Saturday, 26 November 2016

Suicide Squad Katana [WIP - Weathered, Rusted Sign] aka 70 mm Nocturna Models Soum, 13 Moons

One thing in my painting bucket list had always gnawed at my creative subconscious like a dog with a bone, refusing to let go. That bone, figuratively speaking, is to paint a realistic weathered and rusted effect on metal. While I have occasionally attempted to do some weathering (mainly rust, grime and verdigris using Citadel acrylic and technical paints) on my miniature projects - the results haven't been convincing enough. It has been said that doing something over and over again expecting a different result is the very definition of insanity. So for this latest attempt I opted for a different path.

Nocturna Models Soum 13 Moons, base items (upper section of signage)
Nocturna Models Soum 13 Moons, base items (lower section of signage)

As far as I know, there are two main ways to weather a miniature. One involves physically chipping paints and/or applying pigments on acrylic paints while the other relies on just paints and washes to achieve the same effect. I went for the latter using only Vallejo paints/washes. What made this a path less travelled for me was the paradigm shift it invoked in me. Previously when using Citadel acrylic and technical paints/washes, I was too preoccupied with the special effects the paints/washes could achieve thus distracting me from truly seeing the colours involved in a weathered, rusty look.    

Nocturna Models Soum 13 Moons signage, rusted and weathered side

This is not to say you cannot achieve good weathering effects with Citadel paints/washes. Far from it. It's more to do with the mental approach one takes to the weathering task at hand. Here, I took the time to study the hues present in greenish rusted metal pieces. The end result is an amalgamation of hues found in both reference photos - from the lightest rust stains (on the cafe signage) to the deepest black brown rust (on the corrugated metal) and everything in between (on the metal letter).

Reference photo of a rusted green sign - cafe signage
Photo of a rusted turquoise sign - metal letter/alphabet propped up by a corrugated metal wall

Because this side of the sign has raised surfaces which resemble two eyebrows, two eyes and a mouth, I tried to apply the rust, stains and streaks to create the illusion of depth such as that you would see on an actual human face. This include, among others:
(a) chipped paint effect on the top to resemble hair;
(b) chipped paint effect along the centre circle to resemble the bridge of a nose;
(c) rust stains/streaks on the median area of the circle to resemble highlights of the upper cheek;
(d) chipped paint effect on the raised areas to make the eyebrows, eyes and mouth more prominent;
(e) absence of any rust stains/streaks at the bottom to create a pseudo-chin; and
(f) chipped paint along the 5 and 7 o'clock parts of the circle to resembled shadowed area of cheeks.

Soum 13 Moons signage, angled slightly to its left
Soum 13 Moons signage, angled slightly to its right

Below is a scale comparison of the Nocturna Models Soum 13 Moons signage against a standard paperclip and a five sen coin (Malaysian denomination). As you can see, the signage is rather small.

Soum 13 Moons signage as compared to a standard paperclip and a five sen coin

At the end of it all, I'm pretty happy with the weathering job I did on this signage. That being said, I will probably look at it again after a long period of time and go what the hell was I thinking. But that's a problem for another day as I bask in my infrequent successes in this hobby. Bask, bask. bask. Ok, that's over and done with. Now onwards to Soum/Katana's wooden stool and stone floor base.


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