Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Step by Step Guide - Painting Dystopian Wars Minis - Day 7

7. Final day of this guide must be time to add the finishing touches; it’s often these that provide the wow factor for a mini. What I'm going to add is some decoration to the flight deck, warning/guide lines and airbrush some patches of highlighted colour, to make it look worn were the planes have landed. I also want to do some object source lighting (OSL) on the engines to represent the sturginium light leaking from them. The decorations can go on first, as this gives me an opportunity to rough them up later; it is a working ship and I'm sure they won’t be constantly painting the deck. The airbrushed patches should help to give the decorations a worn look and I could always go in with a brush if needing more. In addition, I have a black wash to add to the deck, which will provide some shading between the planking and definition/weathering on top. OSL is a technique used to represent the lighting effects you see when light lands on objects around it. If you think of a dark dungeon wall with a burning wooden torch attached, the light from the fire will spread out across the wall, gradually getting dimmer the further it stretches out from the fire. I think this will help to give the mini a look of life/action. Once the paintwork is completed, I will give the mini a layer of varnish; this will help to make all the colours blend, remove the shine of the gloss and provide some protection while gaming. My final action will be to add the flight stand. Before I put any paint on the mini, my first task was to decide how I wanted the decking to look. A common mistake I used to make when painting was to start painting without a clear plan in mind; as a result, I didn’t always like what was produced. So with this in mind I did a search online for pics of aircraft carrier decks. The pic below stood out to me; I like the white line down the runway, and the red/white markings at the back of the deck. The design of the Tenkei, with the planes parked on deck made me think I should section this area off with some chevrons; to add some variation of colour I thought I would use black/yellow for this.
Paints used – The deck decorations need to start off bright, so I will begin with pure white. I know that I am bound to make some mistakes with this, so I will have Gorthor Brown on hand to clean up with. The bright yellow chevrons will be painted Sunburst Yellow, a Citadel paint from a previous range and my favourite Mephiston Red will do the red chevrons. For the airbrushing I will use Vallejo Game colors Earth on the decking, then an equal amount of Bone white for the extreme areas of ware on the decking. For the OSL I will use Magic Blue, Electric Blue and white. I will also be tire skid marks on the decking with Black and making the black chevrons with a 0.2mm black Micron Pen; these pens are ideal for adding detail as they don’t run like paint can. Here is a pic of the Micron Pen I used.
Method used – The first step was to mark out all the deck decoration with white paint. At first this can seem a little daunting, but there are some tips you can use to make this a little easier. Firstly, I didn’t thin the paint too much; I wanted it to be fairly thick so that it wouldn’t flow between the decking. Secondly, I used the actual decking planks to paint most the straight lines. When painting these, I used the side of my bristle not the tip and ran it down the edge of each plank, before reversing my grip on the mini and running the brush down the other side of the planks completing them. Yes I did make a few minor mistakes, which I cleaned up with the original decking highlight (Gorthor Brown). Also, I wasn’t too concerned about the finish being perfect, as these lines were going to be roughed up at a later stage anyway. When painting the lateral lines (across the decking) for the plane parking bay, I very carefully and lightly (almost a drybrushing technique) drew a line; as you can see from the pick, it looks like a chalk line. I did this several times (side by side) until I had the thickness I needed and then added more paint on top.




Once the marking were in place, I started to give them some colour. I used the same method as before with the side of my brush to paint the plane park bay yellow.
Next, the red/white chevrons at the back of the deck; I started these either side of the runway line (I didn’t won’t this to be red), then completed the rest. I also tidied them up with the Gorthor Brown to ensure they were all the same length.
With the Micron pen I placed the black chevrons on the plane park bay. Unfortunately, I rushed these and the results aren’t as pleasing as I had hoped. What I should have done is spaced then out better, using dots of the pen before filling them in.
The next stages where on the airbrush. First the worn look on the decking, I airbrushed several rough lines down the length of the deck, concentrating around the white line. I then added equal amount of Bone white to the Earth mix and concentrated on spots where I felt the planes would be touching down most. Sadly I got carried away and forgot to take specific pics of these stages, but the finished results can be seen in pic below.
Whilst the Airbrush was in use, I moved onto the OSL on the engines. As mentioned previously, it’s important to visualise/plan your work before putting paint to mini; this is especially important with OSL, as any mistakes can make the results look false or unconvincing. I decided therefore that the light would be emitting from the cog in the centre of the engine parts. This meant that a globe of light would hit the surrounding areas. As important was my consideration of where the light wouldn’t hit, which I would have to mask when airbrushing. (Looking at the finish mini, I can see some overspray which is in the wrong places). I masked the main hull, above the cog/engine by placing my thumb across it. The mistake I maid was not masking either side of the cog/engine; this could have been done simple with some poster tack. The following pics show the progression of lighter paints from Magic Blue, Electric Blue, Electric Blue/White (equal amounts), to white. With each layer the lighter colours are concentrated further towards the centre of the cog, to create the concentration of light.



With the Airbrushing completed I got my trusty brush back out. With black paint, mostly removed on paper towel I flicked the bristles across the flight deck to simulate the wheels skidding down. Around the centre line I added darker skids, using a little more paint on the brush.

With the paintwork completed and completely dry, I sprayed a layer of Citadel Purity Seal onto the mini. I then worked on the flight stand; gluing the pegs to their base with Humbrol Liquid Poly. This is Ideal for this application, being as it is a liquid; I dipped the end of the pegs in the liquid, placed them in the holes in the base then gave them a gentle tap with a hobby hammer. The next step, fitting the base required fire, so I went to the hob in the kitchen with mini and base. I touched each peg to the flame on the hob until they lit then quickly and carefully placed the base on the kitchen top, blow out the flames (like candles on a birthday cake) and placed the mini onto the stand, pressing down slightly into place. The results can be seen in the pic below. The pegs of the flight stand perfectly fit the mini, holding it in the right position. With other minis I have used this technique to put the mini in banking or diving poses. I prefer not to glue the flight stand to the mini and this technique helps to stop the mini wobbling too much on the games table.
The remaining pics are of the finish mini from various angles.












Conclusion – I for one have had a lot of fun painting this mini and blogging about my progress. Apologies that the pics were not always the best, they were all taken on my iPhone. I want to thank everyone who has followed this step by step guide, especially those Spartan forum community members who have supported me. If there are any questions about this work, the techniques I have used or anything else please contact me via email or through the aforementioned forum.
As always if you would like a closer look at any pictures above, click on them. If you have any comments or would like to ask me questions or provide feedback, please fill in the comments box below (this will be moderated before being published on this blog).

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