Wednesday, May 18, 2011

FanVan WIP

Ok, lets commit to a full WIP series on the FanVans from Ground Zero Games. Think of it as basic armour painting 101. Not difficult stuff at all; practice and patience will be rewarded. I took this same approach with the GZG New Israeli armour & I'll want to review this at some point.
Where were we?
Lets finish up the Canopies first.
A protective coat of Future needed to be laid down over the canopies, but before I did that I decided to spray a little bit of Tamiya Smoke as a way to blend the gold & black together. Smooth.

When the Future had dried, the masking that protected the canopy frames & the rest of the models was removed and discarded.

Models are numbered to track painting masks
Time now for the canopy-glass shaped bits of tape saved when cutting the masks. Each model & its mask were numbered, so it was simple enough to match the masks with the models. Note how each 'window' was cut and laid-out in position relative to each other. A piece of scrap styrene sheet was used to keep these safe. Additional trimming or adding of thin strips of tape was done as necessary.
The masks were smoothed into place using colour shapers.
As I finish painting each model the canopies will remain covered and (in theory) protected. The big reveal will happen as I move into detail painting. Fingers are crossed from now until then.
Now for the base-coat. A thin, transparent coat is sprayed on at about 10psi. At this point any pre-shading I have done will either become a wonderful part of each model, or hidden under too much paint. Only a few areas of each model get second coats.
I'm using Dark Yellow tinted with drops of red-brown, yellow and black. I made sure to mix up quite a bit of this when this project began so that colour matching would not be a problem.
After the base-coat dries I lay down a  good coat of Future in preparation for the next step.
Future is self-levelling, so I can spray quite generously and still get an even, gloss finish that wont fill detail.
A gloss finish is critical for the oil wash that is to come. If I apply a wash over a matte finish, the entire surface will become stained. On a gloss finish, the wash will fill detail and any excess will be easy to remove.
The middle FanVan has been dry-brushed buff.

Oil Wash & Dry Brush
The wash is applied outlining and emphasising the details of each model. Once this dries (a day at least!) it's time for a light but thorough dry-brushing using buff artists oil paint.

Still to Come: decals, filters, details & more.


  1. Wow, those canopies came out great! I'll follow this with great interest. :)

    I really would like to get myself an airbrush. It looks like so much fun!

  2. Yup, airbrushing is in many ways a hobby in itself. A good airbrush can make the difference between learning & being satisfied with your results and total frustration.
    Glad to hear you like the canopies. Never tried something like this before.

  3. They look like they belong in a did great work on these buddie!

  4. Say BTW where did you get these models?

  5. They're from Ground Zero Games:

  6. Brother J, thanks! I'm grateful for your feedback.
    Martin jumped in with the right answer.
    Ground Zero Games has great kit & excellent service all provided by Jon Tuffley. Jon is also the author of Stargrunt II. He is someone worth researching; his designs for minis and rules have far-reaching influence that go beyond sci-fi.

  7. Cool Brother, Cool!
    You do some good work here man.

    Say, uhh can you give the name or a link to these models so I do not have to hunt over that big site?

    I want to make a sci-fi train with them.

  8. Happy to be of service. The train idea is brilliant.
    I have added a link to 'FanVans' at the top of this post & it will take you right to where you want to go.
    The new GZG online shop is spiffy. The old one didn't used to allow me to link directly to the items I was writing about!

  9. Cool!
    I have wanted to make a Sci-Fi Train for ever, on a slightly raised track, these will work me
    Gives these fellows somthing to attack/raid.

    And this guy to defend.