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Is it just me or is preshading overdone?

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  • Member since
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Is it just me or is preshading overdone?
Posted by Murphy's Law on Saturday, June 17, 2017 7:45 AM

First off I don't intend to offend anyone who uses this technique. With that being said I just don't get the whole preshading fad that so many use nowadays. I can understand if that's just how you like it to look and I admit it gives it an artistic pop. Beyond that I find it very unrealistic. The real things didn't have preshading around the panel lines so why i'm the world would you apply it on a scaled down version? The underbellies on some of these scale models is so overdone. To me giving the center of the panels a slightly lighter than base color to represent glare and sun fade looks so much better than seeing dark lines running along all the panels. That's just my two cents. 

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  • From: Pineapple Country, Queensland, Australia
Posted by Wirraway on Saturday, June 17, 2017 8:39 AM
This discussion (argument ?) has been around for a while. Many a person has posted about how panel lines are routinely overdone in models they see, which in real life would equate to a 1" gap between panels. Its really in the eye of the beholder. Navy birds get dirtier than land based aircraft, but then again, I've never worked on a carrier either, so what do I know. Everyone's modelling styles are different, what looks overdone to someone might look just right to the person building it. I can always appreciate the extra work someone puts in to pre-shading, even if it is a trifle overdone.

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Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, June 17, 2017 9:14 AM

I personally think it is often overdone.  On painted finishes, even panel lines are pretty subdued- it is hard to see them at a distance.  Plane needs to be very heavily weathered before they are visible.

Now, there are two kinds of panel lines- the darker lines in the seam between skin plates, and enhanced weathering due to dirt in seams leaking out and spreading when the surface is wet.  The darkening of the seam shows up before the darkening of the whole area around the seams.

Seams on natural metal finishes are somewhat visible even when plane is pretty new.  Two types of seams- one just the normal seam between two riveted panels.  This seam is pretty narrow, and it takes awhile for dirt and organics to build up in them.  Second are access plates, that are removable with some sort of fasteners.  These pick up crud in the seams much more rapidly.

 

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  • From: Parma, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Saturday, June 17, 2017 10:36 AM
I'm firmly in the preshading camp. Subtle is the key. When you can still immediately see it under the paint, keep going a little longer. Indeed areas around the engine and such should be more noticeable, but that I reserve for post shading. Nobody has yet said my builds have looked unrealistic. Perhaps they're just being nice....lol.

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Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, June 17, 2017 11:55 AM

It can be overdone, but it also can be done well.

 

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  • From: From the Mit, but live in Mason, O high ho
Posted by hogfanfs on Saturday, June 17, 2017 12:12 PM

I agree with GM. And Lawdog is an example one who can do it well. 

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Posted by Murphy's Law on Saturday, June 17, 2017 12:18 PM
By no means am I criticizing anyone that does. To each their own. Overdone it's just not my thing. True that done subtlety it can look good. I didn't mean to come across as a hater and I still respect the time and effort put into it.
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  • From: From the Mit, but live in Mason, O high ho
Posted by hogfanfs on Saturday, June 17, 2017 1:57 PM

I will speak for myself, in no way did you come across as criticizing. I understand your point, and, respect your point of view. I do agree with GM though, I have seen some models that have been overdone. But, I wanted to point out that Lawdog is one modeler who, in my eyes, has perfected the technique. I use the technique from time to time, but, I try to make it very subtle. 

  • Member since
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Posted by patrick206 on Saturday, June 17, 2017 2:41 PM

Murph - Nah, I didn't take your point as negative or criticical. If grossly overdone, panel shading can look unrealistic and just take away from the overall appearance. Done as Lawdog finishes his is quite the opposite, he does it in such a manner that I'm not really aware of shading while initially looking it over, but then my eyes pick up on it.

I'd guess that's the intent, subtle use of shading means it's there, but not a stand alone feature that instantly grabs your attention. On a well used but maintained military aircraft, after some time the appearance does get a slight mottled look due to staining from leaks and handling, but it's not something that your vision immediately zones in on.

As stated, the areas around the engine bay, hydraulics and oil reservoirs are quite prone to have the staining/discloration, the belly of the fuselage and wing areas behind engines also get a bit buggered. That's where I do a modest bit of shading.

But I remind myself, those that prefer heavy shading effects like it that way, it looks right to them. Model on everyone, build it to suit yourselves and we'll all enjoy seeing our collective efforts.

Patrick

 

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  • From: Northern New Jersey
Posted by Tojo72 on Saturday, June 17, 2017 3:05 PM
For sure overdone at times,but I guess its just artistic liscense like over rusting and over weathering.

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Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Saturday, June 17, 2017 9:34 PM

If it's done right, it does bring the realistic look of an aircraft. I've seen my fair share of pre shading done perfectly. I've seen a fair share of some overdone. It's a matter of preference.

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  • From: Boston
Posted by Wilbur Wright on Monday, June 19, 2017 7:56 PM

I've started black basing as shown on Doogs models.   I'm not an expert yet but it looks pretty real.  I did my recent V-22 Osprey with this technique and can see with refinement of technique you can get the model looking like the real thing.  Youhave to go very very thin over the marble coat.

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  • From: Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 7:49 PM

I will echo  law dog's comment. If it's done VERY faint then it will add some tonal value And will look good.  I have adopted marbling as my method to add tonal value and break up monotonous colors. Sometimes I use a combination of both techniques, 99% will be covered up anyway by the top coat.

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Posted by CaddMann05 on Thursday, June 22, 2017 10:55 AM

This is my opinion and is not intended to degrade anyone's efforts in modeling.

When I got back into modeling late last year, I was amazed at the methods that are now being used to finish models. Amazed yes, but also wondering with all the references out there for modelers to use in their projects, how can such efforts show realistic portrayals of actual aircraft. To some extent, you will see aircrafts with heavy weathering in the real world, but that is in conditions that prevent the maintenance of the exterior finish.

When a person modifies his or her project to reflect a planes upgrades with aftermarket kits, scratch building parts, cutting and pasting new parts to reflect the latest real life version, then finish the model with extreme weathering however beautiful that makes the model, it still tends to show it on the more artistic side.

My abilities are limited to say the least, but that's okay.  I build to suit myself, and that goes to what everyone is writing about. TO EACH THEIR OWN. What makes one modeler happy with how they complete their project, doesn't sit well with another.

I won't use preshading myself, because it doesn't seem natural, and truth be known, it takes more time and effort to do for me. I enjoy looking at other people's work and say to myself, "If only I had a tenth of their talent to do that."

I believe moderation reflects the real aircraft as it is in any condition, well that is unless the plane has been regulated to the bone yard, then any and all extreme weathering is a okay.  Years of neglect will do that to any object.

Extreme or in moderation, weathering reflects the individuals choice.

 

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  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Thursday, June 22, 2017 11:47 AM

I think it's overdone.  I don't mean emphasizing the actual panel line itself, and making it appear larger than it really should be.  I mean shading along the panel lines.  I look at some models, and then look at a photograph of the same subject, and the model just doesn't look right.  I agree with the guys who said that shading applied subtly can look good.

I also think that the look has become an expectation among many who judge contests, and so, that drives many to adopt the technique.

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Posted by modelcrazy on Thursday, June 22, 2017 1:19 PM

Yes it can be overdone but I think it makes a model look less toy like.

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  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Thursday, June 22, 2017 2:15 PM

To my eye, it appears overdone in the majority of cases. Yes, some aircraft do eventually get that hardworn look while still operational. But most do not. It certainly is eye catching and adds visual interst to a model. But it is usually not "realistic". I agree with the folks who say "less is more" on this technique, where a subtle application looks best. But the stuff you consistently see in magazines, on contest tables, or online in forums seldom show that restraint. It's like when a woman wears too much make up out there. Bravo to those who can successfully pull it off. To the others, dial it back a few notches.

 

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  • From: United Kingdom
Posted by docipaul on Thursday, June 22, 2017 6:51 PM

Hi, I've seen models which are heavily panel shaded which look very unnatural. I tried to look for a real picture of my subject and tried to replicate the effect but not to over do it. This is my wip Mig-29, tried to paint the underside with different shades of gray to give contrast, I have done the panel lines yet,

but look at the real aircraft...

  

(photo from Airliners)

If you are going to add shadows in the panels, try to keep it subtle and used a darker or lighter shades of your colour not just adding black as this create a very dark contrast.

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  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Friday, June 23, 2017 11:40 AM

A similar style has become very popular among figure painters, especially among the Europeans.  More extreme contrasts of shadows and lights, and colors, especially flesh colors, that look washed-out when you see the figure in person.  I've heard it referred to as the "Kabuki" style.  Apparently, it looks good in photos, and many of the guys who made it popular paint figures for box art, or for photos that will be published.  Just as over-done shading has become an expectation among judges, so has this style, especially among those judges who practice it.  When I look at Shep Paine's figures, I think they wouldn't give him a certificate at some shows these days, because his colors typically were more life-like.

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Posted by stikpusher on Friday, June 23, 2017 11:56 AM

The same goes for armor builds as well. Between all the new color modulation fads and chipping, the builds look far more like range target hulks than operational AFVs and Softskins. 

 

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  • From: Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Friday, June 23, 2017 12:28 PM

stikpusher

The same goes for armor builds as well. Between all the new color modulation fads and chipping, the builds look far more like range target hulks than operational AFVs and Softskins. 

 

Very true. Many vehicles had very short lifespans and weren't around that long.

Same goes when modelers weather figure weapons. Heck I have K98s that look almost brand new. 

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Posted by CharleyGnarlyP290 on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 8:32 PM

I agree. I see some techniques, whether they are used on aircraft or armor, that are way overdone. I think what happens, and this is just my opinion, is that some modelers try to copy techniques used, or copy photos of models using certain techniques rather than copying real life. So, instead of replicating what he or she sees in a photo of an actual vehicle or aircraft, he or she tries to copy a photo of a model of a vehicle or aircraft.

Hope that makes sense.

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  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 8:53 PM

CharleyGnarlyP290

I agree. I see some techniques, whether they are used on aircraft or armor, that are way overdone. I think what happens, and this is just my opinion, is that some modelers try to copy techniques used, or copy photos of models using certain techniques rather than copying real life. So, instead of replicating what he or she sees in a photo of an actual vehicle or aircraft, he or she tries to copy a photo of a model of a vehicle or aircraft.

Hope that makes sense.

 

Yes it does. And I think you have hit the issue dead on. 

 

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N is for NO SURVIVORS...

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Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 9:14 PM

Mmmm...

Its all about tricking the eye.

the best preshading I've liked is the emphasis on shadow, say under overhanging features on a figure. The worst I've not liked is panel lines on modern jets.

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  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 10:46 PM

GMorrison

Mmmm...

Its all about tricking the eye.

the best preshading I've liked is the emphasis on shadow, say under overhanging features on a figure. The worst I've not liked is panel lines on modern jets.

 

yes, it is about tricking the eye... but lighting will naturally produce or remove shadows on any area depending upon the angle and intensity. 

On figures, shadows and highlights have been basic painting techniques as long as I can remember. But it's usually done after the base colors are down. Then a darker version in the valleys and a lightened version on the peaks. 

On modern jets... some folks work make it look like every panel line is seeping fuel into the surrounding paint, and then catching black volcanic dust onto the fuel soaked area... 

is it visually interesting? Certainly, because there is so much more to look at. But to approach realism, the "less is more" approach needs to be followed.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

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  • Member since
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Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 11:07 PM

Less is more-

Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe.

 

 

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  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 4:40 AM

the Baron

A similar style has become very popular among figure painters, especially among the Europeans.  More extreme contrasts of shadows and lights, and colors, especially flesh colors, that look washed-out when you see the figure in person.  I've heard it referred to as the "Kabuki" style.  Apparently, it looks good in photos, and many of the guys who made it popular paint figures for box art, or for photos that will be published.  Just as over-done shading has become an expectation among judges, so has this style, especially among those judges who practice it.  When I look at Shep Paine's figures, I think they wouldn't give him a certificate at some shows these days, because his colors typically were more life-like.

 

I have noticed thnat with the figures, but even in books i am not keen. I understand how they are a useful guid to help show how its done, but if coppied exactly, it just looks odd to me.

But it all boils down to the discussion we have had here a few time, artistic v realistic.

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  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 4:42 AM

stikpusher
 
GMorrison

Mmmm...

Its all about tricking the eye.

the best preshading I've liked is the emphasis on shadow, say under overhanging features on a figure. The worst I've not liked is panel lines on modern jets.

 

 

 

yes, it is about tricking the eye... but lighting will naturally produce or remove shadows on any area depending upon the angle and intensity. 

On figures, shadows and highlights have been basic painting techniques as long as I can remember. But it's usually done after the base colors are down. Then a darker version in the valleys and a lightened version on the peaks. 

On modern jets... some folks work make it look like every panel line is seeping fuel into the surrounding paint, and then catching black volcanic dust onto the fuel soaked area... 

is it visually interesting? Certainly, because there is so much more to look at. But to approach realism, the "less is more" approach needs to be followed.

 

Thats the trick, especially for those of us who want realistic builds but still want to make them visually interesting.

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  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 8:49 AM

One thing to do is to take or find pictures of your subject at several sun angles, and see exactly how visible panel lines, access plates, and doors actually are, then try to duplicate that appearance.

This is not just an airplane problem, I have been on discussions about this with car guys too.  While doors do show the lines around doors visually, they certainly do not look stark black on light colored cars!  These gaps are shadows, not black holes.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

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  • From: Michigan
Posted by tonka on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 12:09 PM

Anyone remember a FSM issue some years back that had a diorama of a WW2 airfield crew preparing for an Air Show? It was tongue in cheek, maybe Pat HAwkey had done it.

Anyway , scale maintenance folks were pre shading planes, adding oil and grease stains, lightening panels, etc.

It was actually very well done...again tongue in cheek on the whole ' is weathering overdone' discussion....

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