ISSUE NUMBER 4

HISTORICAL MINIATURES BY GEORGE GRASSE
HISTORICAL MINIATURES JOURNAL

MAY 2009

HISTORICAL MINIATURES JOURNAL ISSUE NUMBER 4

PUBLISHED BY GEORGE GRASSE

MODELING TIPS

 

MILITARY MINIATURES

Tip 15) 18th and 19th Century soldiers often wore black finished shoes.  As you know, these were not maintained on campaign.  To show wear on campaign, I paint the shoe a medium red-brown.  Then I use my pre-bottled semi-gloss black, thin it out half and half with distilled water, and paint it over the brown shoe.  When dry the shoe looks like worn through leather.  Experiment with different shades of brown as the base and a little dark brown in the semi-gloss black mix. to get different effects.

Tip 16) Painting hair is simple if you think in terms of "staining".  I first paint the hair a light color compatible with the finished hair I want.  For example, if I want finished medium brown hair, I will select a paint or pre-mix a paint that is lightened with off-white or beige-yellow.  When this is dry, I take the selected paint, maybe add a little darker color to it, cut it "half and half" with distilled water, and "wash" over the lighter color.  When dry, the darker shades have settled into the hair leaving the higher "ridges" lighter.  Sometimes, you make want to dry-brush the raised hair lines with the lighter color especially on areas exposed more directly to overhead light.

                                            

WORLD WAR I AVIATION MODELING IN 1:48 SCALE

Tip 17) Making decals is a daunting task if you have not done it before.  It can be quite intimidating and it does take practice.  Here are a few observations.  Usually, the national markings are OK as they come with the kit.  Often, however, when finishing an aircraft in other than the specific decals supplied by the kit requires either hand-painting the markings, purchasing a separate decal sheet, or making your own.  Micro-Mark has a decal section and you can purchase kits or sheets for laser or inkjet printers.  Sheets are either "clear" or "white".  Your printer cannot print the color white and that presents a small problem but you can print a light color, yellow for example, print the decal, apply it, then paint over it in white.  In sequence, the steps are 1) make the artwork on your computer to the correct scale which might take a few trial and error printings on plain paper to get the correct size; use different font sets to duplicate the numbers and letters you need; make a drawing of a symbol you need, scan it in, and touch it up; be sure to size it properly; 2) print the decal on the correct decal paper; set the paper top and side margins close to the edges so as not to waste decal paper; 3) cut the decal section from the sheet in a straight line so that the remaining unused portion can be properly lined up in your printer the next time you use it; 4) you will have to apply a fixative spray to inkjet-produced decals; Micro-Mark recommends Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating 1303A;  this has to be vigorously shaken for 2 minutes before use (absolutely necessary); I spray two modest coats with an hour between each to seal the inkjet material; if not sealed, they will run when soaked in water; 5) when decals are applied, always overspray with a moderate coat of you favorite polyurethane or equivalent; I use satin.  Here is a copy of the "artwork" on made on Microsoft's WORD:

Tip 18) If your are working with plastic, use liquid cement to reinstate a surface that has been lightly stained or scratched.  Just brush it over the surface in one coat.  Too many coats at once will soften the plastic and cause damage.

            

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