Wednesday, June 4, 2014

How to Airbrush a Star

When Nate said he wanted a star somewhere on his land raider first thought was one of faded edge stars.  You see them as tattoos, banners, flags, etc.  Thought it would be a good challenge.

JJ typing,

Tools used:

Light box (lightracer)
Notepad paper
Mechanical pencil
Can of axe body spray
Triangle ruler
Michael Thoenes how to draw a star:

Thanks, Michael.

Modelling knife
Frisket paper
Iwata HP-CS airbrush
Vallejo Model Air White
Blue tape
GW Adeptus Battlegrey made into airbrush form

Wanted to make sure the star would cover a good portion of the tank.  Grab your favourite must-have-girls-at-all-times-or-a-cloud-of-annoyance-ensuring-to-keep-them-away-body-spray for your circle.  Could've have used dullcoat can.

Read the instructions even if you don't follow them.

Frisket paper over the star.  Used a ruler so the modelling knife cuts along the edge of the star.


Now I think I understand tattooists frustration when a stencils folds and creases with the skin.  Damn near tore this thing off and started free hand painting the star.  That's crazy talk.  Thank goodness I kept my patience.

You may notice some problem areas.  They will be covered later with battle damage.

You want to take your time when airbrushing.  Do not hurry.  Half the star is white.  Hurrying now will ensure the half the star looks like crap.  Slowly build up the white.  Please take your time.  No need to rush this step.  Because you're slowly applying the white you may even wonder if the airbrush is putting out any paint.  Notice the bottom of the frisket paper.  That is one of many areas I used to ensure paint was coming out of the airbrush.

That skull with wings at the top.  Damn he was frustrating me every step of this process.  I did my best to avoid spraying the airbrush under that part of the star.  Don't want white sneaking under causing a larger mess for me.

That area turned out better than I thought.  All the areas where the star is fuzzy will be covered with battle damage.  Feel free to view my post/video about covering up line highlighting for how I stippled the imperfections away.

In this episode of do not throw away your stencil.  Was far more fortunate with the stencil for the Ebay Crimson Hunter.  Not so much with this one.  Think it turned out better this way.  Yeah, it was aggravating.  Took more time than intended.  Overall think it was worth it.

Second stencil to cut out the other half of the star.

Blue tape to hold down the frisket.  Also to prevent overspray.  Which wasn't an issue with the first stencil.  Still don't want to make a mistake being so close to the end.

GW Adeptus Battlegrey made into airbrush form built slowly up from the stencil side/middle of the arm of the star.  Purposely staying away from the outside edge.  It isn't perfect.  Battle damage those areas.  If you're an enemy and you saw a fancy star on the side of a tank wouldn't you want to mar it?  Army Painter Mat Black to bring out the separate arms.  That is a little off also.  Quite pleased with how it turned out.

Blooper pics

Originally thought of using blue tape to section off each area of the star that would remain white.

Probably would've worked had I put more thought and planning into it.

slainte mhath


  1. You make it look so easy.

    1. Thanks, Tom. Your comment made me chuckle a little.

  2. This is awesome, really great work

    1. Thanks for the kind words, The Man In A Hat.

  3. Tried my hand at stencilling with my airbrush recently. Never thought of stickyback plastic (which you seem to call frisket paper) as a stencil. Was using sheets of acetate but obviously they don't stick themselves down and end up creating overspray. Nice work.

    1. The name is Frisket Film. Picked up in the airbrushing aisle at Blicks. Acetate sheets, are those used on projectors? Did you get a cool effect from the overspray? Thanks, From The Fang.

  4. This is really awesome. I've been wondering how people do this!


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