Captain America Resin Model Kit: Finally painting the details!

 Captain America, Heroes, Modeling supplies, My Models, Resin Models  Comments Off on Captain America Resin Model Kit: Finally painting the details!
Aug 242012

I’ve been stuck in one place on Cap for a long time.  Been trying to get my seams in right, but every time I re-prime the model, it always turns out I’ve missed a spot, or it was rough, or not shaped right.  It always looks good until it gets a new base coat.  Bear in mind, this isn’t the actual model that I’m talking about.  I’m referring to my own work where the arms and legs join the body.  After gluing and puttying, it just took a lot of work to finally call it done.  It may not be perfect, but it’s the best I can manage.

So finally, a chance to paint!  Working with my Badger Anthem (I’m really new to the airbrush thing) I started on the extremities.  Gloves, boots, and belt packs.  Wanted them all in brown leather.  This model kit is resin, titled Captain America: the Ultimate Soldier.  It’s done in an old costume design, during Cap’s time in World War II.  As such, his costume really lends itself to a grittier, more realistic color scheme.  I’ve seen other hobbyists work with brown, and with red gloves, and the brown just really looks good.  Natural dark leather.

My first attempt, using the Badger, went really well.  Except for the final brush-painted layer.  In trying to achieve a highlight, I went with a too-light color of brown for the dry brushing.  Took it back to that comic-book feel.  This is where the airbrush really stood out.  Rather than start over, I loaded up his base color (a mix of Espresso and Black), thinned it down, and sprayed a light wash over everything until the tones were shaded back down.  Then I used a much more appropriate mix of Espresso/brown/antique white and drybrushed again.  Came out far better!

Click to see this at Amazon

After that, a touch of black leather for the boot soles, and that part was done.  Next up was something completely new for me.  Monique and I’ve been watching Phil Lister and David Fisher’s video modeling series of videos.  We’ve learned a ton from both videos, but in Model Mania (David Fisher’s dvd) he recommended protecting finished areas with Mold Builder.  Monique already tried it with her Elvira kit, and was very happy.  So now the Mold Builder is going all over Cap’s shoes, gloves, and leather packs.  When it’s finished, I can paint the rest of the model without worrying about messing up previous work.

Just to clear it up a bit, Mold Building is not intrinsically meant for protecting paint from being painted over.  It’s actual purpose is during the making of a mold from an original sculpt or carving.  Multiple layers over time create a kind of rubbery encasement, and when it’s peeled off, you have a mold of the original.  I’ve never learned much about sculpting and creating molds, so I couldn’t tell you what happens beyond that.  For me, it’s enough to know it can be used to help me paint my resin model kit.  When I’m done with it, the rubbery texture can be very carefully peeled off, leaving my paint safe and pristine.  In theory.  I’ll find out soon enough!

He’s got one more boot to go, but it’s too late tonight to finish.  Tomorrow’s Friday, with any luck the boot will be done and dry tomorrow, and the weekend will be a great time to start on the next major colors!

Model-building is Expensive – Thank Goodness for Birthdays and Family!

 Modeling supplies  Comments Off on Model-building is Expensive – Thank Goodness for Birthdays and Family!
Aug 102012

No progress on my Cap model; just wanted to mention my trip to Michaels today.  When ordering online, Amazon is the place to go, but if I need something right now, there are only two places in town that really provides for modellers:  Hobbytown USA, and Michaels.  When it comes to basic supplies (and maybe a few odd items here and there) Michaels is our go-to craft store.  Problem is, building models can rapidly become an expensive hobby.  Not just buying the models themselves, which can range from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars, but the supplies.

This trip was courtesy of my family; Monique’s sister Anne and her family gifted me with some Michael’s giftcards for a recent birthday.  Her Mom also had some giftcards for me.  Between the two, I went on a wild shopping spree.  Well, semi-wild.   As I said, supplies cost a fortune.  But this time I got to enjoy the shopping, and didnt’ have to spend a penny!

A few months ago, I had a coupon for Michaels, and cleaned them out on the acrylic paints aisle.  Now we have more paints than I know what to do with… the only trouble is figuring out which drawer I put that one particular color in.  Even with the huge stock of paints, sometimes Monique or I want a color we didn’t think to get.  Today, it was mahogany.  Wanted it for a dark wood-grain color.  The closest available was Nutmeg… and Barn Red.  With some judicious blending, I think they’ll work.

I grabbed a couple bottles of Testor’s Model Cement.  It’s supposed to work well with Bondo to create a smoother seam.  After my first attempt to use Bondo, that makes sense.  The joins tend to have rough spots here and there that only showed up after painting the base coat on.  I’m looking forward to trying the cement mixture to see how well it works.

Got some flat spray varnish, because we’re always running out.  To begin with, the spray came out only when the model was finished.  One last coat of protection.  Since then, I’ve learned to spray right after any major stage is finished.  It protects that work, and gives me some ability to gently remove later mistakes.  Not like an unlimited free pass, but it helps.

Grabbed some Acrylics Palette Paper.  It was kind of a mistake, but one of those good ones, that actually turn out well.  Years ago, I bought a small circular palette tray, and it came with a clear plastic cover to keep the paint fresh.  Now, they don’t seem to come with covers (unless you get the more expensive ones).  After seeing these at Michaels off and on for a while, I thought they were supposed to be used as covers for my palette tray.  After getting them home and looking online, they turn out to be used with a specific palette tray that’s meant to work with the paper.  The nice part, the trays they work with are reasonably priced, and the review we found raved about how long the paint stayed fresh using these papers.  So, next time Monique or I order something from Amazon, we’ll get a couple of the palette trays too.

Pipe cleaners, because they’re handy for lots of things.  Especially cleaning out airbrush barrels.  I’d eventually like to try the wire-bristle ones Amazon sells on a ring.  But for now, these are cheap, and throw-away as necessary.  Got them in white so we could really see how dirty they get.  Since the airbrush is still new to me, I’m not sure if I have to use a fresh pipe cleaner each time, or if they have some re-usability.

The Mix and Save paint storage bottles are useful.  Both of us use them already, they’re inexpensive, and it’s always nice to have spares.  If I mix too much of a color, I can save it against later need.  Or I can deliberately mix up a large batch of, say, flesh tones in varying tints and shades.

Our collection of fine-grain sandpaper has been wearing thin.  With both of us building models, the old stock I had is pretty much worn out by now.  No special need, or new modeling tricks here.  Just a necessity for smoothing out those rough seems where the putty didn’t smooth on as well as it could have.  If these kits are like the ones I already had, then they’ll stand a lot of use before wearing out.  Three packs seemed like a reasonable amount to last a while.

The glue tip caps were a mistake that may work out, or may not.  Monique has been asking me to find some replacement tips for the putty tubes.  While shopping today, I thought she wanted glue-cap replacements, and bought these.  They may still come in handy.

I’ve been saving the best for last:  Ground Cover!  I have another Captain America model for after the one I’m currently working on (titled Let Freedom Ring).  There’s a very nice site someone else wrote, detailing how he built his.  It’s a fabulous guide, and I intend to use a lot of his techniques.  One thing he mentions is the use of model railroad supplies to make the base look more realistic.  So as I was leaving Michaels, and just looking around for inspiration, these bags of three ground cover textures just kind of jumped out.  They’re perfect for that future model project.  It was purely serendipitous, and a wonderful way to wrap up the shopping trip.

If you’ve got a nearby Michaels or other hobby stores, you can probably find any of this stuff pretty easily.  I’ve included a few links to Amazon, for those of you without local access, or maybe who just prefer to shop online.  I hope my little collection of supplies inspires someone.  And… Mom, Sis, thanks for the free shopping trip… I enjoyed it!!

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