Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Turning over a new leaf


So, we enter the final phase of pressing buttons to see what happens!  In the last article, you saw me mixing some unusual combinations of paints, such as the panel washes and other similar materials with the mud effects to create lighter, more opaque midtones.

This image gives you a nice look at the range of colors that I could create.  These were mostly used on the stowage.


They were also used on a few other areas to create some added interest, but mostly to see how well they would mix together for future projects.  A wide range of materials were mixed together as this image shows.


I was really looking forward to trying out the grease and engine oil products.  There's only a few places where you should really use those on any vehicle, but they certainly make the effects convincing!


The consistency and appearance of the engine oil is just that, and when you a very 'dry' base under it, the effect is even more dramatic.  Having the mud/wash opaque mix under the oil on the rear panel accentuated the oil effect in both color value and texture.

Now I had a semi-glossy material on top of something that was almost powdery/dusty in appearance... very cool!


One more view from above to show you how that looked.


The light rust wash is a fantastic color, and just a few touches of it here and there can really pop, especially next to all the muted greens.


There are only so many experiments that I can cram onto one tank, so I definitely wanted to try out the dry pigments!  There's a wide array of colors to choose from.


I picked a few different shades, and set them up in a container lid so I would not get them all over the place.


I put some Pigment Fixer in a lid, and used that to mix in with the powders.  As you can see, the dry powder instantly becomes a paint!  I have done this a lot in the past, even using this technique to paint entire figures.


You can also mix the colors together.

The advantage of working this way is that your 'dry' pigments will be fixed to the surface, with no need to spray them later, etc.


I painted a few greenish streaks on some sections of the hull with this mix, toning down a few of the rust streaks from previous layers.


Now it's time to have fun with the powdery effect!  I used a mix of the light and dark dust on the upper surface of the hull, making it collect in recess areas, as dirt would do.  I also gathered up splotches of  dust and dirt in the tracks and on the vertical sides of the hull (see insert).


OK... we have got a nice dusty look on the sides of the tank!  This illustrates why you have to layer the effects.  It would be very difficult to do the rust and grime streaks on top of this dust without spoiling the effect, which is why that's done first.


Finally, I wanted to add a touch of 'wetter', thicker mud on top of the dust.  Since there will be even less of this material than the dust/dirt, it is saved for the final layer.


I mixed the various types of mud together, as I usually do.  In general, the lighter color mud is supposed to represent dried mud, while the darker mud is 'fresh'.  This means placing the lighter colors first, and the darker, wetter mud on top.


One last experiment!  I wanted to see what would happen if I mixed static grass and other material with these heavy mud products.  I had a few places in mind for this effect, and it worked out even better than I could have hoped!


With the success of the grass/mud mix, I could not resist trying out some parsley flakes!  I wanted to use a thinner mud for this effect... using it to provide more color to the leaves besides green, and to help it adhere to the surface.


I wanted to scatter some leaves on the upper parts of the hull and sections of the tracks.  I even used some of the pigment fixer to aid in this process.  It thinned down the material, making it easier to apply.  Hopefully it will keep it stuck to the surface as well!!


I'm trying to get the leaves to "pile up" on near vertical surfaces, such as the area behind the headlights.


Now to let it all dry... and see what happens.  Stay tuned!!!


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Let's see what happens: PART TWO


Continuing the experimentation with the AMMO oil based products, I moved on to the vertical surfaces and some of the darker washes.  Since these layers were not going to be drying anywhere near as rapidly as my normal acrylic versions, it meant that I could continually blend one layer into the next.

Again, the usual approach to these materials is to cleanly layer one on top of the next after the original layer is dry.  I kept forging ahead to see what kind of blending could be done :-)


These new layers needed to be darker, so I used more of the wash products.  Unlike the Filters and Panel washes, these are the thickest and most heavily pigmented of the washes.  You will see that play out over the next few images.


Not only would these layers be darker... they would also be allowed to accumulate or be less blended to create staining.  This is visible on some of the horizontal panels.


As for the sides of the hull, my flatter, dry brushes were used to swipe the wash colors downward, creating some nice weathering marks.


I did something similar on the sides of the turret. Again, it was a great advantage to be able to position some paint, and then have so much time to manipulate it!  I loved the option of wiping something away if I didn't like the result.

As I have mentioned before, this far longer drying time will make it much easier for me to paint multiple vehicles at once.  The acrylic approach is difficult enough with just one at a time.


At this stage, I have been able to work in the darker shades all across the vehicle, which will set up the subsequent, dedicated weathering effects.


I have some of the rust and grime colors, so those were the first paints that I tested.  Having done rust effects with endless combinations of acrylic paints (and even weathering powders), I liked the options the oil based products presented.

The increased capillary action of the oil based pigments proved very useful in getting rust colors deep into recesses, which is exactly where they would accumulate.  In the past, I would use a mixture of powders and sealer fluid to get this action.  Now it's all in one handy jar!


The rust is placed on other surfaces.  You can see a few rust streaks emerging from paint chips in some areas.  The streaks are also easier to randomize, since I can go back in and rework the shape and length of each streak.

The more rapid drying paints force me to get the streaks exactly the right shape with far less ability to manipulate later.


This is repeated across the vertical surfaces too.  Note that I am starting out with the darker rust tone.  Later I will work in a bit of the lighter rust color.


This overview shows you how I have been mixing multiple colors and paint types on the palette.  Just like my regular acrylics, I like to mix the colors that I need.  A big advantage in this approach is color unity, as only a few basic colors are used to create a wider range of shades and tones.

Everything becomes more cohesive as a result.


If you look at the palette off to the right, you can clearly see that the streaking rust has been mixed with the panel washes.  This created a whole new shade of color, which was used on the darker areas of the stowage.


Some rust was added to the top of the turret and the extra tank treads as well.


Here's where things REALLY get interesting!  I wanted to see if I could get some semi opaque lighter colors to work with, just like I do with my acrylics.  This is normally done by mixing my glaze materials with 'regular' paint.

I will have to take a few very different materials and combine them to get that light middle tone.  I'm taking the very opaque mud effects pigment and mixing that in with panel line washes, etc.  You can see that I can create muted green colors, light tans, and even flesh tones!


I also wanted to try out some lighter rain streaks on the darker sides of the hull.  The first step was to place a few dots of that light mud pigment mixed with a touch of panel wash to make it flow.


Using one of my flat dry brushes, this was pulled and stretched downwards to make the streaks.

The third episode will show some more of the new paints being mixed and applied for the first time, including the grease and engine oil colors.  Some dry pigments will also be added, and I will try to mix static grass and even leaves into the heavy mud pigments!

Stay tuned...


Monday, September 26, 2016

Let's see what happens: Part ONE


While I have done some testing on the AMMO mud products (heavy mud, spatter, etc.) on both vehicles and infantry figures, I have not done an all out experimentation session with all of the oil based painting products.

These encompass three key materials.  Filters, standard washes and panel line washes.  I had a decent selection of each of these to try out.  As you know, I used to do watercolor, pastel and even oil painting.  I would have to call upon some long ago experience and memories when it came to oils!

I had a number of vehicles which had been worked right up to the point where these new products would be tested... essentially the shaded basecoat for vehicles!

You can see that the Opel Blitz, Bren carrier and truck have been the original test subjects.  I was not trying to get any kind of specific result or look, it was all about pressing buttons to see what might happen!

I learned a lot about the filters and the panel line washes.  One vehicle was left in the original Shaded Basecoat, and that was the Matilda II.


Have played a number of how to videos, and reading articles in the excellent Ammo Weathering Magazine publications, I could see that the products I have discussed tend to be used separately, and in a specific order. 


Normally, the filters are applied first, with some panel line washes and then the 'regular' washes.
This standard approach is a little more 'mechanical' than what I will be doing.  I do have a typical set of brushes though... and they will be used to apply the paints and then remove them.

As these posts move forward, you will see how the broader, flatter brushes to the right will be utilized to wipe away excess wash liquid and even blend washes long after the original applications.


I had a few different 'colors' set out on the palette.  As I normally do, I have a blue, a red and a yellow.  In this case, the blue was a dark blue/grey panel wash, and then other washes that were brownish yellow, and so on.

Mixing these two materials together would create that dark green which I wanted to shade the vehicle darker.


Usually, the panel washes are meant to be 'touched' to the surface, and allow the capillary action to let the paint to spread through crevices on the vehicle.  However, I added some of the regular washes, which would give this a little more body, and less of the capillary effect.

Still, unlike water based products, these washes will sink deep down into recessed areas.  In addition, water marks are a thing of the past!  I don't have to fret over the precise spacing of the pigments here, because I will be going back over this and removing as much or as little of the wash as I want!


This is a huge advantage.  In this picture, you can see that I have applied some brown/tan mix to the stowage items.  This wash will stay wet for quite a while, giving me that opportunity to go back in an wipe away the excess.

I also do this with my water based glazes, but this must be done immediately, and I have to be more careful to avoid those water marks.


A much deeper, darker wash is mixed for the rest of the hull.  I am mixing some of the yellowish wash with the sea blue panel wash to create a green.  There are a large number of colors to choose from in the AMMO line, but I have to use what's on hand.


I applied this wash color to several horizontal surfaces, but not all of them... just a few selected panels.


I took one of the broader, flatter brushes and began to wipe away some of that wash to reveal the lighter colors underneath.  A 'scumbling' movement was used, which essentially scrubbed the wash away.

Again, since this is an oil based product, this kind of removal of pigment won't create water marks.


I continued this process of washing and removing on various panels.  It's important to leave yourself an area to hang onto, because it will take a while for areas to dry.


I mixed an even larger variety of panel washes with the standard washes to make sure I had a variety colors.  The filters are commonly used to tint the colors, but they are applied in a different way.  These must be placed more evenly on the vehicle, and not allowed to collect or pool in recess areas.  They are designed to gently 'nudge' a light color to a different hue.

I used these to thin down some of my heavy glazes, as a filter is a paint with more of the thinner mixed in.  I forget what the exact percentage is, but it is nearly 70% thinner on the filters.


Take a look at the back panel in this picture, with the dark wash applied. The next image will illustrate what that looks like once I have manipulated it with the dry brush.


Here it is after manipulation. I can also use regular flat brushes for this, or even Q-tips.  For these first tests, I wanted to have as much control over the experiment as possible.  I will definitely begin using the larger flat brushes for the process in the future.


The washing and removing process continues on the turret, but as you can see, there are a lot of surfaces here.  Most of the original glazes were variations of panel line washes, since this is exactly the kind of area they were intended for.

I have also been using the colors that I painted on the vehicle with regular acrylic paints as my base.  All I am doing here is creating more shading, and altering the tints of certain areas.

If I use the blue/black panel wash or the green for camo wash, I will get different tints, but that capillary motion will be consistent through all of them.  As I continued the experiment, I began to realize how powerful this motion would be!


In Part Two, you will see how the sides of the hull were rendered, and the mixing of even more materials together for attaining the desired effects.

This is all very new, so each post it going to show lots of changes, additions, etc., to these techniques.  It will be a very fun journey of discovery, which always helps to keep things fresh and new!  Working with a product that does not fully dry for hours will allow me to work on far more things at once.

Eventually I will be doing this kind of technique on 'regular' infantry style figures, so stay tuned!!