Monday, February 28, 2011

Venom Mark II, Airbrushing Dark Eldar

Here is a pic of my second Venom.  It looks a lot like the first venom.  I tried a couple of different things while building it, but kept coming back to my original design.  At least it will match my other one.  I put the hanger-on on the other side, added a shortened raider spear, and added some splinter rifles to the side.  I thought it would be cool to have the pilot with his sidearm out, ready to pop a Mon-Keigh.  It is about 30% painted or so.  I did all the work so far with an airbrush, and will pick out the details now to finish it.  This took about 3 minutes to put this amount of paint on it.  Vehicles love the airbrush.
Here are some pics of my Ravagers.  I also started to airbrush them, and like the look so far.  I like the Chinese feel that they have. 
This one took about an hour or so of drybrushing, dark lining, and highlighting.  I later airbrushed the sails a bit.  This one is a little further along, but still needs a lot of paint.

If you look closely, I am holding a magnetized head of the sponson gunner.  I wanted to be able to switch out the dark lances and disintegrator cannons and found that the head of the gunner really got in the way of taking out the gunner and replacing the gun.  Once the head was removed, you can remove the gunner very easily.  With the way the arms, gun, and weapon mount work together, you don't really need to glue anything in place.
Great model.
Here you can see I magnetized the front weapon mount.  Pretty easy really.  The weapon shield/mount stays together well with a press fit, but the gun would always come apart when I tried to put the mount into the front of the raider/ravager.  This way the gun stays together when you put the magnets together.  I have found that the gunner holds the gun pretty well without magnets or glue, so a weapon swap is pretty easy.  I magnetized one, but found it is not really necessary.  We'll see if they hold up after a few more games.
Here are my Reaver jetbike squads.  You can see I have a lot of work to do still on the pilots, and the bikes, but they are coming along.  The rear three were painted in a more conventional way, but I like the yellow addition to the cowling.  The pilots are probably going to get a yellow racing stripe down their racing leathers as well.
They look pretty impressive all together.  Just two more raiders to finish assembling and basecoating.  Don't worry, I am going to do something about those nasty yellow fronts.  I will definitely tone them down a bunch.

Airbrushing all three ravagers, the venom, and twelve reavers took only about an hour.  That included set up and clean up time.

One last thing and then I will shut up, If you get an airbrush, I would invest in some good airbrush paint.  Mixing is a hassle, and I got the yellow wrong so I had to do it 3-4 times.  Then I got it too thick and you can see some splattering on the ravager sails and reaver cowling.  The red paint was airbrush paint and I just poured it into the airbrush.  The yellow I mixed myself and was at first too thin, then too thick.  Too thin meant it disappeared after it dried, and too thick meant it splattered.  Live and learn.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How I Paint my Dark Eldar Part I- Paint Guide

I start with a good black basecoat.  I have found that dark armies seem to paint up a lot quicker than light ones.  This is actually a paint color called "oiled bronze" with very little bronze.  A good basecoat is very important.  If you have plastic or metal showing through, it can cause a lot of problems with trying to get an even coat, matching colors etc.
Next I do a heavy drybrush with a larger brush.  For the Dark Eldar I use Red Gore.  I usually load the brush, and then squeeze it in between a paper towel to remove most the paint.  I use one paper towel for drybrushing and one for cleaning my brush.  You want the brush to stay dry.  The larger the brush, the longer you can use it before it starts getting wet.  I usually load, blot, and use my brush about 3-4 times before it gets wet.  Once it gets wet, it is going to streak and start painting your model like a regular brush, and the drybrushing is done.  Then I usually wash out my brush, dry it, and put it aside for next time.  Then grab another brush and go to town drybrushing again.  I use a cheaper brush, but it has held up pretty well with all the drybrushing I do.
Now I do a lighter drybrush- smaller, stiffer brush, with less paint on it- for the second drybrush/highlighting.  For this stage I used 1:1 mix of Iyanden darksun and red gore.  I really like the foundation paints as it lets you use lighter colors on top of dark ones, and they actually have enough pigment to work the first time.  Again a light drybrush.
For the first wash, I did a 1:1 mix of Devlan mud and Baal red ink wash.  I put this on with a 10-0 brush, only on the areas of the red armor that I want to be dark, and leave the red and yellow/red highlighted areas unpainted.  If you brought out the highlights too much in the last stage, the wash can push them back and make them less intense if you like.
 Next, I painted the shoulder pads and breastplate with dwarf bronze.  I forgot to get the knee pads, and got those later.  The paint brush shown is the one I do most my painting with.  It is a size 0. You can see I have used it a lot.  It is not an expensive brush and has worked well as long as you keep it clean.
Boltgun Metal for the mask, upper arm armor, stomach armor, and blades.
  Tallarn Flesh for the loin cloth.  Again it covers very well in only one coat.  Just don't get it where you don't want it.

Next is a Gryphonne Sepia wash over most of the boltgun metal and bronze areas.  This does a lot to tone down the bright metals.  I wash everything, but leave the very edges unwashed.  This leaves the edges bright for highlights.
Finally, for this post, I washed devlan mud into the recesses of the metal, especially the dwarf bronze to tone it down.  I put some devlan mud into the recesses of the arm and stomach armor with a 10-0 brush, trying to leave the edges clean again for highlights.  I ran my stopwatch and have only spent about 40 minutes on the figure, and that is including taking pictures.  I haven't had to edge highlight with different colors, or do anything that required a whole lot of dexterity.  Washes and drybrushing are really quite easy once you get the hang of it.  Next time:  shading on the loincloth, and highlighting the metals, and a few details.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dark Eldar Trueborn Paint Test

So I painted up a single trueborn to try more metalics while maintaining the red/black armor theme.  I like what I have so far.  It is almost done.  Why a trueborn with close combat weapon and pistol you say?  I want to try a squad of 4 blasters, 4 with cc weapon and pistol, and a leader with agonizer or something to go with Duke Sliscus.  Then you can blow up the transport, and kill the unit in close combat.  Hopefully. 

Let me know what you think.  If there is any interest, I would be willing to do a step-by-step painting guide, because this model came together VERY fast.  It was an overcast day out, so I got some decent pictures without too much trouble.  I have found that I do a lot of drybrushing, washing, and a little bit of wet mixing.  All very easy techniques that are quick, as long as you do them right.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


It seems like I get about 90% done and move onto another model, never really satisfied with what I've just painted. This Space hulk Terminator was fun, but I can't wait to paint the Squat Royce gave me for my birthday. -Aric

Friday, February 4, 2011

Dark Eldar Warriors Squad 1 and Wyche poses

So here is the first squad painted.  I like how they came out.  I may post a step-by-step with the colors I used.  The color that really broght them together was the silver.  It is boltgun metal then washed with devlan mud.  I like how the color came out.

After putting together 10 wyches in the standard way, I decided to try some different poses.  I pinned them with some nickel titanium orthodontic wire.  I like the poses.  You may notice some magnets on the special weapon models as well.