To Do: Inquire About Airbrush Painting

One of the nice things about Twitter is that you can see hundreds of photos of players’ fantastically painted dudemens. I’m floored by the skill and, yes, I dare say it, artistry, every time I open my news feed. So shiny. So well painted. So, well, cooooooool. Take this image below…


These models are at least three points cooler than this, and I didn’t even know that was possible. I mean, c’mon, lightsaber kittens. “May the Force conquer that laser pointer.” So, with passion that rivals even the steamiest man sex in a Spanish soap opera, I study painting techniques and color combinations, hoping to make my models one day reach a level of awesomeness.

Recently, my world was thrown for a loop. I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same. I just know that I’m confused, a little hungry, and not entirely feeling safe.


I was talking color combos in my local hobby shop with the gang of players that frequent the establishment. I say gang because, like the ragamuffins from _Newsies_, they’re all young, enthusiastic, and prone to breaking into song at a moment’s notice.

(Yep, that’s Christian Bale. Long before contracting lung cancer voice and battling villains)

So anyways, we’re talking about Games Workshop paints, when a stranger made what sounded like a snicker from the corner. I felt it rude, snickering like that around decent folk. Could have said, “Pardon me, but may I inject some word food into your conversation buffet?” But, no, just *snicker*. Almost as one, we looked up at him.

stranger danger dog

“You guys haven’t moved onto airbrush painting yet?”


“You should look into it. Games Workshop paints aren’t going to get you that look.”


And with that, the mysterious snickering man was gone. We searched high and low for any sign that he truly existed, but all we could find were two strange objects.



Full disclosure, I love “New Girl”. That show f#$ks my s@#t up, every time. When I learn to turn off my biological naughty language filter, I’ll make sure to translate those for you. Schmidt, I salute you.

Though full of snickers and potentially children standing atop one another, the stranger may have been also full of knowledge. Is airbrush painting the best way to go? Is it the only way to truly get fantastic minis? A part of my hobbyist heart sank when I started contemplating this change. There’s something satisfying to me about holding a paintbrush, dipping into paints, and having my hands splotched with blue and green at the end of my endeavors. I feel like I’ve accomplished something. I feel powerful.


On the other hand, I really want my models to look as stellar as possible. I don’t want to hold myself back with “inferior paints” or practices. So, to gain more perspective, I went to Twitter to look over some of my favorite models by other painters. Then, as if inserted there by careful photoshopping or paid product endorsement that’d rival even Pepsi Co., I noticed airbrush paint bottles in the background. Not all, mind you, but in a couple.

So now, like a lost wretch in search of a memory, or me on Saturday afternoon after losing my parking garage voucher, I’m hanging my head in disbelief. I look to you, readers, to tell me how you paint. Do you paintbrush it up? Maybe use paints outside the Games Workshop range? Do you airbrush your hues onto your models to get the perfect effect? Throw them through a series of perfectly-timed sprinklers? I must know.

What I ask of you is this; either in the comments section on this article, or on Twitter (@cbmcgames), link me a picture of one of your favorite models, and tell me your methods/products. I’m dying to know what you all love to use in order to bring your models to life. If you do paintbrush painting, tell me your favorite paints to use, and a technique you particularly enjoy using (if you have a source lighting nugget, I’ll reply with cat pictures pulled from the internet as a reward…I’m very interested in toying with source lighting). If you are an expert wielder of air and paint, let me know the hardware and the paint range.

Until then, I shall wander the streets, seeking answers to questions without answers. Mystical, I know. I’m like a modern Kung Fu episode. No, I don’t enjoy asphyxiation. It’s a bit uncomfy.

To Do: Inquire About Airbrush Painting

About Onshava

I'm a writer who grew up a total geek. I attended the University of Florida (Go Gators!), graduated, and set out to make my place in the world in the great city of Chicago. I'm married (still not sure how I suckered her into it), have two dogs, and think subway trains are the devil's magic. Also, I'm a horribly addicted hobbyist. Warhammer 40k, MMOs, Xbox gaming, writing, reading, playing guitar, painting, modeling (not the sexy GQ kind) name it, I probably do it. I also like to talk, a lot. So, to quote Deckard Cain, "Hello, my friends! Stay awhile, and listen." View all posts by Onshava

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