Weekend Workshop Airbrush Class

Yes.. Airbrushing. A technique that is shrouded in mystery more often than not. One that many do not attempt for all the costs, tools, and work involved to just muck it all up in the end and cry hopelessly into your lap as paint continues to drip down from your now ruined model.

But fear not! Fellow Blogger and 5th-dimension member John aka Darkmessiah was on hand this past weekend to teach us noobs of the airbrush order how to de-mystify the secrets of the airbrush.

And John has set up quite the agenda for us to tackle, along with some contingencies for those that were needing more time to learn the basics ( cough Gus cough ) and others who might be thinking they are a bit too advanced and moving quite quickly. No idea who that might be.. but I am sure they are cool dudes :)

First up though was to achieve the basics. Taking apart the airbrush, re-assembling it, and then knowing how to run the consistencies in the colors themselves. Some pretty basic stuff, but things that would carry throughout the class and for some they would get a lot of experience with taking apart their airbrushes due to not listening to the topic of color consistencies. :) You know who you are.. no need to beat a dead horse about it..

Once the very basics of an airbrush was thrown down, we moved onto our first assignment. Blending. And this was done on a custom made resin piece of scenery bits made by Darkmessiah Supa Miniatures Extraordinary Result Company of Excellence, aka John.

The goal here was to start with a basic color and get a nice smooth layer laid down. Not to rush it, and to just go layer by layer until there was a full coverage thrown down on the resin board.

Now for me this was a quick switch from my normal way of painting. As we were running the paint very thin, and on a very low bar setting ( 2 bars? ) to get full control on the airbrush and model. Normally I just jack my compressor up to 4-6 bars, and make that thing propel paint at a speed and force akin to firing a paintball gun. Of course my method allows for a quicker coverage on the model, but reduces the control that I can achieve with it. So I did struggle a bit on this to begin with, but it was nice to see how thinning the paint down ( considerably I must say! ) and then reducing the air pressure can have such results! Only thing I was really frustrated with at the end was the waiting for the paint to then dry! Something a hair dryer would help with I think.

But once I got through the base coating of the plank I could then move to the shadows and highlights. This was quite simply us taking the plank, turning it to a new angle, and shooting either white or black at it :) After this it was all about the misting the original color back onto the overall section to get a nice smooth transition from dark to light.

You can see that I have adopted one of the many techniques created/found within the workshop.. names the Strongbow technique. No relation to the beer that we drank each night ( or when John wasn't looking )...

From the plank you can see my progression going from the blue, to the yellow and finally the green boxes in practicing this misting and blending techniques ( strongbow or otherwise ) on the plank.

Something I need to mention as I seemed to not mention it in other workshop reviews I have done in the past. The location we airbrushed in had a place for food, and the cost of entry to the event provided a voucher to get some food throughout the event. And I can say that after all the morning work on the first day I was famished to the point of attacking the food with all my might with little thought of what the consequences would be for my personal safety! rue Kamikaze style here!!

But for the most part, we worked on the blending throughout the whole of the first day. To ensure that we all had a good grasp on this before we proceeded onto the actual models.

What was good on this was that even if there were people not yet mastering the blending and color consistencies, then they could get more time with John on Sunday morning before tackling their miniatures.

Saturday night we enjoyed a nice meal out at the Philharmonic Dining Halls. The only reference I can make for this place was it was like the Original Cheers that was copied from 'Murica.. And I say it this way instead of them copying Cheers cause well.. they were here first! And John would never let me live it down if I said otherwise ;)

From here it was the traditional head to a pub, grab a pint and talk about miniatures, the industry, and life. Oh and make fun of each other for one thing or another.. typical guy stuff. We of course followed this up with walking through the ever so upscale bar section of Liverpool complete with all the classy ladies dressed up.. OK.. not so much dressed up but at least covering MOST of their goodies.. gotta love the bootyshorts ;)

But we didn't come here for the girls ( or at least I didn't.. I think? ).. we came here to paint and day 2 was where we began to put the practice into motion..

First up was the mighty Savage Orc.. something that "most" got assembled Friday or Saturday night depending on when they arrived to the city.

For me, I went the traditional color here. Green. With red shadows and yellow highlights. I really messed up the face section by putting too much white on it for top highlight, but I think I can fix that in the future.

It was really similar to what we did on the planks though. Main color.. shadows.. highlights.. mist overall.

You can see one of the participants misting his Orc with the now famous Strongbow technique. To get that just right level of color blending over the upper most sections of the Orc. It also has the added bonus when used on a 4-6 bar setting to also paint your neighbours model, lamp, shirt, and burger also! Combo-kill here!

The toughest part here was getting the consistency right with the distance set up properly. So that you would not be just pooling all the paint onto the model and into the recesses. Something that I struggled with.. Drying times and small needles make for one heck of a burst when it comes undone. Not fun and a pain to fix as well afterwards.

John showed us on his model while most were listening and watching. Don't know who wouldn't be watching and just go forth and paint theirs up at the same time.. :D Awesome people I guess? :)

Once we felt that we had tackled this part well enough ( and some Golden Demon winner has thrown my Orc to the ground in jealousy ) some of us moved onto the Grey Knight Space Marine model.

For this we used the new Scale75 metal set. All I can say is that I am in love with this set!!! Volomir has put up an article on his experiences via the brush, but I can say through the airbrush this set is nothing but a dream! So smooth, such a great coverage, and no clogging in the airbrush after a few passes! And the end result was just sublime!

I can say that after doing the Orc in greens and reds and yellows.. the Grey Knight was a breeze and was a walk in the park. Either it was because of the advice and techniques shown by John, or just that it became easier with practice.. but the end result was a great result. One that I now might think about a grey knight army??? Dammmmmmn..

Only downside to the weekend overall that I can honestly say is that due to being a bit north and finishing on a Sunday I had to leave early to get home before it got too late. So with most of the techniques under my belt ( including the 2 airbrush technique as you can see Gus mastering below ) I did head home. But not without having that 4 hr drive back thinking on all the projects that will benefit from the work and practice that we did throughout the weekend.

Thanks again for the workshop John and everyone else who attended. Looking forward to seeing the upcoming projects from everyone.. and seeing where this takes myself in the future for progress! Now time for some much needed rest before jumping back onto the road for another workshop adventure soon!

Tutorials checkout #4 painting eyes

Good evening guys,
Guten abend Jungs,

as a practice for a planed project in the near future I tryed a tutorial to painting realistic eyes in scale 28mm. With some advice by a friend, Daniel aka Nathelis (...really love his miniatures!) I tryed this tutorial (german/english) by Roman aka Jarhead from Massive Voodoo.
als eine gute Übung für ein Projekt in der näheren Zukunft habe ich mich an einem Tutorial für "realistische Augen" im Masßstab 28mm versucht. Mit einiger Unterstützung durch meinen Freund Daniel aka Nathelis (...ich liebe seine Figuren) habe ich mich an dem Tutorial "Augen malen" (deutsch/enlisch) von Roman aka Jarhead von Massive Voodoo versucht.

I choosed a miniature I build out of different high elve miniatures by Gamesworkshop. It's a standard bearer I planed to paint when the new painting buddha DVD "Season 1.2 Freehands & banner" will arrive.
Ich habe mich für eine Miniatur entschieden die ich aus verschiedenen Hochelfen Modellen von Gamesworkshop zusammengebaut habe. Es ist ein Armeestandartenträger den ich geplant hatte um die Anleitungen der neue DVD von Painting Buddha "Season 1.2 Freehnads & Banner" umzusetzten wenn sie erschienen ist.

I used for all of the following steps a Winsor & Newton series 7 brush size 0 normal lenght:
Ich hab für alle Schritte einen Winsor & Newton Serie 7 Pinsel der Größe 0 lang verwendet.

The first steps are "easy"... painting the eyes black, then white (but left a small line black around the eyes from the underground color). Then set a dot of a color (I choosed blue...) ase iris of the eye.
And here was my first "mistake" Daniel said to me: "the white parts are about 50% to big to look real..."
Der erste Schritt ist "einfach"...die Augen in Schwarz malen, dann die Augen mit weiß übermalen (aber einen dünnen Rand von dem darunter liegenden Schwarz als Einrahmung stehen lassen). Dann einen Punkt einer beliebigen Farbe (ich habe Blau gewählt) in die Mitte als Iris setzten. Und hier war schon mein erster "Fehler" wie Daniel mir sagte: "Das Weiß der Augen ist etwa 50% zu groß um realistisch zu sein..."

First, paint black around the eyes and over the white to make them smaller...
Als erstes also schwarz um die Augen malen um das Weiß etwas zu verkleiner...

...then paint the ground color of the skin around the eyes and over the black to get the blacklining around the eyes thinner.
Daniel said ok,so I moved on :-)
...dann mit der Grundfarbe der Haut um die Augen malen und das Schwarß wieder zu verkleinern und nur einen dünne Linie davon stehen lassen.
Daniel sagte "ok" also gings weiter...

 I paint the iris a bit bigger. And now the "hard" part... Paint a smaller dot black into the blue iris as pupil...
Ich habe dann die Iris etwas vergrößert. Und dann kam der "harte" Teil... Einen etwas kleineren schwarzen Punkt in die Iris malen als Pupille...

Hope you can see the blue in the white and the black in the blue color.
Ich hoffe ihr könnt den Blauen Punkt im Weiß, und den Schwarzen Punkt im Blau erkennen.

And now the "extreme hard" part. Paint a smaller white dot as light reflection into the black pupil.
Und nun den "extren schweren" Teil. Nun einen noch kleineren weißen Punkt in die Pupille malen als Lichtreflexpunkt.

Mistake two... I destroid the left eye and hat to repaint it. (starting with black, then the white, then the blue dot, the smaller black dot and the extrem small white dot...)
Fehler zwei... Ich habe das linke Auge zerstört und musste es nochmal Malen. (Angefangen beim Schwarz, dann das Weiß, dann den Blauen Punkt als Iris, den kleineren Schwarzen Punkt als Pupille und den kleinsten Punkt in Weiß als Reflexpunkt...)

Like you can see, I had to overwork the blacklining left... And this was the result.
But after all I had to repaint the light refection in the left eye to get it on the same place like the right eye's refelction point. But it was to late to do this and my eyes hurt.
Wie ihr sehen könnt muss ich auch das Blacklining ums linke Auge verkleinern... Und das war dann das Ergebnis. Und nach dem Ganzen muss ich nun auch den Lichtreflexpunkt im linken Auge neu malen da er an der selben Position sitzen sollte wie im anderen Auge. Aber es war spät und meine Augen schmerzten schon.

It was fun to paint about three ours only eyes to get a feeling for this and a nice result.
Just try this great tutorial, it's great when you look at this from a distance.
Es hat aber Spaß gemacht rund drei Stunden nur Augen zu bemalen um ein gefühl dafür zu bekommen und das Ergebnis war prima. Versucht euch mal an diesem schönen Tutorial, es ist genial diese Mini dann aus einiger Distanz zu betrachten.

It was a great help for me to fix the miniature with some patterfix on my small painting helper.
Es war mir eine große Hilfe meine Miniatur dabei auf meinem kleinen Mal-Helferchen mit Patterfix zu fixieren.

Best regards,
Beste Grüße,
Michael aka Dellolyn

Imperial Japanese for Bolt Action!!!

So I have finished up the first 5 Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) soldiers for my bolt action army. I had a complete blast painting these guys up, and am hoping to take them over to Salute for the historical competition category. But more for them to just be a bit of fun, and try something a bit different.

One of the main things that I tried for them was to get a more realistic coloring for their early war uniforms. Oh and to throw some grass into their helms and shirts. Half because they were always ambushing the USMCs but also because Dellolyn said that it is pretty true that you are pretty much always eating dirt and grass when in the army.

I hope you all like them, and are looking forward to seeing more of them in the future. Would really like to get a full 1000 pts of them built at some point, but just not sure as to when! But I figure if I can do up a few at a time, and slowly build it up, I might even get a game in sometime in 2016! :)

Let me know if you think they represent the army properly or not, and if not what could I change to make them better!


Different Styles, Different Colors, One Family - WIPs, primed,ready to paint.

Hey brush junkies!
Hey ihr Pinselfanatiker!

Duke of Bavaria is near and freetime is very small...
Herzog von Bayern ist nicht mehr fern und die Freizeit knapp bemessen...

So have to hurry to get the goblin ready ;-)
Also draufhalten das der kleine Goblin noch fertig wird ;-)

The MAN! ...light from the right side...
Der MANN! ...Lichtquelle von rechts...

 Some hidden details  in the tree to creat a frame for the mini 
and lightsource changing (fireplace) to creat a night scene.
Ein par versteckte Details im Baum um einen Rahmen für die Mini zu schaffen
und eine etwas andere Lichtquelle (Lagerfeuer) um eine Nachtszene zu gestallten.

...a lonely backpack...
...ein einsamer Rucksack...

 Typical goblin mushrooms and tree mushrooms as hidden details.
Typische Pilze zum Goblinstile und Baumpilze als versteckte Details.

Thats the final base, ready to paint.
Und hier die fertige Base zum bemalen.

Colour follows soon ;-)
Farben folgen in Kürze ;-)

The Rusty Bucket #3

Hey folks!

It´s time to keep on the progress of my old sovjet tank (Part#1, part#2). Again I would like to speak with pictures instead of long words. But at first I want to say "thank you" to my new friend Daniel aka Nathelis. Maybe you know him by his blog www.miniaturefairytales.blogspot.co.at. After I posted my first progress of the tank on our blog, he contacted me on facebook. After a small chat he offered to help me with tank because he is very interested in modell-work also what you can see HERE. Very happy I said yes because I had now experience at all on this theme. So we talked a lot about different weathering techniques and he gave me very cool hints and links to work with that. So thanks Daniel :)
I know that the whole progress of the tank looks very comprehensive. I used a lot of different tools and materials. For someone who don´t have these massive products or experience in painting it could looks like very frustraded. But it isn´t so hard as you think - believe me ;) Read my personal statement about it at the end of the articel.

And now lets go to work!

Before the priming could start, I put some different kind of sand on the ground.
The variety let the base appeling more interesting and real.

Time for priming: 
(watch out ou cool video tutorial about a good priming HERE)

Black priming
I prefer airbrush primer in this case, because it's finer and clearer and supports more the next airbrush steps. 

The weathering:
There are many many ways to do that. I use a big combination of a lot of techniques. Count it as a small tutorial. Another and easier way to weather your miniatiures you can find in our tutorial section HERE.

For a ground color surface I used redbrown colors with a lttle bit matt varnish to create a rougher surface for the next steps.

The hair-spray technique: 
The idea is to seal the groundcolor with the spray. Then you airbrush or paint a next color layer on it. Now you can rub and scratch up the last layer from the miniature again. The result is a first and good rusty looking of the surface. For a really good and detailed tutorial about the technique you should visit our monkeys from the jungle on www.massivevoodoo.blogspot.de or watch this cool videotutorial by ScaleModelMedic on YouTube.

I sprayed it direct in the airbrush. It´s no problem to clean it after use with warm water and airbrush cleaner. 
After the hair-spray layer was dry, I sprayed the next color on it ... 
... to remove it afterwards random and unregular with some different tools.  
To keep and save the created effect and to work with oil colors in the next steps, I sealed everything with satin varnish.
For more contrast I added some first inks. One more reason for that is that I want use them again later on on the base.So it will work fine together after everything is finished.
Painting with oil:
This was my first time with oil paintings. The good thing first, I´m fine with the final result. The bad thing is, it was to experimental that I could really reapeat what I did there :D A very good and usefull tutorial for me was this one on YouTube by spruecutters. Additional to that I brought the oilcolor direct on the surface of the tank use thinner or other oilcolors to blend it in a random style.

First try. After that I decided to made an overall thinned wash with the oilcolors.
To make some army marks on the tank tower I used mask-strip. 
But before I sprayed the withe color, I used hair-spray again. After spraying the spray I sprinkle a little bit sand on it. Then the withe color. And at least I scrachted the sand from the surface.
I like this technique with the sand. Instead of sand you can use salt. It´s easiers to remove later on.
And I did it again.

The result himself was good but to bright and clean instead of the other tank parts. At first I scrachted and removed some more white color. Later on I brought more brown and earth colors in the rest of the white stripes.
For the russian red star I built a template. The image is from the internet.
... placed it on the tank and used the airbrush again.

The new stripes, the star and army marks for more charachteristics.
The work on the wheels I took very easy. They are not in the focus of the tank and later on a lot of plants shall  grow over them. The most parts of them gets very covered.
A good tool for more charachter is a pencil. Scratch over the edges and surfaces to make them look metallic. Very easy to handle. I used it on the wheels and on much parts of the tank itself.
Last step for "real painting" were rust dots. I splashed them on it with an old brush and my oil color mix again. But be careful! To much thinner in the brush can change the complete appereance of the tank again. It will sprayed and splashed everywhere!
Last step: Rust pigments. On the picture you can see a lot of different pigments. The best result for me was by the real rust pigments. In the past I collect everything from the streets what was very very rusty. I brought them home and put the parts together in a box. The effect is very good, but it takes a long time to have enough of them :)  Mixed with oil thinner to fix them on the miniature they brought a very nice and realistic look.
Again our friends from the jungle have a great way to produce their own rust pigments - and faster then mine way! Check it out HERE.
And this is how it looks now. The pictures are very bright, so some details and contrasts getting lost. But you can see how it goes now. 
Maybe some highlights for more contrasts will follow, but all in all the tank is finished.

The tank is finished. It brought a lot of fun to me. So many new elements, tools and techniques that I never used in one proejct before. But it looks like a lot of hard work and ressources and yes, it is. But there are a lot steps that I want try to explain, how you can do it easier. 
At first the airbrush: Airbrushing is study for itself. There are many different kinds and opinions about the correct equipment. In my case everything is very cheap. All in all I paid round about 150€ for my stuff. But I was in look to have good friends and they sell me their equipment for much money. What I think is, a cheap China import is good enough for the start. But the more important thing in my case with the tank is: You don´t need an airbrush system. Everythink is possible with an ordinary brush (or two^^). Take care about the thickness of the color mixes and everything is fine. Could takes a little bit longer, but work as well as the airbrush. Also the hair-spray. You can use a brush again.
Masking tape: It was a very nice experience for me to use the masking tape and to create stripes and the sovjet stars. This technique is a common one in the usual modell-making but efforts a lot of time for this small result on the tank. Next time I would prefer to paint it by my own with a brush. The whole modell is old and dirty. For example when the stripes gets not very perfect it´s easy to cover them or in the best case it supports the old appereance.
Oil painting: I love it to handle with them! There are so many oppurtunities and they are great for the atmossphere and appearance of the project. But I need much more practice to understand what I´m doing there :) In this project I wouldn´t miss them and the good thing is you can by them very cheap. From time to time you can buy oilcolorsets in supermarkets. For a first try and some small experiences this is good enough. Thinner is also very cheap and at first an old brush could be enough. But it is how it is with others: Much cheaper the quality of the tools, much lower is the quality of the result. 
All in all I love this project. Everything is possible and when something gets wrong don´t care! The old, rusty and dirty look forgives every error. So it´s an awesome playground to figure out what is possible. What I want to say is: Try it by your own, don´t be afraid of it! :)

The painting part of the tank is finished so far. The next step is the basing. A next huge playground for me. Firts of all I will paint with some big wet in wet techniques on every area of the ground and the trees. Afer more detailing of it, the plants, grass and tree growing will follow. Could be one of my fastest project ever :)

So I hope you like it! Feel free to comment or asking and last but not least ....

enjoy your day!

all the best Siggi