I didn’t manage to post to the blog nearly as much as I wanted to in January, but if you were following along on Twitter, you will have seen plenty of work-in-progress shots. Many of these have been added to the gallery at the bottom of this post. Sadly, I didn’t have time to get “proper” photos of the completed squad before delivering them to my local Games Workshop store for display/entry into the contest.
So, where did I get to?
I finished my goal of completing an Assault Squad. While this doesn’t seem like a lot, to some, it’s quite good for me… especially as January turned out to be a lot busier than I expected! It was also my first time using my airbrush for a whole squad, and also my first time using many new tools and techniques. To say I learned a lot on this squad would be a big understatement!
So what did I learn?
Number 1, was my original choice of base colour for the red wasn’t quite as effective as I’d hoped, and that my pre-shading skills suck. I’d planned to use Vallejo Model Air: Hull Red as the main colour, using some pre-shading with the same colour to provide a deeper colour in the shadows and some white highlights over the grey primer to provide natural highlights to the red. It didn’t work… the shadows got lost when the next layer went on, and once the paint “cured” it went more towards a brown than I was looking for. In the end I sprayed a thin layer of VMA: Fire Red over everything, which brought it closer to what I want. In future I will pre-shade with Hull Red, then base coat with Fire Red.
Secondly, MicroSol and MicroSet make decals not suck!
- Prepare your surface with gloss varnish
- apply some MicroSet to the target area
- apply the decal in the normal manner, carefully dabbing away excess water
- apply a little more MicroSet
- carefully dab down the decal with a cotton bud, to shape it to the surface, and remove excess liquid
- allow to dry, then apply MicroSol over the decal – do not touch after this, for 24h!
- (optional) seal with your varnish of choice
I used this process on my squad’s pauldrons, and it turned out looking like the decal was printed directly on the surface.
I tried oil washes for the first time. while they’re pretty good at “lining” details on a model, they can make a hell of a mess if not careful when preparing/cleaning up after you paint session. The ability to erase mistakes using a cotton bud and thinner is really nice.
Cork is awesome as a basing material.
Pigment powders are pretty hard to get right. At first, I mixed some with isopropanol, and applied to the model like paint. It didn’t turn out correct, so I used a cotton bud to apply some powder directly. That looked awesome, but when I applied a final coat of matte varnish, to seal/protect the model, all of the pigment virtually disappeared – even the sealed on stuff.
February should be interesting… It’s a shorter month, but I have a week off for my birthday, and will (hopefully) be less busy. As a pie-in-the-sky, I’m going to try for an Assault Squad, and 2 Land Speeders. It probably won’t happen, but it’ll be fun to try!