Thursday, 9 May 2013

Post shading

Post-shading is a technique to make a model look less "flat" as far as it's colour is concerned. Panel lines give the model depth and detail, but at such a small scale, no lightsource whatsoever is gonne give any shadow in these small panel lines, as would be the case on a life-size model. To fake this play of light and add shadow, several modelling techniques are used, among them pre-shading and post-shading.

Pre-shading involves pre-painting all panel lines (and only the lines) with black (or some other dark color), then when you are painting your basecoat, allow some of that black to shine through, creating the illusion of shadow. I have not tried this technique, because I have not yet mastered the very fine coating of paint, which is needed if you do not want to completely cover your pre-shading work.

Post-shading is the opposite. After your basecoat is dry, mix up a lighter shade of the same paint and spray that in the middle of all panels, creating - again - the illusion of light and adding depth and making it look more dynamic instead of one flat monochromatic surface.

I gave post-shading a first try on the Abrams, mixing up a slightly lighter tint of the sand color, by mixing 10 to 1 yellow to white. I did about half of the tank, then mixed again at 7.5 to 1 for the other side, just to see what would be the best result.

As it turns out (a day layer) neither of the mixes is really visible, except if you know what you're looking for and hold it at the correct angle towards a lightsource. This attempt was definitely too subtle.

I did the entire model again, with a 2 to 1 (yellow to white) ratio. I'll know tomorrow if it's enough. I'm cautious not to overdo it and ruin the entire model.

For both attempts, I mixed in a few drops of matt varnish (from Vallejo), as it was a tip I recieved at the latest IPMS meeting. While it did seem I had less problems with tip-dry and a more steady flow of paint, I'd have to test more to really confirm this.

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