31 January 2012

The Paintshop: A tale of 2 Moslers

Next feature of the "Paintshop", here are a couple NSR Mosler bodies I've painted in very known liveries, the "Castrol" and "Marlboro" themes. I find that these look great on any car body, actually, but the great looks on the Mosler body match them amazingly:

I must confess I loved the results on both as well I enjoyed painting them. I've decided to present both bodies at the same time as they not only show the application of the washing technique, previously presented, as they were painted in different ways.

The Marlboro livery was painted using the Tamiya TS-36 "Fluorescent Red" spray. I find this paint very similar to the Marlboro color, which makes me believe that naming it "Fluorescent Red" was a nice way to go around licencing... Using tape mask from Tamiya again, the basic design is easily achieved.

The Castrol livery was a different process. After applying Citadel White Primer (actually, the Marlboro body was also treated this way previously), the flowing green and red sections were painted freehand. I used Vallejo Acrylics "light green" and "vermillion" and I found them to match the original Castrol colors very nicely. It was a bit of a trouble to get nice and flowing lines in freehand guise, but eventually I think I managed a good scheme and result.

The drawing of the black lines through washing was quite easy on these bodies. The cavities and details are very sharp in NSR bodies, making them great for this technique. Additional details were added throughout, to liven up the looks (I'm kind of a detail freak, maybe due to my past on miniature painting).

This is it, a post on fresh bodies, using a few of the simplest advanced painting techniques that I can achieve so far. Stay tuned for more...

20 January 2012

The Paintshop: Do you Wash your car?

Well, to kick off this return of mine to writing, here's an article on a few "advanced painting techniques" that I used before in miniature painting and I've been trying to apply to slot car painting.

To better explain, here is an example of two similarly painted bodies which only one has been painted with this new technique:

(left: Slot.It Sauber-Mercedes; right: Fly Racing Porsche 911 GT1)

You you look closer, you might find an additional effect to bring up the detail on the gaps where the real body parts show fit. Here's a close-up:

If you look at the Porsche, the black lines painted along the body part gaps and crevices help creating a more realistic effect, by bringing up the apparent visual depth of the model. Here's another example applied to a more lively color model, between two Nissan R390 in white/blue and white/red liveries:

So, as I said, this technique was not unknown to me, but I never tried it out on slot car painting, only in miniature painting. I've been doing Modelism since I was 12, starting with pretty much everything: cars, aeroplanes, whatever. Slots came much later, when I was 26. However, during much of the time in between, I've been playing a miniature wargame known as Warhammer Fantasy (know it better here!). It's a whole different thing to slot cars, for sure, and I'm not ashamed of that part of my past... but I keep some skeletons in the closet. When I mean I have skeletons in my closet, I literally mean I DO HAVE skeletons in my closet. See to believe:

This is only a small part of my entire army of Undead creatures (if you know Lord of The Rings you have a global idea of the fantasy theme of this wargame, don't judge me on my choice!). I have taken them out of their graves... I'm sorry, their boxes I mean, for countless battles. This time I've awakened them again to show you were I learnt the two most basic techniques in miniature painting: washing and drybrushing.

Before we get started, let me just put something pretty clear to everyone: I am by no means the most gifted of miniature painters, I really just know a few basic stuff. If you really want to get rocked by the masters, see here!

So, to demostrate the effects of washing and drybrushing, here's a close-up on one of my skeleton minions:

If it looks complicated, trust me, it isn't. The white brush was used to paint the whole miniature in a mixture of black/brown wash, which fills the holes and deep spaces. The bigger brushes were used to drybrush the miniature with a white and bone color mixture. Drybrushing lays paint on the higher areas of the miniature, leaving the holes and deeps untouched. I've already mentioned drybrush on this article.

While the washing is fairly simple in this miniature (you just need to wash the whole thing first and then the drybrush will correct the rest), doing so in slot models is not that easy as you can't or it's better not correct it after you use it. So, it's better to use a specific wash rather than just dilluting normal paint. I use these ones, which are acrylic, from Vallejo and Citadel:

These washes are different to normal acrylic paints as they are specially diluted with different mediums so that the paint can hold on to the surface tension in gaps and holes. A normal paint, very diluted, is not as easily applied as washes in these surfaces.

To apply these to a slot model, you need 3 things, basically:
- the appropriate brush (a good one is required);
- being able to hold your breath for the appropriate amount of time;
- patience.

I'll be showing you the application of a wash to a NSR Porsche 917 body I've painted and which I find the looks very bland. I'll try to liven it up by creating the depth detail. Here are the materials:

We're set, let's go. It's better to clean the brush regularly during the application of the wash. Just dip the brush into the wash, set it on the gaps you want to paint and let the pigment flow from the brush into the spaces with gentle slow movements.

The wash will flow, fill in the gaps by itself without leaking out. If that happens, you can just wipe it out while it's fresh, with a cloth or even your finger!

This picture shows a comparison. Only the right side of the model was washed. Which effect do you prefer?

Well, this is it, a simple guide to explain a technique I've implemented to my artwork on slot models.

In the next weeks I'll be presenting some models I've been painting and you'll be surely seeing this technique being applied.

See you soon...

18 January 2012

Back in business...

After a very long hiatus, here's a post not just so say I'm still slotistically alive, which I never left being, but also to be the first of a few post to follow on the next days.

My last post was about the Pirelli and Scaleato tires resemblance. By then, the motorsport season was about to begin. Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull were defending champs in F1, Sebastian Loeb and Citroen in WRC and Audi had another Le Mans 24 Hours victory to its tally. Almost a year has passed, with the following news:

- Vettel and Red Bull hold the 2011 season F1 titles;
- Loeb and Citroen hold the 2011 season WRC titles;
- Guess what? Audi won the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours.

So, while there was not much of a change here, there was in my approach to the slot hobby. For sure I've been racing, tuning and painting cars as usual. But this time, I've spent most of my racing time, if not all of it, racing in a team we've started a year ago. Apart from the results, I'm just proud that the team started from very humble basis and grown into a 24-Hour race capable structure. That will follow, too...

On the painting side, here is just an overview of how active I've been:

This is the armada we took to the Trofa 2011 24 Hours race, eventually choosing the blue and gold Toyota 88C (this is when the cars were brand new, its painting is now pretty scratched...)

Some other cars I've been painting (the Marlboro couple are not really mine, actually...)

So, hope I can keep up with posting some news here, every now and then. Stay tuned...