As a couple, we’re a bit like the Queen. We have 2 anniversaries. 1 to celebrate when we first met, the other for when we got married. Anyway, it’s as good an excuse as any to buy presents for each other. All my washing-up is obviously paying off as Mrs. ModelDads was kind enough to buy me a copy of the excellent (if outrageously expensive) FAQ2 by Mig Jimenz:
I can’t recommend this book highly enough (check out a review here). This is the reference book par excellence for painting AFVs. Suitably inspired by the chapter on Modulation and, it must be said, Ruben’s useful video explaining about how to apply this technique to 15mm scale models, I thought it would be shame not to dust off the old airbrush and have a go on those BA-64s I pinned last week.
Put simply, the modulation technique seeks to enhance a model by applying gradations of colour to give it more depth. This is particularly useful when painting vehicles that were finished in a uniform colour. Like Soviet armour. So off I went, spraying on a base coat of Vallejo Model Russian Green (71017). In to this mix of paint and thinner I added, as recommended, a few drops of Gloss varnish to produce a Satin effect in anticpation of the later pin-wash.
Retaining some of the original mix in a sealable jar, I added a few drops of Cam. Light Green (71006). Masking off the lower portion of the chasis with a Post-It note, I sprayed a (variably) lightish coat on the uppper chassis. The same principle was applied to the turret where I masked off the area around the gun with blu-tac (God bless office stationary!):
Whilst my airbrushing is still very hamfisted, I really liked the dusting of lighter colour on the upper panels. Now, Mig recommends that you go a shade lighter than you’re comfortable with because subsequent weathering will tone down the finished result. It was also about this time that I realised I should have cut a mask for the wheel arches to ensure that the upper surfaces could be painted without over-spraying on to the darker lower panels. I addedd a few drops of White (71001) to the remanants of my original mix and sprayed this as lightly as I could on the upper surfaces. I used the the same masks as before with an additional one over the front mantlet either side of the main viewing port. Now, I must confess that the Tescos delivery man arrived at this point with the weekly shop, so I felt under pressure to quickly finished the job and help in the packing away. This is how it turned out:
It’s a little lighter than I’m used to, but I like the gradual transiiton from light to dark, top to bottom. To blend the colours together further, I applied 2 coats of MiG brown filter for dark green vehicles with another coat of gloss varnish. Things were starting to shape up:Whilst the contrast is quite sharp on the front-mantlet, I really like the way the green varies in tone. And it was all quite easy to do without much experience. The only tiresome aspect was cleaning my airbrush over and over again…
They say pride comes before a fall. Just after taking these photos the cat came in followed by the dog. In the ensuing hullabaloo the cat vertically lifted 4 feet in the air to land directly on my work-surface scattering me and my scout cars to the 4-corners of the conservatory:
As the dust settled, the extent of the damage became clear. Whilst my paint-jobs had survived more of less intact, I was missing 3 wheels. I’ll leave you with this final shot of the standard of modulation achieved whilst I rummage around on the floor to look for them…