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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Painting Pre Heresy Blood Angels. Part 1

Forgeworld Blood Angels Part 1

I will be honest there isn't much difference if any in how I would paint 40k Blood Angels or 30k Blood Angels. But as I am going to be mainly buying Forge World pre-heresy kits I am going to call it a pre-heresy project.

So first off I built the armour and stuck them to the bases, minus the heads which I have already painted and are in a previous post, the packs I will do separately afterwards. As you can see I also used some cork for the bases. I have a big roll of scenic cork I bought from my local model shop. Its cheap and I've had it now for about two years and still have loads left. I tore off bits of cork to partially cover the 25mm bases, basically enough to fit the marines onto, and stuck the cork to the bases using super glue. There will be more to come on these as I progress but for now thats it as far as the bases are concerned.

For the primer I used coloured primer called "Dragon Red" by The Army Painter. As you can see in the pictures I have mounted each model on a cork bung using blu-tac. It helps both with priming and painting as it gives something to hold onto rather than the base whilst doing both. I know many of you guys will already do something similar but it took me a good few years painting before I picked this up. It makes life so much easier.

After the primer had dried I painted a coat of "Khorne Red" all over the models, this was thinned using water at about a 50/50 ratio. The models were then painted all over with this making sure to get into the hard to reach areas that you see some painters forget.

I let that dry completely and then painted all the areas of the armour with Druchii Violet Shade. I know some use the black washes, and I had on my trial model myself but a year ago I painted some Khador Warjacks and I used this wash then to shade the red armour and I liked the results. The shade seemed more natural with the dark purple.

Once this too was fully dry I then used some paint called "German Grey" by Vallejo thinned 50:50 with water again. This is from the model colour range. I used this to paint all the areas I want to be black or metallic. This included the weapons, armour joints and any badges that will be painted later. I really love this colour and much prefer to use it than a pure black. I find that when you apply a black wash to it afterwards your able to achieve an effect that looks like black but still has some depth from the shade.

Thats it for today, more very soon. I guess some of you are thinking "what the hell ?" "the armour looks a mess". Sure it does now but the next stage will erase cure that and I promise eventually I will have a nice bright vibrant Blood Angels colour scheme that will look great as a table top playing piece and will really pop.

Below is a recap of the paints and brushes I have used so far.

The Army Painter
Dragon Red Primer

Games Workshop
Khorne Red Base
Druchii Violet Shade

Vallejo Game Colour
German Grey

Series 7 by Winsor & Newton. Sizes 2, 00 and 000. Fantastic brushes and well worth the extra cost. I've had mine now for 2 years and they are still in tip top shape.

Happy New Year.

Well 2013 is nearly over, but what a year it's been for us hobby fans. Games Workshop and Forge World have both really ramped up the release schedule this year and I think there has been some great new models in 2013. 2014 looks like it's off to a big monstrous start with the Tyranids getting an early January release. For myself I started my Iyanden Ghost army back in June and although it's been very slow going I'm pleased with what I have so far. The army as it stands needs more troops but with my house move and Christmas soon after I'm struggling to set up my airbrushing area and finding somewhere suitable for it. Once the decorations are down I'm sure I will be able to fit it in somewhere in our new home. But for now I've been struck with the Forge World pre heresy bug. I'm embarking on a Blood Angels army and as mentioned in previous posts I'm going back to using paint brushes for this project. You can follow its progress both here and on the BoLs forums hobby section. I will post some pictures there and  more in depth posts here.

So my plans for 2014 will be more Iyanden and Blood Angels, but if neither of those armies paint schemes don't interest you don't worry. I plan to do one off models for other 40k armies and may even have a stab at some fantasy models too. I'm definitely open to requests so if you have any please feel free to suggest them. Paint schemes and technique requests would be great, but don't forget to mention if it's with my airbrush or paint brush you want the scheme painted in.

I would lastly like to say Happy New Year to you all, I've had some great support from many of the guys and gals in our online community. But I would especially like to thank Big Red over on BoLs for his support of my writing and it's his influence that got me blogging. Thanks Big Red.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Blood Angels 2014, 1st set of heads.

So I managed to clean my 1st Forgeworld resin kit today, if you have never painted forgeworld models before I can't recommend this enough. Forgeworld use a release agent to stop the casts from sticking to the mould. However it can also stop paint and primer from sticking to your models too. If that happens it can make a real mess and make painting impossible. GW do the same with their plastics and others recommend washing these too but I've never had any trouble with GW plastics and paint not sticking. Forgeworld though, its pretty common. I get a tupperware container, add a little washing up liquid to some warm water and give the sprues a good soak, I gave mine an hour.  If your careful with a toothbrush its a good idea to give the parts a gentle scrub too. Afterwards I get some kitchen towel and let the parts air dry on it. Its what works for me.

Anyway back to the heads, I couldn't resist giving the sarge a bare head, I've wanted to play about with skin tones and stubble before and decided this was as good a time as any.

The other 4 helmets were given a light dusting of Army Painters yellow primer and then a wash of Reikland Fleshshade to add shadow to the helmet. On my trial I used soft body black by Secret Weapon but I felt this wash was a bit more natural for a yellow paint job. I also dabbled a bit with some battle damage on the helms. Nothing too fancy or over the top, just the suggestion really that these guys aren't factory fresh.

The yellows used are exactly the same as in my previous post.

Thats it for now, but I plan on making a start on the red armour in the next day or 2.



Saturday, 28 December 2013

1st Trial Blood Angel

So I made a start, this guys just a prototype and really just a paint test to get my "recipe" down. I have gone back to using some GW paints for this guy and so far I really like him

For the reds I used

Khorne Red
Evil Sunz Scarlet
Wild Rider Red

For the yellow helmet I used

Averland Sunset
Yriel Yellow
Flash Gitz Yellow

The wash I used is called "soft body black" and its by secret weapon. I used this to shade the armour and applied it after the base of Khorne red. Once it was dry I then went back in with the Khorne red to clean up the model but leaving the wash in the recesses. After that it was thin coats of evil sunz to highlight the base red and this was followed by a further highlight using wild rider. I thin my paints with water and I use a 2:1 ratio of water to paint. It makes it quite thin but I get a nice smooth transition though the shades.

I used a very similar way of painting a couple years ago with my Salamanders but obviously using green instead of red. I really liked the way they looked and despite being quite time consuming I enjoyed the results. Obviously trying to have a pure FW model army isn't going to be cheap either so I don't mind spending the extra time.

Now I just have to put some new models together and I will be back with a progress post in the next day or two. Hopefully with some pictures too.

Friday, 27 December 2013

A new year and a new project for 2014. Pre-Heresy Blood Angels

 So its soon to be the end of 2013, and for me that means the start of a new project. I was heavily leaning towards Iron Hands, but as much as I love that chapter somethings always niggled me about them and the rather uninteresting colour scheme. I went and set up a poll on BoLs with both the Death Guard and World Eaters included to see what the community there would like to see me paint this year. Blood Angels got nearly 50% of the vote. Im not disappointed.

I did back in 2010 have a go at a Blood Angels army, well Knights of the Blood to be specific and whilst I enjoyed it I really wanted to do a founding chapter this coming year. Below are some pics from back then and I hope i can improve on the painting from 4 years ago. Also I'm going to attempt to make this a pre-heresy model army so all Forge World stuff. Also no airbrush this time round. As much as I love it I think its time to "brush up" (sorry) on my actual painting skills. I have a trial model on the table ready to go which I will start tomorrow. I will post this both there and on BoLs to gauge some reaction to see if I'm in the right ball park so to speak.

Happy New Year Guys and I hope you all had a great Christmas too.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Getting Started With Airbrushing Part 8, Cleaning Part 2

Cleaning our Airbrush Part 2

So our airbrush has been cleaned in the ultrasonic cleaner and we have scrubbed carefully with out little cleaning brush to get any flakes of paint out of our airbrush. Sometimes some areas of paint especially in the paint cap and nozzle area are a bit stubborn. If thats the case we could use some airbrush cleaner thats helps break down bits that are a pain.
In the top right hand corner you can see the Airbrush cleaner I am using at the moment. They are all really quite good. Vallejo do one that I would use again.

The Airbrush is now all clean and ready to put back together again.

1st we put the nozzle assemble together and screw that back onto the airbrush

Then I reinsert the needle being very careful as its sharp.

Then I screw the paint cap back on and the rear body or the airbrush. If the trigger is getting a little stiff the put a little drop of airbrush lube onto it.

Then put your Airbrush away ready for next time. As I have said before I always flush mine out with water before use every time I go back to airbrushing.

Right then, I think I have covered all the basics. I will be back with some more “techniques” such as OSL, Zenithal Highlights and Ghost tints (Candy Paints) but for now thats it.

I would lastly like to say that there are many great brands of Airbrush once you feel you have outgrown your chinese generic. When you do it will cost you a bit more money, but look after your airbrush and its a great hobby tool. You will notice a huge difference in your painting too with a better brush.

Me I went with a Harder and Steenbeck after watching the Buypainted videos. Its splendid, very versatile and easy to maintain. I recommend it to anyone. The type I use is called the Evolution 2 in 1 and comes with 2 sizes of needle. 0.4mm and a 0.2mm and all the nozzles and caps too. Its £130 but really very very good. If I ever bought another this would be my choice again. You can buy spares for this airbrush too(as with others I am sure), so if you lose a nozzle or bend a needle it wont cost a fortune to replace.

Good luck with your painting and if just one of you guys gives it a go because of my posts then I am a happy man. I will be back with some demo marines and what not soon.



Getting Started With Airbrushing Part 8, Cleaning.

Cleaning our Airbrush Part 1 of 2

Right then, we have done some painting and were finished for the day. We obviously shouldn't just plonk our airbrush down and leave the paint inside to render it useless for us next time. We need to give it a good clean. Takes about 10 or 20 mins maximum and its well worth the effort.

1st we need to flush any remaining paint out of our airbrush, I poor some water into the brush and turn up the psi to about 35. give it a good blast into your cleaning pot or onto some paper towel. I always go with my pot.

Next I take my airbrush out and dismantle it. whichever brand you buy your airbrush should come with instructions on how to do this. Some are easier than others but none are that hard. Heres my Harder and Steenbeck Evo stripped down. I have left the spring and trigger assemble in for this clean. its no issue to take it out and you only really need to if you need to lubricate it.

Now the next part can be done in one of two ways, you could get some clean water with a little dish soap and clean the individual parts by hand using a couple of airbrush cleaning tools like these.

I do this as well, but whilst I am cleaning each individual part I also have the other parts vibrating away in an “ultrasonic cleaner” sounds expensive right ? Wrong mine cost £20 and its brilliant. If you have a partner who moans at just how much you spend on your hobby you can easily justify this expense as its great for cleaning jewelry too.
I just drop a little dish soap or washing up liquid in the machine then top it up with warm water. Carefully place your dismantled airbrush parts in and switch it on. Most have a run cycle of 3 or 4 minutes. I give mine 3 or 4 cycles as I am removing parts cleaning them by hand and plonking them back in. This is how I do it and its worked for me every time.

Its hypnotic to watch and basically the machine vibrates all the hard to reach bits of paint out of your airbrush.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Recommended Airbrush YouTube Channels.

Recommended viewing.

Just a quick post to really give you guys some more reference on airbrushing your models. All the links below are from YouTube channels that I have been following over the past few years. They have helped me so much and I think for anyone looking to get into airbrushing they could help you too.





Once you get to grips with your airbrushing and surpass some of the basics I have written about, these guys and their videos will I hope inspire you as much as they have me.

There are of course many other guys out there with airbrushing tutorials but I think these 4 channels are some of the best.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Moving house and Happy Thanks Giving.

So I'm moving house on Monday and whilst I have only just started this blog, I've been religiously posting as much as I can. Obviously with this impending move the frequency of posts will be effected a little. Especially as I will not have any internet at home for about a week. I'm going to try and conclude my airbrush tutorials on here by at the latest this Sunday. After that I will be busy for awhile and will try to get another post out to you within a week after that.

Also Happy Thanks Giving to all my American friends, I hope you have a great day.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

A New Army and a Fresh Start, Matching Colour schemes.

A new army, a fresh start and matching colour schemes.

This post really is just about how we can paint our armies and have them look like they belong together on the table.

One thing that I often see with armies is a mix and match of colour schemes. Different hues of colour where one units chosen colour just doesn't match another. I think you guys know what I mean. The Ultramarines armies we've all seen with one dark blue squad and a lighter blue squad next to it. They just don't match, the basing is usually different and I think it lends an untidy appearance to an army.

If you want to have a good looking army that's cohesive in its colour scheme then you need to work out your colour scheme "recipe".What I mean by this is once you've decided on your next army and you've painted your trial model (we all do this right ?) then we need to write down and keep safe a list of paints we've used. You could as I do and separate the colours you have used from the rest of your collection and keep them together. For example the paints I am using for my Iyanden army are all kept in a plastic tupperware box. In that box is my recipe.

Of course you may need to use these paints on another project, no problem. Because you've written down what your recipe is you can happily grab what ever you want without the worry of forgetting which "red" or whatever colour  it was you used as your highlight.

I speak from experience. As many of you know, this years project for me has been an Iyanden army. As like me many of you have busy lives, it can be days or weeks before you get another chance to paint. This summer was exactly the case for me. I hadn't painted for quite some time and decided to paint some Wraithguard. Grabbed my paints and started. I didn't check my recipe and just got stuck in.

It wasn't until after I had finished painting, and put these guys along side the rest of my army that I realised they were a different shade of yellow and really didn't match the rest of my army, Was it the end of the world ? No. Was I disappointed ? Yes.

What I realised I had done was I had used the wrong red/brown pre shade colour. This basically changed the colour of the yellow going over the top enough that it was noticeable. I should have used "Red Clay" I used "Blood Stained Mud" instead.
Here's a picture of the two different units.

I usually write everything down in my hobby diary and I encourage you guys and girls to do the same. I use it for getting my ideas and plans down on paper, keeping a track of my progress and making lists of recipes, techniques and just general reminders of what I use on each army I'm painting. Even how I do my bases and the materials used on those. It all goes in.

I know there are some armies that are a bit more flexible in paint schemes, Eldar as one example with all those Aspect Warriors. But guess what I would keep a note for each and every colour scheme used for those as well. You may start off with five Warps Spiders, but if you wanted 5 more 3 months later, well with your notes you know you will be able to get them to match.

There are other areas I don't think this is so important, Flesh tones is one area I just go with the flow really. We all have very different skin colouring and I think the same would be said of the various races that inhabit the galaxy of 40k. Not just humans either but Orks, Eldar, and Tau would all have various shades of skin tone in their races. Tyranids not so much and Necrons really benefit from looking as uniform as possible.

Some of us who are so dedicated to one army (not me) that they have been adding to it for many many years will say that their painting skills and styles have changed quite a bit since they began. That's great and it's nice to see how we improve over time, but stick to your recipe of colours and even if the painting styles changed you will still have that cohesive look that benefits any collection.

Here's some pictures of a Salamanders army I painted a couple years ago, this will show what I'm talking about. It was painted during the time I was just getting into airbrushing and so I went from blending to airbrushing. But I stuck to the same colours for the armour and it helped them look like they belonged together. I did play about with the thunder hammers, power weapons and eye lenses but for the most part they looked nice when I played them. Looking back had I stuck to a detailed recipe they would have looked so much better.

Obviously fingers crossed GW won't decide to throw a spanner in the works and completely change it's range again for some time.

So when you next embark on your new army, please keep this in mind and either give it a go and be pleased with your results or just mix it up throw caution to the wind, use all the colours of the spectrum and ignore my rather OCD approach to painting.


Getting into Airbrushing Part 7. Airbrushing Infantry.

Airbrushing Infantry.

I was going to get into cleaning an airbrush next but I have just had this question sent to me via PM. I thought it would be good to share with you guys how I airbrush infantry models and answer the question at the same time. Here's the question and my reply.


I have been following your airbrushing tutorial with more than a little interest. I bought an airbrush a couple years ago (Badger I think?) but then burned out before I got a chance to start trying it.

I have been an Eldar player since 91ish and seeing someone airbrushing Eldar has given me a bit of a spark again because I have LOTS of unpainted models hehe... 

So I guess my question is this, have you airbrushed the infantry at all? How does that work? I definitely want to use it on my new Wraithknight, Crimson Hunter, and my plethora of Serpents and Fire Prisms that I never painted.. but I have lots of unpainted foot troops also and was wondering how I might be able to "catch up".

My answer is this.

It sounds like you have a little experience with you airbrush but your just a little rusty. Painting foot troops is not different than painting tanks really, it's just a bit more fiddly. I've painted space marines of all sorts of chapters with my airbrush and I have recently just painted my Iyanden Wraithguard with my airbrush too. It's not too difficult at all. 

Using my Wraithguard as an example. I used a similar technique to how I painted my Waveserpants. 1st you need to decide if your going to fully build your guys or gals 1st or if like these models the helmets a different colour then it's best to paint those separately.  
With marines I usually leave off shoulder pads, guns and heads as these are usually different colours. If not then leave them on.
If your models are fully assembled then it's no big deal, but your really better off painting the bits that are different colours by hand. 

I follow these basic rules when airbrushing anything, infantry is no different.

1. What colours going to be the dominant colour your painting. Once you decide this you then want to pick a darker shade as your preshade. It can be a different darker colour but personally I go for a darker shade.

2. Grab your model and if it's already based, blu-tac the base to a cork or if it's not then you can blu-tac the feet of the model to the cork instead. I sometimes go with this second method as I usually airbrush my bases separately.

3. If your painting a lighter coloured model then your best priming in light grey or white, I prefer light grey. However if your painting a dark model like a Dark Angel then prime in black and forget about any pre shading. You won't need to (kind of).

4a If you've primed in grey or white, now it's pre shading time. In this case my Iyanden are pre-shaded using Minitaires bloodstained mud. Try and be careful and paint anywhere you think would be darker or in shadow. Between the legs, under armpits, the gap between a back pack and the back of the armour. Anywhere you think your armour should appear darker. It does take a bit of trial and error but keep at it. Then switch to your main colour and paint your model. Once dry you can then go ahead and hand paint any details you need to. Mine looked like this

And once the arms had been painted on corks in the  same fashion, the guns painted by hand and attached they ended up like this. Obviously the heads were painted separately then attached.

4b If you've gone for a black undercoat then now you need your pre shading colour, for example if your wanting a deep rich red colour. Prime black, then go for either a darker red than your final colour or even a dark brown. This should be painted using a technique called "Zenithal highlighting" 
What this means is your going to spray your next coat of paint down onto the model from above and at an angle which paints most of the model but leaves areas like under the arms and between the legs still dark. This will lighten the upper areas of the model mimicking a light source. The final colour will then be sprayed on once the second colour is dry. You need to paint from an even higher angel above the model leaving some of your "pre-shade in the darker areas.

You will have something looking like this.

Which once finished off being painted by hand will look like this.

This technique works with all colours and even metallics. I use a wash by a company called secret weapon called "soft body black" and I paint this into the recesses of the armour and joints. I don't slap it on but go carefully.

This technique works on all colours. Here is the same technique but with blue. 

Just experiment with some duff or old models 1st.

I hope this helps you.

I will go into shoulder pads, guns and heads and faces at a later date but I hope this gives you some idea on how to tackle airbrushing infantry.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Putting it all together.

Taking a little break from the airbrush tutorials. Next one will be up within a day or two at the latest. But right now I wanted to share a picture of a Riptide I painted earlier this year. As a gaming piece I think you would agree it's not bad right ? Sure it's not a going to win a Golden Daemon but as a playing piece I think it's nice.
If you follow my forthcoming tutorials you can achieve the same level of painting quite easily with your own projects.

When painting this model I used various techniques including,

Zenithal Highlights
Pigments / Weathering powders
Oil Washes

There is no technique used on this model that the majority of painters couldn't do. It's just bringing a number of techniques together, having the right materials and tools and a little bit of patience.

As I promised a little while ago, I will be showing hobbyists how to airbrush and paint various space marine chapters. Ultramarines, Dark Angels, Blood Angels and Imperial Fists will each get a turn. If any of you guys have a chapter or paint scheme you would like me to have a stab at then you can post your request below or you can find me lurking around the BoLs forums.

Getting Started With Airbrushing Part 6. Painting a Model.

Painting a model.

We're going to start off with something large and flat with this. We all know painting tanks is a pain in the bum. Not with an airbrush. Something that could take you hours will take far less time, when you have practiced airbrushing you can do the main bodywork of a tank to a good tabletop standard in minutes. No I'm not joking either.

We're going to be using various colours here so between colour changes, a quick drop or 3 of water into the airbrush, spray onto kitchen towel until clear then add your next colour. Always test on paper 1st to make sure your paints running nice and smoothly. Always give your paints a good shake too.

If you've read my Iyanden painting posts you will have seen these pictures before. I think they are good to demonstrate painting a tank, and also a technique called pre-shading.

You will notice I didn't completely build these wave serpents before painting, sub assembling your models when airbrushing is crucial really and makes life a whole lot easier.

Right then, these 3 Iyanden wave serpents were primed in Vallejo grey airbrush primer. I then grabbed a colour darker than the yellow I would be using  to "pre-shade" or paint the areas I wanted to appear, where shadows would be or recesses in the lines of the armour plates. You could use black or dark grey but I felt with yellow a dark brown red would be better. In this case bloodstained earth by Minitaire.

Once that was done, I then grabbed some white paint and airbrushed the areas I wanted to appear slightly lighter. Some of the edges on the top of the wave erpents. "Pre-highlighting"  it's subtle but the hulls then looked like this.

Now the yellow, called Craven by Minitaire. Airbrush your paint in smooth even lines all over your tanks surface, don't paint in one place for any length of time or you will get a build up of paint, we don't want that. We want a nice smooth even coat. Imagine your watching car sprayers and how they go back and forth. Do the same with your airbrush. Also keep checking for build up of paint on your needle and occasionally give it a test on some paper. Once you have done some nice even coats you will end up with something like this.

I should add never, never spray over a wet layer of paint, it gets nasty and you will lose you smooth finish. If your in a rush and can't wait for your model to dry between coats, a hair dryer will help speed drying time up. However to be honest airbrush paint usually drys so quickly it won't be an issue for you.

Once your models dry you could start to use masking tape and  airbrush templates to create stripes and patterns on your models, masks areas off and have some fun. Don't forget that airbrush over spray though, make sure you cover anywhere you don't want getting contaminated with other colours. I use a low tack masking tape by tamiya. It comes in various widths and won't peel paint of your models. Just make sure the areas your sticking the tape to are completely dry.  Have fun with it and see what you can create. I should add as with any painting, if your trying to paint lighter paint over a dark base it will effect your colours. Like painting yellow over blue will get you green etc etc.

Eventually my Waveserpants ended up like this. Still need a little work but here they are 95% done.

I sub assembled all three, painted parts as I went along and then used humbrol clear red to tint the glass. I even masked off the gems and airbrushed those too. All in all from start to finish these 3 took a morning. Sure they aren't golden daemon or anything like that but as gaming pieces they do the job.

Maybe I shouldn't tell you this but I have sold tanks painted to a similar standard on eBay for a £100. Not bad don't you think. Oh and don't ask me for commissions, get airbrushing and you will have cool looking minis too.

Next up, Cleaning and maintaining our Airbrush.

Getting Started with Airbrushing Part 5. Practice with Airbrush.

Let's Paint

Right then all the previous posts have been leading up to this. The fun bit.

Before we start painting we will need to connect the airbrush to your compressor. What ever type you bought it should come with instructions on how to do this. If you can tie your shoes then you can do this. One end of the hose screws onto the compressor, the other to underneath your airbrush.
It will look something like this.

Now sit down at your painting area and lay out you paper in front of you, have some paper towel, cotton buds, water, maybe a brush, airbrush holder or cleaning pot nearby and of course some paint. Stick on your mask and open that window.
Switch on your compressor and you will hear it start to pump air into the tank. Look at the gauge on the top of your compressor and set it to 30 to 25 psi. Wait for the compressor to stop ticking away and your tank is full.
Right then 1st I would flush your airbrush out. It's new and it's best to do this and it takes no time at all. Pour a little bit of water into the airbrush and either spray the water out onto some paper towel, or into your cleaning pot. Once you stop seeing or hearing the water come out, lower your psi to 20ish and grab your paint or primer, give it a good shake then add to your airbrush, 2-3 drops will do.
Grab that paper and practice on it.
Just play with it, draw lines and patterns and see how the airbrush works for you.
Something like this.

If you bought a dual action airbrush you will see the further back you pull the trigger, the more paint will come out and the thicker the lines. We don't want to go mad, less is more. Remember just like normal painting, thinner multiple coats of paint are better than one thick one. Some of the practice numbers and letters on this paper have a "spider" effect around the edges. We don't want this. This is caused usually by having your paint too thin and or water still in the airbrush from the previous clean or flush out. If this happens to you don't worry just spray out the remaining paint in your brush and start again. This is where having paints already premixed for airbrushes is a distinct advantage, they won't be too thin. If you start to notice a splatter effect in your paint, have a quick look at the needle of your airbrush. Your most likely to see a build up of paint. Cotton bud in water, give it a wipe to get rid of the build up and your good to carry on.

As your playing don't be surprised if you hear the compressor come back on again, that's normal. It's just topping up your tank to keep your psi at your set level.

If it switches off entirely then you've been painting for ages and overheated your compressor. Don't worry it will sort itself out. Go make a cup of tea or cup of coffee, have a biscuit and wait for it to cool down. To be honest this rarely happens. But always good to take a break every now and then.

Congratulations, your airbrushing.

Next post were going to actually paint a model :)

Getting Started With Airbrushing Part 4. Painting Area.

Painting Area.

So now I've talked a bit about Airbrushes and the different types available, different air sources and paint choices. I'm now going to talk about where we're going to paint and some of the things that will make our airbrushing that much easier.

1st off if your going to airbrush inside your home, it has to be very close to a window. You need ventilation when airbrushing and please no kiddies or pets nearby when you do. My set up is a desk directly under a window which gives two advantages. Great natural light and ventilation. Never airbrush with the window shut, it's bad for your health. You can buy airbrush booths, with extractors. I don't have one. Open windows good enough for me. Obviously you want to be facing said window.
So we have decided where our painting area will be, what else could we use to make things go easier and safer for us.

1. Paper, this is to test your airbrush on as you paint. Whenever your painting away you will get used to having to give your brush a quick blast on the paper to make sure your paintings flowing nicely out of your brush. I always test my airbrush on paper before painting anything.

2. Airbrush stand or cleaning pot. When your not holding your airbrush, where are you going to put it ? You don't want to just lay it down as any paint still in the airbrush will pour out and make a mess. Some compressors even come with a place to put your airbrush when your not painting. Some don't. Get a stand or even better an airbrush cleaning pot. They look like this.

As you can see you can stick your airbrush securely in the rubber ringed hole nice and safe, and if you need to flush out your airbrush you can use this pot too. Just add water to your airbrush insert your airbrush into the hole and spray out any paint and water before switching colours.

3. Latex Gloves, not really necessary but handy to have. I wear one to hold the piece I'm painting on its cork (see below). Airbrushing does produce overspray and your hand will end up getting paint on it, I call it Goth hand, especially if your painting black. Fortunately the paints we use are easy to wash off but these gloves are good.

4. Cork caps like this

and some blu-tac. I use these to put models on when painting. Use anything really, old paint pots or anything you have to hand. I use these because you can also stick paper clips in them. If your airbrushing say a space marine bolter. You can stick one end of the paper clip in the cork, the other to the bolter and airbrush it without getting your fingers in the way.

I should add that if you embrace airbrushing as I have you will start clipping your smaller model parts like heads and guns out of the sprue thinking about how you can leave it partially attached to some sprue for you to hold whilst painting.

Here's a picture of how I used cork caps to mount my Blood Raven Stern Guard

5. Desk lamp, self explanatory for any miniature painter really.

6. Clean water, to flush out your airbrush when switching colours. Not difficult. Just pour the water into the airbrush, place in your cleaning pot and squirt until clean.

7. Face mask, this is a must. Breathing in all that paint is bad for you. Wear a mask. Plus they look cool and you won't get multicoloured bogies or snot.

Doesn't have to be a fancy one like this, but get one.

8. Cotton buds (q-tips) and paper towel. You will find as you airbrush you will accumulate rather quickly a build up of paint around your needle tip. This can cause paint to splatter onto whatever your painting. Keep an eye on your needle and give it a wipe every now and then to prevent this.

9. Obviously your paint of choice.

Other things like masking tape, airbrush cleaner and lube, patterned templates and more come later. They aren't 100% important to have yet. We're just starting out.

Next post, were going to talk about actually using our airbrush connecting to the compressor and having some fun.

Getting Started with Airbrushing Part 3. Paint.


Right then I've talked about airbrushes and compressors, next we need to think about our paint options, where we're going to paint and other bits and pieces we could use to make our airbrushing easier and fun. Here I will talk about paint

Now we really can use any of the paints we already use when we paint by hand.

 GW  paints can work in your airbrush but do need to be thinned. The problem I have found with GW paints is the pot and getting the paint from the pot into the airbrush. It's messy and a pain in the bum. I have seen some tip paint from the GW pots straight into the airbrush, add water (50/50) mix with a brush and start painting. Didn't work for me. If you insist on using GW paints I would buy some of these

You can add the paint into these dropper bottles, add your thinner (water or even a proper airbrush thinner) mix it in the bottle and the squirt your paint into your airbrush. Mess free and ready to go. You can even make enough to last some time and if your mixing your own colours this is a great way to do that too. I bought mine off of eBay and they are very cheap.

But there are 2 brands of paint I really like for airbrushing. Vallejo Model Air and Minitaire by Badger. Both are ready to go straight into your airbrush and don't require any thinning. They also come in dropper style bottles which is an even bigger bonus.

The Vallejo model air
This is really geared towards the scale modeller. The colours reflect this and so if your looking for bright purples or really vivid colours you won't find them in this range. Realism is what you get with this range of paints. I would think for an Imperial Guard player they would be fantastic. Some space marine chapters like Raptors or any of the black armoured chapters could be painted with this range very well. I should also add that if your looking for metallic airbrush paints, these are the very best. Very fine paint. Here's a chart of the colours available

Badgers Minitaire paints.
This range is quite new and again come in dropper bottles. I think I discovered them around march time and they are really very good. Geared more towards the fantasy / sci if market this is where you will find some very bold colours. The names are really fun too. Bloodstained mud as an example. I really enjoy these paints and they fill a gap Vallejo's model air paints can't. Bright yellows, purples, reds and blues. Really any colour you could need is here. I don't rate their metallics though. The Vallejo ones are far better. But generally these are the paints I use primarily and the Vallejo model air paints are my back up paints.
Minitaire also do "Ghost" paints and these are a bit different than standard paint. Ghost paints are also referred to as "Candy" paints. We don't use these in the normal way for painting models and I will cover these in a later post as they really deserve their own section.
Here's the Minitaire chart

So that's paint, if your thinking of using GW paints then you will need to thin them, people say "consistency of milk" but I found that rather confusing. I found 50/50 is usually good enough as long as your paint hasn't begun to dry out. Don't mess about with old paint though, you will curse yourself silly after you clog your airbrush up and have to strip and clean it.

Last but not least we need primer. If you have an airbrush, why bother with expensive cans of paint, Vallejo airbrush primer is fantastic, I use white, black and grey. It's about £10 a bottle on eBay and I have managed to prime 4000 pts of Necrons and 2000 pts of eldar without going halfway though the bottle.

I repeat what I said before though, if your priming with an airbrush, up your psi a bit (30 is what I use) and remember you don't have to absolutely flood the model with the primer, a light coat is good enough for your paint to adhere to.

Any questions on paint don't be afraid to ask here on here.

I will cover our painting area next and some safety tips we should all follow.