Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Legion Project - Adventures in Test Painting

World Eater test model - post-Testors-incident

I have recently launched on a "New Insane Project"TM of collecting and painting some Legion models from Forge World's Horus Heresy line. Like many gamers, when embarking on a new project, I like to paint a test model - a chance to see if the colours work, if there is anything I should watch out for etc, maybe I need new paints or new colours etc.  It's fun to work on one figure to iron out the approach a bit before repeating 20 or 30 times.

Legion assembly in progress - figures await priming

So far I have been concentrating on assembling the models, but I couldn't wait to try painting one, so I selected a figure representing a Marine from the World Eaters Chapter and decided to test my approach to his paint scheme.

Mix of World Eaters and Emperor's Children waiting for black base coat

This figure is the first one I have ever primed using an airbrush and Vallejo black surface primer.  Byron has been happily telling me about how he primes and basecoats his figures using an airbrush, avoiding the nasty side effects of trying to use the more conventional spray primers, a particular challenge during the winter (and especially this horrifying winter of 2013-14).

Magic stuff! Just magic!!! I'm now a lobbyist for "Big Primer"
I regard airbrushes as the prima donna tools of hobbying - needing so much to deliver so little - and my airbrushing skills are non-existent.  Airbrushing primer on in the comfort of your own basement sans the issues of spray primer? Sounds too good to be true! But Byron was patient and insistent, and even lent me a workable single-action airbrush to try it out! And it actually works! It even sticks to Forge World resin!

What is ever better is that you can brush-paint the stuff on after to follow up.  I know many of you reading this will be thinking "Greg, you idiot, this stuff has been around for a long time."  And you're right! I just get hide-bound...but for other stubborn people out there - TRY THIS STUFF!! And even try the airbrush!!

More WIP on the assembly - I love the rotor cannon gunners!
World Eater test model - waiting for a decal on the right shoulder.  Note glossy finish to undercoat the decal area and avoid "silvering"

The test figure is a regular vanilla tactical marine in Mark IV armour carrying a "Tigrus Pattern" bolter. I put the basic paint scheme in place, and thought it best to test out a decal on the right shoulder pad.  I plunked a Roman numeral "XII" down on the shoulder plate (the Worlds Eaters were orginally the 12th Legion).  To eliminate the "silvering" from the decal, I had applied a coat of gloss finish in the decal area, and once the decal had dried and set, I needed to knock off the gloss finish with a coat of Testors's "Dullcote".

Another pre-decal progress photo
I've done this for decals hundreds of times...more times that I can count. Testors has never let me down (unlike Krylon - never again Krylon). So imagine my surprise when I saw the Testors had...COMPLETELY F*CKED UP THE FIGURE.  While the gloss finish on the decal had in fact vanished, the Dullcote had also covered the figure in a white, scaly texture - like he fell in a snow bank here in Winnipeg. F*CK!!!!

WTF?!?!?!?! F**K YOU TESTORS!!!!! JUST F**K YOU!!!! A World Eater in a blizzard...where did his drop land?

Sigh.  These Forge World figures are not cheap, and no blog post is long enough to list all of the dark thoughts uttered when I saw what had happened.  Fortunately, I was able to mostly save him by re-painting over the affected front area.  The figure now has a scaly, rough and slightly-over-weathered appearance - forshawdowing, perhaps, the fate of the 12th Legion. But he will be OK, and won't stand out too badly when mixed with a unit.

A re-coat of paint later...looking not too bad

I am mightily pissed, as Testors has never, ever, ever, ever given me a problem like this before.  Cue Byron suggesting I airbrush on the Vallejo matte finish :) Maybe I will try that, but in the interim, I am trying to find a new can of Dullcote...
The finish on the legs is a little rough, but from this distance everything turned out OK - won't be as noticeable when he's with a unit of 10 figures

These Forge World figures are a lot of fun. You can see the posing on this particular figure is not great (he's not holding the bolter in a particularly "natural" combat pose). It took me a while to get the hang of assembling them, but holy cow its fun - once you get rolling.

So that's one figure down...still a long, long way from a game...but progress continues!


Millsy said...

That's bizarre. I've never seen or heard of a Dullcote distaster like that before.

Dallas said...

Apparently it's not uncommon for Dullcote to frost up in high humidity. According to the Internet, you can fix it by spraying with cooking oil spray (!) http://nicemannersforathief.blogspot.ca/2011/02/how-to-save-your-dipped-models-from.html

Greg B said...

Cool link! But high humidity is not an issue in my house, particularly during this soul-crushing winter...I think it was just a dud can - bad luck.

J Plouffe said...

Did you grab the primer locally in Winnipeg?

Greg B said...

Ho Jonathan - I did not. This particular bottle came via the excellent folks at the Sentry Box in Calgary. But I understand the wonderful people at Imagine Hobbies here in Winnipeg do carry bottles of it as well.

DaveV said...

Neat looking figs.

I use Testors Dullcote too, after a Glosscote to provide a tougher protective finish.

There's a few tricks with these spray cans, warming them gently in a bowl of warm water, shaking them for at least a minute before spraying, etc. Sometimes, you still get duds. I once sprayed a Landsknechte command unit with Dullcote, and they frosted up.