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Painting and lighting the Taui landing pad

2020-01-16 by David

The Taui Landing Pad is about to be released, so here's a little painting guide on how it was painted!

Please note that although somebody with airbrushing skills could do an amazing job of smoothly and quickly producing the "glow" effects with paint (and we're looking forward to seeing what people do with it)..... that somebody is NOT me!! I can't use an airbrush, so from the start this was planned as terrain that could be printed in clear PLA filament and lit from inside using LEDs. This is how it was done.....

£ Clear filament is interesting stuff to work with, but what it isn't, is easy to see!! So I decided to give most of it a preliminary basecoat of paint, and THEN work out where it needed work to smooth off the print with sandpaper and filler.


So this photo above shows quite clearly where my printer had a slight extrusion problem, with the tiny holes around the join between the two wall sections! Oh no! Fortunately I was able to quickly patch those with some cheap woodfiller, and smoothed off a little with some sandpaper.


£ The first coat of paint (an acrylic called Camel, by Americana DecoArt), as you can see in the previous photo, didn't cover the model smoothly, so I painted a second coat of the same colour over the top, which gave me this fairly smooth finish.


It was pretty easy to use a brush neatly for this, as all of the blue lines are inset into the model enough just to paint sideways along the edge without making a mess.


You'll also notice that I customised my landing pad with the symbol for a Tau force on the side. There are various geometric shapes included in the files (in this case a small circle and two 'wings'), so you can arrange them as you wish to customise your model.





£ To provide some highlights to the landing pad shape, I edge-highlighted with a rough brush using Flayed One Flesh (Games Workshop acrylic paint) which is similar enough to the Camel basecoat that it doesn't require any fancy blending techniques.

£ Finally, I edge highlighted again with a smaller brush using Bleached Bone (another Games Workshop paint). Again, no fancy blending techniques were required here.


I also highlightd the Tau symbol from light grey up to white, to provide some visual contrast to the rest of the building.

£ I'm not going to lie! Painting the hexagons on the landing pad surface was tedious! So sitting down with a long movie (or two!) to listen to, I carefully painted each hexagon first in Camel....

£ .... once more in Camel (as shown in the pic above), then edge highlighted in Flayed One Flesh and then Bleached Bone.

£ The last few things to paint were the energy lift (again I customised my model with a white Tau symbol) and this forcefield.


After some research, I decided to be quite subtle about painting this, just adding some three-pointed 'flicks' of the very light blue paint Blue Horror (by Games Workshop) in the grooves between the hexagons. I actually started adding paint to every junction initially (you can see this on the bottom left corner), but then decided to only add paint to half of the junctions. The slightly random effect of this looked better to me.

£ Lastly, people often ask what lights work well for terrain. For small stuff like samurai lanterns I normally just use single LED tealights for a flickering warm glow, but on something like this landing pad I needed more powerful lighting. So I invested in a couple of these string LED lights. They are only a few dollars from the internet.....

£ ... and have a pretty powerful glow to them! Being able to quickly reshape the wire and redirect the focus of the LEDs is a definite advantage!


The Taui Landing Pad will be released tomorrow, so watch this space!


Tags: taui  LED  painting 


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