I am not an artist. I don’t recognize the many different colors that a given object displays. I admire those who do and can translate that into creating a realistic model. Painting something that represents unpainted wood has been something of a challenge for me.
I recently tried the Vallejo paint kit NEW AND OLD WOOD EFFECTS to see if I could achieve decent results. The kit is just paint, of course, but at least the colors provided are chosen by accomplished model builders/artists – something that I think I could never get a good handle on. A bottle of primer and a bottle of grey wash is included. In addition, there is detailed color step-by-step instructions of how to do it. After reading them it is apparent, like most things in this hobby, the process is quite simple. However, the one ingredient that they don’t supply is artistic flair.
Rather than try this out on something grandiose (as is my usual fault), I decided, for once, to make and paint a model of very modest size. I had two Tichy outhouse sprues, so I built one of them. There is one thing I’d like to point out though…as nice as the technique is, much of it has to do with the molded part that’s going to be painted. In the instructions, a wood deck of a European flat car is treated. The wood molding is exquisite and very realistic – of course something like this is only going to enhance how Vallejo sells the product. So how was the rather plain outhouse going to turn out?
I built this styrene kit straight from Tichy’s instructions using Tamiya Thin Cement. One trick I sometimes do is to make a handle for painting parts: cut a length of sprue, heat up one end until it flows, then attach it to the part. Now, I’ve got to be careful of course – the hot end goes someplace where the damage it makes won’t be seen and to make sure the plastic wall it melts to won’t be marred on the opposite side. In the case of the Tichy outhouse, the walls are thin, but there is a bench detail inside that won’t be seen (I modelled the door slightly ajar) and that’s where I placed the hot end.
Anyway, here’s how it went:
1. First step was applying the primer (IDF Sand Grey) by airbrush. The instructions said 12-15 psi and it flows nicely at that low pressure allowing me to get in close to apply multiple thin coats. This is also my first experience with Vallejo except for their flat varnish. I can see why military modellers like this paint – it is of very good quality.
2. After a day drying, I sprayed the base color (same color as the primer, by the way), let it dry another day before I masked for the roof and airbrushed it Concrete. I wanted the roof a different base color than the rest of the structure, as seen below.
3. After letting this dry for a day, I just followed the instructions. For the highlighting, I used almost every color, just randomly applying each on a board here and there. I then gave it two washes of the dark gray: one that evening when painting, the other next morning when I thought a second stronger one would improve it. I also dry-brushed all surfaces with one of the light sand colors (don’t remember which one). Here’s the result (after painting the door handle and hinges. adding glass & some grass tufts, and a coating of Tamiya TS80 Flat Clear lacquer):
What do I think? Eah, it’s ok…definitely ok enough for a layout, but I dunno. Maybe the picture I had in my mind at the start didn’t turn out quite the same. Was this worth the cost? First thought is no. But when I consider that I would have no idea what colors to choose from a paint rack for wood (I don’t think it would occur to me to pick most of the ones in the kit) or where to begin, this kit was a learning experience. Often times in this hobby we pay to have an experience.
Maybe I will try this again on the deck of a Tichy NC&StL flat car kit in the future?