Painting and Gaming Related

A lot of 3D printed wargame models

Too Much of a Good Thing

3D printing my own wargame models has really lengthened the paint queue over the last year.

I have 3 armies all half painted at once and a few more waiting to be assembled. Visible in this photo are three partially completed armies and a piece of terrain. From left to right you have the 3D printed mecha I'm using with my 15mm pewter casted Amakudari infantry (purchased from MicroPanzer). Cyclops, Raven, and 07-X. Center rear is the 3D printed Mad Max Road Warrior or Thunder Road army modeled by Marcos Hidalgo. Center front is a bodega style convenience store plaza 3D printed terrain piece containing two shops with sales counters and shelves inside. It was modeled by Steve Smigielski though I've added additional furniture that wasn't part of the original model. On the Right is the Fifth Reich Evil Human Supremacist army I 3D printed using models designed by multiple different artists. Shown here are the Cobra Hiss Tanks, GI Joe MOBAT, and the shuttle from the Helldivers video game.

These models are all part way through the process I use. I call it my "workflow" from using the term in the 3D modeling community. Currently I'm using my airbrush to base coat color including zenithal highlights, then I pick up a normal paint brush and start blocking in other colors. I use a fine brush to spot hit areas with "the dip" to make panel lines and creases stand out more. Then edge highlighting with a thin brush to make the corners and angles pop out. That's basically the current work flow.

The 3D printed Road Warriors I'm doing a little differently. There is a trick with salt to emulate rust that I haven't used before and the 3D printed Road Warriors are a perfect chance to try it out. If I go overboard or muck it up, it's ok in this case. They're Mad Max style wasteland nomads so chipping rusty or otherwise marred paint jobs fit.

I'm mixing red, brown, and DAP Plastic Wood™ to create a paste that I'm painting onto the 3D printed models to smooth them and fill the print lines. After it dries I follow it up with light sanding using a fine grain sandpaper. This leaves a very smooth finish compared to the unprocessed print. Leaving some of the black PLA standing out if it shows up after sanding will add to the effect of the rust so I'm not too worried about getting it just right.

Then I plan on sealing them with a 50/50 mix of future and water sprayed through the airbrush. The reason being that the surface although smoothed, would still be rough enough to absorb some of the salt if it's not sealed first. After that I will be applying the salt as per usual with this technique. Brushing on water and dribbling salt over it to stick to the wet portions.

Finally I'll be airbrushing them with pastel desaturated colors to look like sun faded paint jobs. A couple passes from the airbrush should give it a gradient simulating a sun faded sports car paint job. chip off all the salt then paint the accessories and guns with a normal brush.