I have been commissioned to paint a lot a Dungeons and Dragons Miniatures for the local games store. The majority of it is scenary, which differs greatly from what I usually paint. It is a welcome challenge, and there is a great deal of it. I started with the two sets of Dark Lord’s Tower – it is all made by Mantic – and decided to have a bit of fun with some neon pink paint…
I had no idea how well the pink would go through the airbrush, but it turned out pretty well. I had to spray it over white to get the vibrancy I was after, and it took a bit of thinning to prevent it clogging the brush up. The glow effect from the portal looked pretty neat in the end though and I now know those neon paints can be airbrushed.
One of the other packs is a lot of treasure, so I have spent some time painting piles of gold, silver, armour and treasure chests. Not the most exciting thing I have ever painted, but they do look good when they’re done!
In other news, there is also a dragon!
I didn’t manage to get the Khorne Berzerker unit finished yesterday, so I finished them off today. I have to say that I am not keen on the sculpts – I think that the posing on them is a bit silly. Some of them look as though they are doing a dance or the conga, which makes them less scary and more laughable. I picked these ones up second hand however and wanted to use them as practice for the airbrush.
I still have a long way to go when it comes to smooth transitions and even covering in regards to the airbrush. I need to work on consistency of the paint too. At times, it came out the airbrush too watery, so I had made it too thin. I don’t want to make it too thick either as than it clogs up the airbrush instead. It is a learning curve however and I know what too thin looks like at least.
When I had finished them, I did get to use liberal amounts of blood for the blood god, which gave them that fighting, gorey look that is associated with Khorne. I am pleased with them for the most part, and I learned a fair bit painting them too.
Remember these guys from the other day?
I have done some more work on them and got them finished! I wanted to build on the base I had given them with the airbrush and so have worked on them today. I’ve picked out gold trim and popped some bleached bone on the spiky protrusions. I’ve added some silver, washed a couple of areas and put them on the right sized bases. I didn’t want to spend too much time on them simply because I feel that the base red needed to be a bit stronger. They were an experiment after all, one that partially worked at least. I learned a good deal about using the airbrush and the use of the colours I have chosen as well. The red needs to be stronger on the lower areas of the miniatures, which is something I can do next time.
Either way, these lads will be on their way to a new home soon enough and be mangling whatever forces come their way. I’m pleased with them and what I have learned at the very least!
Due to my recent enthusiasm with the airbrush and what I learned over the weekend, some people have been asking me about my set up. I decided to make a post about it rather than tell people individually. I would like to say I am far from an expert on the matter, but I am happy to tell people what I have learned over the past few days.
This is the compressor I use:
While I was on the course, I learned that using the airbrush pressure at 60 is fine and encouraged. Apparently, a lot of people use it between 20 and 30, but we were told that having a Farrari that only drove at 30mph is pointless, the same logic can be put to use with airbrushes. I have been using it at 60psi and using the trigger on the airbrush itself to moderate the airflow. It’s worked so far for me.
This is the airbrush I am working with:
It is a Harder and Steinbeck Ultra. This is a basic airbrush with not too many parts. It has been easy to troubleshoot with when there has been a problem as well. It comes apart easily, which means it can be cleaned without too much fuss. I am using a 0.4 needle and due to clogs – this is a common occurance when you’re new to airbrushing have had to take it apart. The weight of the airbrush is something that needs to be looked at in the future as I intend to use it a lot. It would be fine for a couple of hours I think but I plan to use this to base coat everything and to do so in bulk. I shall upgrade when I have had more time to practice and get to grips with the techniques.
I also have an extractor booth:
It’s not so squeaky clean now – I have quite terrible asthma so I wanted something to take the dust away from my lungs. You can see the cleaner container which is useful for blasting cleaning fluid through the airbrush – something that you do a good deal of! The cardboard is for testing the flow of paint.
I still have a lot to learn and a great deal to play around with, but I believe I have the basics. I have even managed to base coat some miniatures and intend to paint them up over the next few days. The smoothness of the airbrush will provide a brilliant froundation on which to build, something a spraycan is unable to do!
Well now, will you look at that! I painted another box set! This time, it’s the Gellerpox Infected from the Rogue Trader Kill Team box that have been completed. As many of you know, I learned how to use the airbrush over the weekend, and the little bug things in the box set seemed to be the perfect first victims. I also have three shades of nurglesque green that suited the purpose down to the ground. So under the brush they went! It did not take long after that to get them finished. It sped up the process a great deal, I just hope I can apply that to other, less gross miniatures and achieve the same look, if not better!
I have a lot planned for that airbrush and I am making good progress with using it too. On the cards are some Raptors, some Khorne Berserkers and a Primaris Ancient, who is already base coated – more in him tomorrow.
For now, I will leave you with these disgusting creatures and make a start on some other, nicer looking miniature.
If you are interested in purchasing the Kill Team, please feel free to get in touch!
Today has been spent in a rather warm Element Games learning from the masters at Siege Studios. James, the fellow who set up the company, had a great deal to tell and it seems only a fragment of that knowledge has sunk in. We started the day with a talk all about airbrushing and the basics of how to use one. Apart from what Gary showed me the other week, I was pretty clueless. It seemed to be a little like driving a car, in regards to pressure and effect, so I was set loose with a door and boundless enthusiasm.
I spent a while practicing on the mat before having a go at the door above. Not too bad for the first time I’ve ever used an airbrush if I say so myself. I have a lot I want to practice to say the least.
The next part of the day was spent learning about layer blending. Again, this was similar to what Gary showed me but added in the use of a hairdryer and why they are used. It involved thin layers built up to create the blending effect. I have done this before but it was good to see the theory behind it too.
We then spoke about using decals and good methods of applying them. Again, something I have not done before but now know how to do. I do need to buy some supplies, and I do need to have a think about my home set up. It’s good to know that some of the things I’m already doing are good practice, it’s now refining those techniques and gaining muscle memory. All in all, a good first day!
When you read this, I will be hanging around in Stockport, likely in a bar, waiting for the painting course to begin. Yesterday, shortly before writing this, my extractor booth arrived for the airbrush. I was considerably excited by this as I have been waiting to get one for over a month now.
As some of you know, I suffer from severe asthma. I’m not going into details of that but I will mention that it is affected by dust. While I was being taught all about the airbrush by Gary, he said that they are dusty machines and that I should be careful. I also have a dust mask to use too!
Anyway, I held off ordering the booth until this week and it arrived Thursday. Hurrah.
I set about putting it together – which was fairly easy if somewhat amusing, and here it is: my new airbrush station.
The extractor will carry all the nasty dust away out the window and hopefully, the dust mask will do the rest. Of course, the first thing I did once I had taken this was pack it all up again as I need the airbrush for the course… I will update the world once I have had a few tries with it and done something worth writing about! Until then, wish me luck on the course!