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Sensei Swag
September 3, 2015, 2:49 PM
Pictures aren't working, but they are here:
http://www.senseiswag.com/blog/2015/9/8/how-to-color-modulation-gundam-zaku-ii-mega-scale

Hi everyone,

First post here. Recently I heard of a Gunpla competition in my local area (coming up this weekend in fact) so I wanted to see what I could come up with to bring to the show. I haven't built very many models before, I think this is my third one. I got my first Gundam kit in January and only repainted the base color and did the panel line. I also painted a Beargguy for my girlfriend which was just preshading and a basecolor and was finished in an evening. I also painted of the 1/144 (most common Gundam, I forget the name - it's red, white, blue, and yellow xD) scale models in the same fashion. For this contest thought, I really wanted to push the envelope and see where I could take the model.

I opted for a Mega Scale Zaku II model which I ordered online. Two weeks out to the contest and it still had not arrived. Luckily I found one at a local store after work on Friday so I bought it to work over the weekend. I did realize that it was a little bit different than the one I ordered originally. The one I bought was a red and belonged to some character (forgive me, I have never watched the anime) but in the end it worked out in my favor since it had more decal markings (even if it doesn't completely match the Anime pilot's red walker). I locked myself in for the weekend and here is what I eventually came up with.

http://i1150.photobucket.com/albums/o612/s0rice/DSC02478_zps70zviwzt.jpg (http://s1150.photobucket.com/user/s0rice/media/DSC02478_zps70zviwzt.jpg.html)

The idea of the model was to use non-traditional Gunpla techniques (borrowed from military modelling and miniature figurine painting) while still maintaining an anime-esque feel. I wanted some weathering and battle damage, but didn't want to go overboard and make the mech look like it hadn't been repaired ever. In the end I opted for just light paint scratches (maybe from bursting fragmentation weapons) and rain streaks. I painted the model in parts - starting from the head going down and ending with the arms.

I guess I should explain a little bit about the theory of the technique. I'm going to be using a modulation effect on the armor. The theory behind the modulation effect is that sunlight will hit the figure and create shadows, bright spots etc. Of course to fade according to panel lines instead of having a zenithal highlight (top down) is unrealistic but no doubt the effect is very cool. Painting is not always supposed to be about realism, more importantly the final work needs to draw the eye of the viewer. Some painters argue that even panel lining is unrealistic because the human eye cannot even see that much detail at the distance and scale of a model. Taking this into account, we want to build contrast and create areas of interest. Just compare a photograph of a war to a beautiful oil painting in a museum. You will notice that although very intricate, the oil painting does not resemble a photograph but people will still say it's "realistic." Finally Gundam are not static models so creating a realistic shadow would mean that if it was reposed or even viewed at the wrong angle, it would instantly lose all of its realism. So modulation bends reality to and takes contrast to make the model look cool.

Modulation is all the rage with military models currently (yes, even plastic model painting follows fads!) and maybe it is not your style, but I like the effect very much and it's my model and I am going to paint it how I want to.

http://i1150.photobucket.com/albums/o612/s0rice/DSC02479_zpsth0qsscl.jpg

Head internals. Optic painted with Tamiya Clear Red to get rid of the plastic look. Vent is highlighted with gradients (about 4 shades of Black to Medium Grey).

http://i1150.photobucket.com/albums/o612/s0rice/DSC02479_zpsth0qsscl.jpg

Olive Drab Modulation on helmet. Light box makes it hard to see the effect.

Overall Filter to Olive Drab to tint the Olive Drab to a more Green shade. Applied in a vertical direction to give the effect of rain streaks. Each panel is shaded separately to ensure that the streak patterns do not cross.[/img]
Overall Filter to Olive Drab to tint the Olive Drab to a more Green shade. Applied in a vertical direction to give the effect of rain streaks. Each panel is shaded separately to ensure that the streak patterns do not cross. The tint is made by mixing a wash with airbrush thinner, Lahmain Medium from Citadel, and water. There is no exact ratio, I just gauge as I go.

http://i1150.photobucket.com/albums/o612/s0rice/DSC02481_zpss3zosatz.jpg

Helmet Weathering with brown chipping color and extreme highlight color (used for the Olive Drab) to make the 3-D effect.

http://i1150.photobucket.com/albums/o612/s0rice/DSC02484_zpsdrj7thop.jpg


Olive Drab primer and Preshade with Woodland Scenics Black.
http://i1150.photobucket.com/albums/o612/s0rice/DSC02485_zpswlriiuvo.jpg

First shadow color to blend the Pre-shade to the colors to come.

http://i1150.photobucket.com/albums/o612/s0rice/DSC02486_zpsficdjnku.jpg

Second Shadow plus Main Color.

http://i1150.photobucket.com/albums/o612/s0rice/DSC02487_zpsz3vu0aqf.jpg

First Highlight.

http://i1150.photobucket.com/albums/o612/s0rice/DSC02488_zpskvuf4t8j.jpg

Extreme Highlight on only the top panel edges. Masking tape is used in between panels to give a harsh contrast.

http://i1150.photobucket.com/albums/o612/s0rice/DSC02489_zpsowtw3wak.jpg

Final effect outside of the Lightbox to help show the gradients a little bit better.

http://i1150.photobucket.com/albums/o612/s0rice/DSC02490_zps9bcevnij.jpg

Because the Olive Drab at the step before is a little bit too grey and saturation from adding buff color to the highlight, again a Green tint is used to bring back the Olive Drab.

Weathering base applied with a sponge and small brush.

http://i1150.photobucket.com/albums/o612/s0rice/DSC02491_zpsbgpbduhv.jpg

Another view.

http://i1150.photobucket.com/albums/o612/s0rice/DSC02493_zpscjbn7stm.jpg

Khaki done on the chest plate and decals added. Same manner as the Olive Green except with Browns and Beiges and a Sephia tint.

http://i1150.photobucket.com/albums/o612/s0rice/DSC02495_zpsie3pl2hg.jpg

Backpack and back view. Brass thrusters done with alcohol paint and black soot applied with airbrush.

https://photos-3.dropbox.com/t/2/AABfr2rL8ZtkVsyTfQijMLg87rxi4Yvetfmbb2rufugTDw/12/463771155/jpeg/32x32/1/_/1/2/DSC02496.JPG/EIfXmuADGC4gBygH/iq7vfsUD1oSX5e5P_J8LQSAlbc3_EL8b6MBUW0FuJn0%2CUqRc FOKuYwodANPtQk0hopf4PDD-mIJZVPScncOYTUk?size=1280x960&size_mode=2

Test fitted on the "dress."

https://photos-4.dropbox.com/t/2/AAB71g29oNBjiSx8rrpdVJRcjkZVw6KfKmI0lK_D9PsXlw/12/463771155/jpeg/32x32/1/_/1/2/DSC02497.JPG/EIfXmuADGC4gBygH/fZPeHHn-ktzZjWjFi0SVpUJDsdFB8v-9xFoIyW1iOEw?size=1280x960&size_mode=2





Primer mishap! Carefully sanded away primer with fine sandpaper and reprime.

https://photos-4.dropbox.com/t/2/AAAxS9WEzeEKMM9n2f4eBRh6R4QrTy0onRkjJ0UfJhIJ_A/12/463771155/jpeg/32x32/1/_/1/2/DSC02498.JPG/EIfXmuADGC4gBygH/6DkSWjxK-8Sxv6zO4ihDK5-yeghq-SijComlyuQx9F4?size=1280x960&size_mode=2

Khaki modulation on waist area. Panels are separately highlighted to bring attention to them. This is achieved by masking them off.

https://photos-3.dropbox.com/t/2/AAC8IZXO9Tx5hO5p9pPT2iKhY1h4Cgo9cIQo0Rwcp7YF-w/12/463771155/jpeg/32x32/1/_/1/2/DSC02499.JPG/EIfXmuADGC4gBygH/R-4cCGS-ehouug4OOa7xxxg78VHY-ZEHHPM5vTM_vRM?size=1280x960&size_mode=2

Airbrush work done.

https://photos-3.dropbox.com/t/2/AADjE1dkFHqqOSK9_F20XA5D_Z-IX9Z0pNgJtTlFXtUx9g/12/463771155/jpeg/32x32/1/_/1/2/DSC02500.JPG/EIfXmuADGC4gBygH/CsXlY4aNlqj2JC0xYY669PQLr8SyvHOYBl1DWObKae0%2CrBbu MiovwYPB4xhdtAZN_SnakWODVuf1aRxRGJtEyJY?size=1280x 960&size_mode=2

Before the tint is applied, all the panels are pin-washed. Brown for the Khaki and Black for the Olive Green.

https://photos-1.dropbox.com/t/2/AAAhWj2zfX0t25Nh_rvh6AqkyLPXrCwzn73V3T1KwGrS9w/12/463771155/jpeg/32x32/1/_/1/2/DSC02501.JPG/EIfXmuADGC4gBygH/MFtH-R9u0CnYFPgW2-_JinyHiYRTudZqNklW7N30d18?size=1280x960&size_mode=2

Pin wash one all the Khaki.

https://photos-1.dropbox.com/t/2/AADWMlLano3ghY6UG79aqvpt5udRTwKbPzUpDnK9fhxXnQ/12/463771155/jpeg/32x32/1/_/1/2/DSC02502.JPG/EIfXmuADGC4gBygH/W_DnkAqsQJBwAOH9qMTGPfF8SGjCvtebhwiTffDqn3A%2Cz-nBhq977ppuk_Pej5yVdz5nPni3JlUVG63Io3jBW6M?size=128 0x960&size_mode=2


And tint applied. Now the effect is much more convincing and as the colors blend together and the streaks give a convincing effect.

https://photos-4.dropbox.com/t/2/AACI9hUF8c8WOeruSvG0E4m9v_-OPkQMghD84wZ5aKSvSA/12/463771155/jpeg/32x32/1/_/1/2/DSC02503.JPG/EIfXmuADGC4gBygH/MmrJN0UoLOkuCuN20k5qWKgQb6mNwEGqeYosTetlp7k?size=1 280x960&size_mode=2

Getting closer... I think this is sometime around Saturday noon.

https://photos-6.dropbox.com/t/2/AABI3bH9Ml376i493ZNYCx-E3MVKAkK_AADUgRUolJoX1w/12/463771155/jpeg/32x32/1/_/1/2/DSC02504.JPG/EIfXmuADGC4gBygH/tUhDtp1AY22Gnu8EpXQPG6QcGtTp_hClcdUiaCh-BJw%2CEzdbyU0Q6lGaF4IRFDLnraU9Y5UWUPmR-PCzXcJiOKU?size=1280x960&size_mode=2

Chipping color applied. Again I used a sponge and a brush. You might notice I did another modulation effect on the black. Afterwards I repainted all the inner frame parts in a dark Gunmetal color.

https://photos-3.dropbox.com/t/2/AAAME2EK3f8ISlbk8ehT8XzJcOoBDWr_gDY9kLSRJemKSg/12/463771155/jpeg/32x32/1/_/1/2/DSC02505.JPG/EIfXmuADGC4gBygH/1DeBK2iUdXC0spOy6r7ZB0yxxc9TT4rInOsSwaGgRSA%2CjyUK oqx8rksTr_Oxi5M9xxSflKqb2nAVw1xsXS9oles?size=1280x 960&size_mode=2

And highlighted, again with extreme highlight color...

https://photos-2.dropbox.com/t/2/AABfO2EFDrHpP82jUi_VoNJYfIZP5MsM_3Il5LHbTdST4A/12/463771155/jpeg/32x32/1/_/1/2/DSC02506.JPG/EIfXmuADGC4gBygH/zHtfo_DHRaS6YKZrMIXvODUByxfPuDuKO-Pl-a1HY3Q%2CNsyAN3IYaT-FgciaeY_WL7xana3gZB-gS3s7-QzOcoM?size=1280x960&size_mode=2

I hate assembly so these snap fit inner frame parts were my favorite!

https://photos-6.dropbox.com/t/2/AABUVj3NzmR-UmuEehxS0rnUwJjk1bDXRdxRlvMD3fuACQ/12/463771155/jpeg/32x32/1/_/1/2/DSC02507.JPG/EIfXmuADGC4gBygH/Hjhgh-KpbGktfr22QUMpvPCugBfPs8VcltOYN8UpSJA%2CHltpaFIi5d psQPXmH4d0FGN0rYOkOijJujVffLLXhuA?size=1280x960&size_mode=2

The Zaku is such a big model that the pieces are prepared on the floor before painting.

thwalker13
September 3, 2015, 3:44 PM
You have a lot of broken images there.

Zaku
September 3, 2015, 5:38 PM
please fix. i want to see.

Squee
September 4, 2015, 12:03 AM
Guys, just go to his photobucket to see the pics

http://s1150.photobucket.com/user/s0rice/library/?sort=3&page=1

This is sick man, love this.

Zaku
September 4, 2015, 12:13 AM
oh man that is epic. very nice work man.

IndustryStandard
September 4, 2015, 1:31 AM
Damn son. That is some epic work.

https://scontent.cdninstagram.com/hphotos-xfa1/t51.2885-15/s320x320/e15/11382539_897168020328761_239986074_n.jpg

outamyhead
September 4, 2015, 2:27 PM
Wow, although I can't see my wife letting put the compressor in the fridge, for extended paint sessions;)

IndustryStandard
September 4, 2015, 4:10 PM
By the way, who posted this? The first post I see on this thread is from thwalker13.

Zeta
September 4, 2015, 5:10 PM
By the way, who posted this? The first post I see on this thread is from thwalker13.

Yeah, same here. Seems kind of odd.

IndustryStandard
September 4, 2015, 5:22 PM
It's almost like the account was deleted.

Squee
September 4, 2015, 10:12 PM
I think the sites bots put the post on moderator approval because it was such a large first post with lots of pictures. Probably thought it was spam. The first post has been approved for viewing.

Zeta
September 4, 2015, 11:17 PM
Huh, never had that problem when I made my first post. But then again, I signed on Beta-version of the site.

Sensei Swag
October 12, 2015, 2:02 AM
I was trying to fix the images on this thread and I couldn't find it so I assumed it was deleted o.O Thank you everyone for the comments though. If you want to see the pictures, they are on my website:

http://www.senseiswag.com/blog/2015/9/8/how-to-color-modulation-gundam-zaku-ii-mega-scale