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LPS2 Round 1 - Report from Paintingploddy

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13 March 2006page first published

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©1994-2022 Bill Armintrout
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Paintingploddy writes:

When I saw the figures I had to choose from, there was only one that screamed Junkyard to me. The Flea looks like a small tin can with legs, and few guns added on. Perfect for that worn down, ragged look I was hoping to achieve.

The figure itself wouldn't fit on the hexagonal base, so the first thing I did was clip off the existing base.

All the parts were cleaned with my trusty Dremel and files before being glued together. At this point, I came to a crashing halt. I had intended on going for a grey scheme that would show the weathering and neglected parts of the Mech well. After sleeping on the idea, I changed my mind. Grey seemed the easiest option a little too easy.

After thinking for some time, I remembered Cyril's Space Marines on Coolminiornot. Everyone knows Space Marines bright and colourful targets for the 41st Millenium. Not Cyril's Space Marines. These guys look the business. They look every bit the eight-foot-tall super warriors they're meant to be. Imperial or chaos, they ooze menace. Cyril's Space Marines are also noted for the worn state of their power armour. Rust and chips occur all over. They are Easy Company after Bastogne. This was the look I was after. Luckily, Cyril was kind enough to provide a limited tutorial on how he achieves this affect. The only question now was whether I could make the transition from Space Marine to Mech...

I knew I had to find a scheme using light colours to achieve a look similar to that I was after. After a short search of the Internet, I had the scheme I was after. The Flea would have a beige torso and green limbs.

At this point, I pinned the Mech to a push pin. The push pin was then held in a spring clamp. I use these to hold figures while I paint. It isn't the most stable platform but with care works very well, and they are comfortable for me to hold.

I primed the figure with grey first, then a light coat of white sprayed from directly above the figure. This provides a subtle shading effect to begin with. This was left to dry for a few days (really, I wanted to paint something else...).

To paint the figure, I started by applying a very thin coat of Vallejo Model Colour (VMC) 126 Gold Brown to the areas that were topmost on the figure. Another thin coat of Vallejo Game Colour (VGC) 48 Sombre Grey was then used in the areas that were in shade.

After VGC Sombre Grey wash applied in shadows

The grey was also used to line in the panels. Highlights were applied using a mix of VMC 824 Cam Orange Ochre and VMC 819 Iraqui Sand. This was highlighted using increasing amounts of Iraqui Sand, before starting to mix in VMC 837 Pale Sand. A glaze of brownish-yellow ink was applied to smooth out the transitions. The effect was fairly rough but given what I was aiming for, this was good.

Fuselage/torso after highlighting

The rear grill, the front guns, and the windscreen were then picked out with black. These areas were to be detailed later. I then started to paint the nicks and scratches in the paintwork. For this I used Reaper Pro Series (RPS) Walnut. In some of the thicker chips and scratches, I applied a lighter brown colour in the centre (later, I changed this to a grey). In order to provide the effect I was after, I then painted a very light line under each chip or scratch in VMC Pale Sand.

Fuselage/torso after nicks and windscreen painted

I then used Iraqui Sand to make the Pale Sand line as normal as possible. To do this, I used a small amount of Iraqui Sand and applied it under the Pale Sand line. Using a damp brush, this was then feathered into the underlying colour and away from the nick.

One early idea was to try and paint a shattered windscreen, using a similar technique. In the end, this was too daunting, and so I used a SENMM (wash my mouth out) technique to try and show a burning city being reflected in the glass. I used several shades of red-brown to try and get the glow in the sky.

The legs were painted Reaper Master Series (RMS) Grass Green as a basecoat. I then mixed this colour 50/50 with VMC 807 Oxford Blue and some Vallejo Glaze Medium. This was used on the shaded areas. A second, lighter coat of Oxford Blue with Glaze Medium was used in the deepest shadows.

After legs painted and shaded

I chose the Oxford Blue for no other reason than I like the way it shades greens.

Once this was dry, I then highlighted the legs and turrets with Grass Green, before mixing in some RMS Jade Green. I kept highlighting until I was using pure Jade Green. At that point, I applied a light glaze of green ink, before again applying further Jade Green highlights. Nicks were applied in the same manner as for the torso/fuselage. The light lines were done using VGC 35 Dead Flesh.

Side view with metallic paint applied to guns

The areas that were to be painted in metallics were painted black, and the deepest cracks were lined in black as well. The metallics were done in a single hit. The guns and pivots in the legs were painted RMS Shadowed Steel mixed with a little black paint. They were then highlighted adding a touch of VMC 177 Oily Steel to the mix. Lastly I washed them with a mix of RMS Midnight Blue, Black and Vallejo Glaze Medium. The metallic pieces visible on the front of the legs were given a coat of GW Mithril Silver before they were coated with Tamiya Smoke. The remaining metallic parts were done using a basecoat of RMS Scorched Metal before highlighting with the mix used on the guns.

The Flea was largely finished at this point, but still didn't look weathered enough. To take the weathering a bit further, I applied several areas of VMC Smoke and Tamiya Smoke - particularly at the rear near the exhausts and the mesh. I then prepared a very thin coat of VMC Beasty Brown, Glaze Medium and water. This coat doesn't have to be very strong. It was applied in selected spots, particularly around the legs and the plates on the legs. It was also applied to the guns, giving a rusty look. At this point, things looked very rough at the back near the grill. To try and soften this, I used a couple of very thin brown ink glazes.

The basing was very simple. Given I had painted the city in the windscreen, I wanted a concrete-like base. I had a very thin sheet of cork I had found some time before. This was cut to size and glued into the Hexagon Base. The gaps at the side were filled with filler (I'm not a neat worker). A hole was dug out of the centre to be a crater, before a crescent was built using pre-mixed tile grout. This was then pressed into sand to provide the texture to the grout. Once the grout had dried, the base was given a coat of VGC Khaki.

Base after base colour applied

I then highlighted this using RMS Aged Bone and Polished Bone. A final highlight of Pale Sand was then used. All highlights were applied using a bit of foam from an old blister pack - just dip the foam into the paint before dabbing it on a piece of paper. When you have removed most of the paint, dab it on the base.

It can look very rough at this point. To finish it off, apply a wash of grey paint or ink.

The crater was done using VMC Earth and a wash of brown ink. Cracks were painted around the edge of the crater using black paint.

I'm happy with the overall result, but there are a few things I'd do differently given more time.

See the Finished Pictures