samedi 26 juillet 2014

Experimenting working pigments!

Hi everyone! This quick post will be exclusively in English since I wrote it for myself and shared it Michael Rinaldi. Pigments are hard to use for me, but fortunately practicing pays!

I.                    Yesterday’s attempts

These two pictures are yesterday’s first try at using pigments. I carefully brushed them and I somehow liked the effect near the cupola, although the pigments were a bit too big on the edge of the opening.

On the second picture, there were massive pigments added and then brushed around the details. I left them quite compact and misted some X-20A. Of course the result is massive pigments with no background pigments underneath. It looks like chunks of dust deposited like very small stones and doesn’t look realistic at all.
Both tries were irrelevant. It is starting to look the part near the episcope, but I think I just brushed these pigments today (you can see one very strong brush stroke) after another failed attempt, yesterday.

II.                  Today’s attempts

Near the welding line was a sponge attempt. I diluted pigments in water. It looks awful. It may be interesting in adding splashes, but I will forget this idea.

Around the opening was today’s try. The pigments were applied in one go and I brushed them carefully to reach the opening. Still, there are some visible brush strokes that are unwanted. Either this may result in some bigger pigments being crushed into the surface and leaving a line, or the brush stroke that was too strong on the surface, but I was really careful. Would another round of pigment have softened the result? Maybe but if I want just that small amount of pigments, then I’m stuck.

III.                Starting to look the part?

On this one, pigments were applied very softly with just a few pigments at a time and in 2 layers. The result is softer, I think the pigments have blended just enough. There was then an attempt at adding some Green Enamel on it. It looks fine on the picture but I think it still has some hard edges. I did this quite simply. I added some Slimy Dark Green that I diluted a lot and removed the excess on a paper towel. Then I touched the surface and watched it flow. I used my hairdryer to dry the thinner quickly to avoid tidemarks.

More dust here. I was afraid it would really bleach the surface and it did in some aspects. The base color is nearly invisible underneath. My question is “Is it believable? Does it look natural enough?” There were 3 rounds of pigments on this. I started from nearly the half of the surface and moved towards the edges trying just to push the pigments. I tried softening the edges by places but the pigments hold really toughly on the surface.

I also applied some Slimy Dark Green, and here the edge look harder. This question has still to be solved. It also happens with mud. Whenever I apply pigments on the lower hull and add some enamel effects on them with a brush, the thinner would flow and once it’s dried the edges are hard and not realistic. Is it a matter of dilution or a problem in the application process?

Right near the gun, under the welding line, the pigments were applied yesterday in one round. It looks like small rocks and there are barely any pigments underneath. I didn’t dare touching this with my brush, for I was quite sure they would leave marks on the surface.
Near the hook on the right hand side was a sponge application.

IV.                Previous attempts
Everything was tried today.

On this olive drab piece of styrene, I used 2 batches of pigments on the bottom right corner and the top left corner. The top left has around 4 to 6 pigment application. The colors underneath is not visible anymore, whereas the right one is visible in some places. For the latter, I worked my way from the center to the corner carefully pushing the pigments and fixing them when I reached the edges. Then I added some more pigments in the center that I pushed in part (some remained at the center) to the flat edge. The olive drab is still visible (partly) and was the result of 3 applications of pigments.
The bottom left corner and the very small right flat edge were just one pigment (the brightest) use with 2 or 3 applications.
Now the question is “for the 4 to 6 rounds of pigments. Is it too much?” If I want to have some transparency then I’m obviously going wrong. Still, there were many pigments in the top left corner, so that would explain it all. But is it really possible to get transparency when going through that many rounds?

On this Dark Yellow Primer, I am quite happy with the result on the right hand. I guess I used mid tones and light tones going from dark to bright (bright on top). It has a grainy finish that I like and this is what decided me to start operating on my model. It has some transparency and there is a gradation of colors that seems to be ok. The pigments are not chunky.
Still I did the exact same thing using only bright tones on the left and although it looks quite transparent some chunks remained, which doesn’t look too realistic.

V.                  Conclusion
Thus I am still wondering and experimenting on the techniques of pigment application. Being more satisfied with the very last piece of styrene, I think I am heading to the right direction.
However the notion of layering is still quite hard to apply on such small surface of application and the base color may suffer from the repeated application of pigments, considering my level. Even if I try adding very little pigments at a time, I find it hard to keep the right look.
Still, I feel comforted in the idea that adding pigments over pigments is not destroying the previous layer and adds in realism, as far as my limits are for now.

OPR and pigments is another subject that I should train on, avoiding tidemarks and hard edges. I barely touch the surface to unload the paint and not remove the pigments making them muddy, but the result is these hard edges and sometimes some tidemark when it comes to working on mud surfaces.

Another thing pointed out by Mike was the fact that the surface is really grainy. This happens when working with modulation. The angle taken by the airbrush makes the paint hit the surface in various ways. Sometimes it gets smooth when close enough and sometimes the paint dries before hitting the surface making it grainy...

On this T-34 1/48th,
After many attempts, I really worked my way very slowly and added pigments little by little pushing them soflty and got to these results. The combination of HS, OPR and Pigments seems to work very well and I am very thankful to Michael Rinaldi for his long-time support and patience. Still, this has to be improved!

vendredi 25 juillet 2014

TANKART Volume 3 - Rinaldi Studio

Salut à tous ! Les vacances sont là et je peux vous dire que je suis prolixe en matière de maquettes. Mais chaque chose en son temps, avant tout TANKART 3 est arrivé chez moi il y a 2 semaines et c'est le moment d'en parler !

Hi everyone! Holidays are here and I can tell you I am building a lot of models. But, first things first, TANKART 3 reached my letterbox about 2 ago and it's time to talk about it!

Encore un TankArt ? Pour quoi faire ? On a déjà tout appris avec les 2 premiers volumes ! Et bien, détrompez-vous ! Outre une couverture soyeuse aux couleurs vives et une nouvelle mise en page, TankArt ne cesse de nous inspirer. Ce volume traite des chars de notre époque et il y a de quoi se régaler. D'ailleurs, plus les volumes avancent, plus la précision de Michael Rinaldi nous pousse à aller plus loin dans notre expertise. Et c'est là toute la richesse de cet ouvrage.

Another TankArt? What for? We've already learnt everything with the 2 first volumes! Well, don't be mistaken! The new silky cover with its wonderful colors and the new layering add to TankArt's appeal and inspiration. This volume deals with modern AFVs and you'll get plenty of stuff to love! Let's say that the more TankArts are published, the farther we get in expertise thanks to Michael Rinaldi's accuracy. And there lies all the richness of the book.

Passer de l'implicite à l'explicite. Michael Rinaldi nous a toujours prévenu que TankArt n'est pas un livre de recette. Bien au contraire il explique le pourquoi avant de traiter le comment. Rien ne change, chaque modèle est précisément étudié pour y trouver la feuille de route qui mènera à un modèle réussi et riche en attractivité. Plus on s'enfonce dans TankArt, plus l'implicite fait place à l'explicite : chaque étape étant préparée en amont, le travail s'en trouve largement facilité. Le reste n'est qu'une question de technique.

From the implicit to the explicit. Michael Rinaldi always told us that TankArt is not a recipe book. Far from this, he tells us the why before dealing with the how. Nothing changes, each model is precisely studied to find the road map that will lead us to a successful model, highly attractive. The deeper we get into TankArt, the more the implicit gives place to the explicit - each step is carefully prepared and though, making the work a lot easier. The rest is a question of technique.

Et la technique devient elle aussi davantage explicite. Michael Rinaldi se nourrit des commentaires de chacun pour nous aider dans notre quête de réalisme, ce qui enrichit considérablement le livre et fournit autant de précieuses informations. De plus il est vraiment agréable de constater que TankArt 3 propose une étude très détaillée de blindés sur lesquels les effets que l'auteur applique offrent une grande variété de finitions.
Le livre propose donc 6 modèles différents : le D9R, le T-62M1, l'AMX-30B, le FV221 Caernarvon, le T-72B et le MT-LB.
Autant vous dire que chaque chapitre a de quoi vous inspirer et vous pousse à dépasser vos limites.

And technique get more and more explicit. Michael Rinaldi is fed by modelers' comments to help us in our quest for realism, which considerably enriches the book and gives us precious information: "I now have had many new dialogues with the customers and given feeback, which is heloping to mold and shape my discussions moving forward". Morevover it is really enjoyable to note that TankArt 3 gives us a really detailed study on the tanks on which the effects applied by the author give a great variety of finishes. The book offers 6 different models: the D9R, the T-62M1, the AMX-30B, the FV221 Caernarvon, the T-72Band the MT-LB.
Let's say that each chapter proposes enough to inspire you and go beyond your limits.

Un chapitre fait son apparition et naît à mon sens des échanges entre l'auteur et ses lecteurs : Combiner la technique de la laque et le travail aux peintures à l'huile. Ce nouveau chapitre entre davantage dans les détails des deux piliers sur lesquels s'appuient les réalisations de Michael Rinaldi. L'importance de ces deux techniques et leur association commune, implicite dans les deux premiers volumes est ici très largement dévoilée et mise en exergue pour la réussite de vos modèles. C'est là que réside toute la richesse de TankArt. Chaque ouvrage traite en détail d'une technique particulière, née de la philosophie de Michael Rinaldi et de l'évolution de ses pratiques. Tout le sens de TankArt  naît de cette vocation à partager de manière pédagogique.
Le chapitre sur les pigments va lui aussi en profondeur et est un point essentiel du travail réalisé sur le D9R. A ne pas manquer !

One chapter appears and was born, I think, from the feebacks the author has had: Combining HS and OPR. This new chapter, very welcomed, gets deeper into details. These two associated pillars, on which lie Michael Rinaldi's works, were quite implicit in the first volumes, but are here totally revealed and demonstrated for the sake of our models. Here is all the richness of TankArt. Each book precisely deals with one particular technique, born from Michael Rinaldi's philosophy and the evolution of his practice. All the sense of TankArt bears the vocation to share and educate.
The chapter on pigments goes deeper into detail as well and is an essential feature of the work made on the D9R. Don't miss it!

Ce qui rend le livre propice à rester près de vous la nuit mais surtout sur votre plan de travail, c'est la qualité des écrits de l'auteur. Chaque chapitre transpire d'une énergie, d'une réflexion poussée et d'une passion sans limites. Mais, le modéliste pressé, qui cherche à trouver une solution à son problème n'est pas laissé de côté. Le livre fourmille de petites boîtes oranges rapides d'accès sur les astuces, les problèmes rencontrés et leurs solutions.

What will make you keep that book close to you at night and mostly on your workbench is the quality of the writing. Each chapter sweats limitless energy, high reflexion and passion. But, the hurried modeler, looking for a solution for their problems is not left behind. The book has lots of small orange boxes showing tips, problems and solutions.

TankArt 3 n'est donc pas qu'une suite logique à TankArt 1 et TankArt 2. Il va au-delà des limites, repoussant les frontières grâce à une qualité d'écriture propre à Michael Rinaldi. Plus encore qu'auparavant, le lecteur se sent impliqué dans cet ouvrage à travers lequel l'esprit de communauté transparaît. L'explicite naît du partage et de l'expertise et l'auteur nous invite à partager ses tribulations et à nous en inspirer.

TankArt 3 is not only the logical volume after TankArt 1 and TankArt 2. He goes beyond the limits, pushing them with this great quality of writing, that is Michael Rinaldi's. More than before, the reader feels implicated in this book through which glows the spirit of the modelers' community. The explicit is born by this sense of sharing and expertise, and the author invites us to share his experience and to be inspired by them.

Qu'attendez-vous pour l'acheter ?
What are you waiting for? Go buy it!