All posts tagged airbrush

October’s been an insanely busy month, and it is finally (thankfully) slowing down.

My current gaming focus is Infinity, and I’m in love with all of the terrain it requires I get to build!  I rolled ideas around in my head ages ago, and decided to work on a military sponsored / protected science research outpost.  This was about the time The Martian movie came out, and I’ll be the first to admit it was a heavy influence on my plans.

I got so far as to paint up a single Warsenal Comanche Pillbox, and I was fortunate enough to win the Mayacast Masterglass Terrain contest with the simple box.

Of course, I’ve updated my Panoceania color palatte since then, and I noticed that I mismatched the color of the orang-y dirt on the base…

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I’ve been asked a lot recently (in the past 3 months) about my thoughts on airbrushes, and what someone getting started should look for.  Rather than re-type my thoughts each time I get asked, I figured I’d make a blog post of it!

Before I get started, check out the Store.  It has an Airbrush section, and there are links to Amazon for everything I use.  I didn’t put the store together to make money or try to sell you on things.  It’s just a very convenient way for me to put stuff in one place when it comes to answering the “What do you use?” question.  Take a gander, support your local hobby shop if you can.  If you can’t, buy through Amazon.

For the impatient (Spud), here’s an index of what I’m going to cover:

  1. Compressors
  2. Hoses
  3. Airbrushes
  4. Starter Setup

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Well, here he is, as promised. At this stage, the colors have been blocked out, the grey is done, the brass is done, and the silver metallics have been washed. Coming along slowly, but steadily. No updates for about a week, since I’m away from my desk over the holidays.




As I look at the model withe the hand blended greys, I definitely didn’t leave enough contrast on the red. It looks very flat compared to the grey, brass and silvers. Something to remember for next time, I suppose.

Let me know what you think about the color placement – I’m happy with the grey chest, but I still feel like the model needs more grey – the red overpowers it.


Here’s the Man-o-War after some airbrushing. I primed black, airbrushed a layer of Sanguine Base, and then put down about three layers of Khador Red Base. I tried to go higher, with a 2:1 KR Highlight and KH Base, but the tone was so close, and my setup doesn’t have enough light, and I just couldn’t see it. So, this is as bright as the reds will go for now.

More WIP pics soon – I’ve already started on the brushwork for this test model, but I want to finish the greys and clean up the model a bit more before taking pics.



So, with all this talk about 2-brush blending, some other great methods have fallen by the wayside.  2-brush is not the only way to do things, and sometimes, it’s not the best way either.  Here are some videos that show you some alternates to 2-brush blending.


Glazing is what I used on my Skorne Gladiator’s armor.  Lots, and lots of layers of thinned or translucent paint.  You can thin the water down (as Obsidian does in the video) or you can add mixing medium, which is essentially paint without pigment.  This makes the paint translucent, so each layer is semi-see thru, and you build the color up in layer upon layer.

This method is excellent at blending on large, flat areas.  The translucency of the paint is very forgiving – if you make a mistake, it’s not noticeable at all.  As Obsisian says, it’s not technically difficult, it’s just time consuming.


This is essential what I did on my Pink Khador.  You essentially build up from a midtone or shadow using layers of mixed paint.  Each layer dries completely before moving on.  The more numerous and subtle the layers, the smoother the blend.  On the flip side, fewer, bolder layers lead to the cell-shading effect that the Pink Khador have.

You can often fake a blend with layering, followed by a glaze or two.  If you’re going to do this, be sure to highlight and shade stronger than you actually intent, since the glaze (often watered down mid-tone) will help reign in those outrageous highlights and shadows.  See the Forces of Warmachine: Khador book, the studio uses this “glaze after blending” technique.

Wet Blending

This was the best example of wet blending I could find, and it starts about halfway through.  The main difference between wet blending and 2-brush blending is that you have  two colors wet on the mini at the same time, and you blend or feather them together.  I don’t have much experience with this technique, though I do understand the theory.

It seems like this technique is best used when a quick, tight blend is required, such as on the folds in the cloak in the video.  In such a tight space, 2-brush blending won’t work well, since there’s no room to pull or push the paint.  Glazing and layering won’t work well either, since you need room and insane brush control to build a blend that small.

Wet … Layering?

DK here has an interesting method.  He keeps his basecoat wet on the model, and keeps some of the basecoat loaded on his brush.  He then mixes in a bit of his mid-tone using his palette, and puts this onto the paint that’s still wet on the model.  I think a wet palette is perfect for this type of painting.

I consider this a mixture of wet blending and layering, since it uses two wet colors on the model, but only one brush.  It also works in several stages – which is more of a layering type technique, rather than a blending technique.


I don’t know anything about airbrushing, so I won’t even go there.  I can tell you that airbrushes make fantastic blends, they make blends on large, flat surfaces a snap, and they offer access to several other techniques that can only be achieved with an airbrush.  The primary drawbacks are the expensive costs to get started, and the need for a dedicated area with proper ventilation.

Which of these methods have you tried?

How did it turn out?