Monday, May 23, 2016

STRAIGHT OUTTA MICRONIA | Paint Test Subject Interrogation

Robotech RPG Tactics

Paint Test Subject Interrogation

I finished painting two basic rank and file miniatures from the Robotech RPG Tactics miniatures game. I painted a UEDF Veritech in Battloid mode and a Zentraedi Regult. In this post I'll discuss in detail for each painted miniature, how I painted the miniature, what I learned, and how I will apply this to painting going forward.

The Painting Process

Before starting to paint these miniatures I was still in  research mode. I signed up for a second miniature exchange where two random miniature painters each paint a miniature and exchange them with each other all supported on an honor system. Speaking with my matched painter I told him I would paint him some Robotech miniatures as he had none of them as a miniature collector. This was an excellent way to start painting my Robotech RPG tactics miniatures and so I did. These would be paint test miniatures so there was no right or wrong way of painting them. I just needed to make sure I take good pictures and notes before sending them off. Another fine point I can take away with this is I'll have a well worked out format to use when mass painting more of them. I have never used this approach to painting miniatures before so this is for me is a self discovery of theory, planning, as well as adaptation.

Since I will be painting a lot of these miniatures I wanted to find a fast and easy painting method. So in theory, prime them, paint them, line them, done.  I want painting to be as brush stroke free as possible while remaining bright and crisp.

During this en devour I want to try a new line of paints to expand my paint selection. My mind for the longest time has been curious to the Vallejo Model Color paints and I had success so far in using some Vallejo Game Color paints. Game Color may have a more bright and shine finish compared to Model Color, the latter has more color selection and matches all of the needed main colors. Vallejo's own website states this about Model Color paints which was main selling point and selection sway.

"The consistency of Modelcolor allows for an extremely smooth and uniform paintfilm, with no trace of brushstrokes.". 

Reading the quote above you can assume every color I used are Vallejo Model Color paints unless otherwise stated.

First both miniatures were primed with spray paint. Once priming was complete I used a variety of Vallejo Model Color paints for main colors to paint the miniatures. Once painting was complete I applied a coat of Testor's Gloss Spray to the miniatures. Once the gloss coat was complete I applied all of the black lining with a Micron Pen.

Cartoon vs Real

I want my Robotech mecha to have a more animated look and feel compared to a realistic look and feel. To put these words into context I want them to appear as if they are jumping on a table right out of an animation cell. Some could say this style of painting will give the mecha a factory fresh appearance, but I feel that is a good thing. In the cartoon, mecha are downed and destroyed constantly on both sides forcing both sides to replenish there forces regularly. Regults are produced in the millions, thrown at an enemy and destroyed in droves by attrition overwhelming an enemy in the process. Zentraedi are known to posses multiple factories and cloning facilities to both replenish vast legions or mecha and warriors. There is the argument of salvaging parts from downed and destroyed mecha to repair other mecha, the Zentraedi certainly use this approach with their Quel-Gulnau (Recovery Pod). However I am not going this far into theory for painting my mecha, some can, but I do not wish to.

The idea which has been established so far is to use ink pens to apply black lining on each figure where a natural seem would be. Not knowing the nature of this process I did some research and asked a few questions. I discovered there are special markers used on Gundam models which could be a bit expensive especially if they are prematurely ruined. Good thing there was an option locally I could use to do the job being both cheap and efficient. I was able to see some finished product using the cheaper method and they give the cartoon look I am looking for.

Their is the question on adding highlighting to the miniatures, but in the sole problem of having to paint massive amounts of similar paint options, time is of the essence. Any use of washes will be extremely limited and the same with or no use at all with highlights. I believe it is thought the black lining will help draw the eye more than highlighting will. 

Zentraedi Regult Tactical Battlepod

I painted the Regult first using three main colors and one minor color. I primed it with Krylon Flat White spray paint. I use this cheap spray paint on my bones miniatures so I felt it is best to make sure it would work well for this miniature line. I primed with white as the majority color of this Regult is white. If I started with a black prime color I felt it would be completely unnecessary to paint multiple layers to build up a color from a black prime color. I did not leave the prime color as is. I applied a thin layer of two different brands of white paint, first Vallejo Model Color White and then Army Painter White to the prime color. This approach filled in any gaps in the prime color coverage and brightened the white overall. One important detail was to avoid visible brush stroke marks.

The upper torso I selected Deep Sky Blue to do the job. Three thin layers seemed adequate. I really liked this shade of blue the most over multiple choices in multiple paint lines because it was the closest match to the published provided paint options. All of the weapon barrels and large black areas were painted with black. The center lens and lower legs red dots I use Army Painter red.

Here is the painted Zentraedi Regult.

Is the black portion of the rear upper torso needed?

Final Thoughts

I will not use the same spray paint I used to prime this test miniature again. I felt the spray paint left a bit of a sticky surface feel even after giving an entire day to dry. The spray paint was a can of Krylon's Colormaster Paint + Primer with durable CoverMax technology. I am unsure if this may have been the cause of the issue or if t hey have normal flat white and their Colormaster flat white. The center lens outer housing is supposed to be white with black in the center versus black all over. I wonder if the black all over look is better though despite reverting back. The lower rear portion of the upper torso is supposed to be black. This painted portion can only be noticed if you are looking from the rear of the miniature and at the same level of the miniature itself at once. I believe I will omit painting this portion black and paint the enter rear upper torso Deep Sky Blue. This saves a bit of time and keeps painting speed up.

UEDF Veritech Valkyrie VF 1A Battloid

I painted the Veritech second using four main colors and two minor colors. I primed it with Testor's Flat Dark Aircraft Gray. This spray paint provided a method to view the main colors above a grey prime color. Also I wanted to paint the miniature without a white prime color be used as the foundation for the white colored portions. When choosing colors I compared Vallejo's online hex code examples to a PDF of paint options. When examining Vallejo's paint in the bottle I found both online hex code examples and PDF were incorrect to the actual printed book of paint options.

The main armor and wing locations I used Orange Ochre. The feet, knees, and thrusters I used Olive. The black and white elements I again used black and white used previously on the Regult. I disliked painting white over this grey primer. I ended up doing exactly what I did not want to do and that was paint multiple layers of white paint. The head lens I used Army Painter Greenskin and the small orange sections I used Americana Jack-O-Lantern Orange. I never use craft paints, but currently I lack an orange paint.

Here is the painted UEDF Veritech Valkyrie.

Left arm black lining probably could have been cleaned up a bit more.

Final Thoughts

Like the Krylon spray paint I will not be using the Testor's spray paint I used. It gave the same sticky surface feel . I will definitely be changing the colors Orange Ochre and Olive, both colors fail to match those in the paint options. Orange Ochre ironically looks very similar to the color of the plastic the miniatures are cast in, FAIL. I feel the small white square portion on the back of the miniature may be unnecessary to pick out, so I will need to think upon including or excluding this area. I am debating if adding black lining to the inner legs if it is worth it or not. It can barely be noticed from the font and rear views. Unlike the Regult rear torso section which can be viewed from only one view point,  this can be noticed from two of four view points.


I feel the Regult painted much better than the Veritech, however the colors I used on the Veritech were not the colors I desired. I have seen some examples where others used washes and highlights and be honest I did not care for that approach. Still the Veritech was a good job. I am also pleased I received much praise from an online group of fans dedicated to this game. These two miniatures have also been shipped to their new owner and I hope he enjoys the work I did in trying to achieve the look I wanted. On the side I am awaiting a shipment from him of two spare Inifiniti miniatures he painted for me I can hopefully use as NPCs for my ongoing ATOW campaign.

I have already pushed twelve Regults into painting using the colors mentioned before while making some changes. Most notably I used Army Painter White to prime the miniatures. I have also adjusted painting of the center lens outer housing and upper torso rear. I might make a small WIP post for those following my efforts and those generously interested. Of course I will post finished painted miniatures of before and after adding black lining.

Once the Regults are finished which should be soon I plan to either paint a quick Quel-Regult Recon Battlepod as a follow up to this batch of Regults or start into a full squadron of Veritech Valkiries. I have a bunch of Veritechs assembled so I will post pictures of the assembled miniatures before I begin to paint them.

Thanks for following my efforts and reading this post. If you have thoughts  about some of my proposed changes I would like to hear them. Also you can toss a vote to what to paint next.