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Discuss all areas of historical miniature painting and painting preparation.
In The Shadow of Chernobyl...
Karl187
#284
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Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012 - 04:01 AM UTC
IN THE SHADOW OF CHERNOBYL...WHERE MAN MADE HELL.









'There are 350 atomic bombs in our land. People are already living after the nuclear war- though when it began, they didn't notice.

The fourth reactor, now known as the Cover, still holds about twenty tons of nuclear fuel in its lead-and-metal core. No one knows what is happening with it.

The sarcophagus was well made, uniquely constructed...But it was constructed in absentia...with the aid of robots and helicopters, and as a result there are fissures. According to some figures, there are now over 200 square metres of spaces and cracks, and radioactive particles continue to escape through them...

Might the sarchophagus collapse? No one can asnwer that question...

But the Zone- it's a separate world, a world within the rest of the world.'


Excerpts taken from Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich.






endrju007
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Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012 - 04:14 AM UTC
Is this a prelude to Stalker figure vignette?
Karl187
#284
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Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
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Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012 - 04:19 AM UTC
Hello Gents!

Welcome along to this build log. This will be my first HF build log but I've had some of my work on this site before and a good lot of work I have logged over on Armorama. My last figure works were included in this thread, T-90 Review and Build, the two crew figures included are talked about toward the last several pages.

Within that thread I talked about a few different techniques- color shifting, acrylic filters, acrylic alla prima (wet on wet), slow drying mediums, glaze mediums and so on. This thread will hopefully contain much more detail about these techniques which I have been experimenting with since Calvin Tan described them in his excellent blog, Perspectives in Miniature.

They are at first strange techniques but since using them I've found them to be fun, rewarding and challenging too- I am far from mastering them but I enjoy doing them and the results achieved so I want to explain my way of doing it in the hope of raising awareness of them as they are great to use in figure painting.

Obviously, you'll haver twigged that this blog is going to be about Chernobyl. The figure I'm doing is a 54mm STALKER from Tartar Miniatures. The figure is based on characters from a popular video game called S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl, which has spawned these very interesting figures from Tartar and a couple from Evolution miniatures aswell.

Just look up the video-game and you'll get the story behind the idea.

Having said that, this is the first figure in a current line-up of three from Tartar and I sincerely hope more are on the way.

The moulding is very crisp and the details are clean and precise- the moulding reminds me a little of the quality of Alpine figures.







As you can see there is not a lot of parts. However, they go together very precisely and the only thing needed was a broken strap and buckle for the AK and a little Mr. Dissolved Putty run into the arm joins.



















The only real niggle for me with the kit is the fuel drum/oil barrel stuck into the ground work- it seems too small in comparison to the figure.

Anyway, everything is all primed and ready for paint.



Since the atmosphere of the STALKER games was particularly dark I really want to try and emphasize some of this in the painting.

So thanks for reading thus far- hope I haven't bored you too much! I hope you'll stick with me throughout the build log. Comments, criticisms etc are always welcome.

-KARL187-
Karl187
#284
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Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012 - 04:21 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Is this a prelude to Stalker figure vignette?



Indeed it is Andrzej- you got in there just before I posted the first photos of the figure ! Welcome along to the blog!
ptruhe
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Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012 - 05:55 AM UTC
Very interesting. I loved the games.

Paul
Maki
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012 - 06:29 AM UTC
Good intro. I always liked Stalker figures and was very tempted to get the one from Evolution Miniatures. I'll be keeping my eye on the progress you make with this one Karl.

Mario
fatbobit
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Tokyo-to, Japan / 日本
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Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012 - 12:19 PM UTC
Hi there,
nice start , Stalker was a great game.....pls keep us updated i really would like to see this one finished....

Carry on...!

Ciao Alex
mohammedcohen
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United States
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Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012 - 12:43 PM UTC
Thanx for the link to Calvin Tan's site, Perspectives in Miniature...I hadn't known it existed and am grateful for the information!!!

CB in FL
lespauljames
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Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012 - 10:13 PM UTC
HUUUUGE stalkeR fan, my eyes aRe wide open foR this one!!
exer
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Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012 - 11:35 PM UTC
Interesting build Karl. Have you ever seen the Tarkovsky movie Stalker(Сталкер which predated Chernobyl by a few years but is really atmospheric in terms of the lighting and atmosphere he created.
Karl187
#284
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Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 03:12 AM UTC
Paul, Mario, Alessandro, Christopher, James, Pat- Thanks for all the support guys, its good to have you all along on this build. I too enjoyed the video games, and still do the odd time! And Pat, thanks for reminding me of that film- a friend of mine once mentioned it to me when the games first came out, I must try and get it on DVD.

So, some painting progress so far:


















The first thing you are probably going to wonder is why have I gone for such bright colors at this stage, especially after I said I wanted to impart the dark nature of the STALKER genre.

Well this is the thing about using a technique I call a 'color shift' which is, for you armor modellers out there, a kind of filter.

Hopefully these pictures will explan what I'm on about!

This picture shows a camouflage uniform- but it is quite light and needs to be darkened.



Here we see the effect of the color shift- it imparts a darker tone without losing the definition of the scheme or detracting from it- alongside darkening the tone it also suggests the uniform is not new but well used.



You can also use a color shift to not only change the tone of something but also to add shadows and age, dirt and wear and tear:





Hopefully those pictures will give you some understanding of the idea. The reason I've chosen such light colors for the STALKER figure is because I'm going to alter the tones, add aging and wear and tear using color shifts in multiple tones- basically we have to start at the top, the light color, and work our way down to a darker color.

I'll explain along the way how I go about this, obviously!

Thanks for reading and taking the time to check out this blog.

-KARL187-
endrju007
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Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 07:20 PM UTC
Neither the game nor the movie was first. Original idea of stalkers and "zona" comes from "Roadside Picnic" (Russian: Пикник на обочине) - novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (great book in my opinion). Whole story was created in 1971 and was basing on idea of alien landing sites filled with artifacts remaining there after these events. Stalkers were people wandering through the "zona" in search for these artifacts and selling them afterwards.

I'm looking forward to seeing whole project finished.
Karl187
#284
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Posted: Thursday, May 03, 2012 - 12:10 AM UTC
Andrzej- You jogged my memory a bit with that, I remember someone told me something about a book way back when the game was first released. It sounds interesting, I'll have to look into getting a copy of it.

Apologies for the lateness of my progress posts but I got bogged down in a couple of other projects currently on the bench!

In any case I have got all the base colors on now (Vallejo and Andrea acrylics). When doing figures I always like to get the base colors down on all areas before starting to do things like color shifting and shadows and highlights etc. It just means, for instance, I don't have to go back and forth between doing base colors on one area and highlights on another.









The color of the Lenin Statue is based roughly on the one outside Finland Station in St. Petersburg. Its a bit too glossy as it is but I'll be sorting that out later. The radiation sign is based on those seen in the Exclusion Zone and was scratchbuilt from plastic card and a brass tube. It will be weathered so my poor attempts to paint a decent radiation symbol will be somewhat camouflaged!!





The gun is a folding stock AKS-74U sporting a plastic magazine and wooden stock and grip. The wood grain and a darkening of the metal color will be undertaken later.

















The gas mask eye covers are not red on the real thing (for which I have no name but which was a Soviet Officers issue item) but they appear red-ish in the box art and I think it looks quite dark and sinister, so there they are.

Anyway, I'll be moving on with the work soon and I'll be posting updates as I go.

As always, thanks for reading and taking the time to check out the build/paint log.

-KARL187-





Karl187
#284
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Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 12:09 AM UTC
First off- my apologies for not getting this log updated sooner, I kind of got bogged down in several other projects and this got put on the side for a while.

Last time I updated I had just finished adding all the main colors. Now I was ready to move into color-shifting. For you armor modellers out there this is a little like a 'filter' using acrylics. The aim is to subtly, and over several very thin coats, alter the color and hue of an area- you don't want to change the color 100%. The aim is to add depth and achieve a richer patina. For this you can use several colors too, not just one.

Here's the tools I use for this:





You can use glaze medium for color shifting but I find a slow drying medium works better- the W&N brand here is quite good as it extends the drying time of acrylics to about half an hour (or longer depending on how much you use) and it also cuts down on the instances of water marks (areas where a different color of paint dries with an unsightly border), although water marks are not a particularly big worry at this stage and in this scale.



This is a Pentel Water Brush- really simple but very effective- just a brush with water in the body- unscrew it, fill it up with distilled water and it helps dilute the paint by keeping the brush moist- just squeeze it gently to introduce more water.



Lastly this is a wet palette- its also simple and I find it is very necessary when doing color shifts because it will keep a custom mix of paint workable for 2-3 days. Its basically a tray with a very absorbent sponge on which a special piece of paper is laid down- it helps keep acrylics workable for a few days so you don't end up with a nice custom mix drying and then desperately trying to mix it up again. It also helps to easily dilute paint to the consistency needed for color shifting.

Consistency is important- the mix for a color shift should be nice and thin and some slow drying medium should be mixed in. I don't work in ratios but if I had to put a number on it it would be about 80-90% water to 10% paint. The reason for this is the shift must be subtle and not overpower the base color totally. Hence, very thin coats are applied multiple times.

I usually experiment with different colors- I don't have a set color for any part of the figure- if I fancy trying a brown over a green I just do it and see how it looks- a single color-shift coat will not ruin the figure even if the color looks wrong- it is too weak to do that so you can be pretty experimental.

Here's how the figure looks after a good three sessions of color shifting:

















As you can see the overrall effect is not massively different, it is quite subtle- it basically adds a bit of interest to the base colors prior to starting highlights and shadowing.

I also worked on the base, not so much using color shifts as diluted washes using the water brush, although I did use color shifting on the statue of Lenin. The oil drum was rusted using AK Interactive chipping fluid.








I've since moved on to doing the first shadows and I'll get some shots of that up soon.

Thanks for taking the time to read the log.

-KARL187-
Karl187
#284
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Posted: Thursday, June 07, 2012 - 04:21 AM UTC
In my last post I talked about using a slow drying medium while doing color shifting. Now, moving on to the first application of shadows, I tend to use Vallejo Glaze Medium along with nicely thinned paint courtesy of the wet pallette. I tend to use a normal, thin round brush for this.

The first application of shadows, I find, is the trickiest. They can't be too obvious- they must being to subtly alter the areas of shadow- such as a crease- without darkening it too much too soon.

I usually mix the base color, lets say Dark Leather Brown in this case- the base color of the figure's jacket- and mix it with a small amount of German Camouflage Black Brown (or perhaps a dark grey- it depends on the base color and what sort of tint is needed) so that the tint is subtle. The mix on the wet pallette is then given a drop (literally) of glaze medium which I mix in and then apply to the relevant parts of the model- for the jacket this was all the folds, hem lines and creases etc.

Essentially the same applies for all the other colors- the base color is mixed with a darker color, such as a black-brown or dark earth or perhaps dark grey, and then applied with glaze medium.













Since I find this first stage tricky I tend to err on the side of caution- by this I mean that if I'm in doubt about the darkness of the tint I will not alter it from the base color too much- hence if it is wrong the change in color will not be dramatic and I can always repeat the step and make it darker.

I'll have the 2nd and 3rd stages of shadowing up soon.

Thanks for taking the time to read the log.

-KARL187-
Karl187
#284
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Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
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Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2012 - 04:30 AM UTC
Hi Guys!

My apologies for not updating this more often but, as I'm sure you all know, its sometimes easy to get sidetracked on other projects!

Anyway, I left this at the stage of applying the 2nd Shadows. Essentially this is just using more quantities of the dark colors already used in the 1st shadow stage. You could call it a 'mid shadow' I suppose. Whereas the 1st stage should be fairly subtle this 2nd stage should be more noticeable in terms of color.












Sometimes two shadow stages are really all that is necessary. You may even get away with one- I think it depends on the taste and preference of the individual modeller to some degree. Since I wanted to convey a gritty, dark scene I thought a 3rd shadow stage was necessary. I usually start adding black grey to the base colors to do this stage- or the very darkest color of the relevant base color. For some areas I ended up adding German Camo Black Brown mixed with Glaze Medium to the seams- like on the trousers- to emphasise them.

















The next stages are to add highlights in three stages to complement the shadows.

Thanks for taking the time to check out the thread.

-KARL187-