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Painting: Painting with Oils
Discuss Oil painting techniques.
Tarleton bust group build: Step 2 - Assembly
mongo_mel
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: June 04, 2002
KitMaker: 1,580 posts
Historicus Forma: 1,170 posts
Posted: Saturday, October 21, 2006 - 08:42 AM UTC
COLONEL BANESTRE TARLETON
HISTORICUS FORMA
STEP-BY-STEP GROUP BUILD
HOSTED BY CRAIG WHITAKER
STEP 2: ASSEMBLY


I. Clean up

This step is pretty straight forward. The kit comes with the usual casting plugs found on resin parts.




If you havenít done a bust, large scale figure or resin aftermarket set before they may be a bit bigger than youíre used to seeing. For me, the easiest way to clean them up is with my Dremel tool with a sanding drum. Knowing the hazards of resin dust, I grind the bulk of the plugs off over top of the business end of my shop vac. This sucks down a good 95% of the dust which helps reduce the dust on my workbench as well as in my lungs.

Of special note is the plug on the bottom of the body. Itís almost impossible for me to grind and sand this area perfectly flat. So what I do is grind the entire surface to within about a 1/16 of an inch of the outer edge of the piece, making sure that the entire area is ground below the surface of the outer edge. This makes sanding the bottom surface smooth and flush a lot easier for me. Then I use 2 part epoxy putty to fill in the ground out area and carefully smooth it out. Something that makes this step easier is to use hand crŤme instead of water to work the surface of the putty. It doesnít dissolve the putty like water tends to do. Weíll be using this trick again in a little bit.

Next look for any flaws or pin holes in the casting. 2 part epoxy putty works great for fixing these. Sometimes, if the pin hole is to small to take the putty, Iíll either try super glue gap filling gel or Iíll enlarge the pin hole a little so the putty can get inside.


II. Assembly

I like to pin the bigger joints of my figures with hollow brass tubing. It takes the pressure off of the material that I use to join them. Hereís how I go about doing this:


The base, body and pedestal

For this figure, the resin pedestal will hide the hole in the base.
I drilled a hole in the center of the wood base just a little bit over size for the ľ inch diameter brass tubing. Using my drill press, I drilled the hole completely thru the base. Thatís because I also use a hole in the bottom of the base to mount my figures for travel (more about that later). Youíll only need a hole about 5/8 of an inch deep.

Next, I drilled a hole straight thru the pedestal. Youíll want to use a drill press for this if you can. Otherwise, just drill it slowly and carefully and in small stages. Start with a drill bit no more than maybe 1/16 of an inch in diameter. Start from the small end of the pedestal and see how close to the center of the big end you can hit. Correct your drill angle if needed with the next size drill bit. Your ultimate goal here is to get a hole just the tiniest bit bigger than the brass tubing.

The next step is to drill or grind an oversized hole in the bottom of the body. Youíll want this maybe 1/8 of an inch bigger than the tubing but definitely not bigger than the top of the pedestal!

Locate the hole in the middle of the bottom surface of the body.
The oversized hole minimizes the need to get it perfectly located.



Once you have these steps completed and test fitted to your satisfaction, itís time to join the pieces. Youíre only going to join the body and pedestal together now.

Using quick setting 2 part epoxy, bond the tubing into the pedestal. Leave about Ĺ of an inch of tubing sticking above and below the pedestal.
After this has set up, use 2 part epoxy putty to fill the big hole in the bottom of the body about three quarters full (if the hole doesnít go all the way thru the piece). Wrap a snake of putty around the tubing at the top of the pedestal.





Insert the tubing in the pedestal into the hole in the body and squeeze them together. If a little bit of putty squeezes out at the joint, just clean it off before it sets up. Move the pedestal around until it looks like itís proper centered on the body. When you get it looking right, put it on top of the base and let it set up.
Do not attach the body to the base at this stage!




The body and head

For the head, drill a hole in the bottom of the next just the tiniest bit bigger
than the 1/8 inch diameter brass tubing.

Next, drill or grind a hole in the neck area of the body. Be sure to leave a rim for the head to sit on when itís placed on the body. This hole can be about Ĺ of an inch deep but it can also go thru until it meets the hole in the bottom without any problem.



Insert the 1/8 inch diameter tubing into the bottom of the head. Place the head on to the body. You will probably need to bend the tubing to allow the it to clear the wall of the hole and let the head sit properly.

This is where having the big top hole meet the big bottom hole works to your advantage. You can leave the tubing longer to make it easier to hold on to later for painting.

When you get everything adjusted for a good fit, super glue the tubing into the head only.

Do not attach the head to the body at this stage!


The head, helmet and plume

When you test fit the helmet to the head, youíll see that there are gaps between the two pieces.





Apply a snake of 2 part epoxy putty around the edge of the head and another ball in the center. Push the helmet into place on top of the head. This should cause the snake of putty to squeeze out around the outer edge. Youíll notice that I didnít put any putty at the front of the head. This was because I thought it would be too difficult to get under the brim of the helmet you clean up. I did end up going back and adding some putty here to fill a very tiny gap in this area.







Using your favorite appropriate tool (No. 11 X-acto knife for me), scrape away the excess putty. Then using a hand crŤme, smooth out the joint between the pieces. The hand crŤme works great for this step. I used to use water but it would tend to dissolve the putty and leave little putty balls that needed to be cleaned up.

I use my fingers and an old paint brush to smooth out
the putty. Add a little putty as needed to help fill in the gap if youíve taken too much off.





Using your favorite appropriate tool (No. 11 X-acto knife for me), scrape away the excess putty. Then using a hand crŤme, smooth out the joint between the pieces. The hand crŤme works great for this step. I used to use water but it would tend to dissolve the putty and leave little putty balls that needed to be cleaned up.

I use my fingers and an old paint brush to smooth out the putty. Add a little putty as needed to help fill in the gap if youíve taken too much off.

When I test fitted the plume to the side of the helmet, mine didnít seem to sit quite correctly. So using my Dremel tool wit a very small diameter grinding ball, I did some very minor modifications to them for a better fit.





I very slowly ground away at the inside of the separate plume. Ito be sure
that I didnít grind through this piece, I also did some grinding to the plume on top of the helmet. I just kept grinding small amounts away and test fitting it often until I was satisfied with the fit. As you can tell from the photographs, I did this before I attached the helmet to the head. For this, itís not really important which one you do first.

After you get the fit corrected, do not attach the plume to the helmet.
Weíre going to leave this until we get both pieces painted.


III. Priming undercoating

When painting resin figures using oil paints, a good primer coat is extremely important. Without it, the oil paints will just tend to slide around on top of the bare resin. Really difficult to paint like this.

For this piece I chose to use Alclad grey lacquer primer, applied with my airbrush. I really like this stuff. It dries with a good toothy surface and is tough as nails. I only wish it came in white. Grey primer tends to dull down the colors. But for this subject thatís not a problem. When I want a white undercoating, I use a good lacquer based automotive primer in a spray can.
To hold the pieces while priming, I mount the head in an old pin vise. For the body, I use a clamp that I love. Itís designed to use pins to hold irregular shapes and comes with a wood broomstick type handle. I skip the pins and drilled a 1/8 inch diameter where the two halves come together. Than I open it, put the brass tubing I between the halves and tighten it down. The two ďhalfĒ holes grab the brass tubing and hold it very rigidly. I also made my own base out of a piece of wood with a bolt sticking up that fits into the tapped hole in the clamp.



I actually have 5 of these clamps of varying quality. The 2 cheaper quality ones I use to hold pieces while spray painting because I really donít care it they get overspray on them. The 3 good quality one I use to hold the pieces while hand painting them. Youíll be seeing them in action in future installments.

After the primer has thoroughly dried, I undercoated the face with Liquitex Deep Portrait Pink acrylic paint applied with my airbrush. Donít worry if you get any overspray on the helmet. Weíll be painting that with Mars Black and that covers anything with no problem. If you donít have an airbrush, you can apply this by hand. I just like the results from the airbrush better.





Aside from the face and any other visible flesh I usually donít undercoat anything with acrylic paint. The most usual exceptions are reds and blues. The reds Iíll undercoat with any good red acrylic paint using my airbrush. Blues I may undercoat the same way or if I want it to look especially dark, Iíll undercoat with Mars Black oil paint.


IV. Conclusion
Well thatís about it for how I go about getting my busts ready to paint.
mongo_mel
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: June 04, 2002
KitMaker: 1,580 posts
Historicus Forma: 1,170 posts
Posted: Saturday, October 21, 2006 - 08:51 AM UTC
Hi guys,
Please use this link to post your comments, questions and pictures for this thread.
Thanks,
Craig