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Painting: Phase 2 – Shading and Fading
There is a point in modeling where the OBJECTIVE, that which is technically correct (that is size, shape, location, the correct numbers of nuts, bolts, rivets, etc.) begins to take a back seat to the SUBJECTIVE, that which is aesthetically pleasing to the builder’s eye. In other words – art …and often impressionist art at that. It all depends on the modeler. There are myriad techniques to achieve ‘pleasing’ and this is only one of them. Feel free to adapt, modify, or ignore and do something else. It’s your call.
I start by mixing a bit of Testor’s flat white into the base gray; just enough to lighten it when placed against the gray. This color is also thinned down to give it a bit of transparency. The color was sprayed on the lower half of the side hull plates and the lower angled front and near vertical rear plate (I left the belly plate alone). The paint is sprayed in the middle of the plates leaving the edges their original color. The result is an irregular patch in the lower half or middle of the plate(s). This color was also sprayed onto the drive sprocket, idler wheel, track return roller, and road wheel centers.
Add a bit more white to the gray to spray the upper hull vertical plates, a bit more white to spray the angled plates, and still more to spray the horizontal and near horizontal plates on the hull front, roof, and engine deck all the while maintaining that patchy translucent look. The idea is to create an ever lightening effect on the various panels that are exposed to increasing amounts of direct sunlight. It might take some getting used to and you can always practice on a piece of cardboard. Just mark out a big square with some various sized squares and rectangles inside it and go to town.
When it’s finished, it all looks like crap. Hardly a ringing endorsement, but it all comes together with subsequent washes, dirt and dust coats, scrapes, scratches, chips, and chalk pastels. Trust me. We’ll make modeling great again…