|Work-in-progress of atelier iT HQ12-02 Race Queen: Pastel shadows applied to spaces between the fingers|
Now you might be wondering why don't I just airbrush the shadow colors or paint them by hand on the spaces between the fingers. Well, the spaces are too small for accurate airbrushing while applying lacquer paints by hand brush generally isn't a good idea if you're want smooth transitions. Caught between using acrylics and pastels as an alternative, I decided to give the latter a go and learn a new technique in the process. So first and foremost on the comeback agenda was to find out which of the Tamiya Weathering Master flesh hues most closely resembled the airbrushed skin tone shadows.
|Tamiya Weathering Master's peach hue was the closest match to the skin tone shadows airbrushed on the leg|
Roughly eyeballing the colors (see above), I found Tamiya's peach to most closely resemble the existing shadow colors that had been airbrushed onto the leg. In keeping with my cautious nature, I decided to test out this assumption first. To do this, I painted up some spoons with Gaia Color flesh mid-tones and highlights (see below). These served as the base for the weathering pastels to adhere to. The point of this little exercise was to see how the pastels would fare as the sole shadow color, when compared to a section of the figurine airbrushed with shadows, mid-tones and highlights.
|For the test, first a mix of mid-tones and highlight skin tones were airbrushed on a spoon|
|Then, the peach pastel was applied to the spoon using an eyeshadow applicator, thin cotton bud and brush|
|Spoon with mid-tone/highlight skin tone before weathering pastels (left) and after (right)|
|Comparison between the shadows using pastels (on spoon) and using airbrush of lacquer paint (on leg)|
Results (see above) show there is sufficient likeness between the shadow colors created by airbrush (leg) and by pastel (spoon) to warrant its use for shadow areas in this figurine that cannot be reached by the former. I believe this technique would be effective only at larger sizes of 1/12 scale and above e.g. 1/6 scale. More so when one is painting figurines when shadowed areas can be small.
|Before weathering pastels: Note the spaces between fingers which lack depth as airbrush can't reach the crevices|
|After weathering pastels: Spaces between fingers now have shadow hues (courtesy of the peach pastel)|
|A final matte clear coat varnish was applied to the hands to seal in the pastels|
In the final step, I sprayed on a matte clear coat in order to seal in the pastel application. You could also use a semi-gloss clear coating on the flesh areas depending on the look you want the figurine to have. Much more work remains to be done on the Race Queen's body and skin tone such as her facial features, fingernails, hair, etc. That's what I'll likely concentrate on before moving on to her clothes. It's good to be back though I foresee intermittent delays to any progress I may make hobby-wise seeing that it's the year-end holidays and I've only just got back into the groove. But I'm back.