Monday, July 19, 2010

Painting the Hellfire

I've always hated painting.

To paint the Maliwan Hellfire, I've had to buy some blue paint to experiment with. I have not owned a pot of blue enamel for about 8 years. Now I have 3. Two of them were useless. I decided to pick up Blue Metallic Flake, since the gun has a shiny blue coat of paint in-game. Probably the most useful color. The above image documents my attempts to get all the colors for the gun. For this painting disaster, I actually required the following paints:
  • Dark red
  • Blue Metallic Flake
  • Aluminum
  • Black
  • Grey
I needed a light blue, a deep blue, pinkish red, black and dark grey. The pinkish red was for the glowing red parts of the gun, but I didn't find any means of making a neon color from what I had. So red it is!

For the light blue, a mix of about 40% blue metallic flake and 60% aluminum worked well. An even balance got me a teal color that didn't fit. Dark blue came out with something a bit more obscene: 5% red and 95% blue metallic flake. Any more red and it becomes purple. Some parts required a dark grey, and since I ran out of Gunmetal Grey, a 60/40 mix of grey and black worked fine.

To mix the paints, the surface of an untreated/unsanded Magic: the Gathering card works great. I sacrificed a Crazed Goblin for this noblest of tasks.

The hardest part was probably getting the paints to not look like crap as I tend to do. The dark blue metallic mix tended to run the most and I had trouble getting an even coat. The rest worked fine. To make the finer details in the parts, I etched/scored panel lines with my ever-dulling X-acto knife, and filled it in with a 2 micron achival art pen. Art pens don't like being used on enamels, I learned. There goes another $3 pen! Something clogs up the tip that I can't remove or fix.

The most pain in the ass details were the red glowing parts. In my case, red solid matte lined things. A coat of gloss should fix that. But I'll need to buy that first. Instead of painting them directly on, or making a shallow recess for the paint to remain in, I chose to go the lame route and make pseudo decals. I wanted something on the gun to look somewhat straight. I have the painting skill of a 3 year old child holding an active firehose. If it's not supposed to be going all over the place, I'll need all the assistance I can get.

I painted a sheet of regular printer paper red, then cut 0.5-0.7mm thin strips.

With that, I trimmed them down to length, and applied them to the gun using reckless blobs of adhesive and really fine tweezers for the small red squares. Looks better than any paint job I could have had someone else do for me.

After a lot of painting, panel lining and gluing red things, I finally finished most of the parts. I didn't get to paint my favorite magazine, Mag 3, because it turns out, I mucked that part up and didn't get all the details made. I'll revisit that later.

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