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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Micro-tutorial: Custom Color Schemes


One of the top comments in a survey thread I made a month ago was to create small 'bite sized' tutorials. This is going to be the first in a new series.

With the recent success of Gundam Build Fighters more and more people have become interested in custom mobile suits, paint jobs and kit bashing. In this micro tutorial I am going to offer some basic tips and tricks for newcomers that are interested in painting custom color schemes. 



Plan to succeed

Before you start painting, plan (in detail) on the scheme you want achieve. It's important that you decide on a scheme before you start painting. 

If you're not confident in your ability to create your own color schemes Bandai has created a whole host of MSV, and custom ace pilot units for builders to get inspired by. When I want to do a custom color scheme I like to look on gundam wiki to find design ideas.

Mech9' features color guides for many kits and it's definitely worth checking out the mixing ratios if you have trouble with color accuracy.

For the Zogok pictured above I am going to use the Z'Gok as an inspiration. I've chosen this color scheme both due to personal preference (I like cooler colors) and also due to my current inventory of paint.




Divide and conquer

Do yourself a favor and either separate parts by color using your paint skewers or dividers. It becomes very hard to visualize how 100 parts fit together when they're mixed together in a pile. By separating everything you will save yourself a lot of stress when you're ready to start painting your new colors.



Anticipate mistakes and repainting.

Always mix more paint then you think you're going to need. I typically mix 120% of the paint I anticipate needing in case I mess something up. If you find that you have run out of paint your best option is to mix a large quantity of the same (ifs very unlikely it will be an exact match) and to paint all of the parts over again.

Paint Order

If your color scheme calls for you to paint a light color over a dark color here's a tip that will help you out. 



Apply a layer of silver metallic paint on top of the dark paint you intend to cover with a light color paint. Once the silver paint has had ti me to cure apply your light colored paint.



This works very well with white paint being applied over a colored paint as the color paint tends to bleed into and tint the white paint.

Color Combinations and Balance

Sometimes the best way to check your work is to simply reassemble your kit with its new colors to see how the colors play off each other. It can be tedious but it's also a good way to decide if small tweaks to color or the balance of color across the kit.