Monday, January 10, 2011

Mr. Scott’s: Basic painting

I wanted to tone down the molded in colour of this kit and give the building a slightly aged look.

I must admit up front that I don’t use an airbrush. Just about all the painting I do is with a brush except for model car bodies and airplane fuselages. And for those I use spray cans and shoot outside. This means spray painting is confined to the good weather in spring, summer and fall. We don’t use aerosol sprays of any sort in our house, and I’d need to step-up to some sort of high-quality ventilation and spray-booth before indoor airbrushing becomes a possibility. All the painting done on Mr. Scott’s is done with brushes. This isn’t the best way to paint a building, but reasonable results can be obtained.

The base coat on the stone walls is Floquil’s Aged Concrete. It turns out this is the only non-acrylic paint on my shelf. I more-or-less brush paint exclusively with acrylics because water can be used for cleanup, and the paints are almost odourless. Floquil has an acrylic Concrete paint which I use a lot, but I wanted to try their so-called Aged Concrete to see if there was any noticeable difference even though it requires varsol for cleanup. To my eye, and since this is the first of many layers of paint, there doesn’t seem to be any difference in hue, so if I were to do this over, I’d just use the acrylic Concrete paint.

The hanger doors are base coated with Tamiya’s Sky Blue in order to give a strong contrast to the duller stone of the walls. The shuttlecraft landing pad and the hanger roof base coat is a loose mix of Floquil Oily Black and ModelMaster Flat Black. The flashing on the roofs is basecoated with Tamiya Flat Aluminum.

When the Aged Concrete on the stone walls was dry they were painted with a number of thin and loosely mixed washes of white, various shades of gray, and flat black acrylic paints in order to give some three-dimensionality to the surface.

The window and door moldings were then glued into the wall openings. These items come cast in a flat forest green colour that I rather liked, so I left the window frames as they were and didn’t paint them. However, the doors did get some finishing prior to installation. I wanted the main entrance to stick out a bit, so the door was painted flat aluminum. To add some interest, one side loading door was painted red - later a ‘DANGER’ decal was applied to it - and the other was painted yellow.

The lines on the landing pad were drawn with ‘Galaxy Markers’ that I used on the Grille’s project. The exhaust vents on the hanger roof are items from a Walthers HO-scale roof top detail set. The street number above the main entrance is a leftover from my decal box. I figure an operation such as Mr. Scott’s would try to remain incognito - well, as incognito as one can be with shuttlecraft landing on your roof - and forego signs identifying the business.

Once all the components were glued in place, some final thin washes of flat black were applied. The hanger roof got an additional loose wash of browns and grays to soften up its uniform blackness. On the landing pad I used some ground gray pastels to make it look more used, but one certainly couldn’t tell that from the photos. Turns out I sprayed it with Dullcoat to fix the pastels, but the spray – which I did in a rush outside in the cold contrary to my opening remarks! – obliterated the effect, so it’s back to the drawing board.

Although there are still some funky areas on the walls - which don’t look too bad considering this is after all a dilithium crystal factory - at this point I’m declaring basic painting of the shell done. However, there is a little more weathering and aging I want to do (especially on the hanger doors and landing pad which need some significant correction), and I think it needs a few more detail items to bring it a bit more to life. Maybe some additional details on the hanger roof, some lifting and loading machines at one of loading dock doors, and possibly an outside storage tank or two. I’ll have to think about how to proceed.

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