Friday, May 30, 2014

An Adventure in Airbrushing

The long awaited moment finally arrived last Friday.  My airbrush paints were finally in hand, and it was good:

So why did it take so long?  That's a story in its own right.  As I regale you with what's been going on behind the scenes I'll be showing off what my airbrush paints can do:

Previously I mentioned that the first place I went to ended up dragging their heels, and was awaiting word from a second place.  My order with Atomic Games (which I do not recommend) was constantly in a, "Waiting," status.  I called them for a status update, and all I got was, "We have until 'X' date to get your order shipped," and when I inquired when on that day they clarified that they had till the end of day.  Well, the awaited day came and went with no change to my shipping status.  I promptly called and cancelled my order with them.

So at this point I'm getting a bit frustrated, and I decide to give it one last go.  My line of reasoning so far is that the orders haven't gotten filled due to stocking issues, and with that in mind I hit up ebay with the reasoning that the auctions listed means items in stock.  I ordered a small number of paints from Macabre Games, which arrived rather promptly (unfortunately these were secondary colors I wanted to round out my collection). 

The other order was with Noble Knight Games.  At first things were going normally, but then NKG stepped up the communicaiton and got me a tracking number right away.  I watched with great interest, but no change came in the tracking number.  After about a week with the tracking number not tracking and nothing in hand I sent them an email. 

I got a very prompt response stating according to the tracking number the package had been delivered via Fedex not long after I had ordered.  Turns out there was a glitch in their system that sent out tracking notices with USPS as the carrier and not Fedex.  After double checking their numbers I saw that indeed the package had been delivered.  This would be the first package I have ever had swiped from my doorstep. 

In steps Rick from Noble Knight Games asking me to check with my neighbors first, and if that fails then they'll replace my order.  After confirming that no one had gotten my package by accident, I worked with Rick to get my order replaced.  I had him send the paints to an alternate address, and after some small delays (they had to wait for paints to get restocked) the paints arrived at their location.

The communication from Noble Knight Games was spectacular, and their customer service is above and beyond what I've gotten from other companies so far.  I plan to make use of them for my future airbrush paint needs.

There is just so much that I love about my airbrush.  Even with a conversion kit I'm going to be a little limited with what I can do, but even for doing basecoats and scenery it is quite impressive.  Over the coming months I plan to experiment with it, and my first batch of test subject will be my Relic Knights pieces (assuming they show up before Gen Con).

So far I have been satisfied with all the colors.  Some are thinner than others and will require a white undercoat to use, like the yellow and chrome silver.

There's a red basecoat underneath, and you can easily see it peaking through.  But the chrome works ok on a regular/grey basecoat:

It's been a long time coming, but I'm glad my paints are finally here.  A special thanks again to Rick and Noble Knight Games!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Consistency Matters

The anticipation for my paints keeps growing, and I'll have a nice little story to tell in about a week or so when I finally (hopefully) get my airbrush paints.  I've gotten a couple, and after trying them out I can say definitively that consistency matters.  A lot.  I've got a few things I need to take pics of that show some demonstration, but for now we'll start with this:

What you're looking at is Vanessa from the Malifaux line.  I had a bit of luck using light drybrushing to get a weathered/layered effect with the two colors of Minitaire that I do have, and figured I would try it with thinned out vallejo paint.  Turns out it didn't work.  I mixed Sepia ink with leather, and was hoping for a good mix.  The above is the result, which is to say that it ended up being another basecoat.  Here's Vanessa restored to her original (intended) basecoat.

I originally got this coat by testing out the sepia ink in my airbrush, so it was simple to get it back.  The problem I'm encountering with thinning my own paints varies from consistency to amount used.  The Minitaire specific paints I could use a few drops and get the same coverage as if I thinned out my vallejo paint and filled half the well.  In short: I want my airbrush paints!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Waiting For Paints

Having an airbrush is pretty awesome.  I can do basecoats in a fraction of the time it would normally take, which leaves more time for details.  The hard part I'm coming across, however, is getting airbrush specific paints.  While I can thin down my own paints I can see the potential for inconsistency, which doesn't make me happy.  Airbrush specific paints use a finer pigment, and are really really thin.  I could use them as a wash on my miniatures without the airbrush, to give you an idea of how thin they are. 

So why is it difficult to get my hands on airbrush paints?  Paint comes in different mediums, like acryllic or enamel, and there are multiple styles of paint for airbrushes.  These styles include paints for body paint, car paint, clothes, tans, and models.  There aren't too many lines out there, and the two I've heard of so far are Minitaire and Vallejo Air.  I mentioned both of these in my previous post, and that getting ahold of Minitaire paints has been rather difficult.  I have gotten my hands on some minitaire paints, and I'm trying to find an order for the bulk of paints I wanted to try.  It was delivered to my doorstep, but either disappeared or wasn't actually delivered.

The results from my last airbrush session can be found on my friend's site.  I've been a bit busy trying to read up on coding, exercising, and work.  I've actually taken a video that I need to upload to my PC and check out and see if I can upload it to the blog.  With any luck I'll find a free moment this weekend to take care of this.