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The Art of our hobby


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#1 gwana

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 03:50 PM

I have a bit of a conundrum. I'm a builder - a frustrated engineer at heart that loves machines. At work I build and troubleshoot complex machines and electronics. I build model kits to celebrate the fact that we as a species can start with raw materials and end up with a multi-ton machine that can do what we can't - fly. Maybe it's beautiful, maybe it's industrial-ugly. Maybe it was created only to visit death upon our enemies. The stories around them and those who flew them are part of the appeal.

 

My problem: I can glue things. I can look at a picture and scratch-build a necessary part or detail. I can fill and sand and re-scribe. But I have a problem bringing my kits to life. I can't seem to translate age, dirt, wear and tear, into a mind-picture that I can apply to the plastic. It's what drove me away from the hobby as a kid and several times since - it just doesn't look believable. I'm aware of the techniques of chipping and washes and pre- and post- shading, but I can't seem to make the jump from knowing to applying. I watch videos and a guy starts with a plain painted cockpit and ends up with a weathered scale masterpiece by 'just adding a little random...' something. Burnt umber or raw sienna? Panel wash or pigment? Filter or post-shading? What layers? What order? I find it a lot like trying to mix your own color paint - eventually it's all brown. I know what I want it to look like, but I don't know how to get there, or even know how to know, if that makes sense. It's like watching Bob Ross paint - swish, swish, swish, and we have some Happy Little Trees. I swish, swish, swish, and I have... swishes of green paint.

 

I guess I'm looking for some inspiration on "How do I Art?" because I sit and look at a bunch of my nicely assembled and brightly-painted sub-assemblies that have no soul. Do you just have an eye for it or is it something that can be learned? Tell me to paint a thing blue and I'll paint it blue. But if that blue thing is an old thing, where are the highlights, the shadows? Lighter on the edges, or in the middle? I can paint a seat cushion brown, but I can't imagine how to make it look like old leather.


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Is this glue fingerprint in scale?


#2 Lothar

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 03:58 PM

You aren't by accident talking about me :shrug:? You hit the nail on the head

 

Lothar


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#3 Martinnfb

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 04:01 PM

What colour is your dog? Brown? White? Grey? What colour are his/her eyes? these are just rhetorical questions that I am posing in order to explain the colour  variety of our surroundings. 

I do not use base colours, because white is never white and black is never just black. If I am not sure about shading I stare at photograph of the real thing until the kingdom come. And then some more. 

If you look at your keyboard, is every button black/white? No it is not , some of them are in the shade or there is a wear on your space bar etc. If in doubt experiment of piece of plastic, or paper. Also nobody said there has to be post shading, or that all of your panel lines has to be washed. Those techniques as many others are optional and  it will take practice to achieve the right balance .

Just my 3 cents :)

Cheers

M.


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In progress:   D-13 ; Ta-152V7 ; Mig-29 ; EMIL ; P-39 Аэрокобра ; Avia S-199 ; K-14 what if

Done:            F-8 F-8 Wurger Party ; D-9 ; D-15; Ta-152E ; P-40E 


#4 TonyT

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 04:13 PM

Ok you ready for these

 

http://www.acrylicos...en_US/downloads

 

http://www.migjimene...-of-mig-jimenez

 

you will find leaflets like

 

http://www.migjimene...AVY-F14_ENG.pdf

 

http://www.migjimene...gazine-specials

 

http://www.migjimene...EATEST HITS.pdf

 

REMEMBER weathering effects everything so armour stuff is similar on aircraft.


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#5 TonyT

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 04:15 PM

I find weathering incredibly easy and satisfying. you can do so much with just mixing some colour and lightening ( or darkening )  it a shade then going over panels etc, do multiple shades

 

SAS2006.jpg
SASnew.jpg


Edited by TonyT, 08 March 2018 - 04:32 PM.

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#6 BiggTim

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 04:33 PM

Man, you are not alone. That is, by far, in my opinion, the toughest thing in this hobby to learn, but I do believe one can learn it. I am 49, and I've built models since I was a kid. Only in the last 3 years or so have I gotten to the point where I feel like I'm actually beginning to figure out how to do the realism thing. It still scares me a little every time I start the weathering process because I've made a lot of mistakes doing it. I just had to get past that fear and do it anyway, jump off the ledge, so to speak. So I screw it up? So what! It's not like anyone's life is at stake. Don't be afraid to mess it up. Hang in there, and just keep weathering. Practice doesn't always make perfect, but it sure gets you closer to what you want.

 

I also recommend those Mig Jimenez videos, I found them inspiring! He is easily the best I've seen and a good teacher. I even picked up a Vallejo rust effects paint set to try on a tank model I have. Good luck, my friend!

 

Tim


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In progress: 1/32 Trumpy P-38L (very slowly), and some others.....

Completed in 2017: Trumpeter Bf109E-4, 1/16 Waffen SS figure

Previous Completions: Hasegawa F6F-3 Hellcat, Hase Me-163 Jagerfaust , 1/16 Fokker DVII Scratchbuilt Wooden Skeleton

 


#7 CATCplSlade

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 04:51 PM

I agree with watching Mig's videos, but bear in mind he is of the school of hard weathering so don't feel you have to copy him--just learn the techniques of doing it and build it up to a level that looks good for you.

I myself have stepped back from weathering. Now I build most of my stuff as if it is on display in a museum and only weather them if I plan on making a base/diorama, where there is context for the weathering.

Edited by CATCplSlade, 08 March 2018 - 04:52 PM.

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Working on: AIR - Revell Spitfire Mk IIa, Trumpeter F6F Hellcat   LAND - Bandai 1/30 Hummel, Zvezda Mercedes L4500A


#8 Tnarg

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 05:00 PM

Your description of the art of this hobby hits many of our situations and frustrations right on the head. The way to excellence in your engineering career was practice. If you look at expertise, it often takes that 10,000 hours of practice, or that 10 year overnight success.

 

I am not trying to discourage you in those efforts, but trying to be realistic. Our first efforts look pretty bad. I have to give up on making the perfect representation on even my eleventh try (it goes past eleven). I learned to be a good engineer by blowing up a lot of parts.... letting the smoke out as they say. Don't be afraid to let the smoke out of the kits you play with. Don't be afraid to throw them away or even use firecrackers as you did as a kid to make spectacular endings. You are aware that smoke makes everything go... once you let it out, things usually quit. So... let some out so that you can find exactly where to stop before it gets out.

 

Practice and experiment, research and try. You have a start, and are pretty good at many parts of the hobby... assembly and mechanical construction to accuracy builds on the thousands of hours you have in other areas. Paint is just another piece of the whole. Good luck, and have fun.

 

Tnarg


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#9 CANicoll

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 05:57 PM

I've long been in the same boat, and what it finally took was to find a subject that was well photographed, and then as I model, weather, etc, have the picture in front of me at every step.  Maybe start simple - can i replicate the exhaust stain?  what about the paint fading?  How about wear and tear on a seat cushion or headrest?  And then don't try for perfect, just keep trying different things.  and don't be afraid to wipe it all away, and try again.

 

The best part is the people in this forum readily share techniques so it is a great place to learn.  The WIP threads are invaluable.

 

Just take one bit at a time.  It will come!

 

Good luck and keep us posted.

 

Chris


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#10 alaninaustria

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 06:04 PM

Welcome to the club Gwana! And, here I thought I was alone in my frustrations!, ;)
Enjoy the hobby, experiment and take notes - there is a ton of experience here at LSP!!
Cheers and happy modelling!
Alan
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#11 wunwinglow

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 06:15 PM

Observation, observation, observation!

 

Like I know what I am talking about...... :)


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My Father told me two things would happen as I got older.
I can't remember either of them....

 

FLYINGSTART_TITLE%20SMALL.JPG


#12 BloorwestSiR

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 06:18 PM

In the past, I have rarely weathered my models for fear of overdoing it or ending up with something even more cartoonish than a spotless aircraft or tank.

It took some practice and learning one technique at a time help. That way, there's fewer variables. I still keep my builds fairly clean. The "used, not abused" approach.

I've only done the only fairly weathered aircraft and that was my Birdcage Corsair from a couple of years ago. There was a quite a bit of trial and error on it, including a strip and repaint. I did get lots of very constructive feedback and suggestions on here which help me achieve the final results I did get. You'll find that the members here are really helpful with techniques and tricks of the trade.

IMG_20161231_182750-L.jpg

IMG_20161231_183100-L.jpg


Carl
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#13 1to1scale

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 06:32 PM

The secret is to learn (read or watch), do, do it again...lots of practice.

 

Go buy the cheapest kit you can find that has a lot of surface area, like a 1/32 Revell kit. forget about building it. Practice on it. Before I sprayed my first full NMF aircraft, I sprayed all the colors I was considering using on various primers to see how it would look. 

 

Try chipping on scrap plastic before you touch that $90 kit with $50 of resin and $20 in decals. Try hacking up a $20 kit first. Spray a spare wing with aluminum paint, spray down some chipping agent, then a layer of color on top, then use various brushes, toothbrush, toothpicks to try stuff. I first thing i learned chipping on was a tank model, which i screwed up...but I learned from it. My Ki84 came out much better for that experience. 


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#14 MARU5137

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 06:51 PM

Tony and Carl..

Beautiful models ... thank you.

gwana, you need to check this out. You will learn about weathering etc from one of our LSP Members. Check his builds out and you will see his methods.

Haggis Models: 2016 reflections, 2017 projections
http://haggismodels....ctions.html?m=0


Practice makes perfect.

As Confucius said:


“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.”


And

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

You just need to have confidence and you will succeed

Good Luck.

:)
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Res Non Verba .

La calma è la virtù dei forti !

Potius Mori quam foedari.


#15 gwana

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 07:28 PM

Thanks folks for the encouragement and the links! I will check them out. I've just never had much of an artful eye. I'm also relentlessly hard on myself and it seems like every kit has to be perfect or I get discouraged. I think I'm going to have to take the advice to just buy some cheap mules and go to town without worrying about the end result. That's how I learned how lawnmower engines work, after all.

 

The work here is amazing, and at the same time inspirational and daunting.


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Is this glue fingerprint in scale?





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