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Armor/AFV: Canadian Armor
Discuss all types of Canadian Armor of all eras.
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Riich Models RV35011
SdAufKla
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Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 02:27 AM UTC
@ Al: Thanks for the observations! I appreciate the feedback, too. It's always nice to have a second pair of eyes checking things out.

As mentioned in the up-date, I've undercoated the boots as a first step in achieving a "worn" black leather look:


Quoted Text

Sometimes the undercoat color can be used as part of the actual final shading and highlights. For instance, on these figures, their boots will be black, but I've undercoated them with a burnt sienna color. When I put the black oil paint on them, I can deliberately brush it out to a semi-transparent layer on the high points in order to get the underlying brown to show as if the leather is worn.



Unless someone's painting with oils, though, the undercoating and colors selected for it might not make sense at first. Of course, there's a bit more to it than just applying the black oils, but there is a method to the madness!

BTW: With the officer's boots, the undercoating for a worn brown leather final color finish begins the same way with a brown undercoat. I'll use a raw sienna oil color over the burnt sienna undercoat shadowed with raw umber and highlighted with a "flesh tone." This will create a worn "russet" leather look.

If anyone is really interested in seeing how this works, check out the motorcycle rider in this thread. His boots are black, but his leggings are russet brown. However, both articles started with the same undercoat color - burnt sienna acrylic (Citadel / Games Workshop "Beastial Brown").

Armorama::Italian Ariete Tankers North Africa

@ Keith: I'm looking forward to Saturday, as well!

Happy modeling, all!
jrutman
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Posted: Friday, October 18, 2013 - 02:03 AM UTC
This update is propitious in it's timliness as I am currently starting to paint a lot of khaki stuff. Needless to say your thread will now serve in a partly tutorial and partly inspirational manner.
I love the technique for the worn leather and remember it quite well from your "Italian Affair". At this point I am still struggling with my switch to Vallejo and am on the fence about going back to oils and enamels. I find the color to be much more vibrant.
Either way,this is another one of your fantastico threads brother,
J
SdAufKla
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Posted: Sunday, October 20, 2013 - 12:32 PM UTC
@ Jerry: Artist oils are definitely "old school," and it doesn't seem very many guys use them for painting figures anymore.

Oh well...

I use the acrylic undercoats much like a pre-colored primer, and the khaki colors I've used on these guys are all mixed from various Vallejo Model Colors. If any of them look interesting or useful, I'll be happy to post up the mixes.

I tend to thin my acrylics and use multiple coats when necessary, but the colors here are single coats over the white Tamiya XF-2.

At any rate, I've almost finished painting the faces on the carrier crew. The technique here is one that I've become comfortable using. Over the acrylic flesh undercoat, I start with a wash of burnt umber. This is allowed to dry out until the obvious excess thinner has evaporated. I then use a brush dampened with mineral spirits to remove the excess burnt umber from all of the high paints and future highlights.

This is followed with a very thin coat of a flesh color mixed from yellow ocher, burnt sienna, and white (~2:1:4). This is a very flexible mix and can be easily adjusted lighter, ruddier, darker, etc. by slight variations in the ratios.

I blend the basic flesh into the burnt umber shadows. If necessary, I add more burnt umber to intensify some shadows.

If necessary, a little more of the basic flesh is added to the mid-tone areas. Straight white is applied to the highlights and blended in.

In order to establish any ruddy or sunburned areas, a very slight amount of burnt sienna is added and blended in. The lower lip is painted with a mix of Alizarin crimson and the basic flesh with any highlight from a tiny touch of white blended in.

Any desired 5 o'clock shadow is made with a "whiff" of Payne's Gray blended in to the underlying colors.

So, that's the basics. After these guys dry for a couple of days, I'll give them a clear flat coat with Testor's Dull Coat. Right now, the oils are still wet, so the photos have a lot of "glints" and bright spots from the reflections from the lights.









The two AFV crewman's helmets still need to be painted, but the chin straps are done, as are the headphones and the driver's beret and goggles. Again, all done with oils (except the metal frames on the goggles have been left in their acrylic undercoat).

That's all for now...

Happy modeling!
Keef1648
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Posted: Sunday, October 20, 2013 - 11:20 PM UTC
Looking good Mike, might even be done by Christmas at this pace.... Don't want you to hurry though

Keith.
jrutman
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Posted: Monday, October 21, 2013 - 01:54 AM UTC
The painting is impressive while using such a simple technique! I am also impressed by the clarity of the pics after being enlarged from real life so much.
J
SdAufKla
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Posted: Monday, October 21, 2013 - 04:38 AM UTC
@ Keith: Oh yea, this is blazing fast progress for me - less than 3 months now since I started this project!

@ Jerry: Thanks. It is a very simple face painting process, really. Mark Bannerman illustrates and explains it in detail in his Osprey title, "Modelling Panzer Crewmen of the Heer."

Osprey::Modelling Panzer Crewmwn of the Heer

The beauty of the technique is starting with the burnt umber wash to establish the dark shadows and then blending the basic flesh into those rather than block-in the shadows individually. It's faster and puts less paint on the face. The basic shading and highlighting can be done very quickly.

In regards to the photos:

I use a simple "point and shoot" Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-T100 camera. I've had the camera for several years, and I don't even think Sony still makes it. It's a pocket-sized camera with only 8.1 megapixels and a 5x optical zoom. Heck, most cell-pone cameras are better than this now...

The main problem with my camera is that the objective lens is quite small which can create radial distortions around the edges of some images. This is usually not an issue unless the subject has long straight lines (like a kit sprue) which can then appear to curve when compared to the straight edges of the image. Generally, it's not a significant problem.

A better camera would be nice for the larger lens (less radial distortion) and higher pixel resolution (with perhaps a higher F-stop and greater depth of field) , but once the images are all crunched and condensed for the web, most of those advantages would be lost. A cheap camera works well enough for me right now.

I do use an inexpensive tripod to hold my camera, and I have an open-topped "light box" made from white foam-core board held together with masking tape (thanks, Wally-World). I don't use any special lights, just the day-light CFLs bulbs in my normal workroom light fixtures.

I set the camera for macro and use the self-timer to automatically click the shutter after the auto focus. No flash. The tripod allows the camera to auto expose for however long it wants and the self-timer allows me to get my hands out of the way.

I have an old copy of Photoshop Elements 3.0 that I bought on sale at Walmart to adjust the shadows and contrast if necessary and to digitally zoom and crop. Digitally zooming and cropping out the excess background (and out of focus areas) around the subject helps make the pictures more interesting and allows more of the subject to be seen.

I then re-size the images, usually to either 640 or 800 pixels on the longest side (with the auto ratio feature enabled to automatically re-size the short side). This drastically reduces the file size as well as the "physical" image size.

I then usually use the "Save for the web" function to re-size the image file since here on Armorama it's pointless to post up huge, multi-megapixel images. The site will not allow them to show any larger than 800 pixels wide. This also makes the pictures faster to up-load to my Photobucket account. Most of my pictures on the forums here are around 640x480 to 800x533 pixels and in the 175-150 Kb or smaller file size range.

For these "studio portraits:"

I used the macro feature on the camera, auto focus, auto exposure, flash off, and the self-timer. The faces have almost no depth of field, so they can be optically zoomed in on quite close and still stay in focus.

I digitally zoomed in on the images in Photoshop, cropped the excess background away, lightened the shadows and increased the mid-tone contrasts slightly, re-sized them to 800 pixels tall (allowing the width ratio to self-adjust) and then "Saved for the web."

The three-view collages were made in Powerpoint just to save me the hassle of up-loading nine images (3 views of 3 heads) to Photobucket and then putting the URLS for nine images into my post. It was just simpler and faster to make the little collages (plus it allowed easy side-by-side comparisons).

Anyways, if I had to say what was the most important part of the process, I'd say it was using the tripod with auto-exposure to compensate for the lighting. I also let the macro and auto-focus do their thing.

HTH,
jrutman
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Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 02:05 AM UTC
Thanks for the very detailed reply man. I will see what I can do with my pea brain with all the info provided!
I never said Infantrymen were smart!
J
AlanL
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Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 09:07 AM UTC
Hi Mike,

Heads look excellent.

Al
Tedwards252
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Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 01:20 PM UTC
Mike, your work always blows my mind.
SdAufKla
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Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 - 11:13 AM UTC
@ Jerry: Hey, don't sell yourself short there, Jer. Those photos of your GI's in the Ardennes with the real landscape backgrounds were very, very nice!

@ Al and Trevor: Thanks for the props, guys!

So, I figured I better post some kind of up-date before you guys start thinking that I've given up on this project!

Figure painting is a very slow process for me, and since that's not only where I'm at right now, but there are three full figures here, it's gonna just take me a while. I can easily spend 20-30 hours painting a single figure, not counting the time I spend undercoating them.

I've been working on the radio operator and driver uniforms, and right now, not counting the faces, I've got about 15 hours painting time in each (close to 20 each with the faces). Their shirts, pants, insignia and buttons are now done. BTW: Yes, the front of the driver's shirt was a real PITA trying to paint through the steering wheel.

(Although, based on what I see studying these photos, I may go and do some touch ups here and there. I can see already that I think I want to go back and add a small shadow in the center of each button to simulate the stitching which will reduce their overall contrast while still keeping them visible. Hmmmm...?)

Still left to do are the boots, gaiters, arms, and, for the driver, the steering wheel assembly. However, since I have the khaki oil paint already mixed for the uniforms, I'll move on to the officer / Bren gunner's uniform and insignia next.











So, I'm still smearing paint around on the figgies and will be for the next week or so.

Don't give up on me!

Happy Modeling!
panzerconor
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Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 - 11:29 AM UTC
All that time for just the figures? Wow. It really does show in you work, it's flawless. All the skin tones, shading, highlights, etc, are all brilliant. I can't begin to imagine the patience you have, sir.

-Conor
Big-John
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Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 - 02:58 PM UTC
As always Mike, it just keeps getting better and better! The time you spend on your figures sure pays off.
Keef1648
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Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 - 11:23 PM UTC
Coming along nicely Mike, I especially like the 'Morse Code' Yellow on Blue shoulder flashes

Keep up the good work Sir.


Keith.
jrutman
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Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 01:30 AM UTC
That was time well invested for sure. If it was me I wouldn't add the stitches on the buttons. I think you would loose something but then again,I have been wrong before.
I am most impressed within all this impressive stuff ,by the unit patches. I tried something like this with my Highlanders/WSS POW dio and didn't get near the fidelity you have already acheived. Well done!
J
SdAufKla
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Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 10:14 AM UTC
@ Conor: Thanks, that's very flattering, but I can assure you that the work is far from flawless - For instance, I noticed after I took the photos that I forgot to paint the buttons on the radio operator's shoulder boards. All we can do it try, though, eh?

In regards to patience, I don't imagine that I have particularly more than anyone else here. Because I enjoy the process of building and painting, I'm just willing to take however long I need to do something.

@ John: As my friend Jerry can tell you, I've been trying to "up my game" with my figures for a long time. I'm finally getting where I'm generally pleased with them. Slowing down and taking my time has been one of the things that I've had to learn to do with them.

@ Keith: Well, it was either Morse Code and dots and dashes or I'd would have had to spell out "Princes Louise IV Dragoon Guards" over "Canada" and that was just no challenge at all! So, Morse Code it was...

@ Jerry: I'll give the buttons some more thought and see how they look after they dry out all the way. While the oils are still wet, it can be very hard to judge the highlights because of the glare and glints. You may be right about leaving them alone.

In regards to painting the insignia, I learned a lot when I was trying to "crack the code" on using acrylics to paint 28 mm war-gaming figgies. In particular, I really studied some of the guys painting in "White Dwarf," the Citadel Games magazine. One "trick" that a lot of them used to free-hand insignia and the writing on flags and banners was to "outline" the design using small "dots," and then connect the dots to create the outline of their design. Once you have the outline, filling in the center is easy.

So, that's another reason why I like to undercoat with acrylics, to include the insignia. With good paints thinned properly, doing the insignia in acrylics isn't too bad. Using the "connect the dots" method makes getting the insignia uniformly sized on different figures (or even side to side on the same figure) much easier.

Once I had the uniforms painted on these guys, I just filled in the patches with oils and used a fine brush to make the "dots" (the Morse Code writing / inscription mentioned by Keith, above). The oil paint is much easier to use to do these very fine details - very good color saturation with long working time. I just did two or three dots at a time. Also, for this kind of work, I don't actually hold the figure. It's supported on the work bench with forceps holding the pins and I can then use both hands bracing each other for better brush control.

I like the challenge of painting the insignia vice using decals, too. First, your marking options are infinite (just imagine finding decal shoulder flashes for "Princess Louise IV Dragoon Guards"!). Second, painting allows me to conform the shape of the insignia to the pose and position of the figure. It's simply not possible to distort and stretch decals to replicate the way the real patches would stretch and distort on actual uniforms.

So, while the Riich carrier kit did include decals for the figures, I didn't use any of them here (although I'm also doing a Canadian 1st Infantry Division unit as provided for by Riich).

Happy modeling!
SdAufKla
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Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 11:29 AM UTC
Just a quick up-date on my figures.

Here's the commander / Bren gunner's uniform and insignia. Not much to say about this guy that hasn't already been said about the other two.

In this case, this guy's still very wet since I just finished painting on him an hour or so ago. You can easily see the glint and shine, especially on the high points which are not surprising also mostly where the highlights are. This can give a false idea, especially in the photos, of how "contrasty" the shadows and highlights are.

For anyone interested, all three of these uniforms were painted using the exact same khaki paint mix made from titanium white, cadmium yellow and bright red at a ratio of about 3:3:1 respectively.

The highlights were added with just more titanium white while the shadows were done by mixing in raw umber. On a couple of clothing articles, I wanted a new and un-faded look so I very slightly "greened up" the basic khaki color by adding a "whiff" of Prussian blue (just a very, very small touch of blue).

I'll also use this same basic mix for the canvas gaiters and the web belt and pistol holster.

The insignia was painted with Prussian blue, cad yellow, bright red and white. (Note a theme in the color pallet?) You can do a lot with just a few oil colors. So far, all of the uniforms and insignia have been painted with just 5 colors.

Anyways, here's the third of the "Headless Horsemen" (in honor of Halloween, of course!):







Next up will probably be boots, gaiters and webbing since I already have the khaki paint mixed.

Happy modeling!
Keef1648
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Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 11:05 PM UTC
Very Nice Mike, the webbing, that would be some sort of 'Sky Grey (Gray)' right

Keith.
jrutman
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Posted: Friday, November 01, 2013 - 01:40 AM UTC
Outstanding detail painting. I already was envious of the unit patches,now I am admiring the "pips" and how uniform in size you got them looking.
J
majjanelson
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Posted: Friday, November 01, 2013 - 02:17 AM UTC
Damn, that's nice, Mike!

Have you thought of painting a wedding band or ring on one or more of the crew, along with adding a watch?
SdAufKla
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Posted: Monday, November 04, 2013 - 11:52 AM UTC
@ Keith: Well...

I think that "Sky Grey" blanco is sold in RAF NAFFI.

@ Jerry: Thanks amigo! (BTW: I appreciate the SBS you're doing on your bare trees in the "Aber Zack, Zack, Junge!" dio.)

@ Jeff: Well, after giving your idea some thought, I just couldn't bring myself to any more conversion work on these guys. I do have some PE watches, but I guess I'll save 'em for another project.

However, just for you, here's a little special something...

(Hopefully you can pick it out!)



I've finished painting the figures, finally! However, I'll wait a couple of days for them to dry-out some rather than bore you all by posting up a bunch of shiny pics only to post up better ones later.

In this pic, though, you might note that the driver's right boot is only painted with the shadows and no highlights. This is because that foot and leg are essentially impossible to see once the upper front hull is closed, so there was no reason to spend a lot of time on it. (In fact, I didn't paint the inside of the left boot either for the same reason.)

Anyways, hopefully by tomorrow the figures will be dry enough to justify the effort of more photos.

Happy modeling!
Keef1648
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Posted: Monday, November 04, 2013 - 11:59 AM UTC

Quoted Text

@ Keith: Well...

I think that "Sky Grey" blanco is sold in RAF NAFFI.

@ Jerry: Thanks amigo! (BTW: I appreciate the SBS you're doing on your bare trees in the "Aber Zack, Zack, Junge!" dio.)

@ Jeff: Well, after giving your idea some thought, I just couldn't bring myself to any more conversion work on these guys. I do have some PE watches, but I guess I'll save 'em for another project.

However, just for you, here's a little special something...

(Hopefully you can pick it out!)



I've finished painting the figures, finally! However, I'll wait a couple of days for them to dry-out some rather than bore you all by posting up a bunch of shiny pics only to post up better ones later.

In this pic, though, you might note that the driver's right boot is only painted with the shadows and no highlights. This is because that foot and leg are essentially impossible to see once the upper front hull is closed, so there was no reason to spend a lot of time on it. (In fact, I didn't paint the inside of the left boot either for the same reason.)

Anyways, hopefully by tomorrow the figures will be dry enough to justify the effort of more photos.

Happy modeling!



NAAFI? Oh yes, I remember, stands for a place with 'No Aim Ambition or Friggin Interest'.. Well that's wot we thought it stood for

Mike, thanks for the update, looking really good Sir.

Plus I know where to poke my LED light with bendy head when I get to give this the once over

See you at the meeting.

Keith......
SdAufKla
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Posted: Tuesday, November 05, 2013 - 11:49 AM UTC
@ Keith: NAAFI... oh, SNAP!

BTW: Be careful where you poke that light around. You never know what you'll find!

So, the figures have dried out enough to airbrush with Dull Coat and, after that dried, to handle some. So, I've test-fitted them today in the carrier.

This was the first time that I've been able to see what they will actually look like once finished and in place. The heads are still unglued to allow for some additional adjustments to the poses, but the following pics show pretty much what I'v been going for.

On the base, the carrier will be driving slightly down hill towards the viewer (front of the base) and approaching a curve (a "curve ahead" sign will make this clear. So, I want the figures all looking towards the approaching curve and at the vignette viewer. (That's the plan, anyways...)

These first photos show the figures in place but without the upper front hull.













Now, with the upper front hull dry-fitted.





BTW: In this photo you can see the Bren gun dry-fitted to see how the gun's receiver end clears the sitting commander figure. It does, but I will have to re-position the carrying handle because it interferes with the opening in the barbette.







So, my next task will be to install the driver and permanently attache the upper hull front.

Once this is done, I will install the radio operator and radio. Once he's in, then I will move on to finishing the exterior of the carrier.

Happy modeling!
Big-John
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Posted: Tuesday, November 05, 2013 - 12:08 PM UTC
Modeling master class right there I tall ya!

Now I have to go clean the drool off of my phone!
jrutman
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Posted: Wednesday, November 06, 2013 - 02:43 AM UTC
Those figgies are just mind blowing buddy. I am going to have to try and emulate these(and probably fail)but I can never get mine to look so well blended,etc. Love the tat,btw.
J
Keef1648
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Posted: Wednesday, November 06, 2013 - 12:30 PM UTC
Damn that's good Mike.... Great work indeed !

Keith.