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Pre-Shading with multiple top colours trouble

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I'm having troubles with the idea of pre-shading when using more than one top colour on your aircraft.

With pre-shading, you first spray the "pre-shaded" lines you want, then mist coats of the top colours until you are satisfied with the result. I'm good with that. My trouble is, how do you do the "misting" part if you are trying to get soft edges between colours? Say, like my current build, a 1/48 A-7E. The bottom is white, the top is light gull gray. I want a soft edge between the white and gray. I'm completed the bottom misting, and all looks really cool (to my eyes at least), but now I've got to get the top painted. I don't know how I can get a soft edge, while maintaining the misting ability to coat the top?

And on my next build, I want to pre-shade an F-105D with 4 colours (camouflage from vietname). That will be even harder, so I decided to try on the two colour A-7E first.

Any help? Suggestions? Oh, and no post shading because I am NOT that well controlled with the airbrush to make the lines straight for all the panel lines.

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I'm having troubles with the idea of pre-shading when using more than one top colour on your aircraft.

With pre-shading, you first spray the "pre-shaded" lines you want, then mist coats of the top colours until you are satisfied with the result. I'm good with that. My trouble is, how do you do the "misting" part if you are trying to get soft edges between colours? Say, like my current build, a 1/48 A-7E. The bottom is white, the top is light gull gray. I want a soft edge between the white and gray. I'm completed the bottom misting, and all looks really cool (to my eyes at least), but now I've got to get the top painted. I don't know how I can get a soft edge, while maintaining the misting ability to coat the top?

And on my next build, I want to pre-shade an F-105D with 4 colours (camouflage from vietname). That will be even harder, so I decided to try on the two colour A-7E first.

Any help? Suggestions? Oh, and no post shading because I am NOT that well controlled with the airbrush to make the lines straight for all the panel lines.

You need to mask, and paint each colour by itself.

Postshading isn't more demanding than anything else. You can make the lighter colored panel instead of the panel line darker. Same effect, but less demanding.

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I would argue with your F-105 Example- Pre-shading on the top 3 camo colors is overkill. These 3 colors create enough visual variation already.

Alternativley if you still want to vary these colors- try postshading. If you look at some photos of F-105s on a Flightline you will see these colors individually touched up, giving a patchy appearance.

A good wash can also darken or shade panel line areas, giving you the subtle effect your looking for.

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Not all paint schemes need to be pre-shaded, your GG over White should not have a pre-shade, If using the Hasegawa kit with recessed panel lines an even paint with a Lt. grey wash should be all thats needed.

But if you want to do the pre-shading I also recommend you ditch the method you were using as it is not the best method.

I would suggest if you want to do a two tone as your A-7 with pre-shaded panels, you fist draw in (airbrush) your dark panel lines, it does not have to be exact or pretty just get the paint on the lines, then instead of over-spraying like you did, you get your airbrush spraying a controllable stream it does not have to be pencil line , and just start filling in the squares (Aka Panels) you work from the inside out and then the over spray will cover your panel pre-shading (similar to your over-spray just more refined), you have the control to make the panel line as dark or light as you want, use it like an eraser. You can leave them heavy at first then go back and cover them some more it they are too pronounced.

For your F-105, I would 1st lay down the camo pattern with the paint full strength from the bottle, then use the same method above minus the panel highlight and lighten the full strength color with a bit of white, basically adding your scale affect, then again fill in the panels, this will leave a more subtle affect to the panels.

Curt

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I support what Netz said. Try post-shading. It's easier and the results more predictable.

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Thanks for the tips guys....it's pretty much too late for not pre-shading the A-7 as I already did it before posting. My bigger issue with that one specifically was how to keep the pre-shade while transitioning to the top ligh gull gray colour. I will try the sausage/blutac method.

As for the F-105, I'm still too far away from painting but am planning on what I should do. I may just try the post shading tidbits mentioned on that one. That would be my first post shade ever.

On that note, could you just do a post shade of tamiya smoke all over the Camouflage rather than mixing slightly darker versions of all four colours for the f-105?

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On that note, could you just do a post shade of tamiya smoke all over the Camouflage rather than mixing slightly darker versions of all four colours for the f-105?

You could, but that would require even finer control of the technique.

Don't forget that unlike pre-shading, with post shading there really isn't such a thing as going too far. If you end up with a post shading result for a colour that has too much contrast, (the dark shade is too dark and the light shades are too light) then all you have to do is go over it again with a thin mist of the base colour , just like you would with a pre-shade, to tone this down and even it out.

Cheers,

Matt

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Well your ok with what you have down now, just use the airbrush and "fill" in the panels (as opposed to over-spraying the whole model) thats where your problem lies, use the airbrush for what it was designed for, "Fine Painting", start at the top of the model and practice with every panel you fill in, then when you work your way down to the demarcation line between the GG and white, then you use a little finesse and cut in the paint. Take a look at other builds that use clay snakes, you will see many mistakes in the paint demarcation lines, this is due to the angel at which the paint is shot across the snake, you will see hard edges and some ghost edges, and it makes the finished model look odd, if you want the hard edge that is required for the A-7 then I would try a lifted mask, and make sure when you shoot your paint you keep the same angle across to top of the mask.

As for the F-105 and Tamiya smoke, your basically achieving a wash,But there are uses for using Tm smoke to highlight.

When I first started painting camos I would 1st airbrush on the colors as close to the correct pattern as possible, once all 3 colors were applied I would go back with a finer more precise mix of paint and cut in the exact patterns to the camo, and erase (by over painting) any over-spray from the adjacent color. now I can paint in the pattern as I desire but I still go back with a finer mix to clean things up, it does not take much paint, it's not like painting a house where every coat of paint applied is 1/16th thick.

It's really not too hard to mix the 2nd application of paint, as mentioned the base color is down and you only need very little paint to lighten/highlight the base paint, it's not a full 2nd coat.

Tamiya smoke can be used to add definition to areas, the 1st trick I picked up was using it to highlight wing ribs on WWI a/c, on a full lozenge wing I did I used the Tm Smk to spray over the wing rib, the clear shadows the low area on eather side of the rib, leaving the top or peak untouched, a very nice effect, this can also be used on tails or anything raised that you wish to highlight by shadow.

What airbrush are you using and what are it's limitations?

Curt

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Paasche VL...got it new about a month and a half ago. It's a learning curve that's for sure (I won't even go into my paint spitting/thinning ration issues). Straight lines are difficult for me to control, for some reason. Shaky hands. That's why post shading freaks me out. I'm trying out many new techniques now that I'm getting back into modelling. This will be my second attempt (on the A-7) with pre-shading. Screwed up the A-6 I did because I pre-shaded but used a leftover Testor's MM spray can for the top...completely obliterated my preshading. The demarcation line from white to lt gull gray was also crisp...too crisp with the tamiya tape. So on the A-7 I wanted to keep it softer, and keep my pre-shade.

I was thinking of starting a "build" thread when I get full into the F-105, simply to get ideas and critiques while I'm building. I may not be a pro but that might be a great way to get on the fly help and good learning tools.

Edited by RAIN

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A simple way to practice manipulating the brush is to just shoot water through it onto paper, it can help develop the muscle control and feel of the brush.

Curt

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Straight lines are difficult for me to control, for some reason. Shaky hands. That's why post shading freaks me out.

I think you're misinterpreting what post-shading is--in post-shading, you generally don't use the airbrush to darken the panel lines (thus requiring straight -line control), you instead lighten the center of panels. As such, it requires somewhat less control (unless the panels are very small) in some respects.

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I think you're misinterpreting what post-shading is--in post-shading, you generally don't use the airbrush to darken the panel lines (thus requiring straight -line control), you instead lighten the center of panels. As such, it requires somewhat less control (unless the panels are very small) in some respects.

That is an interesting view, but every post and google search has shown that post-shading is also "spraying" along the panel lines. But I can see how your mentioned technique can also come up with interesting results.

For better or for worse, here is what I did last night. I already pre-shaded the whole model with dark brown to give a muddy appearance. By the time I took this pic the white underneath was painted.

DSC02567.jpg

Then I did the top coat with Tamiya xf-55 Deck Tan (which is supposed to be like FS36440 but isn't really, lesson learned). After that, I mixed in a bit of the muddy paint into the remaining XF-55, thinned it down much more, turned the compressor to about 10 PSI, for some post shading and filling in. This is the first time I've ever done that, and maybe it's not pro level yet, but it was exciting and looks good enough for me as a test. I will tone down some of the overdone post-shading later in some spots.

DSC02582.jpg

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That is an interesting view, but every post and google search has shown that post-shading is also "spraying" along the panel lines. But I can see how your mentioned technique can also come up with interesting results.

Caveat, this is my personal opinion, others may vary.

With either technique I don't think we have to be that dogmatic that the shading must be in panel lines, or the highlights must be in panel centers.

Pre and post shading are just artistic techniques that allow us to introduce tonal variation in the final colour. Why we do that is varied. For sure, we might be trying to replicate the weathering of dirt in panel lines or the affects of sun bleaching. Also we are trying to introduce tonal variation to just break up the 'toylike' look of a solid colour, making it seem more 'realistic'. Other modelers will use filter washes or dot filters with oils to produce the same effect.

At the end of the day, you have to experiment and find out what works for you. That not only means a technique that you are comfortable producing, but that provides the end results that you are looking for in a finished model, and that suit the subject.

Recently I've started breaking out to more random 'patches' of light and dark, mixed with a 'striping' on shades to try and give the effect of wind and rain streaked weathering.

DSC_6777.jpg

It feels more natural to me than the dark lines light centers approach for the WWII subject I build , but everyone has their own preferences, and different subjects will require different methods.

Cheers,

Matt

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Absolutely,

And BTW Matt, that looks beautiful. So, you are using a post-shading fill in panel method for that right? That must be time consuming.

On my pics above, I was using both pre-shade and tested some post shading (on panel lines only) for the first time. It was very cool. I can't wait to further explore what I can do. The first time trying anything new is always the scariest.

Edited by RAIN

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For this subject I would tone down the pre-shading to nearly nothing. The Gloss gull grey just did not weather to that extent.

The Post-Shade you have on the froward fuselage needs to be erased, and the tail end I would tone down to almost 0, here are a few pictures of 70's era A-7 in the Gloss GG, it seems they get dull and the weathering is localized to the panel lines, this can be addressed with a wash.If I did and panel shading I would do a hard mask and only lighten/darken the color just a little bit, (like just show the paint to the color cup :} ).

Here are some examples, and some builds that went a little extreme on weathering but the weathering appears to be post shading and washes.

Click on the photo's to link to the sites.

A-7E_Corsair_II_VA-12.jpg

A-7E_VA-196_CVA-63_Vietnam_1970.jpeg

A7E_1.jpg

In this thread there are a few that have just used a wash, although the A-7 does look like it has a light pre-shade to it.

And HERE is a good example of the pre-shade technique on a A-7, (I think a bit heavy for the GGG, just my opinion)

Curt

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Caveat, this is my personal opinion, others may vary.

With either technique I don't think we have to be that dogmatic that the shading must be in panel lines, or the highlights must be in panel centers.

Pre and post shading are just artistic techniques that allow us to introduce tonal variation in the final colour. Why we do that is varied. For sure, we might be trying to replicate the weathering of dirt in panel lines or the affects of sun bleaching. Also we are trying to introduce tonal variation to just break up the 'toylike' look of a solid colour, making it seem more 'realistic'. Other modelers will use filter washes or dot filters with oils to produce the same effect.

At the end of the day, you have to experiment and find out what works for you. That not only means a technique that you are comfortable producing, but that provides the end results that you are looking for in a finished model, and that suit the subject.

, but everyone has their own preferences, and different subjects will require different methods.

Cheers,

Matt

You pretty much nailed it there, I look at the subject and try to replicate it as it appeared in real life, I have also reproduced other's models that I have been impressed buy using more "artistic" affects, but my main goal is to produce a realistic model.

This is an A-7 I built that falls into that category, saw it built somewhere and liked the markings, this is an exreme post shadeing, and all done with one color, just lightened.

Curt

100_62462.jpg

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For this subject I would tone down the pre-shading to nearly nothing. The Gloss gull grey just did not weather to that extent.

The Post-Shade you have on the froward fuselage needs to be erased, and the tail end I would tone down to almost 0....

Curt

I think the forward fuselage isn't as bad as that pic made it out to be. See it from this angle. I agree that it may be a bit extreme, but not that far off form the first pic in your response (at least on the tail). Mine doesn't seem nearly as much as those two links you posted, to my eyes at least. Too bad the Tamiya paint isn't the right true colour...too brownish. Other than a few spots, I'm likely to keep it as is because it's my first attempt at actually seeing post shading, and testing pre-shading. It's only for me in my basement anyways. I do, however, really appreciate the suggestions. After all, I did take your post-shading discussion serious, and then went ahead and did it last night, even if not the way you expected LOL.

DSC02581.jpg

Edited by RAIN

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Yea, it took me a couple tries to get a technique figured out, and when I did it the internet didn't exist.......

It's also hard to get photographs to show exactly what your seeing, unless you have a professional set up.

There were many good suggestions here, nothing wrong with trying them all and keeping the ones that work for you.

I still pick up tips every now and then, I have a new one waiting for me to try on my TA-152 once I get motivated to get it into paint.

Curt

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And BTW Matt, that looks beautiful. So, you are using a post-shading fill in panel method for that right? That must be time consuming.

Thanks.

It isn't as time consuming as it might appear.

Here's how I tackle it. I work with Acrylics, mostly Tamiya, but PollyScale or Xtracrylics as well.

I mix up the basic colour (dark earth in the picture above) in a small disposable plastic cup. I thin it, add some retarder and some gloss until its ready to spray. I mix up more than I will need.

I lay down the base colour until I get a nice even consistent shade. It doesn't have to be flawless bu you want good coverage.

Then I'll pour a small amount of the left over base colour into a new cup and mix it into a darker shade (maybe with some grey or black or dark green or brown, whatever works). I'll thin it out some more, lower the pressure and then slowly work in the darker shading.

Sometimes I'll go over it in patches then darken some more and go over again in certain places, depending on what seems right.

Then I'll take some more of the left over base colour, pour it into a new cup and lighten it up and thin it out, and lay down the lighter shades. Again, I might do 2 or even 3 variations.

Once I've done all of the dark and light shades, I'll take the remainder of the base colour, thin it right out, and then mist it over to tone down the shading and tie it all together.

With acrylics, you can do all of this is one sitting. So long as you don't apply the paint too heavy and wet, each coat will be dry enough by the time you've prepared and mixed the next shade to keep going without a pause.

I think that dark earth on the Spitfire above took maybe 20-30 mins from start to finish.

These are probably the best pictures I have of the process. This example follows the more dogmatic dark panel / light centers approach, but you get the idea.

This is after applying the mid-stone base, the darker shade and the lighter shade. You can see the 3 shades, and also that its overdone, far too contrasty

MidStone-1.jpg

This is after re-applying a thing coat of the base mid-stone colour to tone it all down.

MidStone-2.jpg

because you are doing this on top of the base colour, it makes it easy to repeat for each additional camo colour

Camo1.jpg

What I've found over the years is that I'm getting better at judging some subtle to make the variations of the shades, so the first passes are not as contrasty as this and need a lot less toning down than in this example. It just takes practice and experience.

Hope this helps.

Matt

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Did you consider this method ?

http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?t=970206

http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index....showtopic=95531

Works very well. If you make the blue-tac 'worms' bigger you get a softer edge. Smaller and you get near a straight edge.

Blue tac is the way I go when doing multiple camo types like British aicraft, works brillo.

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