1⁄35To Pre-Shade or Not To Pre-Shade?
The thoughts behind the technique.
I have in the past done a little figure painting. The technique I used was to undercoat with the basic color, using Humbrol enamels, then use artist's oil paints for final painting. This requires the use of three shades of the same color, base coat, shadows, and highlights. These three shades are blended to give the overall effect. The idea is to simulate where the light would be falling. If I were to transfer this technique to model aircraft, it would not work. Imagine a Messerschmitt painted with that technique, it would look very odd. I use artist's oil colors for washes on aircraft because they can be mixed together for many different affects. This is partly due to the fact that some are opaque and some are translucent. Also you can get some startling affects, because you don't always get the color you expect when you mix them. This, I believe, has something to do with how the pigment is derived. I use Warm Grey a lot because it has a brown tint to it, and is ideal for some washes. Using washes will darken the underlying color, as does applying Klear (Future) or any other varnish. Using oil paints, in a wash, can add a tint as well, or instead of, darkening the underlying colors. Experimentation is the word here but I've more or less found what works for me. The next step is probably lightening the camouflage colors. This is normally advocated for "scale effect" but I would do it because of the darkening effects of varnish coats and washes. I haven't gone that route yet because I'm not convinced that straight lightening of the base color is the answer. Thoughts on this would be much appreciated. So what I was looking for was a way to vary the hue of each camouflage color without making it look to contrived. When I first saw the affects of pre-shading I knew it was for me. The big problem, though, was that it only appeared to work with light colors, and I needed something that would work on any color. This technique, I'm sure, can be adapted for armor and other modeling pursuits. When I was modeling Armour (faint) I tried Verlinden's method of pre-shading, which basically used a darker shade of paint under the main color, i.e. dark earth under the yellow shade, the name of which escapes me but I'm sure modelers of German WWII armor will know what I mean.