I managed to get some airbrushing done yesterday and the day before. The weather improved which helped but I also decided to move indoors from the shed and set up the compressor in the house. This helped to get rid of the streakyness and extremely slow drying times I'd had problems with in the shed. The good news is that I got all of the vehicles I have (10 250/1 halftracks, 5 Panzer IV Hs, 3 Tiger Es and 3 Panther Auf Gs) undercoated in Vallejo's Green Ochre, a close enough approximation of dunkelgelb. I primed them first with GW's Skull White spray (a 7 year vintage which had survived surprisingly well) beforehand and this gave a decent surface for the airbrush to work with. I had some problems getting decent coverage on the Panzer IVs due to the fiddly surfaces (Schurzen are not my friend...) but got there in the end after some perseverance.
|The general set-up.|
|The basecoated Panzer IVs.|
|Everything else. I was quite pleased with how smooth a finish the airbrush allowed me to get.|
However, it all went wrong when I started applying the next two colours of the classic late-war camouflage scheme I was aiming for. I grabbed what I thought was the correct green (turns out I picked up German Camouflage Green, which is much too dark) and happily airbrushed away on the 5 Panzer IVs until I realised it wasn't just the crap light but that I had in fact got the colours wrong. Sigh. I had meant to use Reflective Green, which is a few shades lighter. As it turned out it probably didn't mater that much, I discovered something; I can't really airbrush. To be honest, this shouldn't have been a surprise, this was my 3rd attempt or so and whilst I'd really got the hang of a general undercoat when it came to camouflage patterns I was appalling. I realised that I had the technique wrong (I needed to be much more careful with how much paint I applied on the dual action trigger) and had the pressure too high (perhaps) at around 25-30 psi (if someone could advise me on this that would be great....). I ended up with an inconsistent and often splattery mess. I managed to get it right in patches and when this occurred, asides from being the wrong colour, it looked pretty good. I also think the fact that I mixed my own paint using medium was a factor; I had no consistent means of making sure I was getting the mix correct (around 1:1 from what I read online).
I'm afraid I didn't snap any pictures of these Frankensteins; I'd run out of time (I was moving back to London that afternoon) and to some degree, enthusiasm. My plan is to come back to these in a couple of months when I'm back home with the airbrush and compressor. I'm also going to buy some of Vallejo's model air line of paints to eliminate paint consistency as another unreliable factor. Originally I was planning to take these with me and keep you posted on their progress throughout - seems like I'll have to settle for some infantry painting instead. Every cloud has a silver lining and in this case that silver lining is zombies. Lots of zombies. Nazi zombies.