I want to do a primer on the old school technique of “Shadow Painting” as we called it, that two friends shared with me. This isn’t a tutorial, as I have no desire to tell folks how to model. It’s more of an explanation of an older technique used in the 1980’s & 1990’s. Hopefully, it can serve as a primer for anyone interested in playing around with this fun old technique which lacks internet presence.
I apologize in advance if my tone comes off as preachy or like a know it all. That’s not my intention. It’s just the Asperger’s seeping into my comments. I have a hard time gaging that when rambling on about something I like according to my fiance
Shadow Paint yields this type of finishing style:
Over the next couple of weeks, I will post as these three models go through the process.
Four main colors will be used on the three models. I still prefer Floquil but this will work with any high quality model paint. Floquil being an excellent enamel paint does have a special property that will come into play with dry brushing that’s very helpful in my experience.
Floquil Rail Road Weathered Black - used for base coat on all three, still showing on the RFM T-34-85 & Tamiya KV-1. This is the foundation the finish is built on. Other dark colors can be used black, red primer, chocolate brown etc as desired. Any construction flaws tend to pop out at this step and can be fixed or not as desired.
DML Pz IV F1 - weathered black w/Panzer Gray using Panzer Interior Buff to lighten color. Model is really for detail painting, washes & drybrush. We may return to it later when the paint is curing on the KV-1 & T-34.
RFM T-34-85 #174 & KV-1 - weathered black, will be finished in Floquil Military British Dark Green using FM Panzer Interior Buff to highlight.
Some modeler’s immediately object to British Dark Green on a Soviet tank. However we’re going to be altering the color significantly with highlight, washes & dry brushing. Since we tend to work from Dark to Light when shadow painting the too dark British green works as a good starting point to end up with B4O flavor result.
DML T-34-85 & Tamiya T-55 shadow painted with Floquil British Dark Green
How pronounced is that effect of color tweaking? At least one Kreigsmarine U-Boat shadow painted in Luftwaffe RLM 74/75 etc placed in the IPMS Nationals.
In other words, to paraphrase Shep Paine “if it looks right - it’s right”
Yes that’s an obsolete ~35 year old external single action Paasche H airbrush in the bottom of the picture. It was used to paint all of the models above. The old Paasche H is basically the Pz IV, Sherman, T-34 of airbrushes…aka a simple workhorse.
The Paasche VL is used for camouflage. (M48A5 Patton, T-72)
The expensive Iwata Micron photo-retouch is used occasionally. (M1A2 Tusk2, Challenger 2)