About Me

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London, United Kingdom
A mythical beast - a female wargamer! I got back into wargaming in the summer of 2011 after a very, very long break. My current interests are Ancients, ACW, 30YW and SciFi gaming.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Challenge Day 72 - Stuff and Nonsense

First and foremost, the 6mm ACW Union cavalry are finished, submitted and already up on the Challenge blog.

So, having cleared those off the paint table, I decided it was time to play.

But before I tell you about that, I received some goodies in today's post:

6mm ACW flag sheets from Baccus (I was almost out of the Union national and regimental flags, and decided to pick up some extras for both Union and CSA) and replacements from Pendraken for the two paints which went missing in the mail.

To return to play time, here's what my painting table looked like this afternoon:

Yes, it was time to have a play with the airbrush I'd bought last June. It's a cheap, crappy single action brush with a 0.4mm needle; the compressor is also pretty crap - 3 pre-set pressures, the max being 15psi. Still, it's OK for learning basic technique and probably for doing rough work like priming.

I'd avoided playing with the brush for so long because of the ventilation issues. I'd been meaning to get myself a portable spray booth for months and finally ordered and received this one a couple of weeks ago. It does have ducting so that you can vent the exhaust out of a window, but as I'm not using any solvents or toxic paints I'm using it without.

First job was to have a play painting spots and lines onto a sheet of white paper. Sensibly I chose to use the black paint for that! It did give me a good idea of which pressure settings and distances to use for different effects.

Then I took a bunch of 60x60 MDF bases and primed them; 4 each of German Dark Yellow, Hull Red and UK Bronze Green.

After cleaning the brush and letting the primer dry, it was time for the next bit of play. This was a dual-result game - testing different colours on the primers and also seeing if my idea of using wire mesh as a mask for airbrushing camo might work.

Top to bottom - hull red, bronze green, dunkelgelb; Left to right - black green, light green, hull red, panzer dark grey, golden brown
 On dark yellow primer:
Clockwise from top left: light green, hull red, panzer dark grey, black green
 On bronze green primer:
Light green, hull red, panzer dark grey, golden brown
 On hull red primer:
Light green, golden brown, panzer dark grey, black green

This tells me a few things:

1. Most colours work OK on the dunkelgelb primer (even the golden brown gives a subtle difference, not shown here) and the hull red primer.
2. To show up on bronze green primer, the colours need to be quite light.
3. The mesh masks could be useful for camo effects, but probably would work best as a mask for "striping" or patches rather than all over.
4. The best meshes seem to be the dots (top left) and the larger diamonds (bottom right).

In case you hadn't guessed, the camo tests are for the hover tanks and APCs. I think I know what colours I'll use on them - you'll have to wait and see for yourselves.

I'll leave you with a pic of the spray booth at the end of the session:


  1. The mesh seems to work very nicely as a mask! The spray booths are quite handy, though having a lot of spare filters can be a good idea as they can clog up quite quickly. Though I've stopped using mine when spraying acrylics as ventilation isn't such an issue with them and some cardboard on the table is enough to protect surfaces.

  2. Lot of goodies, we have a spray booth at work but I'm not allowed to use it :-(


  3. Nice looking spray booth - I'm tempted to try an air brush but never seem to make time to do so

  4. I think you are well on the way to getting some cool effects for the hover tanks.

  5. Hi Tamsin,

    thanks for sharing your experimentations with airbrush, so tempting to use for our hobby and so difficult to master.

    All the best.


  6. Hi Tamsin,

    You continue to be a most amazing member of our hobby community. Your production is top notch and very praiseworthy. Hope you finish well in the painting competition.


  7. Those mask ideas is going to make for some splendid sci-fi futuristic camo.

  8. @ Samuli - surface protection isn't really an issue; it's more the dust from the sprayed paint I want to avoid. I'll have to get myself some spare filters, just in case. I am quite pleased with how the mesh works as a mask - it should help produce some interesting camo effects :)

    @ Ian - they won't let you use it? That's just not on!

    @ Miles - that's been my problem as well, finding time to (learn how to) use it ;)

    @ Robert - hopefully, hopefully :)

    @ Gilles - we'll just have to wait and see how it works out on some models :)

    @ Jerry - although there is a competitive element to the Challenge, it is mainly about setting your own stretching targets and achieving them, hopefully whilst having some fun and developing as a painter.
    That being said, I should finish quite high in the rankings (again) :)

    @ Brendon - that is my hope! :)


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