Methinks it’s time for another update!! When we left Mina last time, she was cleaned and primed ready for painting.

and now?

Please excuse the shots, I’ll make good ones when she’s finished… I promise!!

With regards to painting, I won’t dwell on it too much as it’s pretty much down to the individual for techniques and how they wish to tackle it. But I will cover some general techniques which will be essential for any wannabe model painter after the jump.

First up is masking. This technique is for covering specific areas of the model to prevent paint from going into areas you don’t want it to. The tools come in 2 flavours, masking tape and masking fluid. If you have a choice, I would advise sticking to tape for as much as you can. The edges are more controllable and you are less likely to encounter problems when removing it. Just remember to use low tack tape. The last thing you want to do is put on masking tape on an area you have already painted, only for you to remove the paint along with the tape once you are done!!!

The rather obvious limitations of masking tape are that the cannot be used on uneven or curved areas, so that is when masking fluid comes into play. Masking fluid is horrible. It stinks, is hard to apply, even harder to remove from brushes (so don’t use a good one. It’s pretty much a brush suicide unless you use a spatula or something similar instead) and doesn’t stay in one place very well so when you remove it, you will find that you will probably need to do some tidying up on the edges.

The pic above shows the body of mina with masking tape and fluid applied to areas so that I would be free to paint the skirt black without getting over the other parts. When painting with an airbrush, it is important to cover a somewhat large area as you don’t know where the nozzle may end up spraying some of the paint. You don’t want tiny dots over other areas now! Once I had finished painting I ended up with something like this

Notice the large black marks on the masking tape on the chest? pays to be safe!

The masking fluid dries into a dark purple colour and feels like rubber which makes it easy to remove after you are done. The only problem with masking fluid (and one of the reasons why I dislike it) is because of this!

You can see the parts where the paint was removed along with the masking fluid. Not much we can do in this case other than grabbing a paint brush and going over the areas with another coat. Not everything can be done with an airbrush y’know!

Once all the black parts were done. The belt and buckles were hand painted as well as the buckles on the pouches.

After that, it’s a matter of rinse and repeat for the various parts. the shoes were masked and he blue and white parts were sprayed while the purple ribbon was hand painted.

Next I guess I should talk about skintone. I use a modified technique which I read up on from cody Kwok. Basically, I have 3 tone colours, a dark, mid and light tone. For reference, the mid tone is tamiya flat flesh or citadel elf flesh. Dark is citadel bronzed flesh while the light tone is a mix of my own making. I start with painting the skin with a uniform layer of mid tone. Then I use dark tone on the areas where I think there will be shadows. Finally I spray the light tone lightly over the entire part to lighten the skin colour and blend the 2 other shades together. Sorry for the lack of pics but it’s really hard to show as the changes can be very subtle. I’ll try to show the results in the complete pics.

When painting any part white, it’s necessary to use many thin layers and not one thick layer to make sure you don’t cover up any details. I ended up needing around 5 or 6 layers before I couldn’t see any grey underneath. Then came the hard part…

I could have just painted the carrot weapons a uniform orange, but I thought I’d try something different. Big mistake…

Before spraying it orange, I decided to paint the indentations red and added yellow to the middle of the large flat areas. The idea was that the yellow would make the orange lighter in some areas while the red would make it darker. Did it work? Yup…

But the sheer effort and number of tries needed to get it to that stage made the whole thing a chore. The problem was that the yellow had to be a completely uniform band or else any parts with more or less paint would show up after the orange was applied. It took several goes before I thought the result was acceptable!

After that, the green thrusters were casually sprayed green with no tricks. The outer parts were not drilled though, so I had to cheat a little to make sure I didn’t have to touch the part and potentially leave my fingerprints!

Using a lollipop stick and some blu-tak, I was able to stick the part and spray it without worrying about touching the part. A nifty trick which others may find useful if they hadn’t thought of it before!

And with that we’re down to the final stretch, which also happens to be by far the most difficult. Next we deal with the hair colour and the eyes. Eyes have always proven to be a difficult part to paint on any kit, or even the most difficult, so we’ll have to see how Mina goes…

And finally here are a few more shots of the parts completed thus far! The last pic should give you some idea on how the skintone shading and carrot weapons ended up!

See you next time!