Since my last post I’ve unpacked my airbrushes and started working on painting all those vehicles I built for my Rebel Grots. As many of you know the airbrush is a huge time saver when it comes to painting vehicles. It is much easier to cover all that surface area smoothly and quickly with an airbrush! For the airbrush stage I am painting a bunch of vehicles at once to minimize on setup and cleaning time. Here is a quick shot of my work area with the five tanks and three sentinels in progress.I am still learning to use my airbrushes so I won’t be doing anything too fancy with them. Last week I posted pics of these vehicles with a coat of spray can primer on them. It was pretty spotty since I was primarily concerned with laying a base over the high-wear areas. After the spray primer dried I used a single action, bottom fed airbrush to give them a solid coat of black gesso. This filled in all of the spaces I missed with the spray can, and the gesso gives a slightly different texture that I prefer. With the primer coats finished I used the same airbrush to put on two coats of green. I am using Behr Premium Plus Ultra paint and primer in one. It’s $3 for an 8oz sample jar tinted any color you want, and when mixed roughly 50/30/20 paint/acrylic floor polish/flow improver it works great through the airbrush. The color I used here is called Dried Basil. I try to cover most of the vehicle with the first coat but leave a little black showing in the recesses to create shadow. The second coat is applied more across the top of the model to provide a bit of a highlight.
After that I move on to my dual action top-fed airbrush. The dual action airbrush provides much better control and is capable of a narrower spray compared to the single action, but it also requires a little more cleaning as I go. I used Behr paint for this stage as well, this time a light beige color called Plateau. The paint is applied as a light dusting from above with a little extra applied across edges to create the next highlight layer.
Here’s a shot of a chimera at the same stage. I’ve made it at least this far with all of the vehicles I’m working on. Next I start adding rusted parts. I’m using Ceramacoat Iron Oxide and the dual action airbrush. Anything that is unpainted gets a coat of rust color. I let the spray overlap a bit to start weathering the edges here and there. I also sprayed lightly where there might be some extra wear and tear. So far I’ve only done rust on the sentinels and one Leman Russ, and I may add some more to the Russ. I can’t go too heavy because the paint will start to “spider” or run outward if you get it too thick while it’s still wet. With an airbrush it’s important to remember that multiple light coats is better than saturating everything on one pass.
Before I started painting rust I hit the sentinels’ bases with Ceramacoat Golden Brown. After I’ve hit everything with the rust color I’ll put a second coat of brown on the bases and I’ll put a very light dusting of brown on the vehicles where they may pick up dust. So that’s the progress I’ve made so far. After the rust and dust coats I’ll pack up the airbrush and move on to bristle brushes.
I love the airbrush for getting a fast base coat and initial shading on my vehicles. How do you like them so far? Have you had any experience with airbrushing your models?