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I desperately wanted a Xyston (Sith) Star Destroyer so I ordered one from Mel's on Shapeways, despite it only being available in the very mediocre white nylon plastic.  The ship printed decently and after being primed and using a varnish, it isn't quite as grainy as most ships made from that material.

However, I'd really like to highlight the panel lines on it, the way they look on the FFG Imperial Star Destroyer.  In the past, I've used a black wash (Citadel Nuln Oil, heavily diluted), to very mixed effect.  On smaller ships, like a 1/7000 Mel's Vindicator cruiser and a 1/7000 Nebulon B, the wash was great.  And really helped the ship look finished.  However, on a bigger ship (a Praetor battlecruiser from Shapeways), the wash was awful, and ruined the ship.  It simply smudged up the long smooth areas of the hull.

I am not sure how this Xyston will turn out.  Does anyone have any tips?

The biggest problem I've had with washes in the past, is that once they are applied, they change the base color of the ship (making it slightly darker).  This means I can't really go back and paint over parts that turned out too black because the grey of the original paint no longer matches the slightly darker grey post-wash (I hope that makes sense).  

Edit: I should add that in the past I've tried washes and then removed them.  But I realize that paint can't really be removed from the WSF Shapeways plastic.  So this would be a one-shot deal, on a ship that cost quite a bit. :)

Here is the ship:

IMG-4512.jpg

Edited by jscott991

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My advice would be to base coat it in a color lighter than what you want, wash it to darken everything. Than go back and re-paint everything in the color you originally wanted. It's a pain to be sure but the results are usually worth it. Especially if you are using a slightly lighter color as your base coat than your post wash coat. That way everything evens out nicely. But at the same time it takes a significant amount of time.

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8 hours ago, jscott991 said:

The biggest problem I've had with washes in the past, is that once they are applied, they change the base color of the ship (making it slightly darker).  This means I can't really go back and paint over parts that turned out too black because the grey of the original paint no longer matches the slightly darker grey post-wash (I hope that makes sense).  

After applying the wash you have to paint over again with your grey paint. But it's worth it ... maybe you can drybrush the whole model to save some time.

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7 hours ago, Grathew said:

My advice would be to base coat it in a color lighter than what you want, wash it to darken everything. Than go back and re-paint everything in the color you originally wanted. It's a pain to be sure but the results are usually worth it. Especially if you are using a slightly lighter color as your base coat than your post wash coat. That way everything evens out nicely. But at the same time it takes a significant amount of time.

Jepp, either you clean up/repaint all panels after a "messy" wash (a lot of work), or you try  more focused wash application only in the panel lines with a small brush (lesd work, ideally only smaller touch-ups needed), or you give oil/enamel washes a try (can be cleaned up without damaging the acrylic base paint, watch some tutorials and practise on something else first!).

 

There sadly is no goodlooking easy solution. It might work acceptably on smaller models (squadrons!) or figurines (organic forms), but even those should normally receive some cleanup/drybrushing/highlighting afterwards. Washes are an intermediate, not a final step in the process.

Edited by TheWampa

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1 hour ago, spike2109 said:

After applying the wash you have to paint over again with your grey paint. But it's worth it ... maybe you can drybrush the whole model to save some time.

Agreed, you need to Drybrush after the wash dries

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10 minutes ago, Thrindal said:

Agreed, you need to Drybrush after the wash dries

Drybrushing has always been beyond my skill level.

I'd love to watch someone do highlighting sometime.  I just don't see how you avoid the problem of having the original grey no longer match the grey of the bulk of the ship post-wash.  The idea of using a lighter shade to start is intriguing I guess.

I actually dug up an old painting thread I had where people suggested using a gloss cote before washing and adding a drop of dish soap to the Nuln Oil (even if you have matt medium in it).  I think that's my best best.

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7 minutes ago, jscott991 said:

Drybrushing has always been beyond my skill level.

It's one of the easier techniques, even I can handle it :P

Get a drybrush brush  and go. On a big model like this it's easy.

If you thin the Nuln Oil down the shadow effect is not so strong ...

Edited by spike2109

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5 minutes ago, spike2109 said:

If you thin the Nuln Oil down the shadow effect is not so strong ...

I definitely thin down the Nuln Oil.  It ends up being only about 30-40% Nuln oil by the time I use it.  If I use Vallejo's black wash, I use an even higher mix of matte medium. 

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With the white plastic, I suggest using a gloss coat over the prime to reduce absorbance of the model. That can create other issues though.

I do have an alternative method for panel lines that I use for white ships when I want zero staining. 

Instead of washing the model, spray cheap matte black spray paint NEAR the model, until it has a dusty coating all over. Then wipe it with a soft cloth.

Don't spray at the model. I usually put it about 18" away from the flight stands when I paint them black. 

The white ISD on the first page was done with this method.

Edited by cynanbloodbane

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1 hour ago, cynanbloodbane said:

Don't spray at the model. I usually put it about 18" away from the flight stands when I paint them black. 

The white ISD on the first page was done with this method.

Just so I'm clear, you put the ship 18" to the side of whatever you're spraying at, and the black paint gets on it enough to fill in the cracks?

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3 hours ago, jscott991 said:

Just so I'm clear, you put the ship 18" to the side of whatever you're spraying at, and the black paint gets on it enough to fill in the cracks?

I think he is spraying near the model until the stray spray dust covers the model lightly (that is, he is "wasting" a lot of paint). because the mist will be almost dry before it hits the model it won't bond properly. So he'll be able to wipe the panels clean with a cloth. All remaining dark spray dust will be in the recesses. I'd guess a nice clear coat afterwards will fix things in place.

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38 minutes ago, TheWampa said:

I think he is spraying near the model until the stray spray dust covers the model lightly (that is, he is "wasting" a lot of paint). because the mist will be almost dry before it hits the model it won't bond properly. So he'll be able to wipe the panels clean with a cloth. All remaining dark spray dust will be in the recesses. I'd guess a nice clear coat afterwards will fix things in place.

I think I understand the broad concept.  The 18" part confuses me.  That seems quite far away to get even a little spray.

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7 hours ago, jscott991 said:

I think I understand the broad concept.  The 18" part confuses me.  That seems quite far away to get even a little spray.

the black poop effect on my bellator was done with a "far away" spray, it's a fast way to get a general effect. You still need to highlight/line as after washing to get rid of overwashing.

and on big ships in WSF, washing the lines only gives quite good results, even if you are a bad painter like myself. I did just that on my executor, too much surface to go full wash/highlight

(I really need to go back to painting squads, just 200+ to go)

Edited by gounour

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9 hours ago, TheWampa said:

I think he is spraying near the model until the stray spray dust covers the model lightly (that is, he is "wasting" a lot of paint). because the mist will be almost dry before it hits the model it won't bond properly. So he'll be able to wipe the panels clean with a cloth. All remaining dark spray dust will be in the recesses. I'd guess a nice clear coat afterwards will fix things in place.

That is the basic idea. 18" is just a general idea, but it is pretty close to how I did it. There is quite a bit of natural overspray, allowing it to then fall on a model has worked out well for me so far. I did turn the model between coats to even the coverage. 

A good clear coat is a must to create a bond for the overspray for the riggers of play, but I didn't have any issues dry brushing or detailing the model over that of a conventional wash coat.

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7 hours ago, cynanbloodbane said:

That is the basic idea. 18" is just a general idea, but it is pretty close to how I did it. There is quite a bit of natural overspray, allowing it to then fall on a model has worked out well for me so far. I did turn the model between coats to even the coverage. 

A good clear coat is a must to create a bond for the overspray for the riggers of play, but I didn't have any issues dry brushing or detailing the model over that of a conventional wash coat.

When you apply a clear coat, do you use something like Testors Glosscote?  Or do you paint it on using a glossy varnish like from Vallego? Does it have to be a glossy cote?  Would something like Dullcote from Testors work?

Thanks.

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59 minutes ago, jscott991 said:

When you apply a clear coat, do you use something like Testors Glosscote?  Or do you paint it on using a glossy varnish like from Vallego? Does it have to be a glossy cote?  Would something like Dullcote from Testors work?

Thanks.

The surface of the model kinda makes that choice for me. For FFG models and the 3D resin models I use either matte, or satin clear coat, but for the white plastic 3D printed models I use a gloss or a semi-gloss. This keeps the end result of my models closer in appearance.

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7 minutes ago, cynanbloodbane said:

The surface of the model kinda makes that choice for me. For FFG models and the 3D resin models I use either matte, or satin clear coat, but for the white plastic 3D printed models I use a gloss or a semi-gloss. This keeps the end result of my models closer in appearance.

I really appreciate the help.

I think my tentative plan for the Xyston will be to apply Testor's Glosscote (a spray on varnish) and then try to use a wash limited as much as possible to just the panel lines and the areas that need to be darkened. 

I'm not confident this will work, but I think it's closer to my skill level and might give me the ability to highlight a little better than trying to apply the wash to the whole model (and it's a huge ship compared to my past successes).

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16 minutes ago, jscott991 said:

I really appreciate the help.

I think my tentative plan for the Xyston will be to apply Testor's Glosscote (a spray on varnish) and then try to use a wash limited as much as possible to just the panel lines and the areas that need to be darkened. 

I'm not confident this will work, but I think it's closer to my skill level and might give me the ability to highlight a little better than trying to apply the wash to the whole model (and it's a huge ship compared to my past successes).

Best of luck, and I look forward to seeing pictures! I haven't ordered a XSD yet, but it's absolutely on my list.

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So, I sprayed Testor's Glosscote on a dreadnought from Mel in WSF that I bought a long time ago and had only primed.  Once the glosscote was dry, I put together a mixture of nuln oil that was about 40 or 50% wash to matt medium.  I then painted it on the dreadnought.  It looked ok when I stopped. But when it dried, basically a lot of the wash simply disappeared (I'm assuming it soaked into the plastic, despite a coat of primer and a coat of glosscote).  

This makes me very wary of trying a similar strategy on the much more expensive XSD.

Did I not apply enough glosscote?  Should I be using a different glossy vanish to keep the wash from soaking in?

 

IMG-4525.jpg

Edited by jscott991

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Your problem is surface energy.  Getting a good wash depends on a relatively smooth surface that the wash can slide off of.

 

If I were you, I'd go at it with a micron pen or mechanical pencil.  That way, rather than depending on surface energy, you're using your eye-ball to tell you where the lines really should go.

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21 hours ago, jscott991 said:

Awesome.  Thanks!

Just as an FYI, my thread over on Shapeways about this produced a reply where someone said it is IMpossible to use a wash on white nylon plastic models.  :(

https://www.shapeways.com/forum/t/applying-a-black-wash-to-the-white-versatile-plastic.100593/#post-237949

It is not impossible. It requires more effort, and will never be as detailed as FUD, but it will do very nicely for the table top. Don't buy into that elitest crap. 

I developed these methods because the largest models are not even available in anything except white plastic.

It will never be perfect, but the panel lines that don't take the wash are the largest and easiest to touch up by hand. The important thing is to get the panels coated with as little detail loss as possible.

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