For a change of pace from the ACW figures I have also slowly been doing some Spartan Games Dystopian Wars stuff. So, I can show my completed Fleet Air Arm for my British Dystopian Wars fleet. This includes 16 aircraft – shown below, in 3 wings of 5 tiny flyers as they are called in the rules, and 1 additional unit, with a carrier for them to act as a home base.
Although I did not do roundels on the wings I did the wing tips in different colours so it’s easy to tell the different flights apart on the table. One interesting item of note is my usual paint on varnish did not work well on these. It left a ‘patchy’ reflective area’s on the flat area. So I gave them a quick blast with Testor’s dull coat and that seemed to resolve that issue.
And here are a couple of shots of the carrier. First from the front.
Then the side. I have to say this was a big model to paint and not the easiest to to photo’s of either…
Finally a shot from above – the fly past view I guess.
So those are the latest models I have done for the fleet and allow me to field a fully painted force now.
However, although not one of the best painters out there, I was asked what steps I was taking to paint these. As someone who always wants to encourage others to have a go and paint figures vs just using using unpainted ships I though I’d do that. I am envious at times of the great paint results some people can do but we can’t all get to those levels and so I still want to encourage others to try and paint figures – you’ll surprise yourself on the results and the enjoyment you will have doing it. I know I have for my work.
Step by step for painting the carrier
So here we go for that. First let me highlight that I try to use a limited pallet and set of colours on the ships. Rather than using loads of different colours I think limiting that and using a black only wash seems to give a clean consistent look to the ships. I will admit my technique is different than how I paint figures. This shows some ‘in progress’ pictures of the above carrier to help illustrate the steps I used. I start with black undercoat – done with a spray acrylic, and then going other the poor coverage area with artists black to ensure a consistent black undercoat for the rest of the process.
Then I paint the base grey. This is the GW foundation gray – now defunct/replaced in their range. I’m quite liberal with this as it should be a good coat. I covered all the superstructure and most items which will be this base – turrets etc. that may end up in this colour. It’s the base of the scheme after all.
I then paint several coats of the old GW snakebite brown, watered down for the wood. This gives a coverage but it’s not a consistent and constant coat. When drys it is followed by the black wash (again from GW) to drop into the groves. This to me give a nice ‘weathered’ board effect for the ships without too much work on the ships.
I then started the planes, giving them a light grey/cream paint and a black wash to bring out the model lines. I also started working on the radar, in blue and then slowly started to add lighter colours in layers up to near white. I went around the super structure of the flight deck with a medium artist grey to pick out the framing. I use the same colour on the ships for the pieces that I want that shade at this time as well, so things like the AA guns. These get a light was as well if required to pick up details.
Next is to to do the ‘camouflage stripes’. These are gone over twice in slightly thinned paint to try to make them as flat as possible. Better to do 2 lighter coats than one heavy one I have found. It takes a little longer but it’s worth it -but keeping the same lines is not always easy, but worth trying. After that I paint the brass and tin metals on the ship where I want it. Again just two metals to not over do things and keep the limited set of colours on the ships.
At this point the basic paint job is done. But as I’m not the greatest painter, I now go around and do ‘touch ups’ where required. I wait until this stage with these ships so that I don’t end up redoing the touch up stage for each colour. I also finish items like the layering of the colours on the radar domes.
This touch up stage takes time, but makes a huge difference in the final result. The touch ups include making sure that the brass windows are consistent and have nice defined black lines where useful. This also include additional of washes, shading and sometimes even repainting some section of the ships, as I can start to ‘see’ the end result and whether I like the consistent result. I’m not good at visualizing the end result, so this stage may also include rework – although it did not in this case.
Lastly I used my normal paint on Windsor and Newton paint on varnish on the pieces and let them sit for at least 24 hours. Then, I assembled the ship and in this case then gave the prominent bits which will get handled a second coat of varnish and another 24 hours minimum drying time.
So there you go. Note, if you want to see how to really paint fine detailed figures then I recommend having a look at the blog of one of the other Toronto based guys. He has some great step by step posts, but I’m not at that level yet (and may never be). Check then out here as an example : http://cbaggery.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/skraeling-warrior-step-by-step/