Tutorial: Painting systems for realistic results

marshon

Member
The airbrush technique:

The airbrush is an immensely versatile tool, but it just that, a tool.
A good brush, set up correctly and with good paint of the correct viscosity can easily paint a line as thin as a pencil, or as thick as your arm. It can be used to give very light, subtle shades or heavy full coverage base coats.
But it can't paint a hard edge, so stencils will be needed if you need to do that. I tend to mix and match techniques as required to minimise the need for anything complicated. I'm a simple soul.

The advantages of the airbrush are that it is quick. I painted the following panel in 10 minutes from start to finish. There is virtually no drying time since the atomised particles of paint are virtually dry as they hit the panel. It uses very little paint in comparison to the other two methods and it is capable of very gentle feathering and blending that are almost impossible to achieve with any other method.

The disadvantages of the airbrush are that getting set up can be very expensive, and you need to learn how to use it. The only way to do this is to get one and practice. The paint also needs to be of the correct viscosity, this invariably means that you will need to learn to thin the paint.
Finally, the airbrush needs to be cleaned between each colour and periodically stripped down and cleaned thoroughly to keep it operating correctly.

It's an investment in tender loving care folks.

I do not intend to give you a tutorial on airbrushing, but this is an easy project to learn on.

Because we can feather the edges of the paint we don't need to put in shadow edges as with the other methods so we have already saved ourselves an entire step.
Using the black primer panel, spray your basic green colour into the panels, but don't go right to the edges. We want a bit of the feathered black to show through.



Now drybrush the 50% green 50% white with a blusher brush as before



Drybrush the silver for the grill with a blusher brush as before



Add our stencil, but this time we will spray it using some white in the airbrush.



Now instead of using artists pastel chalks we can use the airbrush for our basic weathering. I've used a little black around the grill and panels and some brown on the vents and whatnot.



Here are all three panels done using the three different methods. Very little difference which shows that you don't need an airbrush to get cool results. It's just a quicker tool (especially if you have an entire suit to paint!).



I would now spend some time adding small scratches in the paint using gunmetal or silver. Possibly some rust streaks or whatever you like.
You now have all the basic techniques to recreate anything you like really.
I find it helps if you have some reference pictures (especially game shots or concept art) to work from.
You should be able to copy anything!

Here are a couple of images of stuff I have painted using various bits of all three techniques:

My Grenadier helm:

new_project_wip_90_by_marshon-d3ldfsy.jpg


My MA37 Reach AR:

ma37_halo_ar_completed_01_by_marshon-d3h67zd.jpg


As you should be able to see from the tut, it's easier than you think to get realistic results.
 

Dark Star

Jr Member
Firstly, thank you for your time! We definitely appreciate this.

Secondly, what do you use for painting scratches? A toothpick comes to mind but that sounds a mite thick for realistic scratches :/
 

Boba Fett

Well-Known Member
My only comment is the post-shading on the Jorge helm looks a bit extreme... Of course, I'm used to models 1/35th of the real size so being subtle is paramount. :p But yes! Finally someone else that knows how to use an airbrush! Those panels look absolutely perfect. Fantastic job, fantastic tut!
 

marshon

Member
what do you use for painting scratches? A toothpick comes to mind but that sounds a mite thick for realistic scratches :/
A No# 4 brush with a good point on it and dry-brush - your looking for an effect, not up close perfection. Most of your gear will be viewed from an average of about 4 feet away, any closer and we're into personal space. So paint for this distance. It's also the reason that I over contrast my shadows a bit - as pointed out by Boba Fett.
From 4 feet away it looks more subtle.
 

R3Dracoon

Jr Member
Thx for the tutorials man, I'll sure to try this affect on my Warhammer 40k Death Company guys and such :)
 
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Boba Fett

Well-Known Member
Ah.... you have a point. Again, I'm used to models where it's being inspected on a contest table from 6 inches. :p
IMGA0129.jpg

the outdoor light bleached the pic quite a bit, but I pre-sprayed the pershing with light olive drab in teh centers, and a dirty black on the edges. Then I did a light coat of straight olive drab all over. I used a lightened mix of OD on the top, for a light modulation effect. Then came a rash of oil washes, oil filters, and chalks to appropriately weather it. You have to be MUCH more subtle with something this small. :p
@MArshon I'm assuming that's your model on pg. 1? Ever been to Euro Militare? Always wanted to go to a world-class show like that....
 

marshon

Member
@MArshon I'm assuming that's your model on pg. 1? Ever been to Euro Militare? Always wanted to go to a world-class show like that....
Yes, that's my M39. I did Euro Militaire way back in 1982. I also did the convention for Military Modelling in the same year.
 

vshore100

Well-Known Member
Awesome work Marshon. These tutorials have definitely helped me. I can't wait to try some of them out. Thanks!
 

King Ramna

Jr Member
Marshon, I am thinking about picking up an airbrush soon. I was choosing between a revolution CR or an eclipse gravity feed. I plan on using acrylics. But, I was wondering if I need to buy a special kind of acrylic paint or can I use acrylic paints that I already own?
 

TK3350

Active Member
Can the pictures in this tutorial be re-uploaded? They're missing and I find that quite bothersome. It's a GREAT tutorial.. But would be perfect with the images in place!

Pretty please?

(And yes I know I'm not supposed to bumb dead or dying threads. But this one seems like one worthy running the risk. So either repair the pictures in this thread or shut up about my comment!)
 

vshore100

Well-Known Member
(And yes I know I'm not supposed to bumb dead or dying threads. But this one seems like one worthy running the risk. So either repair the pictures in this thread or shut up about my comment!)
Hopefully I'm reading this wrong and you're telling yourself to shut up because talking like that here won't get you anywhere! As far as the pics go. marshon must have moved them because it broke the links and that's why they aren't visible. He will have to fix them if he wants it to be done. The last I heard about him his health wasn't all that great so unless he gets on and fixes them, I don't think it will happen.
 

TK3350

Active Member
I meant somebody else who's been om my ass for leaving a comment congratulating somebody in a post that has been dead for a few months
 

vshore100

Well-Known Member
I meant somebody else who's been om my ass for leaving a comment congratulating somebody in a post that has been dead for a few months
Regardless of who's been on you... instead of reviving an old thread like that from now on just send a pm to the OP instead of waking the thread back up. We all make mistakes and it's okay. Just for future reference! :D
 
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