Monday, July 30, 2012

Airbrushing Part 2 - Blended Base Coats

 Following some of the basics in Part #1, I want to move into blending base coats with multiple colors.  I'm going to use my dark eldar for this as they received this technique the most.  The colors I chose were inspired by a fading sunset.  Armors will be blended from orange to red, purple, and black.  Hair and wings will be blue blended to black.  I tend to start with the light colors and blend to dark with this technique.  This is just personal preference.

The eye is drawn to light or bright colors so I decided to start with orange on the helmet and shoulder area.  The color is Autumn Leaves (FolkArt).

Above the top line, I airbrushed several passes to get the most solid and robust color.  In between the two lines is a light pass to help blend in the next color which will be Barn Red.

Here's a model after adding the red.  The central segment received several passes.  The top and bottom segments got light passes for blending above and below.

Here's a model after airbrushing in Violet Purple as the third color.  Again, the central segment received several passes and the top and bottom segments received very light passes with the airbrush.

For the feathered wings, I started with Aqua Blue on the wing tips.  The next color pass was with Cobalt Blue, then Thunder Blue, then Pure Black along the tops.  The feet of the scourges are also finished with Pure Black.

Here's the 3 with feathered wings before assembly and finishing.  Bat wings will be covered in Part 3 of the series.  The models are finished with a very watered down black wash and dry brushing with dove grey.

Here's the next batch of dark eldar base coated by airbrush with the same colors and technique.

The agonizers are done from dark to light this time starting with Thunder Blue and the base, then Cobalt Blue, Aqua Blue, and Wicker White.  These were the same colors used in the wings and will be the same used on gems, eyes, and hair to tie the army's appearance together.


Just like the scourges, the armor plates are given a very light black wash.  
If you look closely at the leg armor, you can see where the inside half was washed with black and the outside/upper half was dry brushed with Dove Grey.  I like highlighting the dark eldar with grey as it creates a dim highlight that isn't too stark.

Eyes and gems are painted in and battle damage is added.  I use a wet palette to blend and water down the colors.

Here are based and finished warriors from the batch above.  The bases are airbrushed as well and will be covered in Part 4 of the series.

 As you can see, only the base coats are airbrushed but with simple washes and dry brushing, the process is extremely fast.  It's very easy to start and finish an entire unit in one week once you get comfortable enough to do large batches.

Here's a vehicle done with the same colors and process.

The center segment was painted with several passes of Autumn Leaves.  The outer segments received light passes.

The same with Bard Red.  Heavy in the middle and faded out.

 Then Violet Purple and Pure Black.

Gems are painted in and I added some freehand glyphs around the cockpit.  A few places received a light dry brushing with Dove Grey.  Besides that, the airbrushed base coat was untouched.  The model isn't finished yet but I've only invested about 3 hours so far.

So that wraps up the material I've saved up for blending base coats.  Part 3 will address directional airbrushing and lighting effects.


  1. Wow! Thanks Alot mate! I will Definetely use these teqniques for a future eldar army ;) Great Contribution to all who has an airbrush, does your airbrush spray onto very small areas, my airbrush has a wide spray, or can it be configured on most airbrushes with the needle?

  2. This is very very cool and looks much faster and easier than trying to get this stuff done by hand!
    Great write up and beautiful models!

  3. Excellent break down of an advanced technique into simple steps...very very good stuff!!

    Thanks for sharing!