|Star Wars AT-ST work-in-progress: micro paint chipping|
My reasoning for the existence of micro paint chips is based on what an AT-ST would face when trudging through the Forest Moon of Endor. Its hull would be constantly buffeted by tree branches which would eventually result in micro paint chips. To recreate this effect, I used a combination of Vallejo Model Color German Camouflage Black Brown acrylic paint and a 3/0 Kolinsky Sable brush. In my experience, the latter is an indispensable component of this technique. This is because only a brush that can hold a good point will be able to paint realistic looking micro paint chips.
|An essential tool in the micro paint chipping process i.e. a Kolinsky Sable brush|
One should tread cautiously when attempting micro paint chipping on an operational vehicle, fictional or otherwise, so as to not overdo it. Location of the chips is also an important consideration. In the case of the AT-ST, chips were placed primarily on edges and on areas where rust stains were prominent. Another area where micro paint chips would exist is in between parts that rub against each other thus experiencing frictional force. That was the logic I used for micro paint chip placement.
|Micro paint chips on the most iconic and recognizable part of the AT-ST|
|Micro paint chips on the flat hull panels make for a more aesthetically realistic look|
|Weirdly enough, it was much easier to overdo the micro paint chipping on smaller parts|
|Back of the AT-ST received its fair share of micro paint chips to up the level of realism|
Weathering for the AT-ST, at least from the mid-section upwards, is essentially complete. The rest of the Imperial scout walker namely its legs will be weathered in the mostly same way as the hull, drive engine and gyro system. But in addition to that, the walker's footpads will also receive mud weathering to complement the panel lining, washes, oil filters and micro paint chips.
|Drive engine of the AT-ST completed with the addition of micro paint chips|
|Bottom view of the AT-ST's drive engine aka mid-section|
|Rear view of the AT-ST's drive engine aka mid-section|
Curved surfaces on the AT-ST namely the two round side panels on the upper hull and the gyro system received micro paint chips only on the outermost surface areas. This self-imposed condition is perhaps more relevant for the gyro system than the two round side panels as the latter is much flatter in shape. This exposes more of its surface area to stray branches in the Forest Moon of Endor.
|No edges on the gyro system but I figured there would still be micro paint chips on the outermost areas|
Whereas micro paint chipping was kept minimal throughout the AT-ST, this restriction was eased somewhat for the hatch and the rim/hatch ring surrounding it. I theorized that an Imperial scout walker operating in a forest environment would constantly have its hatch open and closed thus causing paint to chip. Let me explain. Visibility through the small command viewports would be relatively poor in a thick forest environment. Moreover as far as I know there are no exterior cameras feeding visuals into the cockpit. Both factors combined would mean the AT-ST commander would've to repeatedly open the hatch and peek over the rim/hatch ring in order to gain better visibility.
|On the top section, paint chips were most prominent on the edges of the hatch ...|
|... as well as around the rim/hatch ring due to frictional forces caused by frequent opening and closing|
|On the bottom section of the AT-ST's upper hull, micro paint chipping was confined to sharp edges only|
By the next post, the upper half of the AT-ST (right up to its mid-section) should already be fully assembled. For that to happen I also plan to finish assembling and painting the scout walker's weapons. Once that's done I'll put up the photos and a more recognizable AT-ST will start to take shape. No more boring work-in-progress bit part photos of separate pieces! Anyway, the week is just beginning so hang in there as the weekend is only three days away. Cheers!