Sunday, September 20, 2009

Product Review: DVD Painting Figures with Dave Revelia

Painting Figures with Dave Revelia

DVD by Scott Mason at

Overview: How to highly detail paint model railroad for a more realistic appearance. Dave uses techniques familiar to war gamers and other miniaturists.

This DVD is awesome and is the favorite of the three I recently purchased from Scotty Mason. Dave Revelia is an excellent modeler and his talent really shows.

This video is an important one. For any modeler railroader who has gone to a model exhibition other than a railroad one, you know why. Our scale people look terrible! Try the figures on a military diorama or a war gamers’ table. We don’t even come close to the quality. Why? We don’t spend the time or money to properly populate the layout. People really make the layout and in fact, people are what the layout is about. Without them there are no reasons for having trains. I’ve laughed at the many depot scenes I’ve witnessed that don’t even have one person standing around. People are important!

But even more important is that a poorly painted figure with flash and bright colors will absolutely kill your 200 hour and $500 dollar structure! Yet people take cheap figures and just glue them willy-nilly on the model all the time. This DVD will let you get the people right for the model and make it add to the scene, not subtract from it.

The fantastic part is that he goes into detail about the pre-painting steps! Dave teaches you about brushes and brush care which most books don’t really address. He covers paints and paint mixing and even pallets. All is very well done and the amateur could take this video and run with it.

One suggestion that I’d like to give the Mason team is that it would be nice at the end of the DVD if you would list all the suppliers and their contact information. I’ve never heard of Valejo or Andrea paints and figure they are from some miniature specialist company. So I’m going to have to search for them.

Another issue that Dave didn’t really cover is how to properly hold the figure for painting. He was doing this at a table with sharp corners. Normally I pad the area as I’ve had my little fingers go numb from pressing my forarms into the table top. Everyone will develop their own way, but it is important that you are comfortable in order to control the brush.

It was hard to see him actually painting the figures. The camera guy did as good as he could I think but it might have helped if there were some diagrams like the eye diagram to show where to put the paint. O scale is very small, so maybe some G scale figures would have been better.

I can’t believe Dave didn’t show us how to paint the fabulous checkered shirt on one the figures working on his boat builder’s diorama. That was a great figure and the shirt was a prize winner! How about DVD part #2?

As to the video itself, it was very professionally made and the sound/video parts were well done. I hate the wrinkled black backdrop in the background. Another feature I don’t enjoy is the intentional blurring as the camera focuses in on a miniature. It is hard on the eyes and I find myself looking away.

Dave, if you do a volume two we’d like to see more examples of painting, maybe women and animals. The use of brighter colors would be nice and we’d especially like to see you paint figures in N and HO scale.

All in all this is a fine video and worth $30.

Scott Perry

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