Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Refurbishing Old Models

In the past, I've noticed that gamers tend to be very reluctant to do anything else to a model once they've decided that it's finished. I had the same problem; still do, sometimes. Once a model is done and you feel comfortable putting it on the table, there's an understandable reluctance to re-visit the model.

However, there is still the problem that painting levels evolve. As my squads look better, I started to feel uncomfortable using my older models. At the very least, they made my army look uneven. Eventually, I started going back over models that were already finished. My original models were painted very flatly, with no shading or highlighting. In addition, I hadn't really discovered thinning my paints yet or working to clear, even coats.

My first move is always to simply clean up the basecoats, trying to even out the coats and clean up any mistakes. I then add some shading using washes and add a few highlights. This doesn't look as good as my current layering work, but it looks way better than the original paint scheme and at least comparable to my current work.

The model on the left has been refurbished, while the model on the right is from its original squad.
The really nice thing about doing it this way is that it's fairly fast, especially compared to painting the models again. It saves the time and hassle it would take to strip them, while avoiding the loss of detail that often comes with stripping and repainting plastic models. It is also way cheaper than buying new models.

I recently started applying this to tanks. Before I start on the three Predators I just assembled, I wanted to fix up my old Predator and magnetize the turret so I can switch it to an autocannon. I never have shaded my tanks, and I didn't think it would make much of a difference. Surprisingly, it looks way better. I also repainted the lenses.

Before refurbishing
Here it is now:

The magnetization took a bit longer, but the painting only took about two hours, including completely painting the autocannon.  Time well spent, I think.

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