Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Bishkek 2nd Valkyrie, Part 3: Freaking out

So I have passed a few super frustrating days with the Valk. Here's the lowdown on inching my way forward with this great model.
In the FW modeling book they show this cool plane with the wing markings:
I know there is a decal for sale, but painting seems easier. So I cut out the template and drew it on the wing with pencil.
But I should have known it was going to be trouble. I could not for the life of me decide what color to paint this wing. I put all my paintpots on it to try, concluding that orange would look best. But what pilot wants to put orange on his wing? So I decided on brown..
Brown? is the first response of the wife...and that is never good. She has an excellent eye for estethics. I doggedly kept painting until it looked clean. I even got a nice india ink pen....
to sharpen up the corners. In the end I painted this thing so big, I covered up all the camo work!
I looked at it again and realized more was wrong but I didn't know what. So I figured, I'm going to weather it a bit with a stipple brush and some desert yellow, peeking through the top layer. That looked like this
At that point I had to constrain myself from crushing this plane under my foot. Of this whole wing thing, nothing was working out. Realize I worked my behind off to make the camo look as good as I can get it, and then I am going to mess it up with this. And there is no way back, except start all over. So I repainted the whole wing brown again, getting rid of all the weathering.
I let it be for a day, show it to my buddy Christian who says: "why brown?". At that point I know it: it has to be redone....



  1. My heart goes out to you, man. Gotta be hard not to blow your top. On the plus-side... maybe you don't need to be as fusy with the taping this time & maybe it'll be a quick fix that'll make you just love your air-brush even more.

    As for the wing decal; maybe a light blue, like a baby blue? Maybe a thin outline in a navy blue? It's kinda tricky to make colours contrast & pop off 2 different browns.

  2. did I mention I don't have an airbrush...

  3. Any chance you could work it up to a dirty white? Might save you from starting over...

    Maybe tape it off and sponge the colours on to work it up to white so that it still ties in with your sprayed on camo?

    Just an idea!

  4. Mike,

    You have 2 problems:

    1. This kind of effect will be next to impossible to achieve without an airbrush. When spraying with an airbrush you can get paint layers that are microns thin, brush painting you are going to find it very hard to mask and paint evenly.
    2. Traditionally those kind of bold effects only work on flat colour blocks. One of the reasons that the FW book version looks so stunning is because it is yellow on black. This is a very simple scheme (and also from nature, who usually provides all the best colour schemes ;)). If you look at real fighter planes, the ones with big logos on (F-16's homeguard are a good example) tend to have no camo on them, just flat colours (usually grey!)

    I'd suggest investing in an airbrush TBH. With a small outlay you can get some amazing tools that will last a lifetime and will make armour modelling 10000% more enjoyable. I would recommend the H+S Infinity (


  5. Oh I really feel for you.

    Well if you look at the imperial eagle in the book, you realize it only works because of the rather high contrast - gold on dark blue - and an Imperial Eagle is nothing you hide either :-P

    I'm afraid as long as you keep it toned down, you will always run into dissatisfatory results.
    How about if you use the current image and play with it in Photoshop?

    I know most pilots wouldn't want a high contrast image on their chopper, but on the other side, and Imperial Eagle is a honor symbol and must be worn with pride :)

  6. When things like this happen I sometimes loose the will to paint for days. I hope this doesn't happen to you.

    I think we need to get you an airbrush!

  7. I hear what people are saying about contrast, but what about putting the eagle on as a negative of the camo? This would bring contrast to each section since they would be tan or brown depending, and the eagle design would be kind of subtle.

  8. Brutal. I feel your pain Mike and as I'm reading through the post, I'm wincing along with you!

    If you're rethinking it, I'm of the opinion that the camo is more than enough for the wing. If I was a guard, I'd have painted over that wing a long time ago!

  9. Ouch, I hate the idea of starting over, so I'd go with one of two options:
    1. harreh's idea to work it up to a lighter color, though I wouldn't go all the way to white.
    2. Drathmere's idea of reverse camo. If you are already set on getting out the tape and spray, I'd go this route. It would make for a great effect, and definitely look unique.

  10. I like where you're heading with this (especially the original camo). How hard would it be to paint the wing an original color, then mask off an eagle, and then do the camo as you did? So, instead of the doing the eagle last you, in effect, do it first? Forgive me if this is what someone else suggested...

  11. But I personally like the blended eagle, Warhammer has always lacked on realism...
    I mean: would you paint a fancy blue eagle or somethingg on the tank you would have to drive with.
    War is war!

    ...just my opinion...