Mike Reagan: Painter of SHIVA, God of Destruction

Mike Reagan,Painter of SHIVA, is a 30-year consumate veteran of air-brushed models and a serious professional in all things airbrush. Lord of Light Media, Inc. welcomes him with four open arms 🙂 His early and final renderings of SHIVA are simply astonishing!

3D Print by Scott Andrews

3D Printing by Scott Andrews


April, 2017, Pasadena Convention Center. MONSTERPALOOZA 2017 was underway. I was at my normal duty assisting BADGER AIRBRUSH, giving a painting demonstration on the use of airbrushes and the paints designed to be sprayed. A very kind and polite gentleman named Barry Geller approached me and asked several questions regarding airbrushing and the possible applications of these unique tools. Mr. Geller explained the reasons for his questions, as well as, the need to have a figure painted. Having built and painted several hundred figure models over the years, I felt confident that I could help. Little did I know that I was to enter a new world in the figure building hobby.

“THE LORD OF LIGHT” won The Hugo Award back in 1968, and the story captured imaginations everywhere. Comic immortal Jack Kirby created the images that Roger Zelazny words had inspired. Mr. Kirby was working with Barry Geller on the project, which went from novel to comic to the silver screen as the next stop, as well as a Science Fiction theme park. Sadly, the venture stalled, but a young Barry Geller obtained the film and licensing rights to the story. Fast forward to 2017, he was ready to awaken the project.

I was sent a box which contained the 3-D printed parts to one of the main characters, Shiva. The parts were clean, with crisp detail. I was especially impressed, while test fitting the pieces, at the engineering of the kit. I could see that the model would need very little putty, as the parts fit so well together. I also could see that painting in subassemblies would be most effective because of the different textures of the pieces. The paint treatment of the armor sections were different than of the cloth areas, so it made sense to paint each section individually before assembling.

This was the first 3-D print I had ever worked on. The material resembled the resin cast models I had worked on for over thirty years, but I soon learned how different it was. The first lesson was that the normal tool in assembly, super glue, would not work on this material. The entire model was built using epoxy. While the parts had no mold release to wash off, I gave them a bath with dish soap and water, and allowed them to air dry.

The next step could have been disastrous, as I was unaware that prints are normally coated with a material before painting. But as luck would have it, I am a dedicated user of products produced by BADGER, including their line of air brush ready primers, STYNYLREZ. STYNYLREZ proved to be highly effective in priming the 3-D printed model, a benefit unexpected but welcome. After priming in STYNYLREZ Black, the armor was ready for the metalizing to begin. I used a mixture of TAMIYA acrylic paints, specifically the bronze, copper, and red bronze colors. TAMIYA thinner was added to reduce the heavy acrylic consistency to align better for airbrush use.  This was followed by a light coat of BADGER’s MINITAIRE Copper Coin, all sprayed through BADGER’s PATRIOT 105 airbrush. By misting on layers of the metal color, I was able to give depth to the armor. A wash of thinned down green bronze gave a patina to certain areas and exposed the  intricate detail work. After a coat of Dulcoat Lacquer, I used SILLY PUTTY to mask the armor, leaving the cloth areas of Shiva exposed for painting. Artist supreme Jacob Atienza had produced incredible paintings of the main characters of The Lord Of Light, including Shiva. He was my constant advisor on the development on the painting of Shiva, and helped me fine tune the colors and effects to help match the images he so beautifully put on canvas. There was one request that momentarily stumped me, and that was to make the areas of Shiva that reflected energy and “life” be visible on the model. Once again it was BADGER that provided the answer. They had been producing for years a paint film for the airbrush called FREAK FLEX SPECIAL F/X colors. I had used them now and then as a subtle mist-on shade. But I found that mixing the iridescent white with the pearlized blue gave the special areas the look of energy and glowing. With a lot of advice from Jacob, Shiva finally reached completion and was shipped home to Barry.

I came away not only impressed with the character Shiva, but also the quality of the model. Clean parts, incredibly sharp detail, and the ease of assembly and painting make this a model builder’s delight. I can only look forward to the production of the rest of the characters, and the eventual screening of “THE LORD OF LIGHT” on television. It was an absolute honor to be a part of this exciting venture. My deepest thanks to Barry for giving me the opportunity, and to Jacob for all the guidance.

Please visit him at: https://www.mikethemodeler.com

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