Cryx Reaper and Hairspray Weathering

So one of the things I always looked forward to when I first got an airbrush was finally being able to try out this technique that made really great, natural looking rust spots on models. I had tried a couple other ways of getting a rust spot look with sponges and just freehand painting before I got my airbrush set-up, but none of them looked quite right to me. Here’s a good example of what a rust spot looks like in real life:

Rust spot on a car

There’s a lot of texture and variation, irregular edges, and it forms in a weak spot in the paint. I just couldn’t get the freehand to have the same rough edges with any sort of success. So I kept things pretty clean as far as painting the machines go. I’m the type of painter who relies most heavily on my brush to get the job done. It’s comfortable, and I’ve been painting that way long before I ever knew that hobby miniatures were a thing. Airbrushing is still pretty new, and I definitely still have a long way to go before I’m as good or as comfortable with that as I am with a brush in my hand, but with it I can achieve an effect that I just fail at otherwise.

*Clean* Cryx Slayer, model by Privateer Press
*Clean* Cryx Slayer, model by Privateer Press

A quick run-down of the hairspray weathering technique is as follows… Paint or spray a base of a rust color, preferably with some kind of automotive primer as it bonds really well (I just went with regular paint and then was gentle later). Add some variation and some different textures to the rust color by sponging different oranges, reds, and browns on top. Spray two coats of hairspray over the whole thing, letting each dry fully in between. I sped up the drying time with a hairdryer on a cool setting.  Then airbrush the color that you actually want over top, including all the shadows and highlights, but making sure the layers are pretty thin without being transparent.  It basically ends up looking like there’s no rust color at all at this point.

Next, take some clean water and a small scrubby brush (I used a small brushed dental pick), and gently wet and scrub away the top layer until the rust color is exposed.  The water dissolves the hair spray underneath and lets the top layer get brushed away. When I was happy with the number and shape of my rust spots, I sealed the miniature at this this step with Dullcote matte varnish.  The final little step is to take a brush and do a very dark line under the top side of the rust spot, and a light line on the bottom side of the spot to make it look like the edges of the spot are casting shadows and catching highlights. Here’s how the Cryx Reaper turned out in the end.

Cryx Reaper, model by Privateer Press
Cryx Reaper, model by Privateer Press

Reaper3Reaper8Reaper4

I think getting these Cryx warjacks ‘dirtied’ up a bit really helps sell the idea that these are dark, scary murder machines of the “Nightmare Empire.” I couldn’t resist throwing some blood spatter on there too. It’s pretty likely that I’ll continue to use this weathering technique to add some variation to these types of models in the future, and once I get a better handle on it, I’d love to do more of a photo tutorial. For now though, I’m learning to love the character that getting a bit dirty and out of control can give things!

A Whole New War and a Brand New Adventure in Painting

A brand new edition for one of my favorite games, Warmachine/Hordes, means a brand new adventure in painting for me!  The first big step is my very own website, which for now will function mostly as a painting blog, but in the future I hope to add things like painting videos, classes, and more!

As far as the new edition goes, I’m looking forward to really diving in since I never really got a good handle on the Mk II rules. There are some great new caster models included in the new battleboxes, and I’ll be getting my hands on a few of them. I already have the Circle Orboros box, thanks to my husband having a loot ninja at the Lock and Load convention, and I’m hard at work on getting the models painted up.

New Circle Battlebox, by Privateer Press

 

I already have the Gorax completed, and the Pureblood just needs some basing. The newly re-named Wild Argus is currently under my brush. I had most of these ready to get primed and painted when we figured out what was going to be in the box, however, I have yet to see how the green plastic takes to primer. It’s so very, very green… I don’t have any pictures of Tanith the Feral Song just yet, but I’ll probably make a progress post for her when she gets on the painting table.

Pureblood Warpwoolf and Wild Argus work in progress
Pureblood Warpwoolf and Wild Argus work in progress
Completed Gorax
Completed Gorax

Once the official release of the new edition happens in about a week, my local game store is running a Journeyman league, led by my husband, Chad, who is one of the local Press Gangers.  While he will be playing these Circle models, I will be going back to my favorite undead necromancers, Cryx.  I’m looking forward to being able to get a fully painted army of my own on the table, and seeing what they can do.  I’ll keep you posted!