Painting 1/48 figures

Discussion in 'Painting Questions, Tutorials and Guidebooks' started by DarrellC, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. DarrellC

    DarrellC Member

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    I am starting a B-5 Doolittle Raider. I have a set of Navy Carrier deck crew. Please give me some tips about painting them.
     
  2. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    Look at someone about 30 feet away, that will be the level of detail that you can hope to achieve.
    I start by removing the molding lines and them give them a light sanding. Give them a good scrub with a toothbrush, oils and bits of plastic dust can get in the folds of the figure.
    When dry, I give them a coat of flat black to start.
    For each color you want, you need three shades, the base, darker for shadow, and lighter for highlight. I use a flat bit of plastic for a pallette and put some color down with a bit of black on one side of the puddle and white on the other, mix these in keeping some in the center as unmixed.
    I mix my own "flesh" color using white, yellow, red, and, believe it or not, just the slightest touch of green. (A trick I picked up from a professional portrait painter.) For the darker shade with flesh, use brown instead of black. Don't try to paint the whites of the eyes, again look at someone 30 feet away, can't really see the whites can you?
    For buckles and buttons, use a toothpick to get some of the glob at the bottom of the bottle, keep it fairly thick. You don't want a big silver run to spoil the figure.
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    And for the eyes, nostrils and between the lips of the mouth, a fine pencil does the job nicely. A slightly darker flesh tone around the eye sockets, with a pencil line for the lids, works well in this scale. And lips are never red!
     
  4. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    Bingo! Forgot that one.
    Basically, it is practice that does it. Don't be discouraged if your first attempt isn't perfect.
     
  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I agree. For flesh tones, for example, start off with just the basic colour(s) - shading etc can come later. Quite often, a single 'flesh' colour of the right tone can look better than a fancy 'shaded' and 'toned' finish, which can look too contrived and 'clown' like in this scale if overdone.
    The main thing is, to use, or at least have a finish coat, which is matt - far too may figures are spoiled by having shiny 'clothing'! Fine for a leather jacket, or polished boots, but certainly not on a drab uniform!
     
  6. DarrellC

    DarrellC Member

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    As always, great help. Thanks.
     
  7. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Great advice from the guys. The biggest mistake I usually see is glossy clothing. Shading and highlighting is also important.
     
  8. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    That is why I like the method I described above, when you mix the colors it is possible to not just get the all important three shade variation, but a five shade also. More use on 1/35 scale than 1/48, but still,....
    I really try to tone down the variation on the faces, as noted by Terry above, a little goes a long way.
    One thought on goggles, I have seen silver used on the lenses, this looks wrong to me, sometimes, on a seated pilot figure when the canopy will be closed I will use a dark blue, it seems to be a reflection of the sky through the canopy. But when opened or a standing figure with goggles, especially when the goggles are pushed up on the helmet, a slightly darker shade of the helmet color with a drop of future works great.
     
  9. DarrellC

    DarrellC Member

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    What paint do you all use?
     
  10. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    #10 meatloaf109, Feb 21, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
    I have switched over to acryllics, but I am an old hand at this. You have to be fast because of the quick drying time, there is way less time to blend shades together. I would recomend that you use enamels to start with. One great thing about enamels is that you can wet a brush with thinner and while the shades are not yet fully dry, slightly blend the shades together to make a much better flow between them. Again, probably more important in 1/35 than 1/48 but it never hurts to be good at this.
    If you want, I will paint a figure and post picts as I go along, just to illustrate.
     
  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I use only enamels for all work. Not a very good pic, but here's a couple of 1/48th scale figures I did for this Boston diorama.
     

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  12. DarrellC

    DarrellC Member

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    Meatloaf, that would be awsome.
     
  13. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    I use Tamiya acrylics now but have not done figures with them. I agree with Paul. Use of enamels allows plenty of time to work different shades together.
     
  14. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    For some reason the pictures in between these disappeared, But maybe these two will help.

    p1.jpg

    p4.jpg
     
  15. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    Two more.
    (The Aussie won't stand up unless he is leaning on something.)

    p6.jpg
     
  16. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Great skin tones on the down under chappie Paul.

    Geo
     
  17. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I kind of missed on the Japanese pilot. But I like the eyes.
     
  18. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    I have an old bottle of Tamiya flesh that I've used once and it always reminds me of this...

    bloom county.JPG

    Gad, I miss Bloom County and Calvin&Hobbes

    Geo
     
  19. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    #19 meatloaf109, Feb 23, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
    You know, I do too.
    I thought of that particular cartoon while I was writing "flesh"!
    'Specially "Calvin and Hobbes", although I always had a deep respect for Breathed!
     
  20. Flash_Taco

    Flash_Taco Member

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    #20 Flash_Taco, Mar 4, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
    I am not expert in painting figures, but new techniques and quality paints make the job easier. I painted this Grenadier by coating it first with Tamiya white primer. I then airbrushed the soldier with black mate tamiya acrylic and let dry a whole day. The uniform was painted with an airbrush using tamiya greyfield, with the face masked with low tack tape. I painted the face and gear details using Vallejo acrylic paints. I find vallejo to be perfect for detailed hand brushing. You can highlight some details like the boots and prominent areas of the uniform (Boots, uniform foldings, belts etc) using highly diluted silver enamel, by dry brushing these details. At the end, you can apply raw umber oil paint wash (a dab of paint with turpentine) and gradually paint the whole figure to accent the crevices and uniform the colors under a filter. Great regards.
    Panzer_Gran.jpg
     
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