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COMPLEMENTARY PRE-SHADING - Trying out a new pre-shading method

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  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 10:33 AM

Thanks Nikola!

I like how the blue looks under the grey on the P-51. Next time I build a green over grey USAAF bird I'm going to give that a try rather than the dark grey pre-shading I normally do.

I'll give a rusty brown a go on the Corsair. I mean if I don't like it I can always just paint over it right? I'll post some photos if I don't get in a rush and forget about it.

Actually I like the phone camera for stuff like this. I'd have to pull the regular camera out but the phone is just lying there all the time so I'm less likely to forget it!

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 8:52 AM

Gamera

Hey Nikola love your work! Guess I should check down here more often, I didn't see this post till today. 

Just two questions if I may: 

1). Just wondering what you using for your complimentary pre-shading on the underside of your P-51? Is there a complimentary colour for neutral grey? I thought maybe a 'cool' darker grey with some blue added since it's in shadow?  

2). I'm hoping to start on a USN F4U Corsair before the end of the year. The colour wheel shows the complimentary colour to the dark navy blue as orange. Not sure how it's going to show under dark blue. I was thinking maybe a dark orange-brown colour for the pre-shading??? 

 

 

Thanks Gamera. I am very glad that you find this ongoing experiment interesting. :)

1) As for the underside, I tried with blue. There is no actual complementary colour of gray so that one is a little bit tricky. I guess it comes to personal preference and the subtle tone shift you want to set.

 

2) I have found that it works best with lighter to mid values. With darker values it is a bit trickier so some post-shading will probably be necessary. Since you have a dark blue hue on your Corsair and since complementary to blue is orange, as you said, maybe you could go with brown hues because brown is actually a very dark orange.

 

Hope this helps.

Share your progress. I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

 

Best,

Nikola

Nikola Topalov,

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, October 18, 2021 6:16 PM

Hey Nikola love your work! Guess I should check down here more often, I didn't see this post till today. 

Just two questions if I may: 

1). Just wondering what you using for your complimentary pre-shading on the underside of your P-51? Is there a complimentary colour for neutral grey? I thought maybe a 'cool' darker grey with some blue added since it's in shadow?  

2). I'm hoping to start on a USN F4U Corsair before the end of the year. The colour wheel shows the complimentary colour to the dark navy blue as orange. Not sure how it's going to show under dark blue. I was thinking maybe a dark orange-brown colour for the pre-shading??? 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Monday, October 18, 2021 2:40 AM

TheMongoose

Hmmmm, this one i question a little bit. It looks like I can see the red through the olive drab. What's that look like in person? Sometimes with these it's really hard to tell some of the subtle elements with the picture. 
How hard was it to cover the red without puttting too many coats of the primary color on it?
this is a cool thread. Glad you keep it alive.

 

This is I think as close to reality as I could get with phone camera. I guess we'll have to wait until proper photos in the end. :)

 

Nikola Topalov,

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Sunday, October 17, 2021 2:28 AM

TheMongoose

Hmmmm, this one i question a little bit. It looks like I can see the red through the olive drab. What's that look like in person? Sometimes with these it's really hard to tell some of the subtle elements with the picture. 
How hard was it to cover the red without puttting too many coats of the primary color on it?
this is a cool thread. Glad you keep it alive.

 

Hi Mongoose,

Thank you very much for your input and comments. Appreciated.

That's the hardest part for me now - judging how much to cover initially knowing that weathering and subsequent coats will affect it. It's just like regular pre-shading only more difficult because if it is with black, no risk of too much of it showing through since it only gives a darker tone of the base color with no hue modulation. Still long way to go until I master this one.

In reality, the red is more subtle but it's very hard to get it right with phone camera and regular room lighting conditions so you guys can see it properly. I'll keep trying to take better shots without all the fancy setup. :)

Best,

Nikola

Nikola Topalov,

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Saturday, October 16, 2021 5:39 PM

Hmmmm, this one i question a little bit. It looks like I can see the red through the olive drab. What's that look like in person? Sometimes with these it's really hard to tell some of the subtle elements with the picture. 
How hard was it to cover the red without puttting too many coats of the primary color on it?
this is a cool thread. Glad you keep it alive.

In the pattern: Lindberg's 1/48 Snark and Scale Shipyard's 1/48 Balao Class Sub! Started my Prince of Wales for the Ships of the British Flag GB...oh and I bought another P-38F/G to use the other nose art Exito Decal (in-flight for this one), & in keeping with MC's hydra theory I bought another F-5E to do in FROG camo!

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Saturday, October 16, 2021 3:34 PM

The current build - Revell's 1/32 P51D.

I try to keep the initial effect very subtle and then modify with post shading later.

My phone camera and the dining room light bulb just can't capture the subtle differences and tonal variations that well, but they are there, trust me. :)

 

Best,

Nikola

Nikola Topalov,

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Sunday, February 7, 2021 8:04 AM

Eaglecash867

Nikola,

It definitely looks like your technique worked...that looks amazing!  The best shots that show the effects are the ones you got from above the model.  Nice to see someone else using complementary colors for pre-shading and highlighting.  It adds so much more depth and randomness to the finish and makes it look more like the real thing.  Depending on camo patterns, I've been using all kinds of different shades of greens, browns, and greys...with some chromate green and aluminum thrown in here and there to get the mottled, worn look.

 

 

Thanks Eaglecash! Appreciated! Glad you like it.

Yeah, colours are such a wonderful thing. We have to play with them. :)

Again, I am more of an aesthetics over rivet counting guy, and I love to experiment, so it's just my approach. :) 

 

Best, 

Nikola

Nikola Topalov,

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Sunday, January 31, 2021 3:51 PM

Nikola,

It definitely looks like your technique worked...that looks amazing!  The best shots that show the effects are the ones you got from above the model.  Nice to see someone else using complementary colors for pre-shading and highlighting.  It adds so much more depth and randomness to the finish and makes it look more like the real thing.  Depending on camo patterns, I've been using all kinds of different shades of greens, browns, and greys...with some chromate green and aluminum thrown in here and there to get the mottled, worn look.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Sunday, January 31, 2021 3:34 PM

Don Stauffer

Rather than a uniform gloss black, I have done some panels in alternate colors, and alternate sheens.

 

 

 

Hi Don,

What was the outcome? I ask this because I am currently working on my first NMF build (about to prime) and I have read on Man vs Kit blog that Tom did not find that it makes much difference.

The goal of my method which I am exploring is to achive more vibrancy, richer grays and shades by using specifically complementary colours to the base colours. As I mentioned, I borrowed this from painting as good painters almost never tint or shade with pure white and black because it dulls the colors.

It's more of an artistic approach though, but I  always prefer aesthetics over rivet counting. :)

 

Best,

Nikola

Nikola Topalov,

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, January 31, 2021 8:36 AM

I have used pre-shading on the base coat for alluminum alclad.  Rather than a uniform gloss black, I have done some panels in alternate colors, and alternate sheens.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Sunday, January 31, 2021 8:24 AM

And here is the end result (as best as my camera and my photography skills could pick it up)...  :)

 

Thanks for looking guys!

 

Best,

Nikola

Nikola Topalov,

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Thursday, January 21, 2021 5:55 AM

Almost there...

 

Here it is visible (I hope :) ) how the purple Complementary Pre/Post-Shading created an interesting and subtle, as Mike Brindos put it, tonal shift. Again, apologies for bad phone camera pics.

This is under a gloss coat before final weathering touches.

 

I am very satisfied, but still a long way until mastering the method.

 

Thanks for looking!

 

Best,

Nikola

 

 

Nikola Topalov,

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 4:27 AM

TheMongoose

Yeah definitely hard to pick out the shades on the pic. I can see the streaking going back down the wings but the phone pic seems to just show shades of black. 

 

 

I thought so. My phone camera is pretty s#!t, although it hides f'ups very well.Whistling 

 

Best,

Nikola

Nikola Topalov,

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Monday, December 7, 2020 7:02 AM

Yeah definitely hard to pick out the shades on the pic. I can see the streaking going back down the wings but the phone pic seems to just show shades of black. 

In the pattern: Lindberg's 1/48 Snark and Scale Shipyard's 1/48 Balao Class Sub! Started my Prince of Wales for the Ships of the British Flag GB...oh and I bought another P-38F/G to use the other nose art Exito Decal (in-flight for this one), & in keeping with MC's hydra theory I bought another F-5E to do in FROG camo!

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Monday, December 7, 2020 3:40 AM

Hi gents,

 

First pass of post shading done. I used a 50/50 mix of Tamiya Flat Black and Purple. This time I did Complementary Post Shading for the first time.  

I like the richer shades of gray in the post shaded areas produced by a mixture of purple and yellow tones (I don't know how well my phone camera has captured this).

We'll see how it looks after weathering is complete. Might have to do a bit more post shading afterwards.

 

Thanks for looking guys.

 

Best,

Nikola 

 

Nikola Topalov,

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Thursday, October 29, 2020 7:35 AM

TheMongoose

I like the overall look, especially the red. Boy that was tough to look at before the top coat lol had to be hard for you not to want to cover it all up at 1st? 
was reading about your experiences so far. I wonder if it's the Vallejo that's making it hard to cover, some disappearing in spots and the like? I find it hard to paint those on in thin layers that have some transparency.

 

 

Hi Mongoose,

Thanks! I am glad that you find it interesting. Appreciated!

You are right, it looks very odd before the base coat is applied. The first time it did anyway. I am getting used to it slowly, haha.

As for Vallejo, I don't know, I sometimes find them unpredictable. I've had much better results with Tamiya and Gunze so far, but it might be that I am doing something wrong. Still using Vallejo though and getting better I think. I definitely need more mileage in model making. :)

 

Best,

Nikola

 

 

Nikola Topalov,

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 7:51 PM

I like the overall look, especially the red. Boy that was tough to look at before the top coat lol had to be hard for you not to want to cover it all up at 1st? 
was reading about your experiences so far. I wonder if it's the Vallejo that's making it hard to cover, some disappearing in spots and the like? I find it hard to paint those on in thin layers that have some transparency.

In the pattern: Lindberg's 1/48 Snark and Scale Shipyard's 1/48 Balao Class Sub! Started my Prince of Wales for the Ships of the British Flag GB...oh and I bought another P-38F/G to use the other nose art Exito Decal (in-flight for this one), & in keeping with MC's hydra theory I bought another F-5E to do in FROG camo!

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 4:10 PM

Tanker-Builder

Hi Nikola !

 Hey , that is a very hard used looking J.U. 87. I bet your engine area is going to be awesome. Waiting for more.

 

 

Hi Tanker-Builder,

Thank you for taking an interest! Appreciated.

If you wish to take a look, the link to the finished model is here:

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/2/t/186069.aspx

 

Best, 

Nikola

Nikola Topalov,

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 1:33 PM

Hi Nikola !

 Hey , that is a very hard used looking J.U. 87. I bet your engine area is going to be awesome. Waiting for more.

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 7:41 AM

Hi gents,

 

Base coat finished - a few more thin coats of Vallejo Middlestone applied, followed by lightened version of the same, with a yellow filter applied over the whole model in the end. 

 

I like the color modulation, but in some areas I have lost the pre-shading effect which I will have to regain with post-shading later on.

 

Next - masking of the camo pattern and painting the second colour.

 

Thanks for looking!

 

Best,

Nikola

 

 

Nikola Topalov,

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 2:49 AM

Up to this point, the hardest thing for me is controlling the base coat coverage. The effect seems to work in certain areas, while disappearing from other. 

 

One thing I like about it is that it creates grays and darker tones which are richer in color that would be with just black, like in painting, as shading with black and tinting with white dulls the vibrance of the colours.

 

I might use complementary postshading to try and enhance the effect, or even try complementary basing to see what it creates.

 

 

Best, 

Nikola

Nikola Topalov,

  • Member since
    July 2013
  • From: Chicago area
Posted by modelmaker66 on Monday, October 26, 2020 4:02 PM

Nice!

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Monday, October 26, 2020 1:21 PM

Hi gents,

 

A few steps down the line in experimenting with my Complementary Pre-Shading method:

 

First couple of very thin passes of Vallejo Middlestone over the purple and white pre-shading scheme.

The paint withdrew from the panel lines in some spots (maybe it has something to do with it being very thin) but no worries, since more layers are coming along with panel line washes.

 

The color varies in the photos due to my bad phone camera and different lighting conditions. I tried to get it as best as I could.

 

I like it so far. We'll see.

You be the judges. Comments are very welcome.

 

Thanks for looking!

 

Best,

Nikola

 

 

Nikola Topalov,

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Monday, October 26, 2020 1:20 PM

Hi gents,

 

Current work on Eduard's 1/48 Mirage related to experimenting with my Complementary Pre-Shading method:

 

- Vallejo German Dark Yellow primer applied.

- White highlights applied to simulate directional light later on.

- Sticking with my Complementary Pre-shading method and experimenting further, I pre-shaded with purple as it is in the complementary color range to the base color (Vallejo Middlestone) and also to the dark yellow primer.

 

Apologies for awful photos. My phone camera is not very talented. :)

 

Thanks for looking!

 

Best,

Nikola  

 

 

Nikola Topalov,

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Monday, October 26, 2020 1:16 PM

A link to the finished model is here:

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/2/t/186069.aspx

 

Thanks for looking!

 

Best,

Nikola

Nikola Topalov,

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Monday, October 26, 2020 1:14 PM

Somehow I have worked my way through multiple layer chipping. :)

Not 100% satisfied with the results due to few mistakes I made in one of the early steps, but lesson was learned definitely. :)

 

Pre-shading is intentionally left a bit stronger to avoid losing it due to weathering and potential "tonal crush" effect after white decals, wing tips and rudder are done. 

Panel line washes will cover the more reddish tone in the recesses so it should be ok in the end (it's slightly more red in the photos than in real life).

 

Pics below. Thanks for looking guys!

 

Best,

Nikola 

 

 

Nikola Topalov,

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Monday, October 26, 2020 1:09 PM

More retrospective on the Stuka:

 

Well, I got my multi layer chipping relatively ok, but I completely messed up the rest, as this time, I haven't waited long enough for pre-shading and the base coat to bond properly and started chipping too early resulting in two colors chipping separately.

 

 

Thanks for looking.

 

 

Best,

Nikola

 

Nikola Topalov,

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Monday, October 26, 2020 1:04 PM

To retroactively add a few things:

 

You can see the subtle effects of complementary pre-shading method, but I wish it was a bit more pronounced. I should try to go lighter with the base coat. Some of it gets lost in weathering and washes.

 

Most of this isn't seen anyway so it was more of a practice. :)

 

Thanks for looking!

 

Best,

Nikola

 

 

Nikola Topalov,

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