painted it a base sandy-dirt color, then using the same mud/pigment mixture as above for the spattering, I applied it with a stiff brush. The wires are to make the Dustbuster attach to the base on only it’s two rear tires to give the impression that it’s jumping.
Next up on my ever expanding paint-queue is the 1/35 scale Miguel Lopez/Nate Clowar Dustbuster produced by my kit production company: Industria Mechanika. I’ll start this off with a video showing off the casting and my sample build-up with I’ve started painting last night.
Since I had to glue many of the parts together for the video, I thought I’d made painting more difficult for myself, but the reality was better than expected and it went very smoothly. In fact I’ve done everything you see below in a 24 hour period.
I started off by priming the parts (except the figure) in Dark Gray Duplicolor primer. I then sprayed them with Dark gray Tamiya Acrylic then mottled over that a custom rust-colored mix of Tamiya. Over that I sprayed a flat coat of Future and let that cure.
I let that cure overnight and then sprayed the parts with Hairspray, sprinkled with salt, and then airbrushed on the blue custom Tamiya mix (or white for the tires) top-coat. After 10 minutes or so I began to chip away the blue paint with a brush and water. Below are the results.
Also I get the impression that those of you who don’t have the kit think it might be tiny. I think it’s pretty nice-sized really. Larger than a CD.
After chipping away the top-coat, I went back and hand-painted the engine (under the blue roll-cage frame) and other details. This was the part I thought would be difficult, but it went quite smoothly. I just used thin paint and a long thin brush. I masked the hub-caps with Parafilm M and sprayed the tires black. I still need to properly attach the photoetch mesh “windshield”.
Next up I will do some filters and discoloration. I’m really looking forward to adding the mud and dust!
I’m also painting the figure. I started off with spraying a thin dark-tanned flesh mix over a white base-coat.
Over that I brushed a lighter flesh tone of oils over the raised spots of flesh and blended them into the base coat. Added a little bit of wash to the edges/recesses and some red to the lips, cheeks and ears. I’ll do this one more time when this coat is dry to further highlighting. He’s got a lot of details so I’ll have a lot to paint. Also VERY TINY!!!!!
And lastly, I started work on the base. This is a simple cheap wooden jewelery box I picked up at Michael’s Crafts. I use these a lot and they come in different sizes. I carved this one with a utility knife and will fill the inside with foam before a layer of plaster and celluclay. The Dustbuster will be on two-wheels only on the base so that it appears to be jumping over the hill.