I recently ordered a batch of small dice (6mm) and flying bases from EM4 Miniatures, and while I was there I decided to grab a set of their generic “Spacecraft”. You get twelve different gray plastic ships and accompanying bases all for 2.55 pound, or $4 Canadian. I just got them on a whim, I had heard a few people recommend them in different forums but hadn’t thought too much about them. When they arrived, which was pretty quick considering they were coming across the Atlantic, I was thoroughly surprised. They are great, very nice sculpts, no flash to clean up, and some fairly small mold lines to scrape off. I had them cleaned, based, and primed in a day or two.
There are a few reasons I am excited to work on them, the first is they are generic, so I don’t feel the need to match them up to someone else’s scheme, and second is how cheap they are. I have paired them up so I will paint each pair with the same scheme, for no real reason other than I can try each paint technique twice. And that is why their cheapness is important, I am just going to try a whole bunch of new techniques on them, and I don’t have to worry. No fleet that they will need to match, no expensive mini to strip the paint off if I don’t like it, just a bunch of ships I can do whatever I want with. And I have already started…
I tried a number of new things with these two. First was painting them just black, they turned out okay, but I had a horrible time trying to highlight them. Second was the lightning, I had a great time doing it. The first ship I did is the one on the right with the skinnier bolts. I prefer the look of that one up close, but from a few feet the thicker bolts look better. The third was the fade/blend on the cockpit glass. I usually use the jewel technique for windows, but decided that these ships needed something a little flashier to go with the overall paint job, the picture doesn’t do the cockpits justice. I also tried doing a different colour on the engines, usually I do a blue to white transition, but this time I tried an orange to white. I definitely didn’t have the right shade of orange, and it didn’t turn out as I had hoped.
I had one other thing go, well not quite wrong, but not good either. When I am done painting the miniatures I give them a couple coats of high gloss spray varnish to protect them, and then a last coat of matte varnish to finish them off. I will admit that I am paranoid of the paint getting chipped or rubbed off, so I can over do it with the gloss varnish, and I definitely went way overboard this time. It kind of shows in the photos, the panel lines are basically gone, I filled them with varnish, obscuring a lot of detail. On the next pair I think I will try brushing the gloss varnish on by hand and see what I can do. It will take a longer time, but I should be able to control the amount a lot better, the big question is whether or not I can avoid brush strokes.
And for those checking my blog out for the eye candy only, one more shot…
I had been thinking about starting a blog to share how I paint my miniatures for quite a while, and today I finally sat down and did it. What really helped me decide to do it is my current project, I am working on a custom Narn ship from the Babylon 5 universe inspired by this image from DeviantArt http://amras-arfeiniel.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d2f8nnp. It is two Var’Nic ships and the central part of a Thentus crusier. I am just working on the second to last layer of highlights, so I should have it posted here real soon.
Some of my other ongoing projects include:
30+ one inch StarWars fighters from Studio Bergstrom
25 or so Oness ships and associated fighters from Brigade Models
just got 12 plastic generic one inch fighters from EM4 miniatures
While there are a large number of boxes on the shelves that I can’t wait to jump into.