Painting a sunburst

I have to admit: I really like sunburst patterns. I use them when I’m making posters too often, I have found out. So when it came to deciding a cool color scheme for my Khador, I couldn’t resist trying out a sunburst.

The basis for the sunburst was laid down in my previous blog,painting the ochre/yellow. Now it’s time to add the red. But first: masking.

When you’re working with an airbrush, you need to do some masking form time to time. Partly to protect the painted parts form the inevitable overspray, partly to create straight edges to your painting. Let’s start with the former.

The base had already been nicely painted, so it needed some protection. I used Humbrol Maskol for this. It’s basically a liquid latex that you put on the parts that you want to protect. I like to put it on pretty thickly, because it makes removing the latex a lot easier afterwards. I usually apply it with an old, bad brush. Don’t use a good brush for this, because they will usually only last for 2 or 3 applications. This is what it looks like wet:

And this is what it looks like once the latex has dried up. Be careful not to touch it too much, because it does stick to your fingers.

Next up: masking straight edges. I use standard masking tape for this. Tamiya makes some nice tape that is pretty flexible and that is available in smaller widths. For the sunbursts, I put a strip on a cutting mat and cut them in patterns That way, I have enough to last me a while and they are all the same shape.

With the preparation done, it is time to start masking the armor plates.

With all the masking done, I reapply a coat of my basic dark brown (charred brown), to have a nice basis to work from. Then, I put on a coat of Model Air Fire Red, once again putting a gradient in it.

Next color is Model Air Ferrari Red. This is a tricky color, because the paint is rather thin. You have to spray very lightly with colors like these, because they tend to crawl under the masking tape when applied too wet (which you will see later on).

Then, I take away the tape marking the sunburst pattern (but not the tape marking the solid yellow parts). As you can see, there is some red paint that bled onto the yellow.

As a final color, I use Model Air Light Brown. You might remember that this is the same color I used as the final step for my Ochre yellow. Using the same paint really ties the 2 colors of the sunburst together. This way, it looks more like 1 armor plate and the sunburst gets pushed to the background a bit. Basically, it helps to define the shapes of the jack better. It also helps to cover up the parts where the red paint bled onto the yellow.

And then the masking tape comes off.

So there you have it. That’s how I do my sunburst patterns.

Next up: painting a troll.