DARK KNIGHT, PART 2

Last modified: Saturday, January 6, 2001 6:20 PM

Since this was a bad guy, I wanted to make his armor darker than the King Arthur armor. I had painted King Arthur with Model Master's Gunmetal metalizer, which is one of the darker metalizers, so I was already pretty close to the edge of the darkness range. I did some trials with Model Master's Exhaust metalizer, but ended up using flat black Krylon paint.

Metalizers aren't like regular paints. They seem to be wax-based, similar to the metallic creams used to finish pewter/lead miniatures. Like those creams, the metallic particles rub off very easily and seem to transfer to everything you touch, so they need to be sealed with a topcoat finish. Unlike paints, it washes off your fingers easily with just soap and water.

This had an unexpected benefit for me. The flat black was intended to be a primer coat, over which I'd airbrush the Exhaust metalizer. I had used Stainless Steel metalizer to paint the "chainmail" fabric, and in the process of handling the figure, this coloring was transferred to the armor edges. This simulated a very natural and well-blended highlighting effect, resembling tarnished steel, polished by wear. It worked out a lot better than deliberately applying the effect, since it's easy to do too much (and once you've done that, it's a pain to undo).

This time I tried a different kind of chainmail. I used a coarse woven polishing cloth dyed black and spray painted with the stainless steel metalizer. Although the "fuzzies" of the fabric work against the illusion, the link pattern (on one side) of the fabric looks more in-scale and realistic, in my opinion. Unfortunately though, it doesn't have the proper scale weight to drape by itself convincingly.

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