Six Leg Robot / Walker Step – by – step (Installment 5)
Weathering – Oil Dot Filters
The next step is to start adding some visual interest to the painted surface by slightly changing and mottling the colors. When we alter the surface colors slightly, it’s traditionally called “using filters” (think looking at something through a color filter). A wash that is spread thinly over an entire surface thereby slightly shifting its color would be considered a “filter” (no longer a “wash”). I’m going to do something similar but with tiny dots of oil paint. I start by squeezing out little blobs of oil paint onto a cardboard pallet. The colors I chose were black, Payne’s grey, a blue, raw sienna, a yellow and titanium white. The exact colors aren’t too critical. The blobs are allowed to sit on the cardboard pallet for about 30-45 minutes in order for the linseed oil to leech out into the cardboard. This will help the oil colors to dry faster and dry perfectly matte. When the oil paint is ready, I apply tiny dots of paint randomly to the surface...although not strictly “randomly”. I am concentrating the darker colors near the undersides of the surface and the lighter colors near the top. I only work on a small surface at a time. Once I’m done adding dots I take a clean flat brush and moisten it with a little odorless thinner. I then proceed to work the paint into the surface with quick vertical strokes, blending the color into the surface and blurring the edges. The results should be a streaked and mottled surface reminiscent of weather beaten paint.
fig.17: Lay out your oil paints and then wait for the linseed oil to leech out into the cardboard.
fig.18: Apply the oil paints as tiny dots across a small section of the surface
fig.19: Not the best photo of the outcome of the oil dot filters but you can make out the mottling
Keep the brush fairly dry of odorless thinner and a light touch while dragging the oils down the sides. If you are too heavy handed with either the thinner or the brushwork, you run the risk of obliterating all your work. For horizontal surfaces I'll use a light scrubbing motion to work the paint into the surface.
Weathering – Chipping
Another weathering technique is “chipping”. Chipping is the effect where we show serious wear and tear on a painted surface. There are many ways to accomplish this effect, the most talked about recently being the Hair Spray technique. I, however, went “old school” and used the sponge technique as I wasn’t sure I could control the size of chips for this scale with the Hair Spray method. I start my chips with a lighter version of the base color. In this case, a light sand or tan color from the Vallejo range was used. I squeeze out a small blob of this onto my wet pallet and then I pull apart some sea sponge (Michael’s or JoAnn’s sell little bags of these sponges) and lock them into a set of lock forceps or lock tweezers. I use the lock tweezers as my hand will cramp up after 30-45 minutes of use. The lock allows me to loosen my grip a bit and that helps a lot (old age sucks!). Dip the sponge into the paint and then use a paper towel to blot off the majority of the paint. Lightly dance the sponge over the surface, but mostly concentrate on exposed edges and raised details. Turn and change the sponge angle to avoid making repeated marks which don’t look real.
fig.20: A sea sponge dipped in a light tan color makes these interesting wear marks and scratches.
After the light tan, I repeat the sponge dance with Vallejo’s German Camo Black Brown, a color which replicates deep scratches down to bare metal. This time, I concentrate the sponge marks in and around the previous light tan scratches. The effect is that the light tan looks like scratched paint or minor surface damage, while the dark brown shows deeper damage down to bare metal. The effect of the two together is quite realistic.
fig.21: The darker brown chips look like deeper, down to bare metal, scratches.
I was rather random with my scratches on the legs, concentrating on sharp corners and exposed edges...anything that could whack a building wall or tree trunk. I was more focused when I got to the body section, concentrating the paint wear near my crew hatches and any raised surfaces that crew would tread upon.
fig.22: I imagined the crew scuffing up the top surface of the body around the hatches.
That's all for today. Last Installment to follow soon.