I finally got a chance to put the finishing touches on my first squad of Frazi Heavy Fighters for Narn Month in the Babylon Project! I've got plenty to say, but first let's look at the finished product...
Overall I'm happy. The colors actually turned out to be darker than the original squad (which I felt was closer to what is portrayed in the TV series).
Similar but varying colors isn't a bad thing. It helps to differentiate squadrons on the board as well as giving each squad its own personality. One thing that I got to exercise a bit of was freehand. Freehand is an ambitious task for any painter since it takes away the surface areas that you normally work within. I always like seeing what people do with freehand since it not only personalizes each piece but brings it to life as well. Here's a closer comparison shot.
The one on the left (done with more drybrushing than anything else) is the original, and the one on the right (done more by hand, layering, and washes) is the latest version. Painting by hand is definitely a much smoother job, although it takes a bit more time. As paint dries on the palette it makes the brush strokes on the mini more noticeable. This results in more time thinning paints or refreshing your palette. However if you're just looking to get minis painted reasonably well and on the table as fast as possible then drybrushing offers a quick way to pick out the details on a model while adding a touch of depth. In general drybrushing can add a dusty, dry, worn, or weathered texture to your model. This makes it ideal for rocks, ground, mummies or dry undead (not all zombies are fresh).
On another note you may have noticed that the original squad got an upgrade to their base. In my previous post you can see that their bases are all black, but while I was showing some progress pics to a friend the bases of my latest squad really caught his eye.
The one on the right is my favorite out of the six. The method I used to paint the bases is very simple and easy. Just get some white paint on a thin bristled brush, hold the brush close to the base, and give short, quick, bursts of air. I normally use this technique for creating blood splatters, and usually with watered down colors or washes.
I've learned several things about making star scapes on bases. Number one: know the viscosity of the color you're using. You can see some obvious lines and blobs on the bases that look out of place, this was a result of blowing too hard when the paint was too viscous, or having a color that was too thin. Number two: colors work the same way with splatter effects. For both sets I used both blue and white. On one set I put the white down first and followed it with a very light blue. The effect worked out well enough, but I found myself wanting more. On the second set I used a turquoise which was much closer to what I was wanting. I had put down the white first again, but after putting down the turqoise I had lost a lot of the white. I went back over it again with the white and got exactly what I had been hoping for (minus the occasional line/blob).
The simpleness of the star scapes has me thinking about trying to do some more elaborate space landscapes on my bases. Maybe if I can find the right inspiration.