I've spoken a bit about the airbrush that my brother got me for my birthday. Really, it was a combination of airbrush and compressor and, as people who own these things will attest, the compressor is usually the expensive part... so I'm really grateful to him for that. He confessed the airbrush part was a cheap one, and he was right; it fell apart like kleenex origami in a rainstorm. I put a few bucks on the table for a new one (about $25, because I didn't need anything fancy), and it really did the trick. You would have enjoyed watching me use the first one, though; it jammed every time I would think of using it, and would otherwise spray paint in all sorts of different directions like fountains at the Bellagio Hotel (like, imagine this, only in your hand, and instead of water you have Hawk Turquoise).
Anyhow, the new brush soved that problem.
So here's what I'm doing now:
- Prime the models using whatever primer does the job
- Use the airbrush to base in Snakebite Leather
- Use the airbrush to cover in Bleached Bone
- Ink the models
The results are amazingly flat, amazingly even, amazingly smooth basecoats. I'm just blown away. Here are some shots of what I'm getting so far (after the primer/Snakebite/Bone/Ink process I described above):
Now, it's not that I can't get these results with a brush, but the time factor is a huge consideration. With this kind of thing, I'd need to put maybe 5 or so layers of super-thinned Bleached Bone down on top of the Snakebite Leather to get what I'm going for. The airbrush gives it to me in a matter of hours and, if I didn't have to wait for the layers to dry between between coats, I'd be able to do it in almost no time at all.
Obviously this is going to change how I do my models from here on out. I would leave so many models on the shelf for months or longer simply because I couldn't face the long hours of labor required to get the basic bone and ink coats on them. I'm much less put off by doing details and freehand and other "fun" stuff than I am by the mind-numbing assembly-line work of basecoating properly... so this is a lot like all the fun stuff and none of the dreary.
Best of all, using the airbrush is fun. Come on; I turn on the compressor and press that little button and spray paint at the model. It's awesome. Watching the model get painted up in no time flat is fantastic.
In time I'll experiment a bit with doing those really neat gradients you see people do with airbrushes and, eventually, will get myself one of those fancyshmancy airbrushes that allows me to do super cool details.
For now, however, I'm having a lot of fun. I've got two War Walkers and a Wraithlord in the other room with silky-smooth Bleached Bone coats drying right now.
This airbrush rocks. Thanks, Bro!