This Week in Hobby

Thanksgiving week (US) was a busy time for me with my daughter here on her holiday visitation. We didn’t get a chance to play any mini-wargames this time around. Only one week this year – and it was hard to find the time. We did get a game of Catan in – but that was about it.

After she flew back home I decided to keep my mind occupied with painting. Nothing really jumped out at me to work on. I decided it was high time that I used my airbrush to get some basic paint work done a bit faster. After some thought I figured it would be good to start with something easy and forgiving. I settled on my CORE forces for Dark-Age. These “Robots” would be wandering around in a mostly arid landscape… and I knew I wanted a rough and worn look to them. The airbrush would lend itself well to this task. And I could hone my skills with the brush as well.

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I started off gathering all my previously painted CORE minis as well as all the unpainted CORE from my big collection. I pulled out all the bases needed and updated all the bases to the same basic arid cork theme. I then used my airbrush to primer all of the new bases. After the primmer I used a few different browns and tans to give all of the bases a similar look. After matching washes and a dusting of dry brushing all of the bases had a similar feel to them.

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I had primed these CORE units black a few years ago … so I did some quick dusting and then started applying a few coats of dark and then lighter gunmetal colors. Again, with the airbrush I whipped though 10 minis in less than 15 minutes – with color adjustments on the fly with the airbrush. Trying to keep the lightest. (Brightest) silver as a light zenithal highlights from directly above the figures.

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After that I loaded some light blue into the airbrush and picked out any light sources on each figure – creating “glowing” light areas. I then went back with an off white to spotlight each of these blue glowing areas. Later I would go in with a brush of white to create the highest / brightest spots.

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After all of the basic metallics and glowing were done on each figure, I moved back over to using brushes to continue building the tonality of the CORE “army” I was looking for. Old, Rusty and weather ravaged… I wanted this army to look as if it has been traversing the vast wastelands of Samaria (the world of Dark-Age). I began with some basic dark & oily washes. I then build on those washes with some burgundy and reddish/orange hues. Nothing is to look bright and shiny. When the washes were completed on all of the minis I added some rusty and dusty dry brushing to complete the look.

All of the washes and dry brushing was done to each mini in an assembly line style. The final details would be handled on an individual basis. I started with my favorite Dark-Age CORE figure — Pathfinder. I pulled out extra metals in bronze and copper hues. I added some ceramic whiteish elements and a bit more detailed glowing effects by brush. After I had all of his bits done I settled on a base to use for him. I added some grasses and shadowing washes as needed to the base – before finally finishing off the rim of the base with a glossy black.

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After the Pathfinder was done I thought that perhaps I would assemble and prep the rest of my CORE minis which were still not assembled. Then I could primer them en masse’ and while they dried and cured I could work on the other partly finished minis with the brush details. Then move back with the airbrush to get the newly build minis up to the same point. While they were in the between drying stages I could move back to individualizing each detail ready mini with the brush. We will see how that plan goes over the next week.

With only the dry brushing base colors worked out… the CORE army looks pretty good already with only a couple days work. I am really hoping that using the airbrush more I can work into my backlog of mini projects to get done. I think I will dig into some terrain piles after I get through with the CORE.

-d