How to use fine tip marker for weathering

April 1, 2018 at 14:18 | Posted in How-to | Leave a comment
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When first starting out with this hobby, the Fine Tip Gundam Marker was a nice and easy way to fill panel lines. Nowadays, I don’t use them for that purpose anymore. Instead, I found a new use for them: weathering.

i) Paint scratch effects
This is a type of light weathering that simulates scratches on the mecha, revealing the darker colored surface underneath. Let’s say you start off with a nice, fresh GM leg like so:

All you have to do is to draw the scratch marks using the Fine Tip Gundam Marker. You can draw light strokes to simulate scratches, or you can dab the marker on the same area to simulate a larger peeled surface. When drawing the light strokes, try to keep a straight line, because scratch marks tend to be straight in real life.

More importantly than HOW you do it, it’s WHERE you do it. Think about the moving parts of the mecha and imagine where physical contact would most likely occur. I like to put them on the edges, or corner parts. You should end up with something like this:

ii) Smearing effects
This simulates grease or grime that has leaked from some parts of the mecha. First, you dab the marker tip on a particular spot; making sure there’s enough paint transferred.

Starting from the spot with the marker paint, use your finger to rub in a downwards motion.

The outcome should be something like this:

Like the scratch effect, the placement of the smear is important. I tend to apply it near vents, openings or damaged parts on the mecha.

Some recommendations and caveats:
I feel that this effect works best coupled with other weathering effects, like an enamel wash. It would just break the illusion if a clean mecha suddenly has some scratch marks or grease smears.

Like any other weathering effect, moderation is the key. Not every surface or part should have scratch marks or smears.

These two effects are mostly for lightly weathered mecha. For more heavier weathering, there’s other methods more suitable for that.

The Fine Tip Gundam Marker comes in black, grey and brown colors. I find the brown marker sometimes results in a reddish color, so take note. Feel free to experiment with other fine tip markers and other colors.

If you’ve stepped up from the Gundam Markers for panel lining, don’t throw them away just yet. They may yet leave their marks on your gunpla.

How to do panel-lining

June 16, 2008 at 14:16 | Posted in How-to | 12 Comments
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Panel lines are those lines which resemble tiny drains on the surface of most gunpla. They’re there to provide more details and to brighten-up your gunpla, provided you do something about it. Basically there’s 2 ways about it: 1) using markers to ‘draw’ the panel lines or 2) using enamel paints.

Using markers

This is the most noob-friendly method. Basically you can use any fine tip marker with the color of your choice (preferably dark colors) to draw along the panel lines. I have a fine-tip black Gundam marker which I bought when I first started this hobby and I still use it from time to time. You can just rub off any excess lines using an eraser or just rub using your fingers. You should get something like this:

Pros: Little start-up material needed, all you need is the marker. Easy to do

Cons: Choice of color is limited by what marker is available. Very tedious when you have a lot of panel lines to fill. Looks less ‘natural’ compared to using enamel paints

Final comments: I think it works best on bare plastic rather than painted surfaces so I would only recommend this if you’re just starting out with the hobby and you didn’t paint your kit.


Using enamel paints

This method involves thinning your enamel paint and applying the colors on the panel lines using a fine-tip paint brush. If the paint is thinned properly and the panel line is deep enough, the paint will flow along the panel line due to capillary movement.

I’m using enamel paints for panel lining because the bulk of my painting is done using spray cans which are lacquer based. Even if I didn’t paint my model, using enamel paint on bare plastic works well too.

Basically the rule of thumb is: Don’t use the same paint type (acrylic/lacquer/enamel) as your base paint to do your panel lining. For example, if you use enamel paints to paint your model, don’t use enamel paints to do the panel lining. The reason is to avoid wiping off your base paint when you wipe the excess panel lines. Of course, this can be circumvented by applying a layer of gloss topcoat over your paintjob before you apply the panel lines, but that just adds another step to your workflow.

I have no exact formula on how much thinner or paint to use, just as long as it looks thinned. If you find that the paint is too thick, just add more thinner and vice versa. After you finished panel lining, you can clean up the smudges by wiping them off using a cotton bud soaked in the appropriate thinner.

If you feel that thinning paints is too much work, you can buy ready-to-use enamel paints by Tamiya. They’re specifically thinned for panel lining and come in three color choices: black, grey or brown.

Pros: More choice of colors, depending on what paints you have available (remember: black is not the only panel line color). Easier to do when you have a lot of panel lines to fill. Looks more natural

Cons: More startup material (paint, thinner, brush) needed. Can look smudgy when excess lines are not cleaned properly.

Final comments: The preferred choice for those who paint their kits and just as effective on bare plastic as well.

HCM Pro Hyaku Shiki

February 19, 2008 at 11:09 | Posted in HCM Pro | Leave a comment
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My second HCM Pro model. It came as a cheesy-yellow colored model. So I decided to paint it using Gundam Marker gold. As you can see, the results are not pretty. The gold paint tends to turn slightly darkish after a while, so it’s not actually ‘bling-bling’ gold. Also, I kinda removed the antennae because it was wasn’t straight. When I painted the gold, I had to paint over the ‘100’ kanji. So I rewrote the kanji using a fine tip gundam marker. Hardly professional, I know. Anyway, here’s what it looked like before painting:


And here it is with the paint:


And that’s all folks


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