Ok, so I’m not talking about any of the big life changing events but this was quite the change for my painting. At Adepticon this year, I bought an airbrush, compressor, and a few accessories. I had done some research about a year or so ago but decided it was way above my skill level and not worth it. However during the last six months, I’ve started playing quite a few more miniatures games such as Team Yankee, Dropfleet Commander, and most recently Runewars. With all those models to paint, I was looking at a daunting task to get them all painted. Since I had no experience whatsoever with an airbrush, I sat down at a booth that had a demo station. The guy doing the demos was pretty skilled and showed me the beginner model airbrush. I had a hard time getting the hang of it. The action was stiff and I just wasn’t getting the motion down. After a few minutes of struggling, he handed me the more advanced model and I took to that like a fish to water. I ended up purchasing the whole kit on a whim and it was a great decision!
I ended up with an Iwata Eclipse and Smart Jet compressor. The Eclipse is a pretty popular airbrush with the pros so the quality speaks for itself. For the compressor, I didn’t know too much but I did know I wanted one that wouldn’t have a problem keeping the pressure up. The Smart Jet runs fast enough to keep up with high usage and has an automatic shutoff when the tank is full. I’m by no means an expert on the subject, but this was my personal feeling when making this slightly educated decision.
Once I got home, I quickly set up the airbrush and compressor (and everything else) and started practicing with just air. That got old pretty quick but it did help cement the hand/arm motion I was going for. After watching several videos on cleaning, maintenance, and general use, I was prepared to tackle some test models. Priming them was a cinch. So much easier than a spray can and it dries much faster. Changing colors took a while the first time around, but 20 minutes after priming I started base coating. Base coating was also fast and much more accurate than I thought it would be. I was afraid there would be a lot of overspray or spillover but I was able to control the airbrush flow enough that it looked pretty good. Only a little bit of practicing was required until I felt pretty good about the whole process.
Since then, I’ve jumped over to painting my Runewars minatures. I started off with a single test model and that went very well. Which leads to my next great benefit of the airbrush: batching! Once I figured out how I wanted my spearmen to look, I took out the next 15 models and began the process. Within an hour and a half, I had 15 spearmen and the Runegolem primed and base coated. All in all, it took around 5-6 hours to paint and base the 15 spearmen and Runegolem. Not too bad if I say so myself!