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Painting and Battle Damage Tutorial - Using Reveal the Sheild Perceptor

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Old 10-11-2012, 11:43 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 366
Painting and Battle Damage Tutorial - Using Reveal the Sheild Perceptor

Hey Everyone!
I just painted up the Reveal the Shield Perceptor figure and wanted to share the results. [Also], because some members liked my Cliffjumper Prime battle damage post and wanted a tutorial, I took some photos along the painting way to show my own process. It by no means is the best process, or the most in-depth; itís just one that I use. I didn't want to spend hours on this painting session, so this is a faster and simpler way. So I hope you all enjoy!

I nabbed this figure purely for his bot mode, and Iíve ended up really liking him.

Here we go! Hereís the Perceptor in its mobile phone noisy photo over saturated shot glory:

So first off I dismantled the whole figure, trying to get it to as many of the base smallest pieces as possible. For those of you who want to get those pesky little hinge pins out, my own personal (and completely unreliable and finicky) process involved angling the hinge on a block of wood, and with a small nail and hammer, I tap the hinge pin again and again until it starts to slide out a little. Then I grab its end with some small pliers and slide it out.

My only hinge pin removal tip is to try and see which end of the pin is 'burred'. This end has some raised edges on it, which grabs the inside of the hole to secure it. You want to tap the pin in the direction to bring this burred end out FIRST. Tapping the other way will force the clean end out first, and you'll actually be trying to push the burred pin end all the way through the hinge hole, which just doesn't work! Take your time, you can get stress joints tapping these pins out, and Iím sure there's more effective ways to do this, but in the moment I'm just in a hurry and want them out so I can get to painting, ha!

[Here are] all the pieces dismantled (by the way all of these photos were shot on my mobile, so excuse the horrible blowouts and bad lighting):

Next up [is] to help the paint grab the plastic surface better, I give all of the pieces a sand with 1200 wet & dry sandpaper, trying to not leave any smooth gloss finish. This is just one of those steps that is not fun, but it needed.

Sanded: This is what the pieces should look like, this is the bonnet.

Then to eliminate any hand oils, dirt, or etc., I give all the pieces a wash in some mild soapy water. I just use some dish soap and hot water in a Tupperware container, [chunk] all the pieces in there and give it a good swirl/shake for a few minutes. Then, I rinse them off and let them dry.

From here on out you can either drybrush the color to the parts like I do for the Perceptor figure, or you can spray paint for a smoother coat (which is totally what you should do for a gloss finish). If you want to spray paint the parts, here's what I did for my Cliffjumper figure:

OPTION ONE: Spray paint color (Cliffjumper figure)

1. After sanding, masking tape any areas you don't want to paint, and give the parts 2-3 LIGHT coats of primer. You want to do this lightly and in more coats as opposed to less coats that are heavier. This will stops drips. (Some artists lightly sand the part between each primer layer, to give an even smoother finish; this is something you can totally do)
2. Then once the primer is dry, I get out my color, this time the Tamiya Acrylic TS-8 color red, and once again, light coats and more of them is the best way. Some artists also lightly sandpaper between each coat to bring out more of a smooth finish. I didn't and my Cliffjumper's finish turned out just fine for what I wanted to achieve.
3. Peel off the masking tape and voila! Looks purdy!

OPTION TWO: Drybrush color: (Perceptor figure)

Once dry, I want to bring out the dark recesses of the mold. So I take the maroon color, and the blue/teal color that will be Perceptorís eventual main colors. But I add some black to them; I want to create a simple 'shadow' version of the main colors. To do this, I mix the color I want first, when I'm happy with it, then I simply dilute the mixed color down with turps (Iím using enamels) to get it nice and thin. Then I paint it all over each piece. You'll notice that you want the dilution just right so that the paint 'slips' down like a magnet into the grooves and details. Too thick and it will sit too thick, so sometimes I keep thinning it down if it's not right.

Here's a red shoulder piece and leg piece with their shadow colors:

Following that, it's time to add some highlights to the mold. I used the classic drybrush technique (check our tutorials if you want to find out more in detail ~Sq7). It basically is dipping your brush in the final color, then wiping most of that paint off BEFORE applying it to your figure. This makes the brush feel 'dry' when you paint it. Then, I apply the paint in fast little back and forth strokes. You'll be surprised how much paint comes off the brush that feels like there's no paint left to lie down! I build the color up, and you can see the shadows staying dark, as the drybrushing technique doesn't allow the bristles to reach into the recesses. To ensure this, you will want to drybrush perpendicularly across lines. Otherwise your bristles might fall into the line and put the highlight color in.

Here are the shoulder and leg pieces with the drybrushed highlights:

Next up is some simple battle damaging. The look Iím trying to go for here is if the Transformer has been battling other Deceptions, metal hitting metal, and paint scraping and chipping off to reveal the bare metal underneath. This is actually done by painting super fine silver (or dark metal) colors on the 'vulnerable' edges of a part. To know where to paint, I try and picture what edges would chip if say I threw that part down a hill. It would be the corners, and lifted edges. I find that smaller details look better and give a good scale to the damage of the figure (to make it look like a damaged HUGE robot, as opposed to a damaged 6 inch toy).

Take your time with this, and use a teeny tiny brush (or a dodgy modified brush that I scissors bristles from). Your eyes will probably hate you for all this close looking focusing, ha! So take breaks by looking at mountains.

Here's a red panel before and after, and a leg before and after. It's hard to stop sometimes, and you'll want to paint chip/scrape EVERY edge, sometimes overdoing it. My advice is to stop before you think you've gone too far. You can always add more! (I think I actually went a little too much on this figure, once he was all together, so even I'm learning!).

EXTRA BATLE DAMAGE (as seen on my Cliffjumper figure)

If you want more scratches and dents, gouges and bullet holes in your damage, here's what I did for my Cliffjumper figure that you can apply to your figure:
  1. 1. Let the paint fully dry on the part;
  2. 2. To add bullet/laser/deep gouge marks, I light a small candle and sit my sharp craft knife in the brightest part of the flame. I leave it for maybe 7-10 seconds to get it nice and hot. Then I push the blade into the part, just the tip to make bullets holes, or I do a deep slice to make a gouge. To make it look like the part is metal that's been bent and distorted, I will dig in the hot knife blade, and then give it a tilt to one side, and this will actually shape the plastic in a unique way to make it look like bent metal. One tip: wait for the plastic and knife to cool just slightly before pulling the knife out. This will allow it to pop away cleanly; otherwise you might end up with 'spider web' plastic strings from the part to the knife because it's still warm;
  3. 3. Next up is adding fine scratches and deep edge slices. To add scratches, just use the very tip of the craft knife and scratch away! I tend to imagine the motion of a 'hit' or attack from another Decepticon and make the scratches follow that direction. For the deep edge slices, I shave 1 mm or so deep shavings off the highest edges of the part. Be creative with it, not every edge has to be shaved, just experiment;
  4. 4. Now I lay down a single brush coat of dark silver (matte black and chrome silver mixed) onto the deep edge slices as a base color coat, and also into the little gouge or bullet hole marks. (You can also here finger rub on some black or dark grey smudges to show a little bit of 'heat smoke burn' effect if you want to);
  5. 5. Finally, I do the chipping/edging marks with chrome silver using a VERY fine brush. Being erratic with the painting helps, try to imagine paint actually chipping off and you will realize that jagged edges represent flaky paint really well.

Next up is a little bit of realism to the tires, it's all about adding colors to give a little bit of a dirty look.

1. I give them a coat of matte black;
2. [Next,] a paler mix of brown/white/matte black for a pale dirt look;
3. Then, a mix of brown and white dry brushed on for a mid-dirt look;
4. [Finally,] redder mix for darker dirt.

I wanted to give the rolling treads a rusty metal look to them. The pictures once again show how I layered colors in stages, finishing with the chrome metal. I wanted these treads to be really dirty, hence them being mostly black with some brown and red hull color for dirt and rust. Then to give the rubbed metal look, I just dipped my index finger tip in the chrome metal, tapped it mostly dry on a napkin, and then proceeded to 'drybrush' the paint on with my finger. Rubbing back and forth, once again you'll be surprised how LITTLE paint you need on your finger to get A LOT of paint on the part! I'm really happy with how this turned out.

1. A full matt black coating as a base
2. A mix of matt black and brown, thinned down and painted into the recesses like a wash
3. A straight dip of the hull red paint, not thinned, dabbed into a few little 'areas' of the tread to try and show caked dirt.
4. Lastly the finger brush smudging of the chrome silver (it's SO fun to do!)

For extra battle damaging, like I did on my Cliffjumper figure (but not on this Perceptor figure), here's a photo of that Cliffjumper figure's door damaging, and the steps I used that can be applied to any figure you'd like.

Lastly you can add in a little bit of rust/dirt wash on the figure's parts itself. I do this by mixing a matt black/brown color, then thinning it down a lot. I then paint it onto select parts (like hinges, or deeper grooves where rust and dirt might catch). Here's a shot of the rust/dirt mixture being added to the Perceptor arm.

So, do ALL of those steps needed on every part (yes, so much time consumed!), and once you're happy, give them all a protective spray coating of either matte clear, or gloss clear. This will enable the figure to be transformed, or still lightly played with, without damaging all this painting work you're doing. I used gloss for my Cliffjumper figure because I wanted him to stay shiny, but for the Perceptor I went with matte for a 'heavier' look.

I find that suspending each part on the end of a thin wooden skewer (just from a packet from the store, the kind that you put chicken kebab meat on!) helps to allow you to spray paint the part easily. Let that final coat dry and get ready to put it all back together!

Assembling the hinge pins can be tricky now, because there might be paint IN the pin holes, so feel free to clean it out a little with your craft knife, and you may also need to scrape back plastic on plastic hinge points to allow freer movement. Sometimes the layers of paint can cause the joins to be too grip-y, so as long as you don't see the surface inside the joint, then it's fine to scrape back to allow smooth movement!

And after all that, here are the final shots of the finished Perceptor.


I peeled off his reveal rub sign (it was kind of crappy) and added an Autobot insignia silver sticker form a sheet from eBay that just happened to fit the insignia spot perfectly!


See ya,
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Last edited by Superquad7; 10-13-2012 at 02:19 AM..
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