• Luke

Mission Model Paint - Color Change?

Today I went to get some airbrush parts and while waiting for the shop keep I was browsing the selection of Mission Paint the store carries. I have a few bottles of the paint already and really like the pigment in the yellow and the consistency of the paint. It airbrushes really well and applies decently by brush, as long as I don't attempt to use it on my wet pallet. Right before I was about to walk away I noticed something interesting... Color change paint colours. (no that's how we spell it in non-America)

How do Mission Model Color Change paints work for Miniature painting.

Excited I grabbed a couple of bottles and ran home. Silly me, I should have gone on the website and learned that it is recommended to spray over their "pearl starship white", at least for your firs time using them. So back to the store, and I grab a few more colours too!

A quick note on the Mission Model paint line. The bottles are very nice with a flip cap dropper style. Easy to pop open and reseal with one hand. They have metal mixing ball in each bottle which is amazing! This feature in the first bottle of paint I got from led me to run out and grab a pack of metal mixing balls...especially for certain Citadel paints (the Contrast line really benefits from mixing balls), all of my Scale75 paints, and my most used Vallejo's. The paint is perfect for airbrushing and has a pretty good spray @ 30psi right out of the bottle on my brush with no webbing or sputtering.

Since I just finished assembling a good collection of Tohaa troop from the game Infinity it was the perfect time to try a new product. So I power primed some models and started the process. The concept would be to use the color changing paints on the armor plates or on the muscle material on the models. I would experiment with a couple of the different colors and with different base coats to see what would work.

The first model to get the treatment was the Gorgos.

The Gorgos is a pretty cool model, and the largest in the Tohaa collection. I like working on TAG's first when I do a wave of mini's because they give me the biggest canvas to try new techniques or colour schemes on. This allows me to get a feel for it and then scale it down for the smaller mini's once I've come up with something I really like. So the TAG was the natural decision to give it a try first.

After a black base coat, some zenethial highlighting, and a bit of drying time it was the moment of truth... time to start the Colour Change process. I started with a base coat of the White Starship Pearl.

Once loaded it up the paint wasn't really spraying really well at first. I usually keep a pretty tight movement on the clutch of my airbrush to help prevent over saturation of paint. I adjusted it trying to find the "sweet spot". Unfortunately the particles of this paint, most likely due to the pearl in the paint, made it so I really couldn't keep it all the tight, so a lot of paint was naturally delivered. I felt the coat was a little thick... and really at the end of the day I did loose some detail from these very finely detailed models. I decided to take a break and let the paint dry for 2 hours before coming back.


nce I came back to it I sprayed on the red Color Change paint. The paint itself is interesting. It is thick in texture but moves easily. It's like heavy cream that still moves like milk. Very strange and hard to describe. It is also mostly clear, but looks like milk in the bottle with a lot of red flake. And really... that's all it really is in my opinion. A red metallic paint that is suspended in a milky clear/white base.

You will be hard pressed to find between the two photos which one has the red applied to it.

Answer.... it was the top picture of the two.

This started to put me into a slight panic... the paint is almost twice the price of regular Vallejo, so I was getting really nervous that this wasn't going to work in any capacity. I decided I needed to expand the experiment.

I took a bunch of figures at this point and applied various base coats. I did one model in Vallejo Scarlet Red, I did another one in black with a very strong directional highlight. I painted another up in a blue gray, another with a mild grey directional highlight, another with no highlight and just black. One I used Mission Models iridescent Blue and another one in the iridescent purple. Finally, I took one of my Zao's painted purple using a mix of scale75 and vallejo colours from my Japanese army and used it as a base.

This gave me a lot of interesting results. It also showed me how much the base coat really matters when it comes to how much the paint changes when viewed at different angles under the light. And really... I took comparison photos from different angles, but the effect can be so subtle that it doesn't capture on my cell camera very well. By the end of the experiment (and the photo does not show the order they were painted in) I was able to control the flow of the Color Change line a bit better which was helping with over saturation.

The scarlet red looked pretty good before applying the CC paint, but it came out really fast and heavy and the coat is too heavy to really give an accurate result. It came out as a very strong metallic (well they all did) and was pretty close to what I was hoping for, just a bit too saturated.

Over the black with white zenithal highlight the red did some pretty different things than the other paints. It went pink over the white highlighting and became burnt looking over the black. I don't think I'd every consider going this route as it just looked wrong.

Over the iridescent blue the CC blue gave a very interesting light pattern. In fact I liked this quite a bit, but not for this army. I would probably use this on a space ship or a hot rod or something... maybe a hero from Aristeia! would benefit from this. But not what I was looking for regarding the Thoaa.

The iridescent purple with the CC purple looks fantastic! I really liked this, it has a lot of light reflection as you move around the mini. But alas, like the blue, too bright and not really what I'm looking for.

The next CC purple mini I did was over a black with dark grey highlighting. This turned out pretty good. It is pretty bright compared to how the red reacted. I like this and will use this recipe in the future... but not on Tohaa.

The final purple one was my previously painted Zao. It was a 3 stage purple base coat that with a good blend of highlights to shadows. I already put texture on the base, which made this a bit more annoying. That being said... I'm probably going to look at applying this CC paint to my JSA armored units as this looks fantastic.

The next one was the CC blue over a Vallejo Blue Grey base coat. This one has potential, just needs the recipe mixed up a bit. It is at this time I start realizing that this is not going to work for Tohaa no matter what.

So I grabbed the Gorgos and started to at least experiment with a colour scheme and see if I could get this to work in any shape or form. I decided to go with a Vallejo Scarlet Red/Scale75 Blood red 50/50 mix on the armor plating of the Gorgos. I then decided I would do this the opposite of how I normally would and apply the shadows over the base coat. Normally I would go shadow tone, base tone, mid-highlight, white-highlight for a larger model like a TAG. But I decided if this was already a lost cause in my brain lets try a different technique.

Overall going Base tone then shadow tone (with no highlights) was a interesting test. It was easier to blend/fix mistakes with any overspray using a brush. I might actually do this in the future, and I think it might work really well for red going "backwards" as red is pretty easy to turn pink when highlighting.

I then applied the Color Change effect paint and was not too upset at how it turned out. It gave a bit of sparkle to the matte finish and made it turn into almost an automotive like finish. I like it, but not enough to still not plan on stripping the model as soon as I was "done".

The next step was to do the 'muscle' tissue, which I decided should be blue, which I would plan on highlighting up to make it a sky blue. Well that was a dumb move as the two colours don't really work together in those shades and it started to look pretty funky.

I mean fugly.

After that, it was time to apply some washes. I used agrax earth shade from Citadel over the red. Then used straight nuln oil over the blue. The dark wash over the red really made it work. I was actually really starting to like it, too bad about the blue. The blue was a really bad colour to use here. I honestly thing a dark grey would have been the preference here, but I would rather have a darker armor with a lighter muscle colour... I'll probably just go base "Spiral Corp" colours when this is all over.

In the end it started to look better than I thought it would, but it also is not at all what I want this army to look like. So in the "simple green" solution you go, we will try again another day... but these Color Change paints do not get to stay.

I will probably use them on a different project, but using them on the Tohaa army is not ideal. I think they would work better on different game projects...or maybe only on some hero units.

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