Monday, July 1, 2013

How to Paint a Poet's Moon (actual post)

Here's the long overdue walk-through of how I painted the crescent moon on the Crimson Hunter.

JJ typing, first of all my apologies for the incomplete post landing couple of weeks ago.  That's what I get for not maintaining my blog while juggling other activities.  Friend of mine said he clicked on the post really looking forward to seeing how I painted it and it was empty except for "hehe and hehe" he laughed and said "What a dick."  Like I was laughing and throwing it in the readers face.  This made me embarrassed.  Was working on a lot of real-life stuff and not paying attention to my blog.  I put place holders in the body of the post for pics and page break.  I've since changed the 'hehe' to 'place holder' in case that happens again.  If other people were also offended by thinking I was playing a prank on them.  Not my intent at all.  My bad.


What I used:

Google images to find the moon
Blue tape
Modeling knife with new blade
Frisket Film
Iwata Eclipse HP-CS airbrush
Vallejo Model Air White
2 Blick Scholastic Fitch, used for stippling
Army Painter Mat Black
3/0 Raphael Kolinsky 8404 Sable brush
Army Painter Mat White
Adeptus Battlegrey
Abaddon Black (made into airbrush form)
Fenris Grey

Believe it or not.  The last step was the hardest of all.

Print of moon with draft of how to paint the moon.

Purchased this months ago firmly believing I was never going to use it.  It was in the airbrush isle at Blick.  Eye-balled it every time I was picking up cleaner and restorer.

Cut out a small part of the Frisket Film for the moon.  Because of the model I couldn't use a large sheet of film.  It would've been a waste anyway.

Blue taped film to paper and placed it on a lightbox.  It was easy to cut the film exactly to the curvature of the moon.

Moon cut out and ready to be applied.

Because of the curve of the Crimson Hunters hull it was a little difficult ensuring the film stuck.  Used some blue tape to help it.  This was useful because the tape also protected the flyer from over-spray.

Also blue tape is useful when you can to clear the airbrush from build-up.  Very lightly built up the crescent moon starting with the outer edge first.  Didn't make it a complete crescent because the inside was going to be fading to black.

Film removed.  Turned out far better than expected.

Army Painter Mat Black stippled onto the hull instead of painting directly.  Purpose is because instead of a hard edge from the blade of the brush, stippling allows a little control of the paint to blend with other paints.  In this case Jon Kovalic Armoury Black Primer.  Paid close attention to enhance the stippling on the inside of the crescent moon to fuzzy up the moons shadow.

Army Painter Mat white to paint craters.  Had to make sure that I was painting only the side of the crater that was being illuminated by the sun.

Painted the shadowed part of the craters with Adeptus Battlegrey.  Both white and grey were applied using a little stippling effect with the Raphael Kolinsky brush.  Those brushes are sturdy.  What a lesser brush would easily be damaged, the Kolinsky took it like a champ.  Almost there.  Somethings wrong.  Couldn't quite put my finger on it.  Craters look like craters but aren't.  Moon looks like a moon but doesn't.  Somethings off and took me awhile to figure it out.

This part took me a long time staring at the moon to figure out what was wrong.  Looked back and forth at the print of the moon and the painting.  It was off.  Couldn't put my finger on it.  Must have looked back and forth for about 12 mins before it hit me.  The stippling of the black for the moons shadow was too bold.  Also there wasn't any transition in the moons shadow.  Pulled out the airbrush and very carefully softened the moons shadow transition.  Furthering the shadows transition I remembered the wonder magic on the Ebay Deathwing Land Raider for El Jonson's sarcophagus.  To pull all the greys together I stippled it with Fenris Grey allowing it to look like rock.  Same here.  Once again pulled out stipple brush and again very carefully stippled Fenris Grey along the moon.  It was the bridge from the illuminated side of the moon to the shadow.  It mixed up the craters of pure white and grey.  Breaking the craters up to make them look like craters, expanding the transition of the shadow of the moon and it was complete.  Had to be very careful to keep the Fenris Grey near the black and not move into the white.

slainte mhath


  1. haha nice. say yeah I was laughing at you (jk). The Tut looks good man and the finished product came out looking really good. Nice to see the extra thought put into the paint job.

    1. Thanks, Todd. When I get stuck while painting a model, I want to explain my thought process to give readers an insight into obstacles and how they were overcome. In case they encounter something similar.

  2. Nice walkthrough. Very comprehensive, but don't give away all your secrets ;P

    1. hehe Was talking to Suijin about that couple of Fridays ago.

      Now that I think about it, if I explain exactly what I do. My work won't seem like magic. You've sold me, Zab. No more giving away secrets. =D


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