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Ok, here is how I go about painting my concrete bases.  Please keep in mind that what I do is most likely NOT the only way.  Heck, it may not even be the BEST way.  All I know is that it works for me and I like the results.  If you have a different way, I'd love it if you shared....

The first thing to do is to look at a lot of concrete.  It's all around you.  The sidewalks, store and restaurant floors, runways.  New concrete seems to have a distinctly grey shade that over time weathers and fades to a light tan with even some pinkish cast to it.  You've got lots of room to play here, so have some fun with it.

 

 

First up, the raw resin.  It's a good idea to wipe it down with soap and water or alcohol.  Given the simple casting, I don't tend to use a lot of mold release, but every few pulls I do squirt the molds down.  I've never had a problem painting directly over the resin, but I'd hate for you to have a problem (it's kind of like the old saying "Do as I say, not as I do" or even "an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure").  Another good idea is to prime the resin.  Again, I didn't in this example, but if you are using acrylics, as I am, it will help the paint adhere better.

 

 

 

 Second, pre-shading.  I almost never do much pre-shading on my models these days, but I do find it can be a worthwhile technique with these bases.  I used Tamiya XF-64 Red Brown here, but a dark gray or even black would do the trick as well.  Notice that neatness isn't exactly a concern, and I also sprayed some random areas and some of the corners with the pre-shade color.  It just helps to introduce some randomness right from the start.

 

 

 

 

 

Third is the first random coat of gray.  I used Tamiya XF-19 Sky Grey.  At this point, I'm not trying to get full coverage.  In fact throughout the whole process I never try to get full coverage.  What I'm trying to do is build up colors in thin, random layers for an organic look with shades fading and blending into one another. An important part of how I paint is using thin paint that builds up in translucent layers.  Even if I were to try to cover 1oo% of the base, the first pass would come out fairly random looking just because the paint is pretty thin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next I moved to XF-20 Medium Grey. And once again, the application is thin and random.  Even at this point you can see that I haven't completely covered the resin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then SF-54 Dark Sea Grey. Still working with just a soft, random pattern.  It's all about building up a softly variegated pattern of shades that appear natural.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also used a touch of XF-60 Dark Yellow to vary the tone a bit and XF-55 Deck Tan for some fading.  

Be careful and really thin these colors and build them up slowly.  A little goes a long way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then, just keep working back and forth until you are happy with the look. I often just work from one mixing cup and keep adding random combinations of the colors above and alternately work with light shades and dark shades until I get to what I'm looking for. I've also used some XF55 Deck Tan and XF54 Dark Sea Grey to lighten one block and darken another.

 

Don't be afraid to keep fussing with it. It's hard to get too much paint on the bases.  If you don't like something just spray right over it to cover it up!

 

 

 

 

My final step is artists oils.  They can be used for an overall wash if you want to hightlight the texture and pattern some (although I find it's not really necessary) and to highlight the joints and cracks.  I usually use the oils for oil and other fluid stains.  I typically use Burnt Umber, Raw Sienna, Yellow Ochre and Blue and thin the paint with Naphtha.  To build up an oily stain, I dab small amounts of thinned paint directly onto the base. With a flat finish, the thinned paint will disperese with a natural look and the stains can be built up in overlapping layers. 

 

 

Well, that's how I go about it.  As I've said before, it's only MY way, not the RIGHT way.  If you've got a different, or better way, let me know, and I'll include your way as well.  If we all share our techniques, we can all do better work!

One other thing to make note of.  I've always used Tamiya Acrylics on these. Mostly because they are what I use about 95% of the time on my models.  I like them, and I know what I'm going to get with them.  HOWEVER, as I was painting the last couple of bases I've done, it did occur to me that I was spending a LOT of money on paint.  The next day I drove myself over to a Michael's and a Wal Mart.  I bought 5 or 6 colors of much cheaper acrylic paint at each store that I'm going to try out.  As long as I can thin them and spray them with an airbrush, I don't see why they won't work. 

Well, I tried the craft acrylics, and while they do work, I prefer the known quantity and quality I get with Tamiya.  But there is no question the craft paints are much cheaper!