Yep.. just got some new toys and decided to share the experience of looking them over.
My latest airbrushing video came about because of the 5000 Subscriber Contest miniature - the Celestant Prime. The base has that swirly effect with the shooting stars and gold... things floating around in it and even though I knew I was going to change the colors from what the studio version had, I did like the idea of having this visible starfield as part of the coloration.
The last time I did a star field it was the cloaking effect on X-Wing minis. The stars sort of represent the ability to now see through the cloaked part of the ship. Since it was so small I did it with a brush. I now wish that I had thought of this technique when I was working on those projects. Of course, the swirly base is a LOT bigger than TIE Interceptors so the last thing I wanted to do was to dot 1000 little stars with a brush. I remembered that it was possible to do spatter with an airbrush - I even knew HOW to do it, but I'd never actually done it on a project (on purpose). What was great was seeing that it took very little effort to get the spatter dialed in the way I wanted it to look and then actually applying it was also pretty easy. I look forward to trying this out again on another project. I'm tempted to do another cloaking project just so I can bring my starfield game up a notch on one of those projects.
As or the video... for some reason I kept using the phrase "crank it up". I don't know if I use that a lot in general conversation but it's really inappropriate for what I'm talking about in the video because in making changes to set the pressure to get different spatter effects the changes are actually very minute. You would never "crank" anything. You would carefully adjust the pressure up or down by 1-2 pounds and then see if the change is what you wanted. Sometimes my mouth opens and things spill out for no apparent reason.
This is a really simple technique that SHOULD be possible with any airbrush. My Iwata CMB makes a point to say that it can do it in its marketing material, but I think that it might just be particularly good at it - but until I replace my tip for it I won't be able to try.
My last video covered the fact that I've been experimenting with lighting the Assault Carrier for X-Wing and my angst surrounding the fact that I am really outside of my comfort zone. I've had a lot of really good feedback but I also got a request for some photos of the project - which sounded like a great idea to me. If you want to really follow along, be sure to watch the video.
When I decided on this project in my head I thought that this large model would have a ton of space to work with to do what I wanted to do. Once I opened it up the amount of available space wasn't exactly what I thought it would be. That's mostly because of the number of supports holding the thing together. Still, it should be more than enough to do the lighting that I want to do. There's certainly enough room for LEDs and fiber optic filaments. It's really only the power that is at issue.
In a perfect world I want this to be powered by rechargeable batteries that could be charged by plugging in something like a cellphone charger that plugs into the receptacle that's mounted on the model so you don't need to open it up. Bonus points awarded if the model could remain plugged in so that it could sit on a shelf while lit indefinitely. That's in a perfect world. I know that I could power it with large, watch-like batteries. That solves the space problem. It means that they won't be rechargeable and I can live with that. What I still need to determine is how long those batteries will last before needing to be replaced. If they last for an hour that seems less than ideal. This is something I can test, though.
So, I bought most of this stuff more than two years ago when I had determined that I wanted to try a lighting project. Then they sat in my shop doing nothing... At least they didn't cost much. Actually, that was a cool discovery, that you can grab the stuff to do this kind of project on the cheap. Take a look:
Of course, that's just the bare-bones. Enough to play around and prove to yourself that you can make light - like a god! I'm still going to need some switches, a different power supply (I already have a soldering iron) and.. I'm not sure what else.
That's really the big takeaway for me on this project. I mention it in the video but I think it's worth mentioning again. I don't know what I don't know and that's what makes this simple project so difficult for me to move forward with. Every decision has me questioning myself. It's tough. I imagine that anybody getting into miniature painting for the first time feels much the same way.
I recorded this video on OSL yesterday and I feel like I just touched on the subject. Sure, you get to see how I approached this model's glow, but the subject itself is pretty huge.
One of the cool things about doing the videos is it forces me to really think about what I'm doing - and that's not something I do on my own. When I'm painting my thought processes aren't really analytical. I'm mostly just feeling around for what I want to do next. I don't always consider why I think something looks better one way vs another way. It just does. At least to me.
One thing to note here is that this model (and many of the models I've painted in the last week or so) were painted primarily with Warcolours paints. You might recall that I did a review of them recently. Well, I'm still using them and I still love them. They fit with my painting style (layering and glazes) perfectly. It's the first paint brand that I felt like I wanted to just go ahead and buy the entire range.