Painting tutorial: Moisture Vaporators – Imperial Terrain


Moisture Vaporators are strongly connected to the Star Wars universe and can often be found in the background of the movies or video games of this franchise.  These devices condense water from the air and are therefore a livelihood for settlements on inhospitable planets. This means they are essential for a wargame like Star Wars Legion as well. Because of their delicately design these things are hard to rebuild from scratch. 3D prints are very helpful in this case. Imperial Terrain designs and sells such 3D prints and files, that are suitable for Star Wars Legion. The quality of the delivered prints is good, the designs are excellent. In this tutorial I will show you step by step wo I painted the Moisture Vaporators from Imperial Terrain.

Step 1
Because 3d printers are printing objects in layers, all printed things show more or less fine printing lines, depending on the quality of the print. So before you start painting you have to remove these lines. It won’t hurt if you don’t do this, but the Moisture Vaporators (short: MV) will look better without them. For this purpose I have initally been grinding the MVs with a very fine sandpaper.
Step 2
In the next step I have been applying several layers of filler that have been grinded again after drying. You rerun this step until the surfaces are rather smooth. I have been using a mixture of PVA glue, acryilc sealant and water as filler. The mixing ratio has been about 1:1:3. Basically the filler mixture may not be to viscous. It is better to work with several thin layers than to paste up the model with a thick mush.
Step 3
Before I have been applying the last layer of filler, I added some rust brown and black pigments to the mixture. In that way you add to the last layer of filler a first color primer that will be relatively robust.
Step 4
As soon as the last layer of filler has been dried, I have been painting on a rusty colored wash. For doing so I have been unsing a 1:1 mixture of Vallejo Model wash Dark Rust and Army Painter Strong Tone. A wash is normally a kind of varnish of a thinned color, that will be applied extensivly – in this case on the whole MV model. The wash should be dried completely before you go on with step 5.
Step 5
Next on I have been coating the MV with an decent layer of hairspray. Before the hairspray is going to dry out I have been carefully sprinkling on some salt on the MV. The amount of salt is depending on the degree of weathering you want to have. Preferably the salt should be applied on areas where weather effects in real life would have a stronger impact on a MV – such as horizontal surfaces on which rainwater is gathering.
Step 6
Now will follow the acutal color primer. I have been using the white color spray can primer from Army Painter. The MVs in the Star Wars movies are mostly white or beige colored. But you can choose nearly every else color, depending on your own taste or the planet you what to portray. The important thing is that you use a spray can or an airbrush, because a brush would wipe off the salt. The primer should be applied well covering but not too thick.
Step 7
The salt will be rubbed off the MV with the aid of a small brush and some water. You can also use a toothpick or a modelling tool but you should be very careful by doing so. If you are rubbing too much on the surface or too strong you probably penetrate more than the color primer but rather the second (rusty) primer or in the worst case the filler layers. Therefore it is very important to work gently. If you do everything right you will get some nice rusty effects that are provided through the “rust primer” from step 4 and 5.
Step 8
Next up, a light shaded brown wash is being painted on the MV. For this I have been using Strong Tone wash from Army Painter that is thinned down strongly by Medium Thinner from Vallejo and a bit of water. Because I am always mixing by intuition I don’t know the exact mixing ration I have been using. I think it should have been something about 1:4:2 (Strong Tone, Medium Thinner, water). Surely the wash can be more intense, but I wanted to have just a dirty shade that doesn’t tamper the white primer color. In this case it is important to let the wash dry completely before you go on with the next step.
Step 9
All ventilation openings have been provided by a black wash – in my case Nuln Oil from Citadel. Redundant wash can be wiped off downwarts carefully by using your fingers. In this way you create a nice dirty effect – as if some oil or coolant or someting like that emerged from the openings. On my model this effect is rather subtle and can hardly been seen (because have been using only little wash).
Step 10
I have been applying unthinned Strong Tone Wash on areas that I wanted to highlight – so for example those “noses” on the upper part of the MVs. The wash hasn’t been applied extensively but rather on the spots that should be pointed out. After that the wash will be wiped down with the finger again (as in step 9). That will create a nice weathering effect.
Step 11
Finally the edges of the model have been highlighted by using white arylic paint from Army Painter (Matt White). Additionally I mixed some beige and mossy green pigments that have been brushed on. Some little rusty pigments have been set on the existing rusty spots and been wiped down with the finger again to get some nice stainless noses.I have to admit that the weather took a lot out of my MVs, but I like the overall effect. All descriped effects can be used more or less strongly of course.I hope I could help you out with this tutorial and inspire you regarding your own MV paintjob.

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