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Feature: Pre-Shading Aircraft
Tin_Can
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Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 12:59 PM UTC
Holdfast has put together another great article. This one is on the subject of pre-shading and provides some great info. Thanks for the contribution Mal.

To Pre-shade or Not To Pre-Shade
mj
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Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 01:24 PM UTC
Terrific article, Mal, thank you very much. I've noticed this technique used quite a bit lately, and have wanted to try it, but really didn't know where to start. I have no excuses now...on to the modeling table!!

Mike

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Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 04:42 PM UTC
Wow, excellent article. I'd heard of preshading but never knew what the technique actually meant. Thanks for explaining so clearly.
Favorisio
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Posted: Monday, April 21, 2003 - 11:54 PM UTC
Another good read Mal, thanks a lot for sharing your techniques.

Roger
Holdfast
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Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2003 - 02:21 AM UTC
:-) No problem guys, like I say I've not fully cracked it yet but it's quite easy to achieve the affect on light colours, it's the darker colours that need be tamed :-)
TwistedFate
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Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2003 - 03:07 AM UTC
Mal, for dark colors, airbrush a very thin wash on after you paint it. You want it thin and use very light coats to control the buildup better. You want to build up the color very gradually, because it's real easy to go too far using this method.
Holdfast
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Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2003 - 08:01 AM UTC
:-) Er right Tim, I guess you havn't read the article then
Mal
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Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2003 - 03:07 PM UTC
Twice, actually. I'm just sharing how I do it on dark colors. Technically it's not PREshading but it has the same effects.
Holdfast
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Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2003 - 05:36 PM UTC
:-) Right Tim, sorry, are you talking about post-shading? To get the affect I'm looking for using post-shading would require 2-3 maybe 4 different hues of the same colour. Very time consuming and, IMHO, looks very contrived. I've seen it done, an incredible piece of modelling and airbrush work, but just looked to er toy-like for my tastes. I will try and find the article, it's somewhere out there. What I am trying to achieve is colour veriation using the translucency of the thinned paint to let the underlying dark and light colours (the primer and the pre-shading) show through, in varying amounts. That's one reason I think a white primer is the way to go. When I get a job one of the first things I will do is buy a can of white primer
Tim, having waffled on here I never thought to ask, have you a sample of your technique? It sounds as if I'm dismissing it but that's not the case. I'm more than interested, but you know what it's like, once you have something that works (or nearly works) you don't want to go trying something else, straight away :-)
Mal
TwistedFate
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Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2003 - 01:35 AM UTC
Mal:
Unfortunately right now I don't have any examples I can get to (they are all packed up). Everything I have on display is pre-shaded. I am working on a Corsair that I am going to use it on. Wait, I'm sure I have a spare wing or something laying around, I'll whip up something real quick to show you what it looks like. I use the technique described by David Aungst in the article on Weathering Aircraft. Here is a link to page 4 of the article where the process is described with a pic of his results (he is much better at it than me, however ) I'll have a pic of my work with it on a dark color tomorrow or later tonight.
Holdfast
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Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2003 - 08:34 AM UTC
Tim
I have re-read David Aungst's article and I can see how post-shading this way would achieve the sort of look I'm after. However, assuming I am reading it right the very thin colours are being used to give the impression of natural light in an artificially lit arena by shading the shadow areas. If this technique was used, similarly to the multi hued model I've seen, it would more than likely achieve my aim and be far better than that model. My point though is that I am trying to achieve this multi hued look without the need to use many different hues. By using paint thinned more than normal it has a translucent quality, just as David Aungst describes it. Because of the Light primer and the dark pre-shading different amounts of paint are required to to cover these areas. So if done correctly (this is where I am lacking a little in the success department) you should get a darker shade around the edges and junctions of panels, getting lighter towards the middle of the panel. Having used just one shade of paint. This has actually given away the thoughts behind the update to the article. That is that I will try white primer, thin the paint a little more and paint panels one at a time. this should allow this effect to be easier to control. To be able to do this though I will require 1. A new compressor 2. A new air brush and 3. A job :-)
I'm not saying that, if I ever achieve the look I'm after, It will actually be desireable, I won't know that untill I have achieved it. It will be interesting though, and pleasing to the eye, I hope. It's like why wash panel lines? One of the reasons I do it is because the model looks far more interesting than if they are not washed.
David Aungst is clearly a far better modeler than I, so I hope this dosen't sound like I'm dismissing what he does, or you, of course Tim. This is just the sort of discussion that should happen cos this is the way to learn. :-) I don't think that I would have the patience to do what David does, maybe I'm just after that illusive "quick fix"
Mal
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Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2003 - 03:08 PM UTC

Quoted Text

[b]This is just the sort of discussion that should happen cos this is the way to learn.



Exactly!! That was my reasoning behind my original post, not to try and tell you how to do something but maybe give you some ideas to help you find a technique that works for you. I don't use David's technique exactly. I pre-shade on light colors because I feel it gives a better effect. On darker colors I pre-shade and then spray Tamiya's smoke as a post-shade color. Whatever works is my motto. I'll be a little longer on my wing, I had to go practice with my teamate tonight for a tournament coming up so I lost time to that. Should have pics tomorrow.
brandydoguk
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Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2003 - 03:52 PM UTC
I've been thinking about this preshading for a day or so and am going to give it a try when I get my airbrush sorted out. I think I may try a base of white, then follow the panel lines with a wide setting with grey, then do the same areas again with a thinner setting with black, this should give a slightly greater tonal variation showing through.
Holdfast
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Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2003 - 06:25 PM UTC
:-) Tim

Quoted Text

Whatever works is my motto.


Totally agree. :-) I am open to all suggestions, If it sounded otherwise, then I apologise. It is sometimes difficult to understand what someone means when you only have the written word to communicate with.

bdUK
Interesting veriation, need to see pics of the outcome. :-) Initial reaction is that this is adding to the process. In theory sounds like a great idea, but from what I have managed so far, and the reason I use black for pre-shading, is that the grey primer is pretty easy to cover. However, up to this time, I don't think I have thinned my paint enough, therefore coverage is easier. If you use well thinned paint (70:30?) or what ever gives you translucant paint, so you have to build up the coverage, and do a panel at a time, using a fairly fine spry pattern it should work. If this does work then other colours used in pre-shading can be thought about to give different affects. Nice one bdUK :-)
Mal
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Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2003 - 04:08 PM UTC
Here you go, Mal.



It was primed white, then painted PollyS Grimy Black, then post shaded along the panel lines with Tamiya Smoke at about 4:1 thinning. I didn't dull coat it, because the only dull I have is MM Acryl and it has a milky color to it instead of clear so the shading has a shiny appearance in areas because it is a gloss paint. If you want to email me your address I'll ship you the actual wing so you can see it better, it's from a piece of crap Airfix kit I'm NEVER gonna build anyway.
Holdfast
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Posted: Friday, April 25, 2003 - 02:59 AM UTC
:-) Nice one Tim, looks pretty good. Is this what you do on all your aircraft models? Or was this an experiment? Does look something like what I'm trying to achieve. Would Tamiya smoke work over all colours?
I will, hopefully start spraying my Spitfire, in the next couple of days. If my air supply machine (can't call it a compressor) holds up, I hope to be able to try spraying a panel at a time, so I will have some idea if it will work. Post shading might be an option when I can replace my compressor and get a better air brush :-)
Thanks for sharing Tim
Mal
TwistedFate
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Posted: Friday, April 25, 2003 - 06:45 AM UTC
I do it on all my dark colored models. Preshading is easier to do and control so on light models so I preshade when I can.

Smoke works good on most colors becuase it will won't actually cover the paint. It will darken the color without actually recoloring it. What I do specifically is spray the color and then rinse out the color cup instead of actually cleaning it real good. Then when I put the Smoke and thinner in the cup, a little of the previous color will be there to tint it ever so slightly. Since it's so thin I use a low air pressure (10-15 psi) or you can easily get spiders and centipedes from the air blowing the paint mixture out.

A thought occured to me last night, and I may try this with my BfB entry. Prime the model white, then paint a couple of panels gray, then preshade, then paint the color. This will give some of the panels a slightly different hue.
Holdfast
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Posted: Friday, April 25, 2003 - 07:36 AM UTC
:-) Thats an idea Tim priming with white and grey. It will be interesting how that turns out :-)
And thats a good idea of letting the colour coat tint the smoke. There is obviously a lot more to this pre/post-shading lark. It might be handy if you could write an article about your technique and maybe the outcome of your twin primming. I intend to update mine, when I can try out my latest theory. Then we just need some smart arse to combine the 2 and come up with the way it should be done lol
Getting back to being serious, I use very diluted medium sea grey (seems to work best) to give a faded look, to Pacific and Hot climate based aircraft. I used to spray this in a "cloud" pattern all over upper surfaces. I now thin it more and build it up within panels (that's where I got the idea of applying the colour coats over pre-shading, to a panel at a time), this is also sprayed over decals and it fades them pretty well.
Tim I would like to keep this discussion about pre-shading/ post-shading alive. I also keep studying Davids article, one of my goals is to do a really neat job of weathering a Neutral gray/Olive drab model. So I can build up the confidence to tackle one of those 4 engined beasts. I expect to only have one of each in my collection so I need to get them right. :-)
Mal
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Posted: Friday, April 25, 2003 - 01:59 PM UTC

Quoted Text

It might be handy if you could write an article about your technique and maybe the outcome of your twin primming.



hmmmm, 3 weeks until the BfB campaign starts. Maybe I'll give it a run with this Spitfire I have sitting here since I've decided to go Axis for the BfB campaign (my first German plane, come on HLJ ship that BF109E-1, don't make me convert an E-3 LOL) and won't need the Spitfire after all. I should be able to get the model finished by the 19th. Then I can write the article while I work on the Emil. It will be a good trial run before I try it for the campaign.

Let me ask you this, when you do a 2 color camo as on a Hurri or Spit, do you spray the whole plane one color then paint the 2nd overtop or spray the individual areas seperately? If I overlay the 2nd color, the way I usually do, it will obscure any of the fun stuff I do under the colors.
Holdfast
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Posted: Friday, April 25, 2003 - 11:07 PM UTC
:-) Tim

Quoted Text

Let me ask you this, when you do a 2 color camo as on a Hurri or Spit, do you spray the whole plane one color then paint the 2nd overtop or spray the individual areas seperately? If I overlay the 2nd color, the way I usually do, it will obscure any of the fun stuff I do under the colors.


In my article I talk about this problem and you have hit the nail on the head. The traditional method, as you say is to paint the whole plane one colour then the 2nd, but this negates the effect. So I, roughly, mark out the areas for the first colour, they need to be a tad bigger than finish size. Then mark out accurately, or mask for the second colour. Of course you do get an area where the 2 colours overlap but this will give you a different veriation. No pre-shading showing through and the hue of the second colour is alterd slightly by this "new" underlying colour. So you are able to have the pre-shading effects on both top colours.
Part of the reason for taking this route is because the monotone affect of a nice even coat of paint. Of course this is what we are all after, at first and there is nothing wrong with that. I have seen lots of well built and painted models but, for me, the ones that really stand out are the ones that don't have monotone coats of paint :-) They are more interesting. I suppose in the end it's all amatter of taste.
Mal
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Posted: Saturday, April 26, 2003 - 01:24 AM UTC
Guess I'll whip out the Tac 'N Stick and see what I can do then. If I mask both colors, I can probably keep the overlap to a minimum.

I agree with the color variations making for more interesting models. I always did mine in smooth perfect colors (the auto modeler in me dictated perfect paint) and couldn't figure out why I was always unhappy with it. You may have it right there. Maybe I'll try to vary the color saturation a little on the fly and see how it comes out.