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.
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!