Monday, 6 February 2012

Young Miniatures - Unterfeldwebel, Kampfgeschwader 54, 1940

Just barely a week after concluding the assignment from Alpine Miniatures, I am once again compelled - or rather inspired - to render the box art for Young Miniatures's upcoming release sculpted by non other than the celebrated veteran sculptor Mike Good. It is not everyday that one gets first dips in reviewing this little gem and giving it a splash of color. I must say that this is definitely one of Mike Good's most elaborate sculpts to current date - given the tremendous effort in sculpting the kapok life vest as well as the array of intricate details on the flight suit and parachute bag.

Underpainting was done by airbrushing a magenta base mixed from Gunze Sanyo Flat Black and Red. The emphasis is not to towards a homogeneous finish but rather to establish color value contrast using a more vivid colored ground.

Preliminary highlights were achieved with two over-sprays - first consisting of a mixture of Jo Sonya Cadmium Yellow and Raw Sienna second followed by Naples Yellow. These were selectively airbrushed over the bright areas of the bust according to the illumination overhead. A modicum of retarder was mixed with the Jo Sonya paints as they were thinned with water for airbrushing. The retarder also serves as a flow enhancer, improving airbrush flow and paint adherence and reducing paint splattering - yielding a much smoother finish. Drying can be accelerated with a hairdryer should one desires a speedier result. Nonetheless one can clearly see that a satin base coat does not present much of a problem when airbrushing with Jo Sonja acrylics.

The  local color for the summer flight suit consisted of a mixture of Raw Sienna, Naples Yellow, Carbon Black, and a little bit of Hookers Green. This was diluted to a semi-transparent consistency and airbrushed over - subtly allowing the dark magenta and pale yellow underpainting to reveal through.With the slow drying induced by the paint retarder, no masking was needed as oversprays could be easily cleaned-up with a wet brush. The analogous relationship of the local color also allowed it to be incorporated as a shadow color for the kapok life vest. 

That is all for now. Until the next posting when I proceed to update on the painting of the head and kapok vest.



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