Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Conversion and Painting - Vehicular Combat, First Car(s)

As I have mentioned before, I've been working on a Vehicular Combat project for Adepticon.  The game is Devil's Run and I need to bring one modified Hot Wheels/Matchbox car for the game.  I jumped on this project because it ties into a bigger project that I have wanted to undertake for some time, so this was a nice way to get it jump started.

Note, I'm not sure if Devil's Run is necessarily the game I want to use for my bigger project, but Adepticon will give me a nice preview of the rules.  In past years I had also tried Car Wars, which I was not terribly happy with (although the game at Adepticon was a lot of fun).  I've also wanted to read through and try a game called Road Kill.  Lastly, Osprey is supposedly publishing a ruleset called Gaslands, someday...

In any case, if you want to check out Devil's Run you can find the rules for free on their website here.  For Road Kill, the kickstarter had the rules posted here (note Road Kill is actually written to be 10mm rules but it should be an easy adaptation).

Anyway, moving back to the topic of conversion and painting of my first vehicles.
The first batch, de-assembled and striped.  Anyone know
the theme for the bigger project from just this photo?
Various conversions were started on all 4 of these vehicles, but the focus quickly narrowed to the El Camino for various reasons, mostly related to conversion issues on my part (I may have bitten off more than I can chew for a couple of the conversions).  The El Camino is also one of my favorites for the big project.

First conversion and a bit of battle damage from a dremel.
Above was the first conversion of the El Camino.  Unfortunately, I got carried away and did not refer back to my "reference" material because the dual, forward mounted guns was not the "right" configuration.

There we go:  One gun, one rocket launcher mounted aft.
From here, the model was primed and the underlying rust work started:
  • Base Rust:  Applied to most of the model. 
    • RMS Muddy Brown
  • Rust Variations:  Dry sponged onto various areas (damaged panels, roof, bed, lower part of the panels, etc)
    • RMS Chestnut Brown
    • RMS Mahogany Brown
    • RMS Rust Brown
    • RMS Forest Green
    • RMS Marigold Yellow
    • RMS Imperial Purple

My buddy John, over at 40K Hobby Blog, held my hand through this rust/painting process.  He agreed with my concern that there was not enough "contrast" at this point and that I should add darker browns to contrast my eventual grey base color.  Unfortunately I set the model aside for the night at that point and when I got home the next day, I just jumped to the next step without remembering to do it.  LOL.

Varnished, hair-sprayed and base coated
  • Base Color:  RMS Cloudy Grey
Anyway, at this point it apparently is a pretty time sensitive process to start removing the base color to reveal the rust.  And, of course for me, that is when things went sideways.  Some kind of family "crisis" and ended up only returning to the model after this base color had fully set.  Holding my breath, I still started trying to remove the base color with mixed success.

Definitely not horrible, but it is a little awkward, I think, since there is still paint in the recesses of the damage areas.  Not much I can do about it at this point other than starting the rust part all over again.  I decided though I was just going to chalk it up to a learning experience and move on due to running out of time.  I will need to come back with weathering powders to hide some spots where I accidentally removed paint all the way down to the bare metal.

Starting metallics and highlight/shading
  • MG, Rocket Launcher, Chains:  Following Dave Taylor's Metallic Guide
  • Window Plates:  Following Dave Taylor's Metallic Guide
  • Spike:  RMS Muddy Brown
Following Dave Taylor's metallic methods, I started in on all the other metal bits.  I also started some shading and highlighting of the base color.  I was really not happy with the base color (too blue) or the highlighting (too sloppy) or the shading (not enough contrast) at this point.  For better or worse, Adepticon was less than a week away at this point so I had to press on.

So at this point, things got a little hectic in the rush to finish up.  But lots of progress was made, just not captured in photos.  Really unhappy with the roof, bed and bumpers I repainted them brown and sponged rust variations back on.  Hairspray technique again and using a lighter shade of the base car color, the roof and bed were sprayed.  Then quickly removed.  Bumpers were similarly done, only with AP Gun Metal.

After finally, being satisfied with the rust I moved on to highlights and shading.

Much better and starting to come together, I think.
Note, I deviated from Dave Taylor's metallic method for the window plates.  I just was not getting what I wanted, probably because I did not know what I wanted.  I started to hit the plates with Vallejo Smoke and discovered, for myself, something wonderful!  Because I was in a rush, I did not want to apply a bunch of layers of Smoke so I did not bother to thin it.  It quickly began to "gum" up in this state and achieved the wonderful grimmy affect you see now.

The rims were AP Gun Metal, followed by a thinned Vallejo Smoke.  The tires themselves were Vallejo Panzer Aces Dark Rubber.

The car in the picture above is a bit shinny (it's worse in person, under proper lighting), that's because it has had a gloss varnish applied for the next stage.  The plan was to lock everything in with a dullcoat after I apply some weathering powders and pin washes.

Or, in other words, my attempt to screw it all up.  Issue one, was that while I intended to use oils for the pin wash I did not prepare to use oils.  That means at 9pm I realized I had no mineral spirits to thin down my oils with.  So, pressed for time I attempted a acrylic pin wash.  Didn't work so well.  The second issue is apparently I have forgotten how to use weathering pigments.  I really struggled here.  I at least managed to get some mistakes covered up but I'm not happy with either of my "finishing" steps.  But I have run out of time, so I hit it with dullcoat and called it done.

The "bad" things I've learned through this process:
  • Working with die cast metal Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars sucks.
  • Chop topping the taxi cab was a horrible idea resulting in a continued nightmare.
  • Replacing windows is a pain in the ass.  They are sooo small!  And some have a lot of curvature to them!
  • Chains suck too!  I cant say how many attempts it took to attach them.  Or how many times I had to reattach them.  I can only pray that they stay on now.
  • The weapon bits from Brigade Games, originally crafted by Dave Taylor I believe, seem a little oversized to me.  Since I bought a ton of them, I will continue to use them but fair warning.  The other bits and pieces from those sets seem reasonable sized though.
  • DO NOT reassemble the model completely before painting.  I knew this.  I don't know what happened.  I was dry fitting the model.  Next thing I knew, I grabbed the glue.  Then an hour later "OMG, why did I do that!"  Painting and handling this model would have been so much easier in separate pieces.
  • If using the hairspray technique, do not let the base color (top layer) completely cure before you start rubbing it off.  Even if the baby is crying, house on fire, etc.  lol.
  • Not sold on being able to do a pin wash with acrylics.  
  • I suck with weathering powders.
The "good" things I learned:
  • I like this entire vehicle weathering "thing."  Lots of fun and you can be fairly carefree about it and get decent results IMO.  Well, at least till you hit the home stretch.
  • I guess, although that may be debatable, that I can do this vehicle weathering "thing" to some degree.
  • Hopefully, I learned from the "mistakes" from above.  LOL.
  • One model down, 3 more immediately to go.  Another 6-10 after that.  Ok, that last part I am not to happy about but at least this "project" has gotten started!
  • Family stuff is a big factor but I really should paint more.  When I do have time, I get caught up in assembling stuff (or playing Xbox) and just don't get around to actually painting enough.
Also, this technically (and I will count it) achieves one of my hobby goals for 2017.  I had a goal to paint "something" for Adepticon.  And I have.  Sure, I planned to have actually 4 of these guys done for Adepticon but still, I will take this one as a victory.  Of course, after Adepticon I have to figure out what is next (I think I had a goal to have something painted for the CMON Expo, which is in mid May.  doh!).  Plus I have a backlog of incomplete stuff that needs to get done.
In a hopeful note though, at least for my hobby productivity, I haven't played Overwatch in over a week and it will be a full 2+ weeks before I get another chance to play.  And I have to say I have not really missed it.  So I don't know if I will go back to it.  We'll see.

Anyway, next stop Adepticon!

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