July 09, 2015

Badger Minitaire Set - Test Drive on DreadBall Pitch

First off, I hate UPS. They're thieves who charge an insane amount of 'brokerage fees' to pay my GST for me. In this case I shouldn't even have had to pay GST, since the Badger Minitaire line of paints are made in the USA. Anyway, they're here, and UPS still sucks balls. The paints however, do not. Here is a wonky-angled shot of the contents after I started sorting them out.

I've had my airbrush for almost two years now but don't use it often. Occasional priming duty in the dead of winter is about the extent of the work my Badger Patriot had put in, until now.

One of the biggest troubles with airbrushing is thinning the paints. I have paints from Army Painter, Games Workshop, P3, Tamiya, Vallejo and even some Testors acrylics. I've experimented a bit with mixing them and thinning them down and getting a consistent result is nigh impossible, and made me think that airbrushing wasn't for me.

I picked up some Vallejo Model Air last summer and even those got used primarily for brushing. When I found out about the Minitaire range it was a no brainer for me. Airbrush-ready paints designed for miniature paints...I had to get the whole set!

I needed something relatively forgiving to work on first. As much as I wanted to dive right in and paint some figures, I reigned myself in and opted for my HDF pitch for DreadBall. The "Azure Forest" tournament pack had sparked my imagination when it was released and I had wanted an outdoor-themed pitch ever since.

Ironically I didn't start painting with my new paints; I grabbed a few of my Vallejo colours. After several coats of base grey primer I started with Khaki Brown on the strike zones, centre line and a little dab of colour here and there. The rest of the pitch was given a patchy coat of Russian Green. Visual interest was added by filling in the rest with bright Green Zinc.

Pleased so far I grabbed the Brown Ghost Tint from the Minitaire set. I'd heard that they were difficult to use and often caused clogging of the airbrush, but this was the colour I needed. No time for cowardice now! I outlined the strike zones with the ghost tint. In a few spots I sprayed a little too much at once and got some pooling. That is an issue with my brush control and not the ghost tint.

The colour gradation and patterns looked great, albeit rather one-dimensional. In order to give the pitch more texture I tore a sponge into several pieces and broke out my cheap craft paints. A few layers of stippling (two browns and two greens) gave me just the textured effect I was looking for!

I was in the home stretch now. I picked out each of the hexes in the strike zones and starting line, barring the launch areas and bonus hexes. The numbers in the sin bins, scoring track and rush track were also highlighted so they would stand out. A few other spots on the pitch like the subs benches got a light dusting of this as well.

The final bit of airbrushing was done on the bonus, strike and launch hexes with Skull White. The way the laser cut lines stay dark while surrounded by the white made things jump out in a pleasing way.

After a little bit of brushwork by hand to add some minor touches of colour  the pitch was all finished. I'm very happy with how it turned out. I still need to blast it with a coat of matte varnish, but that'll happen over the weekend.

Total time: 4.5 hrs.


Stad said...

Love it. I have used Badger for a bunch of stuff, but wished they had a local provider... (I was wondering since they always come to the train show, if they would bring a bunch of paint boxes for us to buy)

Obsidian3D said...

I agree. I'm hoping that the set itself will last me a long time and I won't need to replace anything for a good long while.

Looking forward to trying some colours out on my GCPD figures for Batman this week.