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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

Yesterday, I was looking at those beautifull Cardassian Galors on CutlTVMan, and - as with DS9, Klingon Bird of Prey etc etc - saw how all those panels 'popped out' amazingly. I added a pic of the Galor I have been looking at for a long time, drooling with evy;)

While looking at the Galor specifically, I thought this might be accomplished by preshading (by this, I mean airbrushing a darker version of the eventual basic colour on the model before applying the basic colour itself, hope I'm right on that one) or airbrushing a darker version of the basic colour after applying this basic colour.

On the video 'How to make scifi models', it is explained however, that sometimes you should use a lighter version on one side of the panel lines, and a darker version on the other. Other modelers claim to hold a piece of cardstock next to reasonably 'high' panel lines or other features while airbrushing...

Can anyone give any pointers as to when to use which technique (and maybe I've forgotten other important and efficient techniques to make panels and panel lines pop out), I have no idea what a certain technique will accomplish in a given situation It seems to me, that differentiating the hull by making all those panels, panel lines and features 'pop out', make the difference between a dull looking model and a beautifull one.

By the way: in 'How to make scifi models', they add 'baking soda' to superglue to make a strong, sandable substance, but I don't have any idea what this 'baking soda' is, what is it used for over in the States???

Thanks a lot for any suggestions

Tellius
 

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well if i understand what your trying to do properly, theres an easy trick i use on some things to "shade" details.

ok when airbrushing properly, the airbrush should be held at 90 degrees to the surface you are painting. what i do is spray the paint at an angle so that the paint catches some features and not others.

heres an example that might explain what i mean better than what ive done so far. lets say you were painting the head of a model figure. yuove got 3 shades of the color you want to use: light, medium, and dark. first youd apply an overall basecoat in the medium shade. once thats dry you'd hold model head at an angle facing upwards so that when you spray on the dark shade, the paint would only catch the underside surfaces (the underside of the jaw, nose, cheekbones, and brows). reverse the head so its facing downward and spray on the lighter shade. the final effect is pretty good.

its sort of a "fast and cheap" trick to do shading, but when youve got to mass produce and paint items you develop things like that. i realize you are ding a ship not a figure, but the same trick should work for both.
 

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tellius_grauciu said:
On the video 'How to make scifi models', it is explained however, that sometimes you should use a lighter version on one side of the panel lines, and a darker version on the other.

Can anyone give any pointers as to when to use which technique (and maybe I've forgotten other important and efficient techniques to make panels and panel lines pop out)

I don't have any idea what this 'baking soda' is, what is it used for over in the States???
First things first. Baking soda is just sodium bicarbonate. It's used for absorbing offensive orders, soothing upset stomachs and ...well...baking.

Now, here's an example of panel line highlighting similar to what is described above. I sprayed the whole plane with Aluminum shade matalizer. Then, I added some Stainless Steel metalizer to the mix to darken it. Holding cardstock along the panel line, I sprayed the darker mixture along one side of the panel. This is the result:

http://groups.msn.com/WorldAccordingtoGair/models.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=166

Also, I find that POSTshading is easier and more effective than preshaing. In post shading, you paint the structure one color, and then go back and shoot the central part of the panel with a slightly lightened shade of the base color.
 

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Good tips there! As someone who learned to airbrush by playing it without instruction, I realize now my angle I was using might not be the best!(I pretty much angle down toward what I'm painting)
 

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If you want some sort of a guide to faux-shading a model, you might try photographing your model under a bright overhead light or the noontime sun before painting the shading. This should give you an idea of how the highlights and shadows fall on your model. It might not look good on every model, of course.

If you want to simulate the shading a different light angle, shoot with a different angle on the light by all means ... but IMO, since models are generally lit by overhead room lights, shading overhead-style would seem to be the ticket, making the room light look more exciting than it really is. :)

Hope that helps,
Steve (ex-photographer)
 

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Armour and aircraft modellers use it by first airbrushig all the panel lines and recessed areas with a darker colour. When the finished colour is airbrushed on the theory is that the slight darkness around the panel lines and recessed will produce a slightly darker final colour.

Some modellers will even take a lighter shade and airbrush the top surfaces to replicate areas that the sun would hit.

This is similar to what figure painters do to emphasize the shadows and high points.

Steve - wow neat to find you here.


Alex
Styrofoam Guy
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Shades

Hi,

Thanks for all your input; I have a lot of tips to practice! I'm very glad though, that all hints seem logical in theirselves; Chris uses a darker version of the base colour (in his video 'How to make scifi models') on the LEADING edges of the panel lines i.e. in front of the panel lines, and a lighter version on the TRAILING edges, which makes no sense to me, I'd do it the other way around.

I'll probably try and stick with a lighter mix in the middle of a panel and a darker colour 'behind' every panel line to begin with. Hope I'll achieve a bit of the effect of the ships seen on the Cutltvman site...

I also do figures (Alien and Predator), and I'll definitely try out your technique, RazorWyre, this one is completely new to me;)
 

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Thanks for the great tips, most useful for me to file away. Tellius, yeah that is really a nice finish on the Galor! Cheers FT.
 
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