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THE Idiot's Guide to Kitbashing


WraithVerge
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epoxy's cool and all, but it can be a bit brittle for my tastes. as long as the part you're attaching doesn't have a lot of stress on it constantly, it's all good.

So far i've just used it to put a 'cap' on a piece i cut off of alt sideswipe's foot ...so no stress there :D

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Okay, sit down everyone...class is in session....

 

 

The Idiot's Guide to Kitbashing 7: Detailing.

 

Detailing is the art of putting in thos fine touches that seperate a masterpiece from a finished piece. It's the craft of adding in the small details that bring a ho-hum replica to life....

 

Or, it can ruin it.

 

This installment is all about putting on those finishing touches, and how to avoid putting on too much or the wrong ones. So let's get started...

 

 

First off, know how much is enough:

 

Some modelers only put the bare minimum into their customs, and others will try to pump as much detail in as they can. Knowing how much is enough is key here. Too little detail will make the custom look uninteresting and "pedestrian," while too much detail can obscure the lines of the custom and make it look far too "busy." Either way, it can do your custom in.

 

A good idea is to take photos of your custom, and scan them into a computer. Then, photoshop or another similar program can then be used to add in the details you want. Then you can see what it would look like with the details you added, all without ruining your kitbash. Plus, if you don't like something, you can change it instantly!

 

 

Secondly, keep it SUBTLE:

 

Many kitbashes that I have seen were all plagued by the same thing: detail that stuck out like a sore thumb. If your robot has yellow eyes, fine. But unless he has Q-beams for eyes, they don't need to be neon yellow! Think about it: they're photo-receptors, not photo-GENERATORS.

Additionally, wires, pumps, circuits and other parts aren't going to be so brightly colored that they could light up times square! They're components, not crayons.(why give your enemy something to AIM AT?) Subtlety is the keyword here; making it JUST noticable is what you want to do. Often, the best details are noticed subliminally. So a few small, barely noticeable details is far better than a whole plethora of gaudy, garish ones that look like you're trying to signal an alien civilization!!!

 

 

Third, keep it appropriate:

 

As much as badly done details can ruin a good kitbash, so too can inappropriate details. Everything from wires all over the place, to camouflage on race cars, to racing stripes all over your Autobot or Decepticon city. Keep in mind: armor is there for a reason. If you have something exposed, it has to be for a reason. putting a vital part right in the middle of a chestplate or leg is not too smart, unless the transform calls for it to be there. Most of the original transformers had their decals on surfaces that were hidden in alt mode, so it might be a good idea to put the most detail on mating surfaces that would join in alt mode.

 

 

Fourth, Keep it neat:

 

A simple, clean looking detail is far better than a complicated messy one. Many successful kitbashed I've seen stuck with simple color schemes, and simple, but strong details. Those are the ones, that for my money, are the best ones. But whatever you decide to do, make sure that it is neat and clean. In scale models (which are what alternators and customs/kitbashes really are), the smaller the model, the more a badly-done detail will be noticable. And at the scale we work at in transformers, every litlle thing is going to stand out.

 

 

Now that we have the theory out of they way, let's discuss a few techniques for doing details:

 

 

1) Painting:

 

This is usually a good way to add in details such as colors for the eyes, accents for the body like silver or gold parts, components like red, green and yellow buttons or modules on the exterior, and designs n the surface. I usually use a 00 or 000 brush for most of my work, along with Scotch magic tape to mask off certain items. (when called for.) For detailling paints, I use Apple Barrel colors from wal-mart, delta's ceramcoat, and tamiya's acryllic colors. These dry quickly, and allow me to do an entire project in one sitting. The only drawback is that they require krylon crystal coat to keep them from chipping. But I find it's worth the trade-off.

But whatever you use, remember to use the appropriate size and type brush.

 

2) Markers/Pens:

 

For lettering and certain details, I prefer writing implements. They give me far more control than a paintbrush will allow. On certain projects, I will use a medium to dark grey micron brand pen (the smallest tip they have, 000) to draw in panel lines on my piece, rather than do a "wash." And when combined with scotch tape to mask the upper and lower borders, you can't beat pens to do lettering.

 

Markers I use far less frequently, but I still use them for times when I need a certain effect. (like oil streaks on aircraft landing gear or a purplish tint to a black color.) Use markers sparingly; they tend to get streaky on plastic, and tend ro rub off after a while.

 

3) Decals/Labels:

 

Decals, like on model kits, are also a good way to detail out your replicas. The best part about them is that you can even make them yourself, using clear or white blank decal paper, photoshop, and an inkjet printer. Photoshop is ideal for designs and insignias; you can even copy ones you like that are too complicated for most folks to do. Plus, when printing them out, you can make extras in case you mess up or they get damaged.

 

Labels, like those from other transformers/Reprolabels, are another way to do detailing. Take a look at a certain label that you think would look cool on your kitbash, and just stick the thing on!!! A word of advice though: try to trim it so it doesn't look EXACTLY like the label you took, ot someone is liable to recognize it. ("hey!! that's G1 Optimus' forearm label!!!")

 

4) Spare Parts/Odd Parts

 

In my work, rather than paint in wires and suggest components with decals/labels, I will actually get a bundle of small wires from an old walkman, or little knickknacks from odd electronics and old kits from around the house, and glue them on or install them. Of course, this is space and transform permitting, but it adds so much more when the wires you see suggested ther are REALLY there. THAT blows people away!

 

Now, before I go, there's one last word of advic I'd like to leave you with:

 

Make it for YOU:

 

The biggest mistake many kitbashers make with detailing is that they're trying to IMPRESS SOMEONE ELSE with their skills. A word of advice: don't. It will only cause you to make mistakes on your detailing. I've seen too many customs ruined because someone wanted to beat out some else's version, or was trying to build something to blow someone else away.

Don't get me wrong: there's nothing wrong with being competitive, or building something for someone as a favor or commission. But when you start doing stuff to it that you normally wouldn't, just to impress someone, that should be your first warning!! Detail a model/custom/kitbash the way YOU think it looks good. Use YOUR best judgment on it; built it they way YOU think it should be built. That's the BEST way to make a detailed custom that wil turn heads.

 

 

Well, that's enough for this session. As always, If you have any questions or comments, or need help with a project, feel free to leave a post here at IGTKB. Or if you need to, PM or email me.

 

Now, where's my chalk......?

Edited by WraithVerge
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NEWS FLASH FROM IGTKB:

 

One of my friends, Tom, has agreed to let me use his digital camera for putting my creations on TFans! Within the next two weeks, the Custom Repaints and Kitbashes Forum will finally see some of MY stuff. I'd like to thank everyone for bearing with me on this, and I hope to be bringing all of you pictures of my work soon!

 

 

-WV

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NEWS FLASH FROM IGTKB:

 

One of my friends, Tom, has agreed to let me use his digital camera for putting my creations on TFans! Within the next two weeks, the Custom Repaints and Kitbashes Forum will finally see some of MY stuff. I'd like to thank everyone for bearing with me on this, and I hope to be bringing all of you pictures of my work soon!

 

 

-WV

Can't wait man. :thumb

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NEWS FLASH FROM IGTKB:

 

One of my friends, Tom, has agreed to let me use his digital camera for putting my creations on TFans! Within the next two weeks, the Custom Repaints and Kitbashes Forum will finally see some of MY stuff. I'd like to thank everyone for bearing with me on this, and I hope to be bringing all of you pictures of my work soon!

 

 

-WV

Can't wait man. :thumb

I'll 2nd that. :D

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