BY BRENT BRISTOW

KLAATU IN GREYSCALE

Because I have done a few greyscale paint ups in the past few years, I have been eager to try the new Garage Kit U.S. Colors greyscale set I picked up at Wonderfest (2018), and when I received the new new quarter scale bust of Klaatu produced by John Dennent from The The Earth Stood Still, I knew it was the perfect piece to test these paints on. I also chose this piece because I wanted to challenge myself by attempting a metallic look for his suit that would be convincing in greyscale.

#1

Klaatu comes in two parts, the bust plus the stone base with name plate. The piece was cast cleanly, and required only minor clean up. After a quick wash with dishwashing detergent, I primed it with Duplicolor grey primer. (Pic. 1)

#2

After comparing the shades of paint to still shots of Klaatu from the film, I decided to use the Warm Grey 3 as my base coat for the flesh. For the shadow areas, I used Warm Grey 4, and then Warm Grey 5 for the darkest areas, such as under the chin and nose. Then, I used Warm Grey 2 for my initial highlights, followed by Warm Grey 1 in more targeted areas, and a misting of Pure White sprayed from above to hit the highest points of the face. (Pic 2)

#3

To blend the six different shades on the skin, I took the Warm Grey 3 and thinned it with some 91% alcohol. Since the paint is already semi-transparent, it did not take much to get a transparent wash. I then sprayed all of the skin areas from approximately 6-8 inches away and sealed it with Tamiya Flat Clear. (Pic.3 )

#4

Once I was satisfied with my grey skintones, I took the Cool Grey 7, mixed in a little of the GK Thickener, and hand brushed in the hairline and eyebrows. (Pic. 4)

#5

After a shot of clear coat, I masked off the skin with silly putty and sprayed the Cool Grey 7 over the hair. I then mixed the Cool Grey 7 and 6 paints, and dry brushed some highlights onto the hair and eyebrows, followed by Cool Grey 6 alone, and then mixed with Cool Grey 5 for higher highlights. I followed with a wash of Cool Grey 7 mixed with water, carefully brushed into the recessed of the hair. (Pic. 5)

#6

Moving on to the eyes, I brushed painted Warm Grey 1 on for a base coat. Using a black watercolor paint, I outlined the pupil. Once I was happy with the shape and placement, I filled the area with Warm Grey 6, while letting the black still show around the edges, then used Warm Grey 5 and 4 for the highlights, and used Warm Grey 7 to paint the pupil. Next, I used Warm Grey 2 to line the lower eye lid, painted on the eyelashes using Warm Grey 7. As the final step for the eyes, I added highlights to the sclera with Pure White. (Pic. 6)

#7

For the stone base, I airbrushed a base coat of Warm Grey 6 (Pic. 7).

#8

Then sponged and stippled on mixtures of Warm Grey 6, 5, 4, and 3, and dry brushed Warm Grey 1 on the edges. For the letters, I mixed GK Metallic Silver with the GK Thickener, and carefully brushed it on. I mixed a wash of Warm Grey 6 and 7 with water, and applied it over the entire base, including the letters. (Pic. 8)

#9

Watching the movie again, I found that his suit is a darker metallic grey. To paint the suit, I started with a mix of Warm Grey 5 and Metallic Silver. I brushed it on around the inside of the collar, then masked the head with silly putty and Parafilm, and airbrushed the Warm Grey 5/Metallic Silver mix on the suit. I followed this with Warm Grey 6 mixed with Silver for shading, and a Warm Grey 4/Metallic Silver mix for my highlights. I was very happy with the metallic look, but when I clear coated it, all of the metallic sheen went away. (Pic. 9)

#10 #11 #12 #13 #14

To correct this, I masked of the head again, and misted the Metallic Silver from above. After it dried thoroughly, I lightly used greyscale pastels to darken the shadows of the suit, and also darkened a few shadows in the skin. As the final step, I added Triple Thick acrylic gloss to coat the eyes, and permanently attached the bust to the base.  Â Overall, I am extremely pleased with the GK greyscale set, and in particular, I like the variations that are possible with the inclusion of both warm and cool sets. The semi-transparent quality of the paints allows them to blend very well. I was easily able to get the look I was going for with Klaatu, and I look forward to using this set on future projects!