Monday, December 17, 2012

Master of War - Part III: Painting

The Chief's New Clothes
In this part I move on to my favorite part of any modeling project. Painting. Applying layers of color gives the model, whatever it may be, new life and character. The paint scheme of a model tells the story; where the person or vehicle has been, and what it has done. This is implied visually, through the careful application of paint, accentuating highlights and shadows.
You may be wondering why I should waste time painting a figure that already has sufficient color and character. To that I say why limit myself to what the manufacturer provides? To me, the original action figure is very one dimensional, no changes in tone, no color variation. I like to change that.

To start, I gave the Master Chief a base coat using Model Color acrylic paints by Vallejo. Vallejo acrylics, in my opinion, are some of the best paints to use on figures. They brush on very well, unlike Tamiya acrylics for instance.

Now Chief is looking pretty factory-fresh. Not a bad look really, but I want to add some depth to him. So I gave him a wash using Artist Oils burnt umber. It penetrates all the nooks and crannies in his armor and allowed the raised detail to pop. The great thing about this figure is the detail. It reminds me very much of painting a tank.
After the wash, I applied several layers of dry brushing, using consecutively lighter applications of the base green color mixed with yellow.


Once completed, the Master Chief looks a bit more dynamic. He also looks like he has been immersed in the thick of battle, rather than just standing around looking good. The shadows contrast the highlights nicely, and the detail stands out well. Some may say I'm a bit heavy handed with the dry brushing. Perhaps I am, but I really like how everything is defined. 

I will add some weathering effects, like chipping, mud stains, and whatever else accumulates on armor during combat. Of course, that will all come later as I tie in the ground work to the figures. For now, the Master Chief is complete and it is time to move on to the Elite Zealot.

I hope you enjoy this so far, and thanks for following along!

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