I felt I have to put up a quick tutorial on how to paint the small pilot figures that come with most Bandai Gundam model kits. To be honest I do not put so much time and effort in painting these pilot figures normally. I do quick paint jobs on some small figures for my dioramas that are mostly base color and washes that looks okay from afar but looks very unimpressive in close ups.
I am very fond of painting miniatures ( Warmachine ) these days, does I thought of putting up the Pilot Painting Contest. Although far from world standard miniature painting, I hope this simple quick tutorial would help guide young modelers on how to paint those tiny pilot figures.
1. Glue or Cement the figures on something ( cork ) that would not be stressful on your fingers. If you glue the figures on a piece of styrene rod or stick, your fingers will get tired fast.
2. Always prime your figures. Primer gives you a nice textured surface that paint could adhere. Primers also has special agents that adheres to plastic, metal or resin way better than normal paints. I paint all my kits ( metal, plastic, resin ) with Vallejo Surface Primer. You need to let the Primer cure for 48 hours if you applied them on metal or resin. 6 hours on plastic is okay.
3.I do Zenithal Priming / Painting in all of my miniatures. So I thought why not adapt this technique in painting Gundam pilot figures. Zenithal Painting makes the details pop and gives you a nice base for your semi-transparent colors to produce subtle tonal shading later. I exaggerated the Zenithal painting by shooting black paint from below ( use black primer to skip this step ) and I shoot white primer directly on top of your figures. Notice the nice shadows produced by this technique after shooting the white primer.
4. Give your figures a nice subtle wash after Zenithal Priming. The wash will further enhance the shadows and deep details of the figure before painting. I use Glaze Medium to thin down my Vallejo Game Inks. Mediums cures to a stronger finish than distilled water and gives your washes a very flowy consistency.
5. After the black wash ( diluted with glaze medium ), you now have a very nice black and white figure to hand paint on. Paint the base colors. Paint from deep recesses upwards. So paint the skin first, then the shirt, then the jacket. The trick is to paint the parts that are sticking out last and paint the deeper areas first.
6. After painting the base color, give the figure another subtle wash. The wash will make the details pop again. This wash will guide you where to paint the highlights and the shadows.
7. Paint the highlights and the shadows
8. Paint the figure with a diluted color ( glaze medium or matt medium ) of the base color. This will blend the highlights, base color and shadows together. Apply thinly as you do not want to lose the detail painting you did in step 7. Apply another layer of highlights if necessary.
9. Top coat with varnish. I use Vallejo varnishes in all my top coating jobs. Top coat with a thin coat of gloss varnish ( for strength ) before the final satin or matt varnish.
I hope this simple crappy ( lol ) tutorial helps guide you to paint your first tiny 1/144, 1/100 or 1/60 figure! The figure in the photos are from 1/60 Perfect Grade Gundam model kits.
Thanks as always for dropping by! Until next post guys! Just enjoy the hobby! :)