Thursday, July 18, 2013

Four Color Camo Scheme on Chimeras

Two completed Chimeras in 4 color scheme
This time I want to show you how to do a four color camo scheme. It's actually quite simple. Even more so if you have an airbrush. If you do not, then do not worry, you can do the same thing with standard spray cans. Here is the final look of my Chimeras. I would love to show you what I had envisioned from the first Imperial Armor, but I don't want to cause any issues with the big guys in Nottingham.
There are a few rules to remember when using spray cans. These are basic pointers, if you already know these skip to the next paragraph. You want to spray the paint on lightly. Spray the paint on from side to side or up/down. You also want to begin spraying before you actually get to the model and carry through till you completely pass the model. Keep the can about a foot away from the model, too close can be too thick, too far can lead to it drying too soon, very not good. Check the humidity in the air, this too can cause bad things to happen with the paint.

I first primed the vehicles with black. Any brand of black will do, although I used Army Painter. This is just a base coat for the paint to adhere to. This initial layer was left to dry overnight. I then used a grey. In my case it was the remainder of my Adeptus Battlegrey, now Mechanicus Standard Grey. I also used Reaper Ash Grey later on for other vehicles. I tried to give the tank a good coverage of the grey. I wasn't too intent on making sure every nook was painted. As I put other layers on, they should get those locations I missed. In addition, having some of the black, or other future colors, peeking through gives it some variety. While this layer was drying, I laid out a strip of Tamiya Masking tape of about 8-10 inches in length.

I then randomly placed the tape onto the tank. The designs can be completely up to you. Be creative if you wish. Cut holes into them to let other layers through. Go round, or add more than 4 sides to each piece. You can vary the sizes from small to large. These will mask the grey under the tape from any other colors that we may put on. When it is finally done and all the tape is removed, the grey will have the appearance of being the last color put onto the tank. When the tape is placed onto the tank, be sure to burnish the edges down to prevent the future layers from seeping under the tape. For this you can use most anything that is smooth and rounded. I used a sculpting tool. Once I was happy with the placement, I proceeded to add the next layer of paint. The next layer happened to be leftover Tamiya Desert Yellow in a spray can. Tallarn Sand is a good replacement. I sprayed this onto the tops and sides of the tank. I didn't go for the bottom of the tank or the bottom of the 'wings' either. Then while that layer was drying, I again got the tape out and cut more designs. I then airbrushed on Graveyard Earth, which is now replaced by Steel Legion Drab. I got the tape out again, but this time I went for varied stripes of tape. Another point, try to have your tape pass over, contact, or in some way contact your previous pieces of tape.

Finally, the last layer of paint was a dark green. I went back to a spray can of Army Painter. I want to point out one thing here. Ultimately, you want to use a spray paint that you also have in bottle form. If you have to do any touchups for any reason, you want the colors to match. This is one of the reasons why using an airbrush is preferred over a spray can. This last layer I tried to get a good coverage over all the tank. In the real world, this layer would usually be the base layer that all the other colors are then added onto.

I let this layer dry after approximately 30 minutes and proceeded to remove the tape carefully. Using an exacto knife to lift an edge on a mask piece, I removed it with tweezers. Here you will see that around the first pieces of tape that there could be raised spots where the paint has built up. You can break these down with a fine sandpaper.  
The next step I took was to complete any extra paining. The guns were painted and washed. The pouches were painted and washed too, the shovels, etc. I then sealed it with a light layer of gloss and applied decals, sealing it again. The gloss coat allows for the decals to settle easier. In addition, the weathering layer is much easier with a smooth coat. 

Using oil paints for weathering is the part that gives most people pause. As they work so much differently than the standard acrylics, many people don't like to step out of their established comfort zone. In this case it was extremely simple. Get a can of turpenoid and a small tube of Van Dyke Brown or even Burnt Umber. Squeeze out a small amount of the paint. I put mine into the lid of an old jar and poured out some turpenoid to create a wash. You may need to experiment here to get the consistency you like. Then, using a detail brush just touch around the rivets with your wash. The paint will fill in the area around the rivet like magic. It'll make you wonder why you never tried it in the first place! Even better, if you went to far or don't like how it came out in some spots, you can wet a qtip with turpenoid and just wipe it away. Here is where the gloss coat really helps you out. Another trick you can try is to dampen a flat brush and lightly drag it down the sides of the vehicle pulling the paint down to create a nice effect akin to rain washing down the side.

Knowing these simple to use tricks, you can change things up and try different combinations. Go for a striking color shame if you wish. This can also be used to great effect of Tau and Eldar craft as well. Imagine a large dragon template cut out in tape and placed onto the edge of a Wave Serpent.

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