Alright. Two things to start us off.
First, this thing is NOT so yellow in “real life”. My photos stink. It is a bit bright (which I’ll explain more…), but it’s not as yellow as you might think.
Second, a big thanks to Zhiyuan Fu from the Paint On Plastic The Group! Facebook group for pointing out that this kit, with the long barrel, is the Pounder variant of the Mickey (Light).
With those formalities aside….
Why is it so Kermit the Frog green?
Simple. I watched the interwebs. Specifically, various Youtube armor finishing videos that talked about using “color modulation” to mimic how an object may look with various lights and shadows. I’d never been a huge fan of this look, as it seemed a bit contrived.
But watching the videos that Adam Wilder produced gave me a key piece of info that made me wonder if many people who apply this technique miss. The idea behind the color modulation is not so much to force light and shadow in and of itself, but rather to increase the base contrast so that as later weathering layers are applied, they do not all blend together in a sort of flat muddiness. Of course, Adam explains it much better than I can- go watch that series of videos. Well worth the time.
So armed with this new knowledge, I painted the Mickey Pounder (Light).
I started with a base coat of Tamiya Olive Drab (XF-62), thinned about 50/50 with Mr. Color Leveling thinner. Everything was given a good coating of that. When I started, the color cup on my trusty Badger 105 Patriot was about half full of thinned paint. I didn’t use much coating the little model. To that I added one medium brush full of Tamiya Yellow (XF-4), spraying the model all around from the side, holding the airbrush horizontally, and then aiming down on all the horizontal surfaces. I didn’t go for full coverage, but rather misted the color on until it built up enough I could see some contrast.
Next, I added another brush full of yellow, and also a few more drops of thinner. I went around the whole model again, this time at about a 45 degree angle. Again, I misted it on, and was just looking for a point at which a definite contrast could be seen.
Another brush full of yellow was added, and this time I applied it at a high angle, maybe 60-70 degrees, making sure the airbrush stayed above the model the whole time.
Finally, I added more yellow to the color cup – which by now had turned it to a fairly bright green – and shot the paint from almost directly above. (Put your cap on your color cup! Doh! 🙂 )
Now I’ll admit, at the end of the process, I was a bit worried. Had I ruined my little model? Would it ever look the same again? Will Lassie ever find Timmy down in that well? Oh, wait… wrong story. Anyway…
I decided instead of scrapping it, I’d go with it. For a simple reason.
(Which brings me to the actual point of this blog post.)
I talked about this previously in another blog post, but I think it bears mentioning again.
While there is certainly nothing wrong with asking questions, reading books, watching videos – I do it ALL the time – nothing will grow you as a modeler more than stepping out into the unknown and simply figuring things out. Trying a new technique.
While watching how someone does it is beneficial, in essence it is pointless until you actually try it and execute it. And you may find that your first attempt does not go well. Maybe not even your second. But eventually, you’ll figure out how to make it happen. And in the process, you’ll discover things that don’t work, and things that do work.
The very process of model creation, whether it is parts cleanup, initial assembly, priming, painting, weathering, etc., benefits from repetition, and from learning through failure and success.
So don’t be afraid to try new things. To just think something up, and give it a try. If you mess up- strip the paint back, sand it down, or figure out how to fix it – and move on. It’s only through that process that you will grow, and be able to execute in paint and plastic the vision you have in your mind.
It’s how I’ll learn how to make a Kermit green tank into a weathered Pounder.
Or how not to.
Either way, I’ve learned something. 🙂