Bernard Pecquet

Bernard Pecquet is French. After graphic art studies, he worked as a graphic designer and has served as a IMG_6107-Modifierfreelance in advertising. Since 1960 he has been interested in modelisme and has participated in many international competition, mainly Aeromodelism. The Flat tin figures are today main hobby, with photography, aviation and art in general.


1. How did you get involved with painting flat tin figures ?

From an early age I have always loved drawing and painting. After studying art graphics, I worked as a graphic artist in advertising. Gradually computers have replaced the brushes. In 1998, so I started to paint figures, for the sake of power still use brushes and paint tubes. To advance, I joined the Club “AFM Montrouge” one of the most important French club. This is where I discovered the tin dishes. Very quickly, I caught the virus from flat figure light paint with a lot of talent Catherine Cesario and Serge Franzoia who would soon become my friends. Mike Taylor’s book The Art of the Flat Figure has also influenced me a lot to develop my own painting technique. The flat figure large size (54-75 mm) were my preference, as more suited to my taste for detail. Unlike the figures in the round, I particularly appreciate the challenge of giving an impression of depth to a room that is only a few millimeters thick ….

2. How do you achieve such a beautifully clean and bright effect with your painting? What medium of paint do you prefer ?

First, before you start to paint, I spend a lot of time to prepare the model and obtain a smooth surface, it is very important for the application of the paint, and also to facilitate the achievement of 21color gradients. During this preparation, I also removed all the reliefs which are not essential, such as heraldic motifs … my brush 000 Winsor and Newton series 7 is much more accurate than the engraving… The flat figure is now ready to receive two or three thin coats of white “Fine Tamiya Surface primer” spray. Then I go to brush 2 or 3 layers of white Humbrol paint diluted with many white-spirit, to have a liquidity similar to that of milk.

The oil painting to my preference for his ability to degrade the colors. At first I used the colors Winsor & Newton, but Mussini and Old Holland brands have very interesting colors, such as the neutral tint, Sfumato and lasur oxid orange. In addition, these two brands its always available in small 15 ml tubes.

For a clean and bright effect, I try to get the maximum contrast. For this reason, I prefer to paint directly on the white undercoat. With the exception of small areas, for each color, I prepare on my palette, the lighter and darker shades as well as 2 or 3 intermediate shades, and then I applied to the flat figure, one next to the the other, being careful not to overlap. With a dry brush well, I fund the different shades between them. Finally, to remove traces of brush, I gently pass on a dry paint brush round squirrel hair. Much more flexible than the Kolinsky sable, the squirrel hair to smooth the paint without burrs.

After 8 days of drying, I accentuate the shadows by using multiple transparent glazes, heavily diluted with white spirit.

For this operation I mainly use the following colors : Blue: Indigo (W & N) – Green : atrament black (Mussini) – Red : Neutral Tint (Old Holland) – Yellow : Lasur oxid orange (Mussini) – Face : sfumato (Mussini)

3. Can you tell us how you approach painting a flag or any other intricate area ?
Drawing flags and heraldry requires a lot of precision on flat figure from a height greater than 54 mm. So I developed a technique that greatly facilitates the achievement, if you have a computer, a sc16anner and a printer. I start by scanning the flat figure to 400%, then I print it. By placing a tracing paper on the printed sheet, so I can make my drawing a scale four times larger than the
original, and make any corrections to get a perfect picture. Then I scan the drawing, scale 25%, which corresponds to the size of the flat model. Then I print on tracing paper, the back of which I rubbed with a pencil lead. After attaching the tracing paper with Scotch on the flat figure, I pass on the drawing with a needle attached to the handle of an old paintbrush. The drawing is so faithfully reproduced on the model, and it remains only to paint … But on the knight with eagles and lions that you can see in the gallery, I spent more time drawing on tracing paper all heraldic motifs that paint the entire flat figurine… 🙂 🙂
4. Are there any color formulas you have discovered ?
Like all figurinists, I often use a few tubes of paint or color blends, which I like particularly. For example, the neutral tint (Old Holland) used diluted with white spirit glaze. This color can effectively shade all warm colors. Sfumato (Mussini) a very old color widely used by Leonardo da Vinci. It provides very specific shade of flesh color. Some figurinists encounter difficulties to paint the yellow metal on figurines. Personally I use a mixture of “Indian Yellow” and “burned shadow of Earth” (Winsor & Newton). The shading is achieved by adding Burnt umber, and the lights are made ​​with cadmium yellow and white on the highlights. For silver. the Payne’s gray, illuminated with white and darkened with black, fits perfectly. However, as it is a fairly transparent color, the painting will be more easily achieved using opaque white (Mussini).
(For more of Bernard’s work, see his gallery here.