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dr_g

1:72 WW2 Russian Pilot Figure

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Here's a 1:72 WW2 Russian pilot figure (by Aires).

I simply followed the instructions for the colours. Paint was Vallejo, Mig Dark wash and various Tamiya powders.

I have virtually no experience of figure painting, so I'd like some advice for next time, particularly on getting realistic looking faces at this scale...Thanks.

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Edited by dr_g
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15 minutes ago, Mentalguru said:

Just showing off now :D

Thanks, but seriously, I'm not sure how to shade faces at this scale to give some life. This was just vallejo skin tone, with a dark wash and some slightly darker mixed for the eyes. I've seen some 1:72 figures that look much better. I'm wondering how you blend acrylics to give smooth transitions between the shades.

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3 minutes ago, dr_g said:

Thanks, but seriously, I'm not sure how to shade faces at this scale to give some life. This was just vallejo skin tone, with a dark wash and some slightly darker mixed for the eyes. I've seen some 1:72 figures that look much better. I'm wondering how you blend acrylics to give smooth transitions between the shades.

I'm no great figure painter, but the way I work on figures and faces is from the inside out.  So for clothing I will start darker, and slowly lighten up.  I hate Valejo for normal airframe painting, but I adore it for brush painting small details, so tend to almost exclusively use it for figures.  It has advantages in that if you really screw up, you can dissolve the error away with a water laden brush.  Also you can sort of do a bit of "wet on wet" with it. 

So for faces, I tend to use the same techniques, start with a darker skin tone and layer up with lighter tones on the features more likely to catch the light- forehead, cheeks, nose etc.  this in itself gives depth and creates detail from nowhere.  Also it sort of leads the viewer into making assumptions of the stuff you have missed out.  Going straight in with dark washes to make eye recesses etc darker is the wrong way forward IMO.  Yes, a very thin dark oil wash for deep creases on clothes, round seat belts, necklines etc gives a final depth. I also (when I remember ) follow up with a thin trace of X-22 over the wash trails, as this pulls it and actually gives more depth.  If the figure's face is really well defined, I will try to paint eyebrows, but if it isn't, I tend to leave well alone. 

It's a very interesting topic for discussion actually, maybe you could slightly rework your thread title to draw others in and give even more tips and ideas?

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First, superb work on the little Polikarpov kit. Is this ICM? 

For painting figures with Vallejo, the secret is in applications of translucent coats. 

 

1) begin with the base color - for example on the leather coat - some shade of brown.

2) Consider how light falls onto folds in clothing. Imagine a unidirectional light source somewhere above the figure. As it hits each fold on the jacket, it will highlight the bottom half of each fold, while keeping the top half in shadow.

3) with that in mind grab two browns, one many shades darker than the base coat, and one somewhat lighter. Mix with water to get transparent coats. Apply a few layers (to taste) on the undersides of the big folds. once dry, apply the thinned light brown to the bottom side of each fold (the surface facing up towards your light source). The translucent paint softens the effect, especially at points of color demarcation, which helps your eye/brain to blend the visual.

The same applies for faces. 1)base coat flesh, a dark reddish brown transluscent for shadow areas (eye sockets, under the nose, hollows of cheeks, under lip, and an almost white for cheak bones, (forehead, cheekbones, chin). Make the eye socket shadows darker than the rest. For the eyes themselves, you can add a tiny dot of dark paint where the pupil/iris may be. Do not bother painting the whites in 1/72, or the figures will look like they're suffering from a thyroid disorder. 

A few tips

 

A. Don't be put off by great contrast. The effect is pretty subtle. For example, on a Wermacht tankers' jacket, I began with a dark blue gray, used black for the shadows, and a medium sea gray for light areas. 

 

B. Don't try to do this to each and every single crease and fold in the clothing. In 1/72 hitting the deepest, largest ones is key.

 

C. After the shading, paint the small details

 

D. Apply a minimal black pinwash to make these details pop out. This isn't super realistic, but catches the eye and looks attractive.

 

 

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