Saturday, February 26, 2011

Playing with the airbrush - Light and shade I...

I've been playing with the airbrush, looking for light and shade, the easy way…

I have 2 squads of storm troopers that are to be painted at some point - 20 man strong is not something I favour, especially because I have just painted 10 of them for the tournament I just attended...

So, I was looking for the cheap and fast way around that, and that was the aim for the session - Define light and shade, using the airbrush. Starting from a black undercoat, I figured that I could use white to define light on raised areas and let the black undercoat define the shades. Below picture shows two test subjects, with different amounts of white 'lighting'.

Using an airbrush you live and die baced on the quality and colour of the 'canvas' you are spraying - The test subjects had a poor quality foundation spray, and mould lines that the airbrush made even more obvious... So I need to spend more time on prepping the lot before scaling the experiment to the lot of the storm troopers. That aside I started applying the 'real' colour for the troopers. In this case a dark green, and you can see the test subjects are now 3, as I sprayed one additional directly on top of the black primer.

Do I like the result?? Well, test subject 1 is too bright and subject 3 is too dark, so the conclusion is that I need to be very careful when using white as lighting the model, or spray the modes with a coat of black wash. Below is a picture of the 3 test subjects and one of the troopers from the squad that I painted using ordinary brushes.

Quick recap:
1.      Black undercoat.
2.      White lighting, sprayed from above 90-45 degree angle targeting the head and shoulders.
3.      Colour the model with camo green to set the tone – Alternatively I have seen people use inks to colour the areas, something that I’ll explore another time.

Finally on a side note, I continue to be amazed by the work you can do in no time - See this, where I used a plastic cup and some paper as stencils and two colours to make, what could have been a nice canvas for freehanded banner or rhino-door - if it hadn't been on paper :o)

/Nicolai aka Atoom

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