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Discussion Starter #1
Hello again helpful people!

I finally finished closing up the ship, giving it a coat of MM "Camo Gray" for the base coat and bought "MM Flat Gull Gray" for the secondary/Aztec pattern. After seeing various models it's more of a gloss vs flat finish and now I'm questioning how I should go about this.

Is it better to:

1. Spray bomb Flat Gray -> Coat entire ship with MM Clear Pearl -> Paintbrush the rest (domes, engines etc) put down decals -> Clear/Glosscote finish or

2. Spray Aztec MM Clear Pearl -> Paintbrush -> Clear/Gloss -> Decals -> 2nd Clear?

Ugh I'm probably making this way more complicated than it needs to be... Any suggestions welcome.
 

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Hmmm

While I won't offer any specific paints, I will suggest that whatever color scheme you go with it should be hardly noticeable. At that scale, aztecing on that model should not be too stark. That's my biggest complaint about the aztecing decals...they contrast too much with the white hull (that and I've always thought the decals cheapened the work that people put into their models... I guess I've always felt that models are painted (with exceptions) and that decals go on toys). That said, I applaud that you are masking and not using decals. I would just make sure that your aztecing colors are very light so they are just barely darker than the white hull. I know that when I go to do my 350 E next year, that will be my method. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
While I won't offer any specific paints, I will suggest that whatever color scheme you go with it should be hardly noticeable. At that scale, aztecing on that model should not be too stark. That's my biggest complaint about the aztecing decals...they contrast too much with the white hull (that and I've always thought the decals cheapened the work that people put into their models... I guess I've always felt that models are painted (with exceptions) and that decals go on toys). That said, I applaud that you are masking and not using decals. I would just make sure that your aztecing colors are very light so they are just barely darker than the white hull. I know that when I go to do my 350 E next year, that will be my method. :)
Thanks for the reply! I agree and that's a major reason why I didn't want to go that route. I chose the two lightest spray can grays from Model Master (Camouflage and Flat Gull Gray) so hopefully it won't dry to much darker. Some people have used a mix of gloss and matte airbrushed colors / finishes but I really don't know if that's doable with rattle cans.

Good luck on the 350! I wish I had the skill or space for that one.
 

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If you could somehow swing it, I think the dull/glossy coat duo is the way to go on the smaller scale ships. I just watched some clips from The Motion Picture, and it amazes me that even close up the aztec is barely noticable. And that's on an 8 foot model! If you watch any of the behind the scenes docs where they show the model itself in a crate, under regular lighting, the model looks predominately white with very little aztecing.

I guess it all depends on what you're going for. My own personal preference is to replicate what was seen on screen, not necessarily what the studio model looks like (which is why most of my references come from screen caps and not images of the studio models.) I know my base color for my Refit-E will not be white, but it will be some sort of off-white color (I've used Testor's Gull Grey before with some very striking results) and I will very, VERY lightly highlight the aztecing and other hull colors (like the neck, the dorsal of the secondary hull, etc.)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If you could somehow swing it, I think the dull/glossy coat duo is the way to go on the smaller scale ships. I just watched some clips from The Motion Picture, and it amazes me that even close up the aztec is barely noticable. And that's on an 8 foot model! If you watch any of the behind the scenes docs where they show the model itself in a crate, under regular lighting, the model looks predominately white with very little aztecing.
I really like the gloss/dull effect I'm just not what the process is. I have a normal gray down already, buffed it to a slight shine and it has the masks ontop that. Since technicaly I'm laying down the Aztec color, which should look flat, would I instead use a dullcote? But then to put down (and give a coating to the rest) gloss clear? But then that would ruin the dullcoate I just put down.. head hurts. :confused:
 

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Aztec panels should be very subtle - consider mixing the offset color with your base coat (Camo Gray plus a bit of the Gull Gray). Don't mess with changing the glossiness until after you've applied decals. If you then wish to highlight panels with either a flat or gloss surface, make up some templates with the shapes you want and overspray with an airbrush.

Don't make it look like a giant checkerboard. Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Aztec panels should be very subtle - consider mixing the offset color with your base coat (Camo Gray plus a bit of the Gull Gray). Don't mess with changing the glossiness until after you've applied decals. If you then wish to highlight panels with either a flat or gloss surface, make up some templates with the shapes you want and overspray with an airbrush.

Don't make it look like a giant checkerboard. Have fun!
Don't know how I can do that will spray cans ;)

I know one day soon I need to ante in and pick up a decent airbrush to rid myself of these issues!
 

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I know nothing about this process, but I read a thread where someone did the subtle aztecing, and then over-misted a light, subtle single color to tone it down and tie it together. Whatever you decide, don't forget pictures! Can't wait to see!!

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I know nothing about this process, but I read a thread where someone did the subtle aztecing, and then over-misted a light, subtle single color to tone it down and tie it together. Whatever you decide, don't forget pictures! Can't wait to see!!

:)
Thanks for the encouragement but please don't get too high of expectations! ;) You should read my other thread "New modeler's tale of how NOT to build a USS Reliant " and see what I mean ha. Here are a couple of my "dumbed down aztec'ing" shots. I got so frustrated trying to cut the small bits, and losing patience, I made a simplified pattern and just randomized the rest of the ship. Finger's crossed it all works out but I figure this is my experimental build to learn from.

Here is the top pattern right at the start. Again not "movie perfect" but I'm more doing this just to see how it works than for accuracy.


Oh what a nightmare! I've gone back and straightened some of the shapes out (sometimes you need to get away, this was BEFORE I got away) and added some thin lines as well.

 

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Don't know how I can do that will spray cans ;)

I know one day soon I need to ante in and pick up a decent airbrush to rid myself of these issues!
Ah, my mistake. It's trickier without an airbrush, but not impossible. Using only rattle-cans, you can try this:

After masking, spray your aztec color. It'll be darker than the basecoat. Remove the masks, and then use your basecolor again to blend the entire ship. Go lightly as you can, and the colors will come together. Try it out on scrap pieces or plastic first, so you can get a feel for the technique.

Honestly I wouldn't worry about trying to mimic the gloss/flat effect unless you've got an airbrush. At this scale you'll have a great look without it.

Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ah, my mistake. It's trickier without an airbrush, but not impossible. Using only rattle-cans, you can try this:

After masking, spray your aztec color. It'll be darker than the basecoat. Remove the masks, and then use your basecolor again to blend the entire ship. Go lightly as you can, and the colors will come together. Try it out on scrap pieces or plastic first, so you can get a feel for the technique.

Honestly I wouldn't worry about trying to mimic the gloss/flat effect unless you've got an airbrush. At this scale you'll have a great look without it.

Enjoy!
Thanks for the tip I will have to try that once my finger heals and I'm able to finish the two pie pieces on the bottom ;) No pain no gain right?

Just out of curiosity with an airbrush would you just paint it a single color, gloss it, decal it THEN mask it and spray dull for the effect?
 

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I buy spray bombs time to time...I decant it into a bottle to later shoot with a airbrush. All that good masking looks ready to go. Nicely done with that pattern.

This weekend now...Might be a good time and ante in for that airbrush.
For your modeling skills... one giant leap. Find a deal at a local Harbor Freight or hobby shop and for 30-40% coupons from a Hobby Lobby.

Then practice on scrap or disposable kits before your well masked Reliant.

DL Matthys
www.dlmparts.com
[email protected]
Make it Glow!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I buy spray bombs time to time...I decant it into a bottle to later shoot with a airbrush. All that good masking looks ready to go. Nicely done with that pattern.

This weekend now...Might be a good time and ante in for that airbrush.
For your modeling skills... one giant leap. Find a deal at a local Harbor Freight or hobby shop and for 30-40% coupons from a Hobby Lobby.

Then practice on scrap or disposable kits before your well masked Reliant.
First thank you for the compliment! Second too late I already spray bombed the 2nd coat earlier today. The good news is that it doesn't look too stark (phew!). I'll post a pic next.

As for the airbrush I already have it on my Christmas list for the wife. ;) Next up after this is an old Excelsior I picked up so I may need to get some parts from you.

Since masking tape and decals are mortal enemies, I would make the decals the next to last item on the list.
Noted! I plan on waiting a few days until I take the masking off, paint the dome and other small areas, clear coat THEN decals.

One question though: I bought MM Clear Pearl and a can of MM Gloss Clear. Should I put the gloss down first, decals THEN pearl?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
One piece was already a little loose (It's cold here around 45F) so I carefully plucked it and noticed the light misting of MM Flat Gull Gray over the original MM Camoflage really isn't too stark. I'm really glad I kept my distance spraying and just did several passes.

 

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Discussion Starter #19
In a combo of impatience and someone telling me not to leave blue masking tape on for days (it can pull up paint if it sets too long?) I present the results.

It's a bit stark but nowhere near as bad as I feared it would be. I may get another can of MM Camo, put some random squares down over bits of the darker area and give it once last light coat. Not sure yet. (I really don't want to spend more money.)



 
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