Saturday, April 24, 2010

Wash and Washability

I took a risk today and it paid off.  I've been really struggling with how I was going to shoot 30 terminators with Gryphonne Sepia wash and have it look good. Also, another thing occurred to me - if I lay the arms down on tape to wash them, they'll not look right when they dry, because of their orientation. And the fact that I would have to let them dry before flipping them over to wash the other side.  Yep.

A character by the name of Myrmidon on the Usenet group suggested to me that I try attaching the arms with Play-Doh.  It's a water based dough so it doesn't stain and cleanup is easier.  This dough gives you less chance of d'oh!  Waddya know, it works.  A couple of times it was awkward - perhaps there was some oil or something on the surface of the model but eventually the ones that needed to be removable were held in place with Play-Doh.  Arms that were positioned in such a way that didn't obstruct detail were glued on.

How to wash, how to wash, how to wash... I really battled with this and the risk was related to the mix.  I had bought some Liquitex Airbrush Medium to mix with the Gryphonne Sepia, but when I mixed a test batch it just didn't cover and dried weird. So I just did what I usually do - I thinned it with water and added a small blob of dishsoap to break the surface tension.  Shot it through the brush and they didn't look too bad at all!

After they'd dried I dry-brushed the Belial model and a squad with Deneb Stone, then hard lined the Belial with brown ink.  I intend to throw a bone glaze over the model tomorrow to bring everything down a tad and tie the hard-lining in a bit.  No pictures today cos my battery's dead.  Stupid battery...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Paint! Or Die! Part 3

I managed to get some time to sit and do the Deneb Stone portion of the basecoat on the Terminators tonight.  The simple Belial model for the challenge with Lightning Claws started life on this stage in black primer.  I decided to paint the Stone on this from black purely as an exercise to see how it would differ from those based with Graveyard Earth.  The brown does warm the Stone up a bit, but I'll continue painting Belial as is.

I made myself a wet pallet for this, just to keep the paint from drying out while I was mass painting. I took a pot of Deneb Stone and added a blob (no real measurement done here folks!) of Golden Additives retarder (not the whole schmear though, you never come back from full retard) and a few drips of water.  I guess the mix was 2 parts paint to 1 part retarder and 1 part water.  That's how I'm keeping it in the pot.  As I transferred it to the wet pallet I'd drop a brushful of paint water onto the pallet too. I would then liberally splosh the thinned but by no means less potent mix of Deneb Stone onto the models.  I'd say that by now it was the consistency of skimmed milk, but I didn't want to go out to the shed to load up the airbrush.

I'm in a quandary about what to do once the loose weapon arms all have their doses of Deneb Stone.  I'm unsure wether to glue the arms on and then apply the wash, or just tape the arms down as I did for the first basecoating and then wash.  The things hampering my decision are:

1. If I glue the arms on now, detail will be fiddly.
2. If I don't glue the arms on, the wash may not flow in the right manner when applied.

I will be applying a thinned Gryphonne Sepia wash with the airbrush, with a SMALL amount of flow improver added to get it moving right into the cracks.  I'm also considering buying some Golden airbrush medium to help me with this task.  Apparently at a low pressure the wash will work as if brush applied when used with such a product.  I hope so!

Other links
Top Painting Tips by Ron
40K Online - Topic: Using Foundation Paints in an airbrush?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Forgeworld Dark Angels vehicle icons

I bought some of the Dark Angels icons in December while I was at Warhammer World.  I'm just getting round to using them now and I have to say they're not very good!

I'm building a Belial for the Paint Or Die to make it a legal list.  No greenstuffing or anything, just using Forgeworld icons and shoulderpads.  I intended to fill in the square on the top of the armour and put an icon there from the icon pack.  Not having any success right now.

Go and have a look at the icons on the web page.  They`re all nicely cut out for you aren't they?  Here's what they look like when you get them.

They're cast as part of these sprues.  The backing is about 1.5mm thick.  I tried to take that small icon off by filleting it with a fresh blade.  Wrecked it.  I'm now working on the large sword with a single wing that you see in the photo.  This is what it currently looks like from above and the side.

Awful! I'm gonna have to sand the heck out of this one to make it thin enough to look good. Strangely the oaths of moment (aka purity seals) fillet from the backing quite easily, as long as you're careful.  The larger icons are just shite. That is all. I sent a disgruntled email to FW about this, with pictures, asking for "better icons".  Given the current crisis with UK airspace, if they send them to me it might take a while.

In a moment of clarity I put a piece of 60 grit sandpaper on my worktop and sanded the crap out of the excess resin.  Managed to get the thing to the right thickness.  Still - boourns!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Paint! Or Die! Part 2.

I'm about a week behind, which really blows given the time I usually take to paint a model. Speedpainter I'm not.  We started decorating the downstairs of our house this week and as a result I had to disassemble my den.  Luckily, the basecoating I wanted to do involved the use of my airbrush, and I was able to do that today. It took me a couple of hours with the usual familial interruptions and a fat ginger tomcat whapping my chihuahuas across their noses. Such is the life of a Warhammer painter!

The last squad of Terminators I built with Thunder Hammers & Storm Shields were assembled from bits orders.  I used Forgeworld Deathwing pauldrons, and decided to pose them.  It'll make them interesting to paint, but I like a challenge.

This is a new take on painting Deathwing for me.  The two squads I have were done with many thin coats of GW Deneb Stone over Chaos Black primer.  I recently painted some Dark Angels Veterans for a tournament, and decided to try a different tack for the robes.  I started out with a base coat of GW Graveyard Earth, then went over that with a mix of Reaper's Desert Sand and Desert Khaki, washed with GW Gryphonne Sepia then highlighted with Reaper Desert Sand.  The result was quite pleasing, so I'm going for a similar affair for the Deathwing armour this time.

When I painted the Veterans' robes I wasn't in a hurry and needed to be a little precise in where the paint went so I brushed it on.  This time I cracked out the airbrush.  I thinned the GW Graveyard Earth down with a 50-50 mix of water and methyl hydrate.  The methyl hydrate sped up the drying time a little, which was good since I had made the mixture a little thinner than I normally would when airbrushing a basecoat.

Most of the Terminators are being painted with the arms off, just to make things easy.  Airbrushing that many arms individually would have cost me a lot in time and paint.  I wrapped some wide packing tape inside out around a couple of 2x4s and stuck the arms to those.  The Chainfists were converted with chainswords.  A couple of them blew off the 2x4 while I was blowing the paint over them but not too many to cause an issue.  Two coats each side, and Robert's your Father's Brother.

I had a spare bike kicking around so I blasted that with Graveyard Earth and this week - if my house is back together - I plan on experimenting to find out if I can get away with airbrushing the Desert Sand/Khaki mix over the Graveyard Earth, or if I need to take the old tank brush to the Terminators.

There's been grumblings (lol) among the POD... contestants? participants? that I don't have a troop choice, so today I ordered a Terminator torso and base, and I should be able to convert up a Belial with lightning claws.  Hopefully I can get it done in time.  I'll have to drop something from the list to make it playable.

Once I'm satisfied that the Terminators are ready for washing I'll airbrush the Ravenwing.  As you can see here I've assembled them with the Marines removable for painting.  Once the paint is finished they'll be glued in position.  As for the paint scheme I'm going out on a limb again.  When I painted some chaplain armour a while ago I basecoated with a 1:1 mix of GW Chaos Black and GW Adeptus Battlegrey, highlighted with Battlegrey, washed with Badab Black then some more highlighting with Astronomicon Grey. So I'll start with the Black/Grey mix in an airbrush.  Fingers crossed!