Finally….painting time

The fun part of model building….getting the airbrush out of its box and give the model some life. It’s this part of modelbuilding that, for me, can make or break a model. It’s that moment when all the hard work you’ve put in assembling the kit is rewarded with a realistic paint job.

First order of business is searching for some good references. Although it’s a Sci Fi kit and you can do whatever you want I always try to stay as close as possible to the series and/or reference material as starting point. In the 1978 series of Battlestar the Raiders where piloted by Cylon robots and easily defeated by human counterparts. As a result the Raiders where always shiny and new with a dull gray paint job.

That’s not really my style so I wanted to have an abused Raider with chipping, interesting to look  and some dirt. A blastmark is very needed on a war machine :).

Chipping

This is something I like to do. It gives a sense of scale to the model and, if done right, adds tremendous realism to your model.  I tried several methods, but I like the hairspray method best.
I start out with a special basecoat, mostly Mr. Surfacer, to get a nice even coat and of course to detect any spots I missed while filling the seams.

Once dry, I start with the color of the scratches that will show trough at the end. I found that certain greens work quite well. For variation some panels receive a different color. I opted for brown on this kit, a bit harsh, but not to much :

This layer of paint is sealed with a semi gloss varnish and left to dry overnight. The varnish seals the paint, but also protects the paint later. I like to experiment and add some color to my varnish, very lightly, just to get some interesting variation. I also found out the hard way that you do need a good basecoat for this. Once this is done, I take out the hairspray and gently spray the entire model with multiple layers. Leave it to dry, which takes about 10 min. Then you can start to spray the final color. Once this is completely dry just take some water and scratch the model…. it’s as simple as that. I’ll come back on this later on.

Faded interesting look 🙂

I always love the paintjobs with different shades of one color. When well done, it really looks like old, beaten up and used. Something I wanted to reflect on this Raider. A veteran of several combat sorties against Colonial Vipers. One who has lived to tell the tale.

It’s easily said, but it took me 4 hours to get the look I wanted….and that’s just for the top of the Raider. Basicly, I started preshading the panel lines with a mixture of grey and black (about 50/50 ratio). I then filled in the panels with the same mixture but added about 25% white. After that different panels where touched up with some more white added to the mix.

After that some 20% blue was added an some more panels where touched up. To finish the paintjob, I oversprayed the entire model from waaaay back with some light brown.

I like the way it came out. Now I can get started on the weathering of this bird…. but that will be for next time.

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