Model Builds with Archive-X Paints (Star Destroyer, AT-AT, Falcon, X-Wing, Slave 1, and other projects).

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skahtul

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
A while back I picked up these Archive X paints and I have really enjoyed working with them, well not at first but now that I have done some experimenting and figured out many of their nuances they are just great. I have been spoiled by Tamiya paints as (in my experience) they are super forgiving and just so easy to work with. However, for some of my star wars build's these Archive X paints are just fantastic. They have a 'look' to them that is hard to explain but just look right.

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About a month ago Bandai kits were on sale in a few locations, one was Hobby Lobby and there were a few online retailers so I went a bit crazy and picked up a few (2x Star Destroyers, another Falcon, 5 X-Wings) and while I was at it I picked up a Revell Slave 1 and AT-AT. So, this thread is basically a place where I am going to post the finished kits and a bit about what went into each one.
 

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skahtul

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
First up is one of the Star Destroyers, this is the only one I plan to light up.

I purchased the kits without a wiring kit so I just made my own and to be honest, in the end, it ends up looking much better than the one from Bandai I did a while back.

First up is a coat of Alcald Grey Primer along with getting the initial set of LED's run:

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skahtul

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
This is followed by a coat of SP Lettering Grey and getting all the wiring put into place. I was pleased to see that even though this was not the light-up version it still comes with all the parts except the electronics which made this much easier.

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skahtul

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
And finally the custom base. I think this one turned out much better than my previous build as last time I went way too heavy on the weathering and the panel lines. In my opinion at this scale, filling in the panel line just throws off the scale and looks a bit odd.

(Updated with the corrected "Episode V" plaque.)

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edge10

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Nice Star Destroyer. I hate to break it to you, but TESB was episode V. Episode IV was Star Wars (A New Hope).
 

skahtul

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I recently bought a bunch of Archive X paints. I have not used them yet but I look forward to seeing what you do with your kits especially the AT-AT.

Yeah, the AT-AT is the only one I will modify. It has some things like raised panel lines, which are supposed to be inset that just can't be overlooked :)

For the paint, I would purchase an acrylic paint retarder for sure, it has made a world of difference for me. Initially, I just could not get it right no matter what consistency I used (paint kept drying in the airbrush) but with the Vallejo airbrush flow improver, my experience is much better. Also, they do take a bit to get used to as the paint requires a bit of fitness with very thin and multiple coats. They don't cover like the Tamiya, not even close but if you keep the PSI right and put them down thin, the end product is pretty amazing and durable. That's been my experience so far anyway.
 

Hagoth

Sr Member
That Star Destroyer came out really nice.

Want to see more of what you can do with these Archive X paints. I like your printed holder for them by the way.
 

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skahtul

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
That Star Destroyer came out really nice.

Want to see more of what you can do with these Archive X paints. I like your printed holder for them by the way.

Thanks. I got the files from the guy that runs Rossi Replicas, I cut them down a bit as the full print holds more bottles and it stacks double heigh.

Same on seeing what I can do with the paints. My biggest challenge right now is the weathering. Normally once I get the base coat down and maybe a few passes with the airbrush for initial weathering I will gloss cote everything and then hit it with various washes (enamels and oils) and then flat coat it. The problem with that is after you gloss and flat coat these they seem to lose a bit of that 'special quality' so I am doing some experiments on that front.
 

skahtul

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Well, here goes nothing! I am always intimidated by painting the Falcon, it's why I have had my PFG for 3 years now and I still have not built it.

Step 1 > Primer coat with Alcald Grey.

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Step 2 > Pre-shading with Tamiya Nato Black (yeah, not Archive X but this color is just so good):

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Step 3 > Basecoat with Light Grime, AX-004. As I am going for a more ESB version (although I make no claims of any kind as to my ability to actually replicate anything with any fidelity or accuracy) I went with this color. For an ESB, according to the Archive X website, this is the best base coat to start with. I wish you could see it in person, this color is just amazing.

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scotthothpatrol

Active Member
Yes I have been using their enamels for years and picked up the Acrylic as well. I used Sp lettering for the walker base and the speeder base.
Thanks, the SP lettering turned out great on your AT-AT. I will give that one a try. I have several ref photos of it but because of lighting the picts show the ILM model in different shades of grey. It can be rough deciding what archive X color to use.
 

akumazeto

Sr Member
Thanks, the SP lettering turned out great on your AT-AT. I will give that one a try. I have several ref photos of it but because of lighting the picts show the ILM model in different shades of grey. It can be rough deciding what archive X color to use.
I dotn want to hijack the op thread. There are threads here on RPF and on the AX FB groups of my builds.
 

Padawan311

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Looking great! I just recently picked up some Archive-X acrylics and I am also new to airbrushing. I haven’t had a chance to use them yet so any tips would be greatly helpful. How much do you normally thin them? PSI?
 

skahtul

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Looking great! I just recently picked up some Archive-X acrylics and I am also new to airbrushing. I haven’t had a chance to use them yet so any tips would be greatly helpful. How much do you normally thin them? PSI?

Nice! Yeah, I normally go for about 15 PSI. The base paint is thick, mix it really, really well before you pour it out of the bottle. Also like I said above, us an airbrush flow improver (paint retarder), which has helped me a ton. How much thinner is really hard to answer, that is one you just kind of mess with on the fly. If I were to guess, I would say 'about' 75% thinner? Lastly, when you mix the thinner and the paint in the brush (or before in a small cup) just make sure you mix it really, really well. Basically, I have found the paint just has to be mixed well in order to work :) That is what I have found so far.

Good luck!
 

skahtul

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
My acrylic test bed

Thanks for the inspiration, I decided to grab one of my test prints to use for a test bed also as I have not done that yet for these paints. I tried both plain Archive X and with a few coats of Tamiya Clear. The Archive X is surprisingly strong. I have been hitting it with oil paints and enamel washes all morning and it seems to be holding up very, very well (including taking the wash back off). Do you typically flat/gloss coat the Archive X paints? If so, what do you use?

Thanks!

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