Thursday, January 24, 2013

Still fumbling with the airbrush

With Purifiers effectively done time to work with my airbrush.  Wanted to cover the Psyflemen and Rhino's in the same colour.  I now I have a colour for my Grey Knights.  Gods I only hope someone picks something up from this so they don't make the same mistakes I did.  I intend to break the GW paint thinning process for airbrushing.  So far it is a tough cookie.

A lot of airbrushers thin their GW paints with Windex.  This was a colossal failure the first time because I wasn't taking a moment to think.  Now that I've found my thinking cap I'm ready to get to business.

I've emailed plenty of people online who talk about thinning GW paints.  So far no reply.  I endeavour to come up with a way to thin GW paints for everyone using, or wanting to use, an airbrush.

Here was my original idea for my Grey Knights army.  I would mix Adeptus Battlegrey and Space Wolves Grey together.  Basically open on pot and pour paint from one to the bottom edge of the other.  Then shake.  They would both be grey.  One obviously darker than the other.  The lighter shade would be the highlight.  Darker base.

Then it occurred to me the other day.  Instead of mixing it up in a cup and wasting a ton of paint.  Why not buy little bottles where it will be easy to use.  These are Boston Bottles according to the lady at Blicks.

First mark is the paint.  Second mark is where Windex was added.  1:1 Windex to paint.  Of course you're going to get more windex per volume because of the curve at the bottom of the bottle.  As they say you want thin not thick paint.  As modelling buddy Brian says "It's easier to add paint than to take away."

Marked which was which.  Little packing tape and the black maker won't wear away due to handling

Yeah I'm a sell out.  Go Capitalism!

One of those basic art figures where you practice depth, highlighting and porpotions.  This was my first attempt airbrushing a weeks ago.

Running PSI.  Was told when using airbrush for small detail work use low PSI.  Specifically 20 PSI.  Still figuring that out.

At rest PSI

Time to start basing and see how this goes.

As you can see it already looks great.  Actually looks like other airbrush paints.

Ok too much GW paint not enough Windex.  Needs to be thinner.  Can still see where the GW crud stuck to the pot.

Now at 2:1 Windex to GW paint.  Added twenty drops of Army Painter Mat Black to Grey Knights Dark to make to keep it dark.

Look at that pot.  Almost nice and shiny.

Latex-free Nitrile glove courtesy of Lane.

Psyflemen based Primer Colour UIniform Grey.

Based Grey Knights Dark.

All based Grey Knights dark and highlighted Grey Knights light.

Added 20 drops of Comart Black Transparent and 20 drops of Army Painter Mat Black to Grey Knights Dark.

This time hitting with zentyal lighting.  Placed model at 45 degrees and sprayd down it.  Left highlighted this way.  Right just based.  Not quite getting the effect I want.  Perhaps the shades of grey at too close.  Start with pure Adeptus Battlegrey then move to lighter grey.

Ok, using gloves isn't girlish and damn solid for clean-up.

When purchasing paints and stuff for the airbrush also picked up a medium duty mask from home depot.  Don't want to blow grey snot out of my nose for the next day.  This was a great idea.  After basing and highlighting three different times ended up having a grey mist around the murder table.  Immediately turned on range fan and bathroom fan then opened window in the bedroom.  When working with an airbrush please wear a mask and use in a well ventilated area.

If anyone has advice how to highlight with an airbrush please drop some education on me.  Thanks.

slainte mhath


  1. Have you sen this website:

    1. He has some stuff on doing highlights also with an airbrush, like:

    2. I've been drooling over his painting 13th Company Space Wolves for weeks. Guys damned good!

    3. I also saw something from misterjustin from Secret Weapon minis, and he said to use a mix of 90%(or greater) Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and water (15% and 85% respectively). I've never tried it, but he seemed to get pretty good results with it. i think he was using P3 paints though, so it may not work as well with GW stuff.

    4. Thanks, cpyke. Worth a try. Will make a post about it.

  2. Ichiban studio on you tube does a good airbrushing tutorial about zenital highlighting the best I've found

    1. Ichiban is also great. The zential lighting effect I was trying to do was from him.

  3. Wow love the idea on painting with Red. A lot of great ideas i just learned. Thanks -LT

    1. LT, red is supposedly a very difficult colour to airbrush with. Recently made a small batch of Evil Sunz Scarlet for airbrushing. Wasn't a problem, most likely because grey was the basecoat. Have yet to use red over black.


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