Painting Jersey Barriers
Hello everyone. It has been a while since we started our very successful blog with a single tutorial entry so, it's about time that we continue showing some.
This time around with our brand new Jersey Barriers being released, I thought I would show you how I painted mine.
I went for a striped pattern, the likes of which would fit marking the course of a death race in the Gaslands universe. I wanted them to have a bit of cosmetic damage to represent the scratches of cars hitting the sidelines and crashing into each other on their fight for the first place in the race and a ticket to Mars (yeah yeah, we know, it's a lie)
I used an airbrush for most of the painting process which speeds up the process (but can cause some trouble, keep reading) However an airbrush is not needed for this technique as every step can be done with thin layers of paint using a regular paintbrush.
Also, feel free to substitute the colours for any combination that strikes your fancy. Even if you wanted the red and white stripes over a grey concrete-like base, you don't need to use exactly the listed colours. Use what you have on hand and it will probably be fine.
This first step is completely optional. As part of the printing process the models will have some layer lines and the holes in the barriers are not completely round. Using a pin vise, I drilled the holes through to make them rounder. Using some fine grit sandpaper I gently sanded them down to make them smoother. Once primed and painted it should not show the layer lines too much, but, for tabletop quality this step is not a must.
I then primed the barriers in black using the airbrush. I forgot to take a picture until I was already applying the base coat, a mid tome grey (Cold Grey from Vallejo Game Color). This base colour will cover most of the model, but it is fine to leave the black showing up a bit in places for colour variation
Using a lighter grey (Stonewall Grey from Vallejo Game Color) I sprayed it from the top down to make highlights. I also sprayed it lightly on some random spots all over the surface to give it a look closer to concrete.
Next, apply a black wash (Nuln Oil from Citadel), also known as liquid talent. Don't go overboard as we want pooling to be kept to a minimum as if it pools it will sip into the crevices between the layer lines and it will accentuate them.
Once dry, apply a chipping effect liquid (I used Scratches Chipping Effect from Ammo of Mig Jimenez). This transparent liquid will form a layer that once dry you can paint over. Then after your final layers are done (in the following steps) you can apply a bit of water with an old brush or a cotton bud and applying light pressure it will chip the paint, showing through the colour that was underneath giving it a very realistic chipped paint effect.
If you don't have that available, there are other similar techniques using hairspray or just table salt. What you want at this stage is to have a "save point" that you can show through the chipped paint.
At this point I made a mistake by applying some old varnish before the chipping medium, that reacted badly with the paint, removing even the primer in places. I fixed the issue with paper towels and a quick stippling effect to get it back on track. Nothing to see here. Chipping medium applied and dried.
Now, cover the entire front and top of the barriers in white (I used Off White from Vallejo Game Color as it is more of a creamy colour). I left the other side grey, as the idea is that these are marking the track course, so only the side facing the track will have the markings.
Yeah, it looks like all the previous steps were a waste of time, but be patient.
Using some masking tape (I used one that I had laying around from Tamiya), mark out where the red stripes are going to be. Try to keep them parallel to each other. I opted for a continuing pattern across the 4 barriers but you can try to make each barrier have their stripes in exactly the same spot. A matter of personal preference.
Very Important... if you are using an airbrush, please, mask the backside entirely. As I learned the hard way, the red will bleed over the edge and ruin your paintjob on the other side. I had to completely re-do the back of the barriers using some sponge with grey and some brown washes but it ended up OK.
Learn from my mistake, mask the back and save yourself some time, specially if you are painting a ton of them.
I then applied a couple of coats of red. First a darker one (Hull Red from Vallejo Model Air) and then a brighter one (Italian Red from Vallejo Model Air). The airbrush was starting to act funny and there was quite a bit of splashing. I left it like that as it actually added to the effect once the chipping was done.
After leaving the red paint enough time to dry, very carefully, remove the masking tape. The red will probably have bled on to some of the masked areas as the 3d printed surface is not completely flat. It is fine, don't worry, we can fix those errors by focusing our chipping into those areas in the next step.
Now we want to make the surface all chipped to represent those scratches from cars hitting the barriers. Using an old brush, dip it into clean water and get some water into the model. Then, using the bristles of the brush or a cottong bud or even a bit of paper towel start gently applying pressure in the places where you want the paint to come off. Be creative with your placement. By varying the pressure, some scratches will only remove the red paint showing the white underneath and some will come all the way to the concrete grey... or even to the black primer if you really push it. It all adds to the effect. Try not to follow the layer lines too much as you don't want them to pop out.
Focus on the areas where the red has bled on top of the white to fix those painting mistakes. Remove the excess water as you go along. You don't want the model to be soaked, just enough water for the chipping medium to do its job, removing the excess with a paper towel as you go along.
To finish, apply some brown wash (Aggrax Earthshade from Citadel) to finish the look we were aiming for.
Let it dry and done! (unless you didn't mask the back and now have to fix it because it is all red that's it)