Turn-X is progressing well, and I’m going to go into detail on the oil paint process with this post.The first stage is to do some chipping, and to add some texture with Vallejo natural steel paint. This paint is very thick and I’ve not had much luck thinning it for airbrushing. However, these qualities make it fantastic for our purposes here.
I primarily use a small piece of sponge to add chips to edges. The paint is so thick and dries quickly making this process go quite quickly.One the chipping is on, I went back with one of the sticks I use to hold pieces while I airbrush them, and use the pointy end to pick up the thick paint and dab it on the most heavily chipped areas. Once this dries it adds fantastic texture which we’ll bring out with the oil painting. Here we see more of the chipping. It looks quite awful doesn’t it? That’s ok because we’re going to really dirty it up with the oil paint. On the knee you can see how the texture is starting to build up.So far, all this work has been done on an assembled kit. This helps get the chipping in sensible places, but after we’ve added enough paint to build up the texture I’ll disassemble the kit into sections to make it easier to add the oil paint. For the rust effect I’m primarily using Burnt Sienna oil paint. You can see that I start off small, just adding some small amounts. It’s good to start small and get a feel for the process. It’s important to get the oil paint mixed well with the mineral spirits so it flows easily, yet stays well enough where you put it, and leaves enough density of effect. It’s key to remember that if an area doesn’t look good, even when dry it will rub off, and if it’s a little stuck you can use some mineral spirits to loosen it and this won’t remove the underlying airbrushed paint layers. You get a very nice effect where the paint flows with the texture of the chipping. It’s good to look out for areas like this and build them up, but careful not to over do it! Another good tip is to build up slowly. It’s easy to rub areas with your fingers as you’re holding the kit and remove the good work you’ve done. As you add more you may want to use thinner paint. This will loosen and spread the underlying paint and also break up the effect. The effect also looks very different wet to dry, so best to wait for it to dry before you go add more. This is also why it’s good to break the model into sections so that you can work on one while the others are drying. You will get some nice chromatic variation depending on how thick the layer of the oil paint is, but we can add more! I use cadmium orange oil paint, picking up tiny dots with the pointy end of my stick to add accents to areas where I think it will look good. If the orange is too strong, you can just rub it with your finger or cotton bud, and if you add more burnt sienna over the top that can work too. Using very thin burnt sienna can help spread the orange over a larger area and also help the effect. I’m doing the same colours on the backpack too. I really like how the brown and orange rust works with the blue of the backpack. Continuing to work on the legs, I’m adding more paint to build things up. Sometimes I’ll see an area is way too strong, and just gently rub with a dry cotton bud to take some of the dry paint off. If you’re careful, you’ll leave a small amount of the oil paint and this will look quite realistic. If you take off too much, just add more oil paint. You can repeat this process over and over as you develop your technique. While working on the legs, I also added some washes of oil paint on the grey feet sections. I thought some of the areas on the backpack were too strong, so I used a dry brush to break up the thicker areas. I also used some very thin oil paint to redissolve the paint already there and allow it to dry again in a new pattern.Again, you can see where the oil paint is too strong, but you can also see the wonderful texture from the chipping layer come through. Again, thin oil paint was added to help break up these thicker areas. I continued on in the same manner on the arms. There’s less chipping and hence less rust on the arms. I generally reduce the levels of chipping and rusting with height. Here you can see the cadmium orange areas that I’ve been adding. Again, they’re coming through strong so I’ll add rub them back a bit with the cotton bud before adding more really thin oil paint over them. Here’s more paint build up. I’m still not liking it as much as I have on previous builds, but not to worry – wipe off what you don’t like and leave what you do! Here’s the backpack again. I ran some really thin paint into some of the detail areas and that really looks good. Again, the arms are looking a bit heavy on the rust. I’ll let it dry and then wipe off what I don’t like. Here you can really clearly see the texture build up that I did with the Vellejo paint. I’m really liking these areas, but again, the oil paint is too strong so I’ll back it off. This is becoming a fun build, but the oil paint technique is one where I think practise is really going to help. This is the 3rd kit I’ve done this particular technique on, and with each I learn new nuances.
I’m really liking the depth the thick paint chipping layer is adding. I’m not quite as happy with how the oil paint is going on, so my next step will be to use the dry cotton bud and rub off areas where it’s too thick. This will show more of the Vellejo steel paint through and hopefully make it all look more realistic.
And remember this is the key aspect of this technique – you can remove the oil paint very easily, and keep the areas you like and remove (or tone back) the areas you don’t. I’ve taken a close look at the two previous kits I’ve done this technique upon and I can see that I’ve gone too heavy on this one, so I’ll back everything off and update you on how that looks in my next blog post.