Monday, July 23, 2012

Ork Bommer, step-by-step #2

Part 2 of my SBS on the Ork Bommer.  Today I'll be showing you how I finished the pilot and the gunner as well as the all important weathering!

Pilot and Gunner

The figures supplied in this kit are every bit as accomplished as the flyer itself.  Again I have to say GW have done a great job here.  There's a choice of very characterful heads for both the pilot and gunner and I chose mine so that they both had matching headgear (those fantastic WW2 style helmet and goggles).

As indicated in my last post I only partially assembled the figures and left the arms off to be painted separately.  After the black priming coat was dry I went in with 3 airbrushed 'zenithal' highlights of dark grey, light grey and finally white.  This gives me a nice base to paint on and provide a great guide to where my highlights and shadows will go.

The dark grey is applied to the whole mini from above (roughly 45 degrees I'd say), while I tend to concentrate the light grey around the upper half of the mini at a steeper angle. Finally the white is applied very sparingly, pretty much just to the top around the head and shoulders.  There's not much science in this, I just put the highlight where I think it's needed!

Colours go on next, brushed on quite diluted so that the highlights and shadows will come through. I applied 2 or 3 coats until I was happy with the mix of colour/light/shadow.

For the skin I used P3 Ordic Olive for no other reason than 'I quite like it' and it was the first green that came to hand.  The rest of the colours were a fairly random selection of vallejo browns tans and beige colours. The fur collar on both minis was washed with GW Gryphonne Sepia. The seat buckle and goggle rims got hit with GW lead belcher.

The flesh was shaded with a mixture of GW Badab Black with a touch of ordic olive and slightly diluted. All the 'cloth' areas were shaded with GW Devlan Mud including the fur collar. While metallics got a wash of pure Badab black.

The Flesh was highlighted with a lighter, yellower version of the base, concentrating on the raised areas.  I went lighter again and hit the smaller parts of the same areas on 2 or 3 passes until I was happyish with the result.  Similarly, cloth areas were hit with lighter versions of the base colours.  I held back a little as I wanted the flesh to be more of the focal point.

After all the little details were complete the arms were glued on to the mini's ready to be sat in their respective cockpits.

Details, details...

I complete some of the detail work in the air break wells with some blue and red wiring, just to give a little visual interest to anyone who get's close enough to peer inside at the workings.  I also drybrushed lead belcher over the black primed engine, the exhaust areas and guns.

Weathering Wash

Many scale vehicle modellers wash their vehicles with oil paints thinned with white spirit. This works extremely well as the white spirit has a very low surface tension and flows extremely well into detail areas without pooling on smooth areas.  Used properly it looks fantastic.  The downside is that it takes a long time to dry and white spirit, as well as being pretty bad for your health, really smells the place up something rotten.

That's a real problem for me.  I sleep in the same room I paint in and I don't want those fumes in my room, not to mention the inevitable complaints from my housemates.  White spirit just isn't an option, not even the low odour stuff, I want a non-solvent solution if possible.

Unfortunately the specifically manufactured washes from GW and Vallejo just don't cut it on larger models (in my opinion).  The problem isn't on detailed areas (where they perform very well) it's on smooth areas where it really struggles, tending to pool and leave unsightly tide marks.

Don't do this

So what to do?  Another technique is making a wash from acrylic paint and acrylic thinner, like Tamiya acrylic thinner as it's very low odour.  It's still essentially a solvent but this would seem to solve the dilemma...except for one thing. Acrylic thinner eats acrylic paint.  My paint job would just peel off, which was not really an option.

To protect my work I gave the entire model a coat of Vallejo Gloss varnish and after it dried I made my wash from Tamiya acrylic thinner and vallejo black with a spot of vallejo burnt umber. I would guess it was approx. a 90% thinner to 10% paint ratio.

I brushed the wash on and it certainly flowed quite well but in the end I was vaguely unsatisfied with the results for 2 reasons.  The paint and the thinner didn't really mix too well, probably because they were never designed to be mixed together! Also in 2 tiny spots where I hadn't got in with enough varnish the paint did indeed start to dissolve.  I was able repair it pretty easily and there was no damage to the paintwork anywhere else on the model, but for a while I was convinced the whole paint job was going to fall off! Thankfully it didn't!

My conclusion is a bit of a no-brainer I guess.  Don't use acrylic thinner to wash a model painted with acrylics unless it's at least 110% sealed with gloss varnish.  Ideally don't do it at all.

My near-miss experience prompted me to renew my efforts on finding a solvent-free wash and I think I've found one!  Flory models, here in the UK manufacture a clay based wash which has received some very good reviews and it's entirely solvent and odour free. Just what I'm after and I'll be testing it on my next project, so I'll let you know exactly how it goes.  Needless to say I have very high hopes!

Chipping and rust

Back to the SBS...

Well, it's all looking a bit 'clean' isn't it? This is a piece of equipment built (bodged) and maintained (neglected) by the Orks.  Is it really going to be factory fresh? Not this one, that's for sure!

The paint chipping effect was achieved with one colour, GW Charadon Granite (inspired by the Forgeworld modelling masterclass book).  It was applied, slightly diluted, mainly with pieces of foam ripped from a washing up sponge/scourer thingy.  You could also use the foam inserts from a blister pack, as they would work just as well.

The process was to pour a small puddle of paint on my palette and then dab the sponge in.  I would dab some excess paint off on a piece of paper before putting it onto the model.  If you're not sure go in with less paint, not more.  You can always add, it's much more difficult to take away!

After some generous 'sponge-ing' around the nose and specific areas on the leading edges and wings I went in with a brush and tried to make random chips along panel lines and areas which I thought would receive a lot of wear.  Be warned, this process takes ages!  While you're doing it, try and be conscious of which areas of your model would receive the most wear and tear and try to be random. This is a lot more difficult than it sounds as our natural instinct is to make everything symmetrical.  Give it a go and you'll see what I mean.

When the chipping was mostly complete I decided I wasn't happy with the engine, exhausts and guns.  I went over them again with dry brushed lead belcher to get closer to the effect I was looking for.

Rust next and we're nearly done!

I used 2 colours for the rust.  GW scorched brown for the old rust and Vallejo orange brown for the 'fresh' rust.  The scorched brown went on first, brushed on, quite roughly over the nose area and working backwards.  On the metallic areas I was looking for anywhere there was a join of some kind as I figured thats where any rust would start.

On the fuselage and wings, many of the panel lines and rivets got the rust treatment. I put rust streaks onto some areas to simulate where rusty water had leaked out.  I was conscious not to put the streaks running down but along the aircraft in the direction of the airflow if that makes sense?

After the scorched brown went on came the fun bit, painting on the 'fresh' rust.  Vallejo orange brown was used to pick out areas on top of the 'old' rust.  It was very effective in creating a realistic rust effect and I tried not to overdo it, which may have lessened the effect.

Final steps

The last steps I took were to glue the pilot and gunner positions plus the air breaks and canopy.  I fiddled with chipping and rust a bit more before giving the entire model a coat of Vallejo matt varnish to protect the paint job and take the shine off from that initial gloss coat.

Please  note the canopy was glued in place with white PVA glue which dries clear and doesn't frost up the plastic like superglue can.  You have to leave it 24 hours without touching it but it'll dry rock hard and be just as good as superglue.

That's it!

If you've managed to get to the end of both these marathon SBS posts congratulations and thank you for enduring my sketchy explanations!  I hope they've been helpful or even inspiring for anyone hoping to complete the ork bomber or any other modelling project to a good standard.

As an aside, many of the constructive criticisms I've received regarding this model are on the weathering/chipping/rust.  More experienced modellers/painters have pointed out that some of the chipping isn't entirely realistic or random enough.  I think this is a fair point and I think I'll do a little more research and perhaps be slightly more reserved on future projects.

Clearly you don't have to go nearly as far with your weathering effects or alternatively you may want to go even further! I'd love to hear about your efforts so please leave any comments below.

In the meantime though, this was a blast and as ever, I've learnt loads.  I'll be able to take all of this knowledge into my next project which I'll be posting about next week.

Many thanks


PS - If you'd like to see the final pics of this project, or read the 1st step-by-step go to:

Ork Bommer finished
Ork Bommer, step-by-step #1

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  1. Very cool model !! I really love the "faded" feel of the basecoat.

    I may have a suggestion for the wash/solvent problem: you should try to use what many companies (vallejo, liquitex, etc) call "matte medium". It's basically the luquid part (the binder) of acrylics paint that keep the pigments together so you could use it to thin paints as much as you want. The "matte" in the name is there because the finish is, well, matte :)
    Like varnish, it comes also in the glossy or satin variants

    1. oh I forgot! Blog totaly subscribed! :D

    2. Thanks twice Marco! Thats a great suggestion, so matte medium could be the answer, I'll give it a go after trying the Flory wash on my latest project, a Leman Russ tank.

  2. Absolutely sterling walk-through! I'm going to be referencing the weathering part in particular quite heavily, that's for sure - I love the effect you pulled off! I'm a hair's breadth away from weathering all the guard tanks I've been painting, and your tips are going to be invaluable. Thanks for taking the time to write it all up like this!

    From a compositional point of view, I think a bit more of the Orky "checks and dags" here and there, and/or perhaps some black flames on the wings/tail would sell the Bad Moons look a bit more than just relying on the yellow paint scheme. Don't get me wrong though, I thoroughly dig how it turned out!

    Keep up the great work, man!

    1. Hey Mordian, looking forward to see all your IG stuff weathered up, they're going to look amazing! Thanks for your comments, I agree I could have done more Orky emblems and the like to set it off so that's something to consider for next time...

      I hope you'll like the Leman Russ I'm painting up in camo colours + the new wash I'm using which I think you'll be interested in.