Thursday, 8 September 2016

Painting Hera's A-wing

Hera's A-wing is possibly one of the strangest ships I have painted so far. It features too many colours and they really don't mesh naturally with each other.

In order to achieve a good looking model, you generally choose one or two main colours that compliment and/or contrast each other, with a smattering of other colours to support the model.

Hera's A-wing on the other hand just don't give a flying fudge about this. It feature a grand total of three to five main colours, depending how you count. No matter the actual number, it would normally be considered too much and yet somehow it works.

I started with my usual layer of grey primer followed by a base coat using a 1:1 mix VGC Earth and VGC Cold Grey. The base coat should probably have been brighter but due to the other colours, making it brighter would have risked making them too similar to each other.

While painting the other main colours I discovered that I had missed a crucial bit of detail. The Rebels version of the A-wing differ in several small ways compared to the movie version and I had already fixed most of those details. However, perhaps the most prominent one, the tail fins, I had forgotten about. No matter, it was an conversion, though I most certainly should have fixed it before painting.

With the tail fins sorted I could finish the main colours. I went with VGC Scar Red for the tail end, a 1:2:3 mix of Cold Grey, VGC Khaki and VMC Brown Violet for the engines and guns, a 1:1 mix of VGC Sombre Grey and Cold Grey for the blue/grey areas and finally, the grey primer for the white markings.

In preparation for the shading stage I airbrushed the ship with a few layers of gloss varnish. Due to the small and often shallow details on the A-wing, I wasn't sure if an oil wash was the best option but I went ahead with it anyway.

Of course, during the clean up phase my concern proved correct. This meant that I had to go back and manually paint AP Dark Tone ink into most of the crevices and all panel lines again. Still, the small amount of remaining oil wash did prove its worth as it gave the ship an overall slightly dirty appearance.

Lots of highlighting on this one so I have broken it down in parts below.

Main fuselage
  1. 1:1:1:1 mix of Earth, Khaki, Cold Grey and VGC Stonewall Grey
  2. 1:1 mix of Khaki and Stonewall Grey
  3. 1:1:1 mix of Khaki, Stonewall Grey and AP Matt White
 Grey parts 
  1. 1:1:1 mix of Sombre Grey, Cold Grey and Stonewall Grey
  2. 1:1:3 mix using the previous set of colours
  3. 1:4 mix of Sombre Grey and Stonewall Grey
Guns and engines
  1. 1:3:3 mix of Cold Grey, Khaki and Brown Violet
  2. 1:6:3 mix using the previous set of colours
  3. Pure Khaki
Tail fins
  1. 1:1 mix of Scar Red and VGC Bloody Red
  2. Pure Bloody Red
White marks
  1. Heavily diluted Matt White
  2. Less diluted Matt White
  3. Almost undiluted Matt White

The cockpit canopy was painted with a 1:1 mix of AP Matt Black and VMC Reflective Green. I then painted lots of thin glazes using pure Reflective Green to build up the green tint. To finish the windows, I added small amounts of white to the green colour and carefully added small reflections to the windows.

The engine glow was painted using a 1:1 mix of Matt White and VGC Plague Brown. To be perfectly honest I wasn't quite satisfied with this so before I finished the model I went back and added some VGC Hot Orange glazes to the edges of the glow. While barely visible it improved the glow immensely, however this was done well after the above picture was taken so I can't show it here.

Finally I could add some weathering to the model. However, the source model doesn't feature a lot of dirt and certainly no damage so I had to be careful not to overdo it. In the end, all I added was a few streaks of dirt using diluted Strong Tone ink that I had mixed with some black dry pigments.

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