Wednesday, November 9

Review - MXPression Painting a 1/35 figure with Acrylic colours Presented by Oliver Kovacs

We first heard of MXPression from a few very nice calendars and this even better DVD on painting camouflages with acrylics in our review – Now that video was pretty informative and showed us a lot of useful things – can their latest video – MXPression Painting a 1/35 figure with Acrylic colours - a title directed towards the mastering of figure painting with acrylic paint presented by the extremely talented painter Oliver Kovacs top MXPression’s previous offering? Let’s have a look. First the trailer – then click on below for the review...

“Painting a 1/35 figure with Acrylic colours”
From: MXPression

Presented by Oliver Kovacs
- PAL DVD (NTSC users can also use this in a PC.)
- Format 16:9 - Colour (of course)
- Running Time 1hour 40mins
Languages: English - German - Japanese
Subtitles: English - German – Italian - Belgian
Available from: MXPression’s retailers' worldwide

Paints used are marked clearly in the DVD and the slip in the case for easy reference

The latest in the thoroughly educational series of DVD’s to help modellers from MXPression is this title “Painting a 1/35 figure with Acrylic colours” – and is presented by a gentleman that you may know if you are familiar with good painters of military figures Oliver Kovács – I had seen Oliver’s work before on his site so I was looking forward to getting a one on one in one of the most difficult things a painter can master – painting a small scale figure.

THE most common thing I hear modellers saying they cannot do “I am not very good at painting figures” well this video tries to remedy that – presented by Oliver in one hour and forty minutes this is a 16/9 PAL format DVD (use it on a PC or a multi-region DVD player if you are NTSC type of person) The DVD is in English, German & Japanese, with subtitles in English, Belgian or Italian. I think that has nearly everyone sorted …?

The equipment used is two of the industry darlings at the moment and I can see why – Vallejo Model colour is at present gotten everyone talking about how good it is to paint on – I like it as it’s non-toxic and easy to clean and comes in many (dubious though sometime) colours I like it a lot. Alpine Miniatures on the other hand really are the bee's knees in figures, especially 1/35 scale – we have constructed a few of them here on this site if you haven’t seen them please check them out post- haste! The products cannot be any better – but what about the DVD?

The insert of the DVD comes as a fold out with all of the paints and mixtures of the Vallejo model colour for your easy reference – MXPression really are barking up the right tree here and seem to have their finger on the modeller’s pulse – they are ticking all the right boxes in content that people want and materials – how is the quality of this release? Let’s get on to watching the DVD…

Smile Oliver!!

A The DVD starts with the main menu from which you can choose your language and subtitle settings and scene selection to watch just one part of the DVD or choose a particular part to scrutinize - handy if you just need to jog the memory bank or show someone something.
Oliver describes how and why he uses a “wet palette” to do his painting, and how he achieves the realistic tones which graduate from light to dark and dark to light in at least five different shades. I had never thought of this method of mixing in such a proper system before – indeed this looks like it could bare results - I watched on...

Oliver shows first of all how he gets best results when painting the eyes of the figure – what colours to paint and where to put the paint. Basecoat of the flesh tone is then discussed and then the gradual highlighting the figure – Oliver goes on to mention and to show where to highlight in different layers and thicknesses of paint the parts of the figures skin tones.

The highlights of the face – gradually going through the colours darker to lighter is shown – as is everything on this DVD in real time. The DVD never gets boring though, as it is impressive to watch this very talented artist at work and to have him talk you through what he is doing as it transpires on the video is great. The music playing breaks up the silence (he doesn’t always need to talk) and is never intrusive.

Oliver goes through the skin tone highlights in layers on the face - gradually applying the shades of colour until we get to the point where the figure can pass for a real person (well a 1/35th person) at step six (very carefully). The detail that goes into this isn’t too much for the normal modeller to achieve but is an eye opener as to what you can do with a well-mixed palette and some careful attention to where the light falls.

We then progress onto the shadow and Oliver again explains where to apply the shadow palette mix and shows the technique to make this show to its most lifelike effect. We go backwards from light to dark here with these and Oliver is our guide through the multi-layers of shade.

We then reverse and highlight those parts which have become obscured and which would stand out otherwise on a face, we go for the shadows again and Oliver then describes what he does to make the hair look more natural, tousled and realistic – the way he paints it and shows the effect once this look is achieved is simple but really needs to be shown to sink in. The head is finished – and by this point, I am itching to pick up the paintbrush!!!
The M43 tanker’s cap is painted next and Oliver shows how he does it – I find myself picking up tips from him just by watching this, not much needs to be said and before you know it the hat is painted to a standard that until now I wouldn’t have guessed at approaching with my knowledge as it was before watching this before.
On to the upper torso and base coating and shading the body - we are taken through the steps again for the torso – once you understand how to properly mix the paint using the techniques Oliver lays out you better understand the way and reason he paints on in these layers. This video makes you understand where to put your highlights and why. Quite satisfyingly Oliver places the painted head on the figure and we progress to do the shadows on the torso – layer by layer until we get the desired effect.
The highlight and shadow then highlight technique is employed again throughout this build on the large field glasses the Panzer trooper is carrying around his neck. Oliver takes us through it showing where best to layer the colours for the best, most realistic effect.

The basecoat goes on to the trousers – but there is the curveball on this part of the figure – the splinter camouflage pattern needs to be applied – (just when I thought I had the hang of this painting malarkey) Oliver shows us how to apply it piece by piece – all again in real time just like you were watching him at his modelling desk – He shows us how he achieves the difficult pattern here quite simply and it all sinks in, he gives tips about materials and real-life tendencies of the clothing. Oliver shows us how to highlight and shadow the trousers and detail them and apply the small “raindrop” stripes after he has finished.

Although the techniques for the rest of the equipment are the same as shown for the Field glasses Oliver still quickly takes us through them and he achieves again a great look - this guy is pretty good to rip through so fast on a figure like this (without even stopping for a cup of tea ill wager.)

Boots and belts! They are a concern and hard to get right – and a lot of dirt to cheat doesn’t always help – well we go through this step by step as well, you really do feel confident of achieving a better result after watching this.

Lastly, Oliver paints the arms and finishes off the model and shows you how to best present your model. He ends the DVD by placing the onus on you – the modeller – time to pick up your own paintbrush and paint your own model – Indeed!

If you hadn’t read any of this I will sum up by saying 1. You missed out on a good review – and 2. I really liked this DVD – it's informative and as with the previous release of MXPression is stylishly done, has a nice – easy to like format and is at once relaxed and humorous

The whole format of this DVD is simple and very effective – just figure paint and brush at work - without seeing the back of someone’s head or some old fellow babbling on really this is a great way of presenting a DVD – I like the style of this and the previous of MXPression’s DVDs and I commend them on the feel of them.
I like the result achieved by Oliver and feel confident I can do something like that with a little practice – Like they say on the DVD – time to pick up the paint brush!!

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to the excellent people at MXPression for this DVD for review