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2 - Basic Painting for the S-Types

GAMILON: S-Type Battleship
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6 March 2000converted to new format
17 November 1998page first published

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According to the instruction sheet, the S-Type Battleship was to be painted in a two-color scheme - olive drab for the upper hull, and "brownish green" for the lower hull.

I chose to start with the upper hull, especially since I wanted to see if I could get green paint to work for me this time (after my problems with the carrier). I chose a paint that I thought would give better coverage: Polly S 500052, Olive Drab. I used a paint stirring attachment in a mini-power tool to make sure the paint was thoroughly mixed and ready to use.

First, I painted the upper hull with a full-strength coat of Olive Drab (no wash, no diluting). It took a second pass to take care of some areas which were lighter, and to make sure that the color penetrated all of the nooks and crannies. For most of the hull, there is a scribed line showing the border between lower and upper hull, but near the bow I just had to make my best guess.

Mixing up some Light Olive Drab

The full-strength Olive Drab looked pretty dark on these ships, so I chose to follow-up by drybrushing on a coat of "light olive drab." The mixing procedure was hardly scientific - I mixed a "brush load" of Olive Drab with a "spill" of Dragon White (the only Polly S white I own), and stirred with an old brush until the mix looked right. Then I drybrushed this on to the models.

Before and after drybrushing

The picture above shows what a difference the drybrushing made. The ship in the back is painted in full-strength Olive Drab. The ship in the foreground has been painted the same, but has been drybrushed with the mix of "light olive drab." Note how it brings out the details.

Next, I tackled the problem of the lower hull. Foolishly, I decided to try out something that had been suggested to me, without first testing the technique on something expendable. I'd been told that you could color paint by simply adding ink to it, so I dropped some Higgins brown ink into a little Olive Drab, mixed it up on my palette, and started painting. What I soon learned was that the two colors didn't mix at all well, and all I got was a streaky coat with dark brown patches. I redeemed the error by painting the lower hulls with my old standby, Apple Barrel Burnt Umber (and found that it coated surprisingly well). I made a special effort to paint "within the lines," since I thought that fixing any mistakes would be difficult due to the drybrushing.

To bring out the details, I wanted to drybrush here as I had with the upper hull. I didn't have a suitable Polly S brown, and didn't want to mix paints from different manufacturers, so I decided to use Ceramcoat paints - a drop of bright green, a drop of dark brown, and a lot of white. Then I couldn't see any green in the mixture, so I added more green. It still didn't look very greenish, but then again, I wasn't sure what "greenish brown" looked like. (I mean, isn't "Olive Drab" greenish brown?)

Lower hull, before and after drybrushing

In the above picture, the ship in the back has been painted with Burnt Umber, while the ship in the foreground has been drybrushed with the green-brown mix. The details certainly stand out...although I can't say the final paint job looks particularly "greenish brown."