Hello and welcome back to this weeks Sprue Cutters Union! Last week we discussed and shared our very first solo built models. This weeks topic is about the three most important and/ or significant things that defined my modelling since i got started in the hobby.
Being fairly new to the hobby (we are talking about some 6 years in my case) i still encounter big “aha moments” just about every new build… A certain way of paint mixing that enhances flow; choosing a different brush for a certain task finding out it works twice as good; discovering this oddball brand that has high quality products or even noticing a certain household product that has excellent modelling related uses….you name it! Every modeller reinvents his or her own wheel every now and then and it never fails to excite and fascinate me about our hobby. Not uncommon to hear is the good old phrase “Now why didn’t i think of this way sooner”.
Some of these things can be considered true ground breaking discoveries and after writing a few down i picked the three i think are most important (Eureka!!) in my own case:
1. The Airbrush
I think it is very hard to justify not adding this all important tool to the list. By just using an airbrush over a normal paintbrush the quality of your paintwork just leaps ahead instantly wether you are skilled in its use or not. While i still prefer a paintbrush for coating small parts, this tool has been a significant milestone in my development as a modeller once i got the hang of the double action, the compressor pressure settings and paint thinning that is…..
This is where i encountered a huge learning curve. So steep even that for a while i would still prefer using a paintbrush because i couldnt figure out how to balance out these three things. But i persisted and by now i am pretty comfortable in it’s use allthough i still mess up from time to time.
In the picture you can see the two airbrushes i own. Both are Revell products but are in fact license produced Badgers. The lower one is my first and was bottom fed whereas the top one is a gravity fed airbrush. Pretty darn good allround but still not very good in ultra fine work. It does the trick admirably for me and my current skillset though and both of them are virtually indestructable.
Another huge milestone and vastly improving my repertoire of skills would be the drybrushing technique. For those that are not familiar with the term: drybrushing involves using a brush with all the excess paint wiped off almost completely. By brushing it over your model in a back and forth motion the miniscule amount of paint left on the brush will deposit on the raised details making them “pop” more. Developed in the 70’s/ 80’s it is a staple technique amongst modellers eversince and could arguably be described as the most popular advanced technique used today, simply because it is ridiculously easy to learn and apply and will enhance every single model greatly.
3. (Oil) Washes
Whereas the drybrushing emphasises raised detail this technique will accentuate the lowered details such as panel lines, folds in cloth or faces of figures.
A basic wash involves adding a small amount of paint to a volume of thinning agent. Basically colored thinner so to speak as opposed to thinned color although there are various forms of washes using various thickness. The basic allround wash however is basically just that; colored thinning agent. I started out with the technique using waterbased colors such as the ones you can buy in any dollar store but for a while now i “evolved” into more expensive but also more easily manipulated oil based paints.
By brushing an amount of this liquid on a model it will collect into any lowered details and accentuate those. After a modeller has given it a short time to set he or she will use a brush or q-tip to remove any excess left behind on raised detail. Especially using the oil paints in combination with white spirit or thinner it is always a magical sight to behold to see the paint just flow into all the nooks and crannies just by touching one spot on your model…
Ofcourse there are so much more techniques and methods that would be eligible for this short list but if i had to pick three things that defined my modelling it has to be these.
(EDIT) Again, the deadline for adding your own write up has passed so here are the links to what the other members in the union have to say:
Yet another Plastic Modeller: http://jvtroyen.blogspot.fr/2013/07/sprue-cutters-union-2-words-of-wisdom.html
The Dogchuffers Scale Model Workshop: http://thedogschuffers.blogspot.nl/2013/07/ok-this-is-my-second-blog-post-for.html?spref=tw
Martins Scale Models (facebook): https://www.facebook.com/martinsscalemodels/posts/265974503543639?ref=notif¬if_t=notify_me