Black Steel Metallic in action!
Pigments produce varying shades, vibrancy and coverage depending on technique and binders used. Showing you just the powder in a jar is not enough. For your convenience we made a presentation of the applied pigment so that you may better assess what to expect from it.
IN THE JAR
BURNISHED EXAMPLE #1
BURNISHED EXAMPLE #1
BURNISHED EXAMPLE #2
BURNISHED EXAMPLE #3
DRYBRUSHED EXAMPLE #1
DRYBRUSHED EXAMPLE #2
See VMS metallic pigment in action!
How to burnish machine guns to give them appearance of bare metal?
Paint your gun matt black. Mix your pigment with just a little bit of ENML 2.0 binders “standard” type - you want a pasty consistency. Don't worry about pigment clumps they will get spread evenly while burnishing. Now start burnishing the part – strike the part with your brush quickly just as like you do while drybrushing. Rub the half-dry paste in, add some dry pigment and keep burnishing. If clumps appear simply even them with your brush and spread over the part. Procedure is very straightforward and doesn't require any finesse. You can burnish all over or just here and there. The black base coat will give your gun great contrast. When the job is dry you can further rub it with a clean cotton bud for extra shine.
How to accentuate hull elements to give them authentic metallic look?
Mix your pigment with just a little bit of ENML 2.0 binders standard you want a pasty consistency. Get rid of the excess pigments on your brush - just "paint" over a piece of paper until the brush becomes "dry". Then start drybrushing your model. Strike gently any protruding elements such as hatches, handle bars, lamp guards and so on. When the job is dry you can further rub it with a clean cotton bud for extra shine. While drybrushing like so don't get overexcited – you need just a little bit of metal showing up! But don't worry - while working with ENML 2.0 you can always reverse the pigment job with Universal weathering carrier. :)
Alkyd, ENML 2.0 and Acrylic binders what's the deal with these products?
VMS offers specialised pigment binders for creative modellers! All binders fix your pigments but they do so in different ways. Alkyds cure slowly (up to 9h manipulation time after the solvent is gone!) and allow you to remove portions of pigment without using additional solvent, once cured they are permanent. ENML 2.0 binders cure rapidly and are fully reversible - very safe for your model, you can always remove them. Acrylic binders cure very fast and have top sealing capability but are not reversible, these are best for quick wet effects. You can use the binders not to just fix your pigments but also create your won weathering liquids and pastes! Please visit Pigment Expert page to learn more about the binders.
How to tell the good stuff from colourful dirt?
It's simple really. Good pigments have the colours up to scale (toned down) and easily cover the surface when applied as weathering liquid (mixed with binders and spread over the model with a brush). Even coverage is the case when grain size is in order, cheap pigments and fillers alike have big grain size which causes all sorts of problems in modelling. Poor adhesion and coverage issues are the main concern.
On the left VMS Spot-on EU brown earth on the right generic "sienna". Not only is the colour way off but look at the grain size and uneven coverage of "sienna' generic colour! We used the same binders and technique, gritty pigments will always lose to finer powders!
What's the deal with natural and synthetic pigments?
Contemporary pigments used in modelling fall into two categories: natural pigments or simply “earth” pigments which are ground minerals and synthetic pigments obtained by chemical reactions. Earth pigments have crystalline structure, while synthetic pigments have microcrystalline structure. Both types have their strengths and weaknesses.
Crystalline vs. Microcrystalline?
Crystalline earth pigment particles are slightly bigger, they adhere a bit worse but they allow the light to pass through and a result they produce more vibrant and natural effect. Microcrystalline synthetics have smaller particle size, they easily form tightly packed clumps and don't let so much light through. As a result they produce dull layers but adhere better. We determined that best results can be achieved while using blends of two pigment types rather than sticking strictly to earth or synthetics. VMS Spot-On pigment blends get the best of two worlds as they combine crystalline and microcrystalline pigments.
What are fillers?
Fillers are cheap white powders with grain sizes much greater that those of pigments'. Smaller pigment grains surround and stick to a bigger filler grains. The volume is increased, less pigment is needed to fill a jar, price is reduced but so is the pigment's quality and the final result - your weathering job. If some pigments you came across seem surprisingly cheap this might mean that fillers are involved. Fillers include treated plaster and chalk variants.
How do fillers affect my pigments?
Remember those grainy pigment that wouldn't stick to your model? Addition of fillers makes pigments lose vibrancy and fall off of your model easily as the grains size is out of order and don't fill the micro pores on your model so easily.
What about conserving my pigments by using plaster? My mates at modelling forum say it's OK.
You are free to add fillers like plaster to your pigments to conserve them, the problem is you may find it difficult to properly mix it in - white clumps of plaster may appear later on as you spread your weathering liquid or paste. Another drawback is the loss of vibrancy - colours will get washed out and present bad finish. Therefore we generally don't advocate the use of fillers such as plaster. To ensure that Your creative process is unhindered we offer bigger jars of the real thing and more affordable textured pigments. If there is pigment shortage and you are in a dire need of it you may add from 10+15% of plaster and be safe. For creating mud deposits; increasing volume use textured pigments which form realistic structures more easily than pigments mixed with simple plaster which lacks texture.