Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Airbrushing: 1st Taste

So I've finally gotten most everything gathered to do airbrushing.  Compressor?  Check.  Airbrush?  Check.  Face protection?  Check.  Paints?  Che-wait, no.  Out of everything I have I'm still missing the most crucial piece.  Thankfully you can still water down your own paints and they work pretty well...mostly:

My first attempt was to lay down a solid coat of a medium-dark grey on a piece of scenery that has been lying around for...a while.  I must not have had enough paint in there as the pigment was very wet and spotty.  Since that was my very first attempt I decided to play around a bit and try a different color:

This turned out MUCH better!  I can see why they say using an airbrush saves time.  Doing the basecoat for these guys took seconds, and it would normally take me a good half hour or so to do by hand.  Too bad they were the wrong shade and I had to go back to do another coat:

It's exciting how easily I can go over a darker basecoat with a lighter shade and not have it be affected by it.  Another benefit of airbrushing is that if you're doing it right the paint won't pool in the details, leaving a more defined surface.  I was getting a bit eager at this point and decided to try out a few things.

Airbrush specific paints use a finer pigment, and have to be really thin, like a wash.  I decided to grab my green ink and try that out.  What you see above is the end result of that process.  A little more neon than what I was looking for, but it makes me excited to get my hands on some actual airbrush paints.  If only it were that easy.  The line I had decided to try out is called Minitaire, and is sold by Badger.  Unfortunately their site doesn't sell it directly, and my first attempt to purchase it from their main web distributor, Wynwyn, did not yield great results.  The site was difficult to navigate, and there was an issue during billing where it generated an invoice but didn't actually charge me.  I didn't find out about this until four days had passed.  I, "Cancelled," my order and am waiting for a different online retailer, but that seems to be taking a long time as well.  Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of paints that I can thin and use, but there is something to be said for the convenience of just being able to put a few ready-made drops into your well and airbrush to your hearts content.  If I keep encountering issues with Minitaire I may just switch over and try Vallejo Air as it seems to be easier to get your hands on.

The compressor I picked up actually had a few regular styled airbrush paints for Iwata's Medea color line.  I gave those a try:

What you're seeing is their Opaque Red and Opaque Black.  The red is obviously a bit more pink than what I'd like, and the black is standard fair.  I'm uncertain about using these paints for my miniatures, and there seems to be fumes to go along with them, which means making sure I have adequate ventilation.

After trying out the Medea paints I decided to go back and try out the grey again, but with more concentrated pigment.  The result was very worthwhile:

The coating was much darker.  I suspect it didn't coat as much/well because the scenery was still a little damp from the first coat I did.  Even still it's very exciting to see paint go on as fast as it did, and I look forward to exploring airbrushing even more (if my paints ever get here)!

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