Topical Paint reference/resource thread

5326Commcando

Jr Hunter
Hello again everyone!

Looking at the threads and the processes involved, how does one exactly go about the topical process? How do the stencils apply to what you're trying to accomplish?

I only ask because the masking process seems very different, and I'm not sure how it's accomplished. As in instead of masking the inside layers, the topical way demands on masking the outside layers?

Thanks ahead of time for answering the questions to my inexperience on this process. It seems like a lot more work (maybe)!
 

superjedi

Sr Hunter
The topical method is pretty much exactly backwards from the layered method.
With the layered method, you're right in thinking that you work from the "inside out."
Taking Boba's ESB helmet as an example, with the layered method you would begin
painting by giving the helmet an overall coat of silver. Then, using some kind of masking
agent, you would mask off those portions that you want to remain silver. Then, you would
paint the gray. This process continues until the layers are built up.

With the topical method, you would begin by painting on the "top" color. In the case of the
helmet's dome, the green. Then you would mark off the areas to be painted silver and gray.

There are several ways to transfer the outlines of the damage areas to the helmet. I go "old school"
and use a pencil and tracing paper. Then I rub the pencil lines onto the helmet with the back of
a small paintbrush. Other people use graphite paper (black or white).

Of course, the end result is the same.
 

Tobot

New Hunter
I've not painted a fett helmet yet but on other projects I have used 'reverse weathering' or the topical process before and I've always been slightly dissatisfied with the result as the paint just doesn't have that 'chipped away' look . Layering always looks more realistic to me
 

Fett 4 Real

Sr Hunter
Community Staff
Take a look at superjedi's work before you make that assumption. I didnt think it was possible back when I first started but spideyfetts helmet for the TDH booth at CV changed my mind.
 

Jc27

Active Hunter
Preferred Vendor
There are some painters whose topical work looks fantastic. I myself have a topical painted fett lid done by Lee Malone, who did the paint scheme for the MR helmet.
 

Bounty1138

Active Hunter
I find that when I paint topically that it just looks like paint on top of more paint (not great). For this reason, i go layered and like the look of depth and wear it gives it. However, there is quite an art to topical painting and those that do it well, do an amazing job. I just don't have the topical painting skills needed. I find layered easier.
 

Tobot

New Hunter
Not denying that some guys are able to pull it off ;-) just not me :)
possibly with proper airbrushed etc instead of rattle cans you can lay down thinner layers , which is probably the key to a good topical finish
 

Fett 4 Real

Sr Hunter
Community Staff
Topical painting isnt using a airbrush or rattle cans for the topical application, its using fine tipped actual paint brushes....theres no masking involved. If you were to look at Terminal Fettlers paint ups with the thin airbushing he does you can barely tell theres layering at all. Its the same with the topical layering but it does take a steady hand and good eye for that sort of thing. Just for reference here is one I just finished....also look at afettfullofdollars threads he does topical application as well with his slide decal process.
 

Fett 4 Real

Sr Hunter
Community Staff
Thanks guys....been painting for well over 20 years now boba stuff for a few now though definitely takes practice lotta other talented people here that do great work like AFFO$ there
 

spacebob

Hunter
Great info here, seems like an appropriate place to ask.
The original esb that Joe Johnston painted I read somewhere on here was a mix of methods, if this is true does anyone know what parts are topical and what parts are layered?
 

RafalFett

Well-Known Hunter
Great info here, seems like an appropriate place to ask.
The original esb that Joe Johnston painted I read somewhere on here was a mix of methods, if this is true does anyone know what parts are topical and what parts are layered?
There's no real evidence if Johnston painted the ESB Hero or not. We know he painted the Pre-Pro #1 and Sandy the Pre-Pro #2, the Promo #1 and #2, the other suits are still unknown.

The touch-ups are topical (especially at the killstripe area/side), the rest of the paint job is layered (more or less).
 

spacebob

Hunter
Thanks Raf,
I always did wonder about that, so mostly layered with touch ups,
was it touched up because of the damage it sustained unmasking around the killstripe?
Thats the first time I've heard that Joe didn't paint the ESB hero, there's a photo of him working on the prepro3 helmet in the chronicles book but not painting.

:)
 
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