Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Let's Paint!- mini 1/144 scaled figure

Hello! Since a friend of mine requested help with this aspect of painting and since I also don't have anywhere to go thanks to the weather, I decided to make this little follow-along on how I paint very tiny 1/144 scaled figures. Our test subject is this 1/144 Sayla Mass from the Bandai Builder Parts series.

So let's begin by assembling the basic materials:

  • Paints (I mainly use acrylics for this).
  • 00/000 sable brush or equivalent, round tip and as fine as you can get.
  • A toothpick.
  • The figure you intend to paint.
  • REFERENCE PICS if you have any. These are lifesavers. 

Start by temporarily affixing the figure on the toothpick with a bit of superglue.
Make sure it's on a contact point that's easy to break it off from the toothpick without damaging the figure itself. And when I say a bit of glue it's actually about the tip of a fine needle's worth.  Then prime it if you need to.

Once the figure is secure, mix up the paint that will be the figure's dominant color; like 60-80% of its color scheme, in this case, pink.

use several thin coats of pink until it's somewhat opaque, or none of the primer is showing through. You can afford to be sloppy at this point so it's okay to get a bit of paint in places where it isn't that specific color.

Next is the second dominant color, we're using off-white for this. 

Same steps as before, apply liberal thin coats. Here I applied some to the pants, and very carefully marked out the white details on the uniform's top, as well as a white stripe in the middle to aid with laying down the yellow trim later on.

Now we start mixing the detail and secondary colors. I added some red to the pink to make details like the collar and the cuffs stand out.

Paint it again a bit larger than it would appear in the final product, and simply retouch the areas around it before proceeding to the next step. 

Now we start with the yellow. Mix a bit of white in so that it becomes dulled and not too bright.

apply it to the white stripe we laid down before, cover as much of that white stripe as you can. Then if you want the zipper/button line to look thinner apply some more thin coats of pink to the sides as necessary.

Next comes the belt. I'm using some flat black for this.

Very lightly paint the belt around the figure and again retouch over some mistakes. At this point I also painted the head and hands white to aid with painting the hair and fleshy parts.

And we're done! Here I applied the flesh tones first before the hair, then left the hair and boots for last.

After doing some final retouching, seal everything with a matte or semigloss topcoat, and remove the figure from the toothpick. Then paint the area on the figure where you glued it down.

  1. When you feel like you make a mistake with details at any point take a deep breath and DO NOT PANIC. This is normal. You'll find that retouching the problem areas with thinned down paint will be easy, as long as you use very little paint and apply only with the fine tip of the brush in a light manner. It pays to keep your cool and not be very heavy-handed.  
  2. Allow for ample drying time in between coats. This is to ensure that surrounding paint will not be re-activated by a new coat and mess up your detailing. 

I hope this helps you in your own painting projects, thanks for viewing!

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