Building Nik Jardine’s Armored Crab,
(Crab #1, Phase Two, Initial & Intermediate Painting)



Monday, April 10, 2017
(Base-coating and detail painting, all in different shades of BLUE)

At the beginning of my crab build I had decided to try to finish it in some sort of metallic paint scheme.

During a previous Wonderfest Show visit, I viewed a Warhammer flying vehicle in their contest. The builder was a guy named Peter Day, and his Warhammer vehicle had a sweet, ohhhh-soooo-subtle metallic paint finish applied on it. It wasn't an over-the-top, in-your-face, shiny-metallic finish, but a more subtle, "if-you'd-shrunk-down-the-original-metallic-vehicle-into-a-smaller-scale-version" kind of metallic finish. (Yeah, I kind of used a whole lot of dashes there).

(Found below are pictures of it:)


I wanted to simulate this subtle, but-realistic metallic look on my crab.

I had also decided to go with a blue color scheme. (I guess that subliminally, the whole crab-n-water image was still toying around with my psychic).

A third thing I wanted to do was to add some sort of blotchy-pattern. I wanted to paint some blue splotches on it, with them fading from more to less intensity as they transitioned away from the top, center portion of the crab's carapace, outward and downward.

A fourth technique I was going for was a gradual, subtle transition from light to dark blue, (again when traveling from the top center of the crab's carapace, down the sides and into its underbelly). I also wanted repeat this color transition on the outer leg panels, inward into the inner leg regions.

(Yeah, I know? Quite a few painting techniques to shoot for here).


(A Kewl Crab Insignia/Logo)
The last thing I wanted to do was incorporate some sort of unique, distinguishing feature onto my crab. I was looking for some sort of customize insignia or logo to go on both the crab's carapace, along with a similar pattern being repeated on the outer leg panels.

After doodling (for far too long), I finally came up with a suitable image which fit the bill.


I scanned it in, chopped it in half vertically, and mirrored the other half to reproduce a symmetrical symbol.

I then adjusted my image up size-wise, to fit onto the top of the crab's main body.

Next, this shape was adjusted, making it thin and skinny, in order to fit on the crab's leg panels.


The updated templates were then printed out (this time onto cardstock), their shapes cut out and copied onto Tamiya masking tape, and the associated masking patterns carefully cut out.

(Blue Paints)
One thing that helped me on my way of achieving my crab's look were a number of relatively new, blue metallic enamel paints which had been released by Testors. These included Model Master Artic Blue Metallic (2702, a lighter blue color), Testors Blue Metallic Flake, (1539, which is a darker blue color) and Model Master Blue Pearl (277108). Other blue paints I used, (starting out as my base coats) were Testors Light Blue (1108) and Testors Fluorescent Blue (1176). I also ended up throwing some Alclad Gloss Black Basecoat and Chrome, along with Tamiya Metallic Blue (X-13) into the mix as well.


(Time to Paint)
I initially base-coated all crab parts in the Testors Light Blue. Then I airbrushed Florescent Blue onto the inner leg parts, the center region of the crab's carapace, and the center of each of the six leg panels. I also decided to airbrush some of the Artic Blue Metallic onto the upper portions of the crab's legs.


When the paint was dry, my carefully cut out insignias were applied to these darker blue regions. Testors Light Blue was then re-applied to these areas, over the now masked off patterns, and the masks were removed.

What resulted was a really greatly contrasted blue crab, (with it having a far greater contrast than what I was shooting for). No problem. I'd be going back later to blend everything together.


(Starting to add those blotches)
My next step was to add my blue blotches. I decided to draw them in, using a fine-tip, blue Micron magic marker. I just started drawing arbitrary small, blue patterns, beginning around the center logo at the top of the crab, and progressing outward. I tried to make the shapes arbitrary, along with shooting for some sort of consistency with respect to their spacing.

I also decided to ink my blue magic marker colors over some of the pronounced features on the crab. Included were those protruding bump regions, along with some vents and other distinguishing features. I also outlined the features found on the lower portions of the crab.

I finished up this step by using a black Micron magic marker to accentuate all recessed panel lines. (I was shooting for a pre-shading effect here).

(Starting my fading look)
After finishing coloring with my Micron pens, I airbrushed my regular blue color back on once again. This time though, I just focused on the outer ring of blotches, leaving the inner ones untouched. (With a latter application of another blending blue color, the outer blotches would receive more covering paint, which hopefully would cause them to be lighter than the inner ones, due to the additional coverage of blending paint).


(Painting schemes for my jump-jets)
My final focus during this phase was on the jump-jets. I wanted to somehow differentiate them, color-wise from the rest of the crab. Initially I was shooting for some sort of Steel color.

I started out with Alclad's Gloss Black Base coat. Following this, I airbrushed Alclad's Silver Chrome on. After looking at my finished painting result I decided that I really wasn't liking the direction my silverish color scheme was going in. (I'd revisit it later in the build).




(...Stay tuned for the Third Phase of the Armored Crab Build).



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