Deadzone Boxed Set Finished
There are few things as satisfying in this hobby than finishing a project. It is not a feeling that I experience particularly often but when I do I’m reminded of why I should do it more often. Today I took the “official” pictures of my Deadzone terrain and added them to the Deadzone gallery. For me this is the official end of the project. I have painting all the miniatures and terrain in the Deadzone boxed set. I may, and likely will, add to it later but for now I can move to another project that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. Unlike the terrain, which I shared on Google+ and Twitter but not on the site, I am planning on posting a weekly work in progress report. I’m also taking pictures as I go with the intention of writing a step-by-step painting guide. I’m not sure how good this will be as I’m realizing how out of practice I am when it comes to painting. Anyway, enough about my new project, I’ll share that in another post later this week. Let’s talk Deadzone terrain.
This is my first big airbrushing project and I learnt a lot as I progressed. Something big and roughly, like terrain painting, is a good way to learn an airbrush. I made a bunch of mistakes as I went and learnt a tremendous amount. Since it was my first time airbrushing I also didn’t have a huge selection of colours to work with. I had a eclectic collection of colours for an abandoned 1/72 model airplane project and I added black, white, blue, yellow and blue to the rust, olive drab, scarlet and aluminum Vallejo Model Air colours I already had. At the very end I added a Golden Acrylic High Flow in grey. I think I’ll be exploring more Golden colours the next time I airbrush as I really liked how easy it was to work with.
This partially explains why I’ve used so many colours in the terrain as I was mixing colours fresh for each piece. I also don’t like the look of a monochrome set of terrain. If you look at an urban environment there are a lot of different colours on display. Perhaps I went a little crazy but I’m happy with the result.
I primed the pieces black with Vallejo Black Primer and then used Vallejo Liquid Mask to mask where I wanted to have the paint chipped off. In the beginning I played with sponging on black over the colour but had a lot of fun rubbing off the masking and exposing the results in front of my eyes. If I were to make a recommendation I’d say that sponging black is the best option. You can really control where the chipping goes, the size of it and it’s faster than waiting for the masking to dry before painting. When I added the colour accents I also added more masked paint chips to reveal the base colour underneath. Here masking fluid was essential as I tried to have a gradient in all my terrain.
Once the paint was dry I pulled off any masking tape and used a ball of poster putty to remove the masking fluid. I then mixed up a very light version of the surface colour and highlighted the underside of the chips. Later I started adding edge highlighting to all the terrain. I didn’t go back to the earlier terrain though. Deadzone was meant as a quick project and going back to redo work is a sure way to get bogged down.
Whenever you are starting to paint or are about to put a new colour in your brush always perform a test spray before filling the brushes’ resevoir with paint. This is a lesson I learnt the hard way trying to “work through” a spattering airbrush. My Deadzone Plague Stage One was the first miniature I painted, instead of simply primed, with my airbrush and I experienced terrible spattering while I was trying to paint it. I learnt that this was due to a dirty nozzle.
Unfortunately when you’ve just mixed up a batch of paint it is a little late in the process to be discovering that you have a dirty nozzle. It hurts to dump out so much paint and since I was painting terrain I ended up just accepting a bit of spatter in my paintjob. If I was smart I would load a small amount of paint in the brush and make sure the spray pattern looks good before loading my paint. I like to mix in brush but can still perform this test by adding a drop of the first colour in my mix, doing a test spray and then mixing the rest.
If you want to see all of the terrain I’ve painted for Deadzone check out the Deadzone Gallery. Let me know what you think in the comments and maybe share some amusing or educational airbrush mishaps while you’re at it. Also don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Google+ where I post my works in progress. Subscribing to the blog makes sure you don’t miss the finished projects.