Category Archives: Airbrush

Various posts about airbrushes and airbrushing

Space Wolves Dreadnoughts Kit Bashing

WIP 2 Space Wolves DreadnoughtI seem to have hit a bit of a ‘bloggers block’ recently, so have decided to write about the couple of Space Wolves Dreadnoughts that I’m currently kit bashing.  I think this must be the forth attempt to write this post over the past couple of weeks as my earlier attempts were just creating posts that were as dull as dishwater!

Following the games of 40k I’ve had over the past month or so, I realised that I need to refine my Space Wolves army.  It needs more in the way of firepower and speed in order to make it more competitive against opponents such as Tau or Eldar.  So I’ve been putting together a pair of Land Speeders and pair of Dreadnoughts and will be working on more Long Fangs too.  The Land Speeders aren’t particularly exciting – I’ve magnetised the various weapons and picked up a set of the Forge World Legion Pintle Weapons set, as I prefer the look and they’ll allow me to magnetise the whole gunner.

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Well that’s got your attention 😉  And this post is about is airbrushes rather than ink…

Gravity fed-airbrushes are lovely pieces of kit, very efficient on paint and able to spray at very low pressures.  Now one thing that you must always do is to thin your paint down to the consistency of semi-skimmed milk.  This ensures that it flows through the brush smoothly.  One of the problems with this is that you generally can’t mix up your paint in a regular palette as you’ll make an awful mess when pouring it in.  I have heard of people actually mixing it in the main cup of the airbrush but that sounds like a recipe for disaster as whatever you put into the cup first will just run into the internal mixing chamber.

Some time ago I did a bit of research on the internet and managed to locate a supplier for small 3.5ml flip-top paint pots as I commented in a previous post, which worked out to be about 8p each.  I’ve been using this type of pot for about 3 years now and very quickly realised that although the flip top allows you to seal the paint you’ve mixed, it still does dry out (there is only a little paint in there) and if you’re using a foundation paint the paint actually separates.  The end result is that a pot is generally only used once or twice before being thrown away.

Well I’d recently got to the point where I have a dozen or so pots left so decided to see if there was anything more suitable for mixing my paints up in.  I brought to mind having a tattoo last year, the tattooist used a small plastic ‘top’ to put her ink in, which got thrown at the end of the session.  A bit of research on the internet revealed that you can actually purchase these for about 2p each – and that’s at the most expensive (buying more than 100 brings the price down).  They come in 4 sizes – small, medium, large and extra-large.  I picked up 100 small and 100 large for a fiver, including P&P.  I will be honest and say that the small ones are pretty small – probably only 1ml in total, however the large are a decent size and comparable to the 3.5ml pots I’ve got.  In future I’ll likely only buy medium and large but this means a cheap and economic way of mixing paint for the airbrush – just make sure that you blue tac or double tape them to a surface as they’re really easy to knock over!

Using Masks

I’ve recently been painting a GW Shrine of the Aquila 40K building.  Well when I say painting I actually mean airbrushing.  I’ve now managed to do a nice mottled blue on the outside of the building and a mottled creamy colour inside.  Doing something on this scale really teaches you airbrush control and repeatability, as if two panels look different it will look awful.  One thing I have discovered is that light makes a huge difference, so it’s worth having both natural and artificial light available to check.  The actual building requires both right and left-handed use of the airbrush and a certain amount of manipulation of the building in order to get into those hard to reach places.

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Shading and Stuff

I was late home last night, so rather than get into anything major, I experimented shading and highlighting a cupola that I had airbrushed on Monday.  I used heavily thinned Citadel Washes for the shading, two to three parts water to one part wash.  First off I applied Asurmen Blue to parts of the model that would naturally be in the shadow, it dries much smoother than I realised, so the effect was a bit too subtle to be honest.  Next up Gryphon Sepia went into any areas that would naturally collect water if it rained – so in crevaces, around rivets and such like.  This was finally followed by Devlan Mud, but concentrating on the deeper areas I’d shaded with the Sepia.  Highlighting, I decided that I’d not drybrush it.  I know that I’m likely making a rod for my own back, but I don’t like the fact that you have no control over drybrushing and the end effect can look very chalky.  So I used thinned Fortress Grey and then thinned Astronomican Grey as the two highlights.  Astronomican Grey seems to dry out and go crappy so I may have to try a wet pallette for that next time.

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Yesterday I was able to gain access to the garage at home (there’s normally a car in there), so rather than waste my time as the Dreadnought was ready yet, I experimented with my new Iwata HP-C Plus airbrush.  This bit of kit is worth it’s weight in gold.  The control you have over laying paint onto a surface is fantastic, although I still have a lot left to learn – including how to hold the thing without getting cramp in your hand.  I experimented with a Vindicator and Rhino tank that I had and tried a technique called ‘Salt Weathering’.

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