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Sunday, 18 January 2015

Directorate 2.0

Sitting in my "to do" pile for quite some time has been a new Directorate patrol fleet, a pair of battlecruisers, carrier and my battle station. Add to that a couple of Executioner cruisers and that's a fair haul of ships. The reasons they've sat for so long are several, but included the need for my airbrush to have a deep clean and the fact that I was trying out a new came scheme for them using commercially available masks. This meant at least a three-stage spraying session, and two of them I'd already completed, I just needed that final one....

That background dealt with, I finally managed to get my airbrush cleaned a couple of weeks ago, and then get some time to spray them (as well as my recently purloined Dindrenzi planetfall Core Helix - more on that in another post in the future).

Now the Executioner cruisers I wanted to have in my old v1 splinter "dazzle" style, but I used the masks and the new colour scheme, so these are really v1.5 (I sense a Firestorm analogy here!). Now bear in mind these are the just after mask removal - no wash, shading, detail etc - just the basic starting point.

The masks aren't bad - where they work well they work very well, over large dips etc not so much, but I'm not concerned as these will be painted black in detailing anyway, so "blurring" over these areas doesn't matter. Overall they've come out pretty well, and should be a good "transition" stage into the new ships.

So, onto the new Patrol fleet...let's start with the battleship, a great sculpt:

Again, the masks work really well where the surface is smooth - so well in fact that it's difficult to spot them for removal in many cases - I found 5 that I'd failed to spot after taking this photo! The only issue there is that you can damage the finish trying to get them off. Anyway, next up are the cruisers:

The heavy in the middle is magnetised, and it was sprayed as individual sections. Finally in the patrol fleet are the Frigates:

I think these possibly came out best of all (or it may just be I really like the models!). Patrol fleet done, next up are the battlecruisers.

I've yet to take these bruisers out for a proper spin, but they look evil (in a good way!). We then have the carrier:

Still two separate halves, this caused the most trouble with its unusual shape and segmentation, plus generally uneven surfaces. Some of the masks came off mid-spraying, so the effect is not all I wanted on this ship. Still, I think it'll probably improve more than the other ships in detail painting for exactly those same reasons.

Last but by no means least is the Directorate battle station - possibly my favourite of all the stations (in fact, definitely so). Looking like an evil Federation Starbase, this thing is going to be great when it's finished!

That's just a quick update for now, I better get on and finish them!

UPDATE: After being asked what masks I used and how I did this, thought I should probably include these details!

So, the product I used was Anarchy Models' HD Stencils 20 "Mini Hexocam" as well as one of the other products for the splinter. They are very easy to use, basically you just prime your model (after appropriate cleanup), then spray in your first colour (as I use the grey primer as my base, I skipped the first spray step). The you apply the masks as you see fit - this takes more time with the hexocam as you really need to think ahead in terms of spacing, otherwise you'll end up with mis-matches or half hexes. You then spray your next colour, and mask again - the thing to remember is the colour you just sprayed is ONLY going to show up on areas you mask after spraying it.

The other point to not is really make sure your models are well washed of release agent, primed well and you leave each coat to harden after spraying, otherwise you'll pull areas of the paint up when you remove the masks (a couple of mine have small areas where this has happened, but that may be because I left mine on so long - another thing you should avoid if at all possible!).

A nice extra with the masks is that you're also supplied with some negative masks to touch up or add more detail - so for instance on the carrier where I had some masks come off and I'm left with areas of dark grey I might not want, I can use these to add some lighter hexes over the top. Just remember to mask the areas you DON'T want spraying too!

Hope that covers it - anything else, just ask!

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