Friday, January 4, 2013

Further Adventures in Painting Dust

Today's entry comes from the making lemonade file.  My weekly game with EV was pushed back from Tuesday to Friday to accommodate the new year.  Then the dastardly forces of Real Life converged to make our available window too small to game in.  Instead of moping about I forged on with hobby-related activities, namely getting stuff painted.

Step one: tape it up.
Since my previous experiment painting Axis infantry, I've managed to get exactly nothing finished.  Or started for that matter.  While I'm happy with the planned approach to painting Soldier 2 infantry, Soldier 3 is a hurdle yet to be cleared (what to do about all the armor), and there's also the small matter of walkers that need to be painted.  (As a side note, last week I took a hair dryer to my various bits of plastic and got them all as straight as they're going to get, so I'm running low on excuses to dodge painting.)  I'd picked up some painters tape a while back to try an idea for doing walkers, and today the weather warmed up enough that I felt comfortable giving it a shot.  I've pulled inspiration from the Cerberus camo found here.  The first step was simple: mask off spots that would end up the darkest.  Since the models come "pre-primed," and since I'd incorporated that "primer" into the Soldier 2 scheme, the stock grey forms the darkest, bottom layer of paint.  After taping I took a can of light grey spray to the entire model.

Step two: more tape.
After the coat of grey was dry, I took off a couple bits of tape to expose the darker grey while leaving the majority in place.  Then I taped up most of the model, leaving bits exposed that I wanted to end up the lightest.  Back outside with a can of white paint, spray spray spray, then time for drying.  It felt like I used a lot of tape for this step, but I'm not sure how else I'd do it.  If a spray can had a tighter focus then I could just tape off around the areas I wanted to paint, instead of taping everything and leaving little bits exposed.  An airbrush would (I think) help with that as well, but then again a pony would get me to the mailbox faster than walking.  Sometimes you make do with the tools at hand. I made sure to get a couple areas of light and dark overlap, one of which you can see on the side of the cockpit to the left.  It would have been easier to just leave the first layer of tape in place when applying the second, but I wanted some variety to the scheme that having rigid layers wouldn't allow.

Step three: profit.
Once the white dried it was time to peel back the layers and consider what I had wrought.  Comparing my results to the Cerberus inspiration shows that my scheme is more geometric than the somewhat flowing lines of the Cerberus pattern and also has three colors instead of two.  Since I was drawing inspiration instead of copying I'm fine with the results, and things will look different when I've applied some metallics and washes.  It has a bit of a winter feel, which I was after, and it's plenty grey just like the infantry.  There will be small splashes of color from the rocket barrels, but overall the model should end up drab.  This goes counter to all the painting instincts I've developed over the years, but since Dust Warfare is historically accurate* then I'm going to embrace reality as much as possible, which means no wide swathes of red to broadcast your position.  I've (probably) settled on a basing scheme of brown with grass and/or snow, so the base should give the model something to contrast with.

Overall things worked out more or less exactly like I thought they would.  The taping ate up some time, but the spraying took maybe two minutes for both coats.  Next time I'll do all the remaining walkers at once, then consider the arms.  If I can just figure out what I want to do with the Soldier 3 armor plates (camo or metallic?) then I'll have my approach nailed down and all that will remain will be the actual painting.

In other Dust news, I'm concluding my whirlwind press tour here at my (virtual) home.  There's a Dust tournament at Huzzah on the 19th.  Come on out and you might get a chance to face off against my possibly painted hordes.

* Dust Warfare is not historically accurate.

1 comment:

  1. I like the look of the geometric camo. Not too terribly great for hiding the walker, but okay for breaking up the machine's profile and making it harder to identify. You may want to get some crosses and numbers from somewhere in order to get proper identification on the vehicles. I can loan you my Flames of War book so you can check up on how tanks were actually numbered in the German army. Just an idea.