November has been a busy hobby month for me. I started off the month with a lot of stuff on my hobby table, and have been trying to finish it off and give myself a bit of breathing room on my desk for me to scatter dozens upon dozens of little bottles of acrylic paint.
One of the things I’ve managed to finish was the Grolar/Kodiak multikit from Privateer Press, which I decided to magnetize to make it possible to use it as both variants in my games (even though the Grolar just looks way cooler).
As shown in the previous article, I managed to get him assembled, magnetized, and the gaps filled around the beginning of the month. While the position of the legs was pretty much set, and without major conversions it would be difficult to do a repose, the given position is at least a dynamic one, with one foot in front of the other, unlike a number of PP’s older warjack kits. The arms, on the other hand, had ball joints at both the shoulders and elbows, so there was some room for posability there, though one had to be careful with the Grolar that the back of the hammer wasn’t whacking himself in the shoulder. I decided to pose him such that the left arm was slightly back and the right arm slightly forward, as though he were striding across the battlefield, and I did have to make the point of contact for the Grolar’s hammer slightly off-center to give it some clearance between the back of the hammer and the front of his shoulder.
Anyways, with the model all assembled, it was airbrush time! Lately I’ve been experimenting with airbrush priming to good results. I like to use an old single-action airbrush to prime, using the same logic for the airbrush that I use for my regular brushes — don’t use a nice brush for anything that isn’t paint, such as primer, varnish, etc. So I put together my airbrush setup, loaded my Badger 350 with white Stynylrez primer, and got to work. At this point, the model was still in multiple sub-assemblies to make painting easier. I had pulled off all the magnetized bits, and I hadn’t glued the hips to the torso assembly yet.
As an aside, Stynylrez has been my favourite primer lately. At $10 for a 60 mL (2 oz) bottle, the price is right (compared to $4-5 for a 1/2 oz bottle of something like Vallejo or Reaper), and it’s thin enough out of the bottle to just drop in the airbrush and shoot with no thinners necessary. It seems to stick well to all materials, and I have yet to have any problems with it not sticking to and chipping easily from metal figures like I have had with Vallejo’s primer. And, I’m lucky enough to have a hobby shop that carries it nearby.
Anyways, once I had a bunch of white primed doodads that vaguely resembled robot parts, it was time to start putting colour on the model. I knew I wanted to do a pink striped pattern, partly because I thought it would look cool and partly because this is my second one of these and I wanted to be able to easily distinguish the two on the gaming table. So, I pulled out my good, dual-action airbrush and got to work. With a bit of thinning and the right additives (Vallejo Airbrush Thinner and Airbrush Flow Improver), Reaper MSP paints can be easily shot through an airbrush to good effect.
Anyways, I started with the pink, simply because pink is one of those colours like yellow which is far easier to lay over white than over a dark colour, and by doing the pink first, it would reduce the amount of masking I would have to do and worrying about overspray. I started out with 09268 Punk Rock Pink as a base coat on the areas that I wanted to do the stripes on, then worked up into 09262 Blush Pink and finally 09281 Brains Pink for the highest highlights.
After waiting for the pink to dry, I used Tamiya masking tape, which is available in a variety of widths from about 2mm upwards, and is perfect for doing things like hazard stripes at this scale. After masking off the stripes, it was time to pull out the airbrush again and break out the purple. I used my usual purple recipe, Reaper’s triad of Nightshade (9022), Imperial (9023) and Amethyst (9024) purple and got to work. First, I loaded the brush with Nightshade Purple, the darkest shade, and covered the entire model, making sure not to miss any spots.
With the Nightshade Purple laid down, I assembled the hip joint and stuck the model to the base. By having it more or less fully assembled, I could more easily see which angle the light source was coming from on pieces such as the arms and place my highlights appropriately. I then moved onto Imperial Purple, getting probably most of the upper surfaces, and then going to Amethyst Purple for the highest highlights. In the picture, you can see that the highlights were placed with consideration of both what areas of the model will be hit by the sun, and also how to create some contrast between light and dark on the sharp edges on the torso.
The moment of truth came when I pulled up the tape. There was a little bit of bleeding and whatnot (which was probably mostly my fault), particularly on the left shoulder where there were a lot of rivets interfering with getting the tape down nicely, but nothing I couldn’t touch up with a brush.
So, with that done, it was time to put away the airbrush and bust out my brushes and wet palette, because I still had a lot of traditional painting to do…