Well I wasn’t originally going to show any more of my painting of my Vorreiters but as I’ve been working on the metal sections this week I thought I’d share some thoughts and ideas. (You can find part 1 and part 2 of this article in previous weeks)
General Metal Painting
A lot of people think that when painting metal just using metallic paints is enough and the usual need to build up layers of highlight aren’t necessary (I was one such person many years ago). This is a common mistake, after all if I’m painting a metal area of the model with metal paint what more do I need to do?
Unfortunately what metallic paint doesn’t give you is a sense of lighting, it doesn’t matter how good your model or paint is it just won’t reflect light the way that real metal does. So we have to paint in this effect just like highlights and shade with any other colour.
Now you could go for a straight layering of Gunmetal over Black with a drybrush of silver, and this can sometimes be adequate, but for curved surfaces this just isn’t enough and you will need to work a bit harder to get that nice top shine.
Painting the Pipes
For my bikes exhaust pipes I want to emphasize the curved look, so I’m going to be using a range of successively brighter finishes as I work up to the top of the pipe (This model is sitting on a dark base surface so reflected light from the ground isn’t an issue, if it were on a lighter base then the highlights would be slightly different in the shadow areas).
Starting from a Black base colour to get the effect of a hit pipe I’ve started with a coating of Vallejo Gunmetal Blue (heated metal tends to go blue over time). Next I’m working up through Gunmetal Grey, Natural Steel and Oily Steel, each layer is placed slightly higher around the pipe and gently drybrushed along the overlap with the previous colour to have any join.
Lastly I’ve used Silver to pick out the top edges of the curves and other details. The finish paintwork should look like metal but have the shade and highlights artificially added so that they will show up even under artificial light (most game clubs are in the evening and artificially lit in my experience).
Now on to the tracks. These are an area that a lot of people traditionally pay very little attention to, using a simple metal drybrush over black in most cases. This approach while quick doesn’t really do justice to such an important element of a vehicle such as these and can easily be painted a lot more realistically with very little additional effort.
To start with I’m using a base coat of Black as this is going to be showing through in all the recesses.
Next I’m going to give the tracks a coat of factory primer. Almost all military vehicles have their tracks covered in a protective primer layer before they leave the factory to help prevent rust. While this could be any colour it is commonly brown (one reason you often don’t notice it as it looks like mud) so I’m going to add a quick coat of a mid brown over my Black. I’m using a fairly wet drybrush with a bit of gouging to make sure I get into the recesses, while still leaving the Black showing through.
Of course once the tracks start to be used the primer will quickly wear off on raised surfaces of the tracks exposing the metal underneath. This is where a good old drybrush with a Gunmetal colour works well to bring out all the detail. Just make sure that you still retail your primer in the recesses.
Now as much as metal tracks are cool they are not very efficient on smooth hard surfaces like roads as they tend to slip (unless you are a lot heavier than these bikes). To avoid this problem some tracked vehicles have rubber pads on the tracks to help them grip on roads and similar surfaces. To add these to my tracks I’m just using Black to pick out areas that I think would make good pads (these would be the highest areas on the tracks).
And so there we go, the bike itself is all but done, it just needs some weathering powder here and there and maybe some dirt added to the tracks. I can now get on and finish the rider and it’s all ready to use on the tabletop.