About Me

My photo
My name is Gavin McClements. I am a wargamer and family man, living in Los Gatos, which is a suburb of San Jose, CA. Building terrain is one of my favorite aspects of the wargaming hobby - in fact, lately I've become more interested in making my battlefields "pop" than in actually playing.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Balls to the wall...

Enough talk, I thought, and swiftly proceeded to set up the airbrush and grow a pair. You cant learn if you dont try, right?

First I used Blue-Tac (poster-tac, same thing) to wrap a few of my vehicles. It was kind of fun but definitely tedious and tricky. I found it an interesting exercise in thinking in reverse, in that the spaces I wanted to be tan, I had to cover, and the places that were to be green needed to be exposed. But of course, looking at it, I saw white (to be tan) and tan (to be green). Interesting to say the least:

Then I discovered that the airbrush I had came with no instructions. Awww man!  Well, I powered through it, and was about to give it the college try:

I didnt mix enough paint and had it sputter on me very quickly. Turns out I used half of the bottle. Yikes. Anyway, I had some scary moments figuring out air pressure, etc, and had some sputtering and spitting while I did my test sprays, but in the end, well...I got the models covered :)

At this point I was a wreck. I couldnt tell if I had done a decent job, or if I had completely blown it. I was as nervous as a soon-to-be dad waiting outside of the delivery room! But eventually I came in after the paint was dry and slowly peeled it away...

...I felt like the Joker unwrapping his bandages for the first time...

Well HEY, not half bad, eh?

Still, there was WAY too much green for my taste (I used Vallejo's Model Color Medium Olive), and so I set about hand painting the other two vehicles to compare and contrast.  Here are two APCs side by side. The darker green on the right is the airbrushed version, and the one in the foreground has been brushed:

Take a wild guess which I like better?

The APC weapon mounts havent been done as of this pic, obviously, and the washes, pigments, details, etc are still to be done, but overall I am really happy with this. The darker green versions arent my favorite, but will allow me to skirmish against myself (or a friend, lol) with 2 different forces using the same models, so that is cool.

The plus side of the airbrush was that my back didnt start killing me right away. I hunch when I paint, and as I type this I am squirming like a mother :(  However, the brush was just too reliable and easy (more time, but big deal). Painting the resin was interesting, as it was porous enough that the paint sank right into it, but it made for easy blending.

Anyone want to buy an airbrush? :)


  1. I like the colour choices, it will be a good looking force.

  2. Some things you might consider....

    They make a brush on rubber cement like coating that should work better for you than the blu-tack. I can try to find the name of it if you like.

    Rather than doing the peel away, doing the lines/patches freehand. I do this, and while I am not terribly excited at the results, it might be different for you?

    Anyway... I like the airbrushed ones better. The painted ones seem very muted.

    Well done!