Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Blind Walker.

This was an interesting model. The studio paint scheme is very dark with greens and browns, which lets the candle light really shine through (sorry the puns write themselves!). How ever the client requested a version of the model where the gator was albino. This led to a few challenges the biggest of which was how to create a color scheme that did not all just blend together or be super contrasting. I think I found a good balance with a bit of bright color mixed in.

Also when taking on this model I knew there was a good deal of detail. I really had no clue how many bones, skulls, and candles there where. It's like if GW decided to put all the skulls in one place.

Anyway. I think it came out really well. I also went a bit beyond for the customer and created a custom swamp base.

Let me know what you think.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Review of the Badger Patriot 105 Xtreme.

It is with a heavy heart that I write this review. Please understand that I am a Badger fanboy. I use a Badger Patriot 105 (regular) and a Badger Renegade Khrome. These are my favorite airbrushes. So much so that when given the opportunity to use the Harder and Steinbeck Evolution and Infinity CR+ (see my review here Harder and Steinbeck Review) I went right back to my trusty old Badger Airbrushes.

With that let's take a good in-depth look at the Xtreme.

Here is the word from Badgers website

The Patriot, Model 105, is a comfortable, reliable, cost-effective, user-friendly gravity feed airbrush, designed for use by experienced, as well as novice airbrush enthusiasts.  Its two angle needle tip precisely mates with the Patriot’s cone shaped nozzle, enabling a single needle/nozzle configuration to spray a variety of materials, while eliminating the need for multiple needle/nozzle variations.  It has a 1/3 ounce permanently mounted color cup with a convenient spill-proof cap.
The Patriot’s body design provides exacting balance and long-term user comfort. 
The Patriot is a low maintenance airbrush, easy to clean and simple to operate; it will spray any properly reduced paint or airbrush-ready media.
Developed to deliver precise performance and fine line detail, the Patriot is an ideal airbrush for custom art, graphic arts and illustrative work. The Patriot airbrush will operate at 30 PSI, as well as lower pressure settings (10-15 PSI) and is ergonomically balanced for hours of comfortable airbrushing.

• Single needle/nozzle for spraying all mediums including inks, dyes, watercolors, properly reduced acrylics, enamels, lacquers, and airbrush-ready colors including SpectraTex, Air-Opaque, Air-Tex, Modelflex, and Totally Tattoo.
Single needle/nozzle sprays pencil thin lines to 3” (76mm) spray pattern
• Minimal spare parts
• Easy cleaning and maintenance
Patented handle design produces the fastest needle release on the market
• Finger tight assembly tolerances
• Excellent for multiple applications, for novice to advanced airbrush users
• Lifetime warranty on labor and PTFE seals

First for the good:
The coating that is used on the Xtreme is seriously easy to clean. Wiping with a paper towel will remove the vast majority of any paint residue. It reminds me of a non stick pan. Color changes during a session take about half the time. 

The finger guide (for lack of a better term) is the same one that is found on the Khrome. I really like it as it reduces hand fatigue. 

I really like the balance, which is almost identical (to my hand) as the regular 105.  

Tight lines - I was able to shoot pencil sharp lines with both inks and thinned paints without issue (shooting at 20psi) 

Now for the bad:

PAC Dial . While I like the concept of this feature. I find that it doesn't really belong on this airbrush. As I experimented with it, the spray pattern did change but not to any real significant degree. More importantly when the valve was anything but screwed tight, paint would leak out of the valve, and not just in small amounts.  

Tip dry. I rarely have tip dry issues with my Khrome and regular 105. I generally have an issue with it after prolonged use (over 30 minutes or more of spraying the same color). With the Xtreme it was a constant problem, which is strange as the advertising claims that this brush reduces tip dry. (on the bright side the needle sticks out enough that you can easily use your fingers to remove the dried paint. 

Longer Trigger - The trigger on this airbrush is quite long. It is touted as giving the user more control of the paint flow. While the theory is sound I found that it just added to my hand fatigue without giving me all that much more control (your experience with this may vary, and some reviews and users swear that this is the next best thing in airbrushing). 

Pricing - The MSRP on this airbrush is $165. Most webstores have it for about $100. This is in the same range as the regular 105. 

Overall - I find that I am disappointed in this airbrush. Maybe I was expecting something that totally shifted the way I use an airbrush. Maybe I thought that this would replace my old 105. Sadly I can't say that it has done either. I tried to like this brush, I tried really hard. Sadly at the end of the day it's now back in the box sitting on the shelf. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Lady Aiyana from Privateer Press.

I had some time while waiting on the oil washes for the Blind Walker I am currently doing for a commission. I decided to be productive. In keeping with my "under three hour per model rule (for my own mini's at least)". I wanted to work on something I had set aside and had not really wanted to paint. This young lady stood on the shelf  mocking me in silence. As that would just not do, she was plucked down and the painting began. I have seen some super detailed amazing work on this model in the past, and she is truly deserving of the time and attention that it takes if she is going to be used as a competition piece. She has all the elements that go into producing something quite amazing. I however will be using her in table top army, and she will be seeing a lot of time in battle foam. With that in mind I set out do make something.....nice.

I decided on a very non-traditional paint scheme. I went with Vallejo Game Color - Gory Red for the cape to tie in with the red of my Khador army. The complementary color for red is of course green but I did not want to go all "Christmas" on it. I used a Reaper master series green (which name escapes me right now). And the rest just fell into place. As you can see from the pictures I over exaggerated the highlights a bit. This is to make her stand out on the table top (think three foot rule). Which looks fantastic on the table but not so much in close up pictures.

So here ya go. I nice clean table top quality model that would up taking about two hours in total. Sadly the oil wash was still drying by the time this was done.