Hi everyone, welcome to my first 'ible. I recently painted this Tamiya set for my old man's Scalextric track and used a few techniques that are new for me. It is also the first time I have painted at the 1/24 scale. The processes that I have used have helped me cut down the time it takes to paint models to what I consider an acceptable standard. The models are mainly painted using inks and washes with almost no paint. This is the technique that I will be focusing on in this 'ible. The whole process from building to varnish took 8hrs including drying time.
Step 1: Undercoat and Wash
As this is a painting tutorial I have decided to ignore the build process for the time being. Instead I will begin from the first layer of paint and wash. There is a technique known to many mini painters as "underpainting". Underpainting usually involves spraying the mini in a black primer then once this primer coat is dry you spray the model from a single direction with a quick blast of white thus adding directional highlights very quickly. I am not a fan of this technique partly because I am clumsy with spray cans and partly because I do not own an airbrush T︵T. So this is my next go to method for achieving a similar effect. you want to prime your models with a nice coat of white primer. Make sure it is acrylic based or you may find problems with the wash and inks beading in later steps. After this step is complete and the primer is completely dry fetch a black ink. I use Secret Weapon and P3 branded washes and inks but you can use whatever brand you prefer. Load a large brush with black ink and liberally wash the model from head to toe. Try to coat evenly and not recover any area more than once otherwise the wash may build and become too dark in areas. If your ink does not travel into the recesses of the model, mixing it with a small amount of matte varnish or artist's acrylic flow extender will break the surface tension and help it sit in the creases. This can take quite sometime to dry. Leave models to sit in the positions they will stand when finished. Don't be tempted to poke them or your finger prints may become visible in later steps.
Step 2: Painting Large Areas of Colour.
The next few steps will be almost like painting by numbers. You are going to use coloured inks and washes to paint the coloured areas. The overalls for these guys are blue so I used a blue ink. The trick to painting large areas of a single colour with this technique is to cover in one movement always working in the same direction. This is most easily achieved by dividing the large area into sections. For example I divided the model into 6 areas. Chest, Back, Back of Legs, Back of Arms, Front of Legs, Front of Arms. The reason for doing this is that washes are thin and layering them will darken the area leaving inconsistencies in the finish. This can be remedy again with a small amount of flow extender or matte varnish but I ran out so instead to be careful:-) Leave them to dry. again this could take some time. What yo may notice at this point is that the previous step has provided a natural highlight and shadow pattern in the creases and detail of the overalls. This is exactly the benefit to this technique.
Step 3: Painting the Hair. Drybrushing.
Hair can be a tricky one and some people just can't cut it.... Yeah, okay jokes aren't my strong point. So, once again the black wash has done a lot of the hard work for us and all that's left is to add a splash of colour. I decided to have two with brown hair, two with red and one blonde. For the brown and red haired chaps use an appropriately coloured wash e.g chestnut wash for brown, burnt orange for redhead. For the blonde hair skip the wash step. The next step uses a technique called drybrushing. This technique will ruin any normal brush and I advise buying a dedicated brush for the job. The basic idea is to load a brush with paint and then wipe off as much as you can using a piece of kitchen towel. Until only flecks of nearly dry paint remain on the bristles. I achieve this by working the brush in circles on the kitchen towel then testing it on the back of my thumb. You then take this brush and drag it across the grain of the model. For example the hair flows from front to back so I worked the brush from right to left. As the contours of the model rise and fall the pressure exerted on the bristles does likewise. This variance in pressure leaves varying amounts of paint on the raised and recessed areas leaving natural looking highlights on the raised areas of the model. The colour used for drybrushing should be around 5 to 6 shades lighter than the base colour you wish to highlight, but I like dramatic highlights that leave the models with a sketched almost graphic novel look.
Step 4: The First Blob of Paint.
There is not a sole lot to this step... Wow, that one was really bad even for me. Seriously though this next step simply involves painting any dark areas. For these models it was their boots. Take your black paint and mix with a very small amount of water. Never paint directly from the pot. The paint will be too thick and will clump, obscuring detail. Due to the water and the white Undercoat this may take a couple of coats but be patient. The thinner paint yields much better results. After the black is dry you can go back and drybrush the black areas with a dark grey to add highlights.
Step 5: Face Painting.
It's time to get up close and personal. To begin this step take a flesh tone paint and water it down very slightly perhaps 5 to 1, paint to water. Paint in all areas of flesh. Again due to the thin paint this may take a couple of coats. Note how the black ink again provides natural looking shadow. Once this is dry use a brown or sepia wash and go over the areas of flesh to add depth. When this is dry mix a little white and your flesh colour together and use this to drybrush the face. DO NOT ADD WATER. Adding water does not provide good results when drybrushing. It's kind of in the name. When this step is complete you should notice that your models are starting to look much more alive compared to their previously inanimate marble statue look. I would also recommend painting in the eyes at this stage but their is already a very good 'ible on painting eyes so I won't go into detail here. The next phase is the touch up phase. take a look around each model and see where there are mistakes. correcting mistakes with this wash/ink technique can be difficult. It is easier to avoid making them in the first place. That being said any mistakes you can see, for instance I got some blue ink on their white gloves, can be corrected by painting the mistake white again then building the layers back up.
Step 6: Applying Water Slide Transfers.
With the Tamiya kit they provide a sheet of waterside transfers and a diagram to show where to place them. I actually don't recommend doing this step the same way I did. I placed all of the decals in a saucer of water at the same time resulting in some the transfers floating around and getting stuck to each other. Luckily none of the transfers I needed were damaged. So cutout the transfer you need and work with them one at a time. Immerse the decal in shallow water (just enough to cover) and using a clean brush coax it away from the backing sheet. Use the brush to push and pull the decal into position on the model and leave to dry. This can be a long process but be patient and repeat this for each decal on each model. If you have one use the instructions to place the decals otherwise put them where you like or examine your team kit on Google image search.
Step 7: Seal the Deal.
So their you have it, your models are all painted up and finished. One last thing, this technique of using washes does not provide a hard wearing finish. I highly recommend using an acrylic sealer. Preferably a matte finish. As for the Instructable I think we are done. Any questions or comments would be much appreciated and next time I will definitely plan my 'ible before embarking upon it and take more pictures. Thanks for reading.