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Stag 3D Printed Model Painting

Painting the Stag model

In yesterday's post we prepped the 3d printed stag model and painted with a primer, the fun stuff started - it's time to paint it up!

Art Director and Matte Painter Stephen Robinson has a background painting models and had a collection of paints at home ready for just this task. These consisted of Revell Acrylics for plastic models, used as a base, Artist’s Acrylics to build up the colour, and Alkyd Oil paints for detailing. Alkyd Flow Medium was added to the oils for doing thin glazing layers.

Stephen: I took the model and cleaned it using normal household detergent (washing up liquid) and a soft brush. I then started to lay down a primer on it using Humbrol Matte White acrylic paints. Some of the original material had not been totally cleaned off it, and the primer exposed these areas as the paint scraped off easily there, taking the original material with it. So we cleaned off the first coat of primer before it had completely set in order to remove this excess material. To avoid this in future, we would probably carefully run over the model with a fibre brush on a dremel which would hopefully remove all of the material without the need to spend too long cleaning. In a way, the fact the primer came off so easily in these areas, helped us know that we had to clean the model that bit better.

There were two coats of Humbrol Matte White which had been thinned with water (so as to avoid losing detail), which were applied before painting. These could also be applied using an airbrush.

Stephen cleaning and priming

The primed model, ready to paint

In order to paint it, Stephen first laid down a red brown mix of Revell acrylic as seen here, using a hog haired brush. The mix had to be thinned slightly with water so none of the detail would be lost. This flat base was achieved in two coats. Then the colour was built up in thin coats of artists acrylic using sable brushes. The result at this stage was a flat looking model with the correct colour pattern based on several reference photos.

To enhance the detail of the hair, thin glazes of oil mixed with alkyd flow medium were carefully scrubbed into the model and then rubbed off the surface using a dry brush. The colour mix for the glazing was a darker version of the base colour layer. Alkyd is great for this because it stays wet long enough so you can spend as much time as you need to get good results, yet it will be dry if left overnight. Acrylic dries too quickly for this kind of glazing, and straight oil paint takes days to dry.

This was allowed to dry, then final tweaks were made: some dry brushing over the glazed hair to enhance the highlights of some hairs, and some more saturated reds added in places. The alkyd ended up looking too glossy so a matte varnish was applied overall, with some gloss varnish added to the eyes.

Stephen painting the first base colour of the stag, using google image search for reference

At this stage, the model looked like the following:

Once this was done, it was time to start on the base. Stephen very kindly sacrificed up one of his old brushes for the long grass at the base, cutting off the bristles with a stanley knife and gluing them in place. The moss and lower grass was done using flocking. Landscaping flock popular with model rail/military hobbyists is available in a huge range of colours and types. Fibres and bristle for grasses and foam for leaves, weeds etc.

Stephen: To glue down the grass flock, I mixed some white PVA glue with some raw umber paint and some wall-filler plaster powder to keep it matt. The technique is to paint the mix onto the base and working quickly before it dries, sprinkle various tones of flock around. Then blow the flock fibres around from different directions so it stands up.

And here we have the finished painted model, complete with grass detail.

Hope you like it, we had a blast making it!

Got any questions for us? Leave them in the comments below!

Anahita Tabarsi

Anahita is Brown Bag Films' Marketing Director, Digital & Social and drinks more than five coffees a day...

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