Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Express elevator to Hell

So last time I posted I had attempted to give my Valkyries a chipped paint look using salt although the method technically worked the results were less than satisfactory.  I failed to apply it correctly; applying too much salt and in the wrong locations. So in this post I will go over the lengthy descent into hell I experienced  attempting to repair the damage I had done; and the process of completing the painting of the models. My first step was to repaint the Valkyries and cover up all that shiny metal spray paint. I needed a couple of coats of red starting with a darker shade and I had to paint over the whole model to blend the all the colours together  My air brush was a huge help for this, laying down even smooth coats of paint quickly.

My failed attempt at salt chipping.

The Havlock crest on one of my homemade stencils. 

Once I was done I got to thinking about detail. I wanted to use the Havelock family crest as described my my players;  and figured that the wings of the Valkyries would provide perfect spaces for it. Now I just needed to figure out how to get it on there neatly I toyed with the idea of a laser cut stencil for a while several companies could provide me what I wanted easily enough but it would cost a little more than I wanted. So I decided to make my own stencils. I would print out the image onto a piece of paper cut out the area to be painted and just spay through the remaining negative. The only problem is that airbrush paint is very thin and paper doesn't like being wet and how would I prevent the paper from being dislodged by the air blasting out of the airbrush? The solution: I would print out the image onto a sticker cut out the area to be painted and just spay through the remaining negative. Boom, genius, mike drop, (oh how foolish I was). I grabbed some sticky labels of appropriate size printed out my design placed them on the wings of one of my Valkyries then I noticed that one of the labels was a little crooked.  As I removed and re-positioned the offending label the sticky surface of the label lifted the paint strait of the surface of the model but only where I had previously painted it with the horrible metallic silver paint. It appeared that the texture of the spray paint was proving difficult for the acrylic GW paint to bond to. I placed the Valkyrie with the ruined paint scheme to one side; I still had another. I figured the sticky bond of the label was too strong so I had an idea to protect the paint on this Valkyrie with talcum powder. I spread the talcum over the wings then applied the labels with the printed designs they didn't seem to sticky and were able to be re-positioned easily enough. I then lightly cut the design out with a hobby blade. Unfortunately when I removed the cut portion some of the paint again lifted from the wing revealing the silver curse of my own making.

The wings after I remover the first labels.

The wings with a protective layer of talcum powder.

The talcum powder wasn't protective enough. 

After removing the remainder of the labels and putting them away in frustration; I worked on my naval arms men/conscripts greened stuffed their hats, base coated them, and painted a batch to tabletop standard.

Greened stuffed tricorn hats. 

One batch at table top quality, one with two base colors, and one with under coat.

I after my conscript break from the Valkyries I returned. Firstly I washed the models thoroughly to get all trace of the label glue and the talcum of the wings. I once again had to repaint the Valkyries and cover up the evil shiny metal spray paint. I again started with a darker shade and I had to paint over the whole model to blend the all the colours together.  I couldn't have done this without my air brush the thin coats of paint were starting to build up. If I had painted the Valkyries with a brush they would have just been big blobs of paint with a plastic centre by now. I again turned my attention to painting Havelock family crest  on the wings of the Valkyries this time I traced the image on the wings with a pencil and used the outline as a guide to paint the eagle and fist. The result looked better than I expected.

My hand painted design. I am surprised how not crummy it looks.

I then began mucking things up giving the Valkyries a beat up look lots of paint chipping and muck. giving the dropships a really worn look I figure doping from orbit isn't the gentlest of experiencesThis time I used a piece of packing foam from a blister to sponge on the chipping. a trick I learned from a Beasts Of War backstage painting video but the excellent Duncan Rhodes has also done one. Firstly I applied a mixture of dark brown mixed with some black  then some metallic lead bleacher to give the effect of chipped paint with some bare metal showing on the most worn areas. To give the effect that the paint wear was from flight to restricted the wear to the leading edges of the model and each panel. I used some blue painters tape to protect the trailing edges of the wing and tail panels.

Painters tape to protect the trailing edges of the panels.

After I had sponged on the paint chips and metallic paint I removed the painters tape and once again it appeared that the texture of the spray paint was proving difficult for the acrylic GW paint to bond to. As I removed the tape the sticky surface of the tape lifted some of the paint off the surface of the model. This time I had to repaint over he exposed metallic spray paint but I couldn't use the airbrush unless I wanted to cover up all the chipping I had done. So I carefully brushed on some paint, layering up to match the existing red hue, Then I weathered it to look like the remainder of the Valkyrie. The end result wasn't too horrible.

The silver curse strike again.
Can't use the airbrush here.

I actually think I did a good job in the end.

My next project is paint up a Lemun Russ.

But to that second circle of sad hell,
Where ‘mid the gust, the whirlwind, and the flaw
Of rain and hail-stones, lovers need not tell
Their sorrows. Pale were the sweet lips I saw,
Pale were the lips I kiss’d, and fair the form
I floated with, about that melancholy storm.