I have just dabbled a bit with my reserve airbrush - my cheap Revell starter brush - and I now fancy doing some more ambitious work with it's bigger brother. Naturally I want to try out a couple of ideas:
- I want to see if I can finally get that illusive 'Russian Green'
- Have another go at the 'pre-shading' technique
- Also, I would like to try my hand at some airbrushed camouflage.
|The Pegasus ISU-122/152 - a nice big canvas on which to try out new|
techniques. The Finns capture two of these monstors during the
Continuation War in 1944, but neither saw use as far as I know.
'Russian Green' - 4BO
The closest I have come to a satisfactory Russian Green was with the Flames of War Warpaint - a spray can which seems to have disappeared completely off the UK market.
It's funny how you can soon become geeky about 'the correct colours' as, in truth, while there was a designated recipe for 4BO - the official Soviet army green - really the Soviets tended to slap on whatever green happened to available as they just wanted the tanks out as quickly as possible. Others might spend a long time arguing the point!
|The best 'Russian Green' I have achieved - here as the base coat for my|
SU-122M - was by using Flames of War War Paint spray. But supplies of
this in the UK have completely dried up.
Pre-shading - done right
I have had a failed attempt at pre-shading a vehicle, but without a proper airbrush this technique is hard to achieve correctly. Basically you start by either a base of plain black or black with highlights shaded, on top of this you spray a light coat of your predominant base colour (e.g. olive green). The idea is that the pre-shading shows through the light coat of green to provide what hair dye adverts like to call 'tonal highlighting'.
I had made some progress in my masked camouflage technique, but once again the use of spray cans resulted in an effect that wasn't as subtle as it could have been.
|Oh so close! I was quite pleased with this...BUT...|
Believe me I have tried a great many brands in my hunt for the 'perfect' spray can paint - Humbrol, Tamiya, Plastikote, Flames of War (Vallejo) - but all suffer from the same basic problem, the plastic paint nozzle.
As for paint palette, well you will never have the range of spray can shades that you do with the vast variety of paints available in bottle form. Add to this the flexibility of being able to mix your own shades - precisely - for use with airbrushes and the advantage of airbrushes becomes glaringly apparent.
Take the photo above - I wanted a chestnut brown, but the closest I could find in a good quality spray can (Humbrol) was this buff brown. As much as I tried to convince myself that it could be a 'weathered' chestnut brown it just wasn't right!
So, I have a few things to practise with. I don't expect to get it right - as with my MiG-15 - but that is the thing about experimentation. I'd rather be practising of a £2.99 Pegasus kit than on a £20 Dragon kit!