Gremlins in the Garage!

Issue 19

Some Assembly Required by Rich Larson
Airbrushing Skin and Stone
I am going to demonstrate airbrushing techniques for getting realistic skin tones, and how to get a realistic stone effect with an airbrush. I would like to start by thanking artist David Fisher for his videos, which are great teaching aids. From which the skin tone techniques, that I am demonstrating, were learned from. I also want beginners to know that these techniques are not as difficult as they may appear so do not let it intimidate you. Go ahead and give it a try.

First you are going to need some equipment to get started. You will need your choice of airbrushes fuse whatever type or brand that you are comfortable with). An air source is also needed, whether it is canned air an air tank, or a compressor. Your choice of paints and thinners. (For this article I will be using Liquitex acrylic paints.) Plus something to mix your colors in, and to mix them with. At this point you should be set to go.

I am going to demonstrate creating a stone affect on Industrial Resin Craft's Wolfman gargoyle figure. Creating a stone affect is rather easy and I find it a lot of fun. Because there is no right or wrong way it should look, so you can let your imagination run wild.

I am going to attempt to create a layered sandstone effect on this kit. I started with the primed figure and base coated the entire kit with a burnt sienna (red brown) color. I had to put on several light coats to achieve a good even base color. After the base color has had time to dry I mixed a light sandstone color with raw sienna (yellow brown), white, and a little burnt umber Chocolate brown). Once the color was mixed to the shade I liked, l thinned it with water and airbrush thinner to achieve a milky consistency. NOTE: Make sure that the color is mixed and thinned evenly, because if you have any small clumps of paint it could clog the airbrush and cause inconsistent spraying.
With this color I started painting a ringed layer pattern on the Wolfman. It did not make a difference what the pattern was, because no two stones look the same. This color, being light, will have to go on in several coats. Next I mixed this master color with a little more burnt umber to create a darker color. With this color I started by darkening the edges where the colors meet. I also started adding darker areas to the ringed layered pattern. My next step was to mix a straight burnt umber, and using my fine line tip on my airbrush I started adding irregular line patterns to the figure. This gives the appearance of veins running through the stone. Once I achieved a pattern that I was satisfied with I allowed it to dry thoroughly and gave it a couple coats of matte sealant.

To bring out the texture in the stone I applied a glaze to the figure. A glaze was not applied with the airbrush. This can be done with a paint brush or soft cloth. To mix the glaze, I used liquitex gel medium and mixed burnt umber with a little black to it. (I want a very dark brown glaze.) Next I thinned it down with a little water and airbrush thinnec (not too much because I still wanted it a little thick). I Applied the glaze with a brush working small areas. I then wiped the excess off with a clean dry cloth. This brought out the recessed areas of the figure. To finish I allowed it to dry and then sealed it with a couple coats of matte finish. It is now ready for display.

Creating Realistic Flesh Tones

Next I am going to tell you how to create a realistic flesh tone. For this demonstration I used John Dennett's Miss Tokyo '94 bust. First I primed the bust. Next I mixed my master flesh color. To do this I mixed equal amounts of burnt sienna (red brown), raw sienna (yellow brown), and white until I got a shade that I was happy with. I then thinned it down with water and airbrush thinner, as I did with the first kit. (To the consistency of milk.) Next I sprayed the master color on all of the flesh areas of the figure. This color went on in multiple layers to achieve proper coverage. Next I took part of the master color (setting the rest aside for later) and added a little white to it so that I could add highlights. To do so I sprayed along the top of the cheeks, the chin, shoulders, collar bone, the breasts, and along the ribs and abdomen. This gave very nice highlights. But I was not done yet. Next I used the color I had for highlights and added a little red to it, making a rosy flesh tone. With this color I sprayed a little on the cheeks, shoulders, and under the breasts. To finish the flesh tone, I wanted to bring all the colors together and tone down the separations a little. So I used my master flesh tone and covered the entire figure (from a distance of about 10 to 12 inches) with a light mist. Now the skin was finished. Detailing came later after the kit was dried and sealed.

I hope you have fun with this, I sure did. For more information and techniques on airbrushing, check into David Fisher's Model Mania video series. Again do not be intimidated by an airbrush, they are not difficult to use. Send any questions, comments and suggestions to:

Rich Larson
Some Assembly Required
P.O. Box 884, Norwalk, Ohio 44857.

NOTE: Due to a recent move the phone number Misted on cards and previous issues is no longer in use. Please send all correspondence to my P.O. Box. Thank you.

Questions and Answers:
Q) From Jim Phillips of Indiana: "How do I pin a kit together and make sure the pieces line up correctly after I have drilled them?"
A) Jim, thanks for the question. I have found that the best way to ensure you achieve proper alignment. is to glue the pieces together first. Then drill the hole for the pin through one piece and into the adjoining piece. Set your pin and fill the hole with a little putty (No one will ever know). Rich.

Originally published, as black and white, in KitBuilders Magazine. Reprinted here, in color, with permission. Thanks, KitBuilders!


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