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Thursday, August 24, 2023

Star Schlock Space Cadet

I really did my level best to thin the white paint that makes up most of this space cadet's uniform, but it still looks lumpy in extreme closeup. Ay, me! 

Still, I got ambitious and decided to dry painting in eyes, eyebrows, lips, and a shoulder patch. I used my tiniest brush, barely any paint, and my telescopic lenses for the attempt. My hands shook a little, even stabilized, so it took several attempts to get the result you see here, which I characterize as "not bad for Earl." 

1 comment:

Jeff Shyluk said...

Someday, I'll just have to watch you as you paint. Or you can video it. What I see is that your paint is drying too quickly. Maybe your brush is too small. Maybe you aren't loading it enough. Maybe your strokes are going the wrong way, or you are brushing the paint on rather than stroking. Could be your brushes are worn.

Are you drawing paint straight from the pot? You need to use a palette (a buck at a dollar store) and keep the pots sealed closed as much as possible. You might also benefit from mixing in a drop or two of acrylic medium. That makes the paint dry slower, but the coats go on more smoothly. Since drying might be an issue, a matte medium might help. I like the medium from Golden (GAC), but use whatever the manufacturer recommends.

It's super-difficult with the tiny models to troubleshoot, but I suspect that the limited surface area is inhibiting brush movement. I encourage you to maybe buy a larger model and paint that. I used to have any number of fighter planes where the cockpit turned white because I got glue on the clear plastic, poor pilot. Then when you figure out the larger model scale back down.

White is the worst pigment there is, followed by red and green and blue in that order. Classical white paint had large amounts of lead, cadmium, and arsenic in it. Touching it with your skin would kill you, slowly and painfully, but at least it applied smoothly. Take away the poison, and contemporary white tends to be chalky and clumpy, ugh. Thin coats, tens or dozens of them.

That figure has a terrific Colonel Wilma Deering look to her, the first season from the TV show and not the second season where she's a space waitress. The detail application looks like you really put strong effort into it, and her face and costume flourishes look really accurate. Probably you could try sanding down the white parts with 600 or more grit sandpaper and that would smooth your model a bit.

Compare this figure to the things you were doing a year ago, and you can see that you've come a long way. You're close to levelling up again, and I understand how frustrating that can feel. It just takes time, patience, and repetition, and then I know you will make it to the next level of ability.