Saturday, December 8, 2012

What Does Spiff Use?

I thought this would be a good idea to show you all what I am using to achieve my results. These are not paid advertisements, just simple product endorsements. I'm not telling anybody they have to use these products. I'm just showing you what MY favorites are and if you are just starting out or trying to hone your skills, I hope this might be useful.

I just recently discovered the line of Vallejo paints a couple of years ago. I am absolutely, 100% in love with these paints! A couple of the colors have some consistency issues- yellow and orange, to be exact- but for the most part these are the most painter-friendly acrylics I have ever used.

If Vallejo makes such fantastic paints, then the inks must be good, right? Correct! The inks are very vibrant and I only thin them with water to tone down the coverage. I use the inks primarily as a stain for exhaust vents, tank treads, leg & arm joints, etc. Occasionally I use the inks for my cockpit jeweling effects. The washes, or shades as they are called, are a thinner version of the ink. They immediately flow into the recesses of the surface and hardly affect the surface color. I use these a lot for redefining panel lines and weathering. I use the shades straight outta the bottle- no thinning or strange home combinations are required.

These Secret Weapon washes are very similar to the Vallejo shades, only they come in a wider assortment of colors. They have a slight stain effect, which is useful for when I want something just a few shades off of the base color. Excellent consistency and flow- no thinning required.

I take great pride in the fact that people always ask if that is a decal or did I paint it. Well, this is how I do it. I paint a bit of the medium on the surface where the decal will go. After carefully sliding the decal in place, I use a tiny sponge applicator to press the decal down into the medium and push out the air bubbles. After that dries, I paint on a coat of the matt varnish over the area of the decal. Of course, after the entire mini is done, I give it a shot of Krylon matte spray sealant.

As cheap as these paints are, they are actually good and useful. The white is what I use to lightly highlight all the raised surfaces with. The other colors are good for a rough base coat and painting scenery. They don't cover nearly as well as the Vallejos do, but since they are cheap, it is an acceptable trade-off.

Liquitex ix primarily a canvas-type artist acrylic, but it has some uses on my minis, mostly small detailing uses. These colors are not consistent enough for painting large areas.

FW and Liquitex make some excellent inks, but again, these were not designed with miniature painting in mind. I frequently have to thin them with water to get them to flow a bit better. The red oxide you see in the picture is the ink I use for my rusty effects. The sepia ink I use for tank treads and tires. The other colors I have are used whenever I feel that is the right ink to use....I can't really explain how I know. It is a feeling, like a ripple in the Force.

Well, put them all together and you get a cluttered desktop. A cluttered desk is a sign of genius...right?

Aerospace Superiority

Some of you may be familiar with my postings on the Battletech forums and already know about the massive amount of air power in my collection. Well, since my blog is fairly new, I will just stick to my newest stuff rather than go back through all the old pictures.
    I have an enormous fetish for assimilating other sci fi genres into my Battletech collection- my Star Wars posts are certainly overwhelming evidence of that! Well, here are a few more fighters from other sources that I have assimilated.....resistance is futile!

If you don't recognize this starfighter, then you are not a true sci fi fan. This is the awesome Gunstar from "The Last Starfighter". A beautiful 1:144 scale resin kit from Fantastic Plastic.

The death blossom covers are fixed open. No way I would fix them closed!

I decided to customize mine a bit by adding some nose art.

Here is a shot just to show the size comparisons.

This is a starfighter from a really old anime series called "Crusher Joe".

I immediately determined there were not enough guns on the stock version, so I went about upgrading the three models I had.

I actually added the rectangular burner nozzles. The stock mini had nothing there but a plain old pair of holes!

Large pulse lasers under the wings and a large autocannon in the nose ought to do the trick!

Fighter #2 has a load out designed for close contact dog fighting.

I sculpted a housing for the gattling gun in the nose and added sets of medium lasers under the wings.

Fighter #3 is set up for low level ground attack. I went with an interesting camo pattern for this one.

I had to sculpt the rocket pods and the pylons for them, but I left the nose mounted weapons in the stock configuration.

Nose art and a few kills!

The business end!