It was a long, hectic day at work with plenty of errands to run when I got home. After 3-4 laps around town and $250 out of my wallet later, I came home for dinner with my family, which always helps, and then as they settled down I snuck off to the table, an indulgence my wife selflessly endorsed, and I was grateful for.
So I turned on the camera once again to continue logging my process. Tonight was more about experimentation over completion, as I stared down 2 dozen aliens and tried to determine the best plan of attack. When I look at painting a line I’ve never painted before, I consider a few things like material, texture, sharpness of detail, size, and give some consideration of the general color scheme. This tells me what approach I might take.
In this case, I’m looking at a resin/plastic material that is extremely flimsy in parts (very long, thin tails), which consequently makes the models very wobbly and fragile feeling. The models themselves have a lot of texture, lots of ridges on the spine and tail, but also extremely sharp detail in the sinewy limbs. The models themselves are fairly tall, which is great for spotting all this detail, but once again lends to this theme of being a very flimsy build with a high likelihood of breaking if I’m not careful. If this were a metal model, the approach would be to confidently dry brush after (zentihal) priming, wash with standard washes, followed by edge highlighting and then finishing off with a varnish gloss. However with the models lacking a low center of gravity with long, thin limbs, I really couldn’t go at the models with a brush with any sort of vigor. I needed to employ a softer touch.
I decided to go with a zenithal prime followed with a fairly gentle drybrush of Vallejo Model Colour White. Even that snapped a tail off one of the aliens, which I quickly repaired with Super T. The white drybrush would act as an edge highlight for the main approach, which would be a series of ink glazes. The first glaze was brushed on, approximately 8 drops of glaze, with 2 drops of thinning medium and 2 drops of Vallejo black ink. The result was a very thin wash that held a deep black in the recesses and very little color on raised areas. I then followed up with my airbrush (0.2mm needle) using the same mixture as above, but replacing the 2 drops of black ink with 6 drops of P3 Blue ink. Sprayed at a distance of 8 inches in a zenithal manner, the idea was to have this glaze catch the raised areas and bring a blue tinge to the lighting. This worked out fairly well with one major exception: this may have worked better with more time allotted for the black glaze to dry. Also I was facing some repellancy from the resin that managed to bounce off some primer. I had to correct this by allowing it to dry and then spraying more black and blue inks until I got to the dark tones I was satisfied with.
The models looked good all together, and in the pic above they are still wet. They do dry matte however, so there will be a follow up step to put a gloss varnish on the models. I’m considering spraying it mainly because the varnish tends to run and I’ll need to build coats gradually. I’m planning on doing this once all the alien bodies are completed.
Thanks for reading!